Wednesday, June 30, 2010

OFF the Loom--Finally!!

Yes, finally the scarf that was begun last summer has finally come off the loom--fully woven. There is a disclaimer here too. Since we are only at the summer house four months out of the year, it stands to reason that it would take a year for this scarf to be woven--right?? The warp is from the studio of Prism Yarns by Laura Bryant. And appropriately named Albuquerque Taos Silky for Convergence 2010 to be held--where else but Albuquerque, New Mexico in July. The yarn is commemorative yarn custom dyed and handpainted by Prism Yarn's Laura Bryant. 6 ply, 75% rayon, 25% silk, weight is 16 oz. with approximately 2,000 yards.
The weft was silk thread (sewing machine) in blue and gold. Nothing like feeling you are at the end of a long warp and throwing those last few shuttles to complete the work.
Yeah, it's time to cut those ties--let's leave them in the dent, just in case we want to tie on another warp set at the same threading.
Loose from the warp, it is now considered completed. Just untie from the front beam cloth.
Not much waste on the back beam either.
The scarf resting in the front apron--love the colors!
Measuring the front fringe.
The ends that were tied to the back beam are one big mess!
So a little pressing will solve that problem.
Measure to the same length that the front fringe was and cut with rotary cutter. Now all those loose ends need to be neat and tidy-- twisting will take care of that problem.
Wash in warm water, hang to dry and we can come it off the loom--finally! Just in time to wear in Albuquerque!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Onward to Another Project

Okay, maybe it will be just another UFO, but it's time to begin another project. Yes, there has been a completion of a couple of small UFO's so doesn't that entitle a person to begin something new, different and exciting? Well, of course.
Beginning this week is another mystery She Knits scarves. This time she teamed up with a dyer, and we were given choices as to colorways and this is what I chose. Here is a cool entralac project that is on the needles--a small pouch using silk on left (blues and greens) and cotton yarn on the right. These will be gifts.
And a new book has hit my bookselves! Thinking outside the sox--way cool socks! Nice to look at but don't know if any of these socks will actually make it to the needles.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Refreshing on Hot Summer Day

Recently an old recipe popped into the head--well, it took some poking by brown headed daughter to actually remember. Isn't that what they are good for? In the days when the kids were growing up and the summer days were hot and humid, we would make fruit freeze. The recipe came from a friend; her name as we recall was Barbara. Anyway, this summer as all summers go, the little red line on the thermometer has been climbing and with that poke from the BHD, we made fruit freeze once again.
Now, this makes a large batch but it does well in the freezer, so here we begin with our shopping list: two (2) large cans of sliced peaches, one (1) can of apricots (but since there is a passion for this fruit we add more than one can), four (4) sliced bananas, one (1) large can of crushed pineapple, one (1) 12 oz. can undiluted orange juice, 20 oz. strawberries, juice of three (3) lemons. This time around we added one (1) can of Mandarin oranges and one (1) can of pears. All these fruits have no sugar added. You also need a large container for the freezer and gingerale (we use diet).
It takes some time to open cans and pour into the container, but it's all worth the time and effort. Mix well, pop into the freezer and wait........ The next day when the temperature is in that higher range, you can enjoy! Take the fruit freeze from the freezer and chop into small pieces to fill your glass, pour gingerale over and you have a nice refreshing delight to cool your body and mind.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sundry Items and Other Things

Here are a couple of items that might be of interest to fiber minded enthusiasts. If you are traveling in the northern Colorado area and want to see an outstanding fiber show, stop here: Tointon Gallery for the Visual Arts, Union Colony Civic Center, 651 10th Avenue, Greeley, CO to view the Fiber Celebration . This exhibit is sponsored by Northern Colorado Weavers Guild each year. This show will run June 4 through July 11, 2010. If you are not in the area and want to travel via your fingertips and computer, hop to the web page and give a look at the 2010 pieces.

Point of interest to quilters, hop over to Fat Cat . Sindy is offering a monthly Halloween row of the month opportunity and the first row is indeed 'frightening' to assemble!
The Colorado Quilt show was held recently in Estes Park and here are some of the photos from that exhibit.
Erin's blog

Monday, June 21, 2010

Yarn in Waiting

Recent purchase at Estes Park Wool Market included only one skein of yarn from Brooks Farm . For years the Brooks Farm people finished their mohair into lovely colorful yarns. But this yarn, called Willow is a cable summer yarn that is 70/30 blend of wool and bamboo. Nice handle.
A simple self fringing shawl pattern was given along with purchase of yarn. You can find this free pattern, along with others, on their website, listed under patterns. So, this lovely yarn is like a lady in waiting.......waiting until she has sufficiently aged!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Wool Market Sheep to Shawl

One of the must visit areas of Estes Park Wool Market is the sheep to shawl tent. Here you can visit with spinners and weavers as they go about the business of creating that lovely shawl in one day....well, almost one day. This year's contest was sponsored by Shuttles, Spindles & Skeins Inc. of Boulder, CO. The Registration booklet states the following:
"There are five members on each team. The emphasis is on carding, spinning,weaving and providing an educational presentation for the public. Teams will use sheep’s wool from a natural-colored, cleaned fleece. Up to 10 percent fibers, specifically angora rabbit, mohair, llama, alpaca or pygora, may be used in the shawls."

After registration money is received, teams will receive further information in regards to their participation. These rules will allow each team to have their loom warped to their specific weaving pattern. This warp must be handspun. All other spinning and weaving will take place on site. Each team will supply their own fiber to spin.
Okay, spinners treadle those wheels!
There were four teams at work when we arrived in the tent around mid afternoon. One team had finished their shawl and was adding the finishing touches. This group was madly spinning away.
With their fiber piled in the middle of their team area, one person was carding this natural wool.
Busy treadling to hand off to the weaver that was working her magic on the loom.
This team chose a 8 harness twill pattern for their shawl. And as you can see, the weaver is coming to the end of her warp.
This was a good photo of knitted hat along with the warp on this loom which was a plaid. The weaver is also wearing long sleeve shirt that shows the logo for the wool market. The team had about another yard to complete before their shawl was ready to be taken off the loom. All the looms were common sights to this weaver but one really was interesting.
Now, this is one loom that was produced during the 50's for occupational therapy. The wheel allows the weaver to just turn clockwise for the pattern and lifting of the shafts. Pegs are inserted to give the pattern. This loom is Nadeau "Hand-skil". Know anything about this loom, please leave a comment. The weaver was having a difficult time with the shed on this loom.
One team had finished their shawl and team members were adding beads to the fringe, which would be twisted to complete. One of the team members said that according to the rules, the shawl must be woven, washed and dried before the deadline in order to win. Looks that this team is on their way to that first prize of $75. The weave pattern was 8H Bronson. Completed shawls are used in a raffle and the funds collected are presented to a charity organization. Have you ever participated in a sheep to shawl? We'd like to hear about your event.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Outside the Wool Market Vendor Barn

If you think that going to wool market is all about the vendor barn, you are so wrong. There is so much more to enjoy on the grounds. It's a chance to roam through various barns, view unique animals, see contests, smell the fragrant air, and speak with many interesting people from different states and walks of life--all with one thing in common--they love animals and their fiber.
Poor little fellow! He looks so forlorn after losing his coat to the shearer.
We came upon this sheep under the shearer's shears--just plain scissors. She says she cuts the coat twice a year. Now, we stop to visit with this interesting lady.
Eighty (yes 80) years young from Potosi, Missouri. We were viewing her lovely angora goats or Mos that were in the four pens along the front walkway. We commented on her wonderful sweater with goats knitted along the bottom hem. She said that since the weather had been so chilly and she hadn't brought any warm clothes with her, she went to the thrift shop in town and found two sweaters, this one included, for $1 a piece! Can you believe??? After wool market and her return home, she was having heart surgery--now, can we say that she has a true love of animals and fiber.
Up close and personal on angora goat or 'mo'. Below, more of the wonderful ringlet goats.
To show their animals worthiness, ribbons are proudly displayed on gates and fences.
Give a look at this big dude--Rambouillet breed. He was quite regal and wearing his finest coat.
Walking through the aisles you might come upon an owner exercising their alpacas.
In the arms of this new owner, was two week old alpaca.
Okay, just a short detour--off to the side entrance is another smaller tent where bags of fleece are spied! Look at this gorgeous alpaca fiber!
Owners were picking up their fleece after judging. Of course, the question was asked "were any of the fleeces for sale?" Nope, all sold or have intended purposes--ah, shucks!
Nervous animals are place in a true headlock as their owners wash and shear their hindlegs before judging.
Seriously? Yes, suris dominate the show.
We visited with this vendor who was using her loom frame to knit her suri fiber. She had made several scarves and other wearables with this frame. She said she didn't like to knit but loved this form of creating lovely handmade items.
Exiting the one tent, we notice that the rain had stopped but the skies weres till dark and gloomy looking.
On the grounds we find a baby yak being fed. Just like any baby, he moved when his photo was to be taken. There was also a small herd in one of the front outside pens.

Estes wool market is a great place for youngsters to participate and display their showmanship.
The next blog we were discuss the sheep to shawl contest.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Estes Park Wool Market

There is nothing like a day at the wool market even if it's raining, the grounds are muddy and it's the day after the wool judging. Actually, this is the best day to attend--you see, there is always the temptation to observe wool judging and then buy one, two or more of the ribbon winning fleeces. The day after opening is even better because the sale barn is less crowded. Here is my knitter friend, Judy, smiling under her umbrella. She knows there are all sorts of woolly goodies inside the barn. Inside the door, the small crowd is dressed in their fashionable raingear which includes wonderful knit wool hats.Vendors to the left and right of us--decide on the route and charge! Creatively Dyed came all the way from South Carolina with her brightly dyed yarns.
Brooks Farms from Lancaster, Texas bring such lovely yarns that we both found a nice lightweight yarn (wool/bamboo blend)that we neededto buy. Deer Valley Alpacas were located in the back row.
Magpie Woodworks displayed a wonderful collection of their handcrafted spindles, shuttles and other sundry items. Wooly Walkers had a huge selection of felted hats. JWM Fibers had a wonderful selection of handwoven wearables.
Up front is the most entertaining vendor! Who can resist her delightful paintings?! Connie Togel from Charisma Art Gallery
Woodlake Woolies had sparkly roving! This was just a partial list of all the vendors on site. There were two area knit shops-- The Stitchin' Den , located in Estes and Your Daily Fiber from Fort Collins.
We met some familiar faces along the aisle walk. Knitters up for the day and the opportunity to shop. Vendor friends from years of yore!
There was one of the 'wild women' bunch, Marilyn from South Dakota. Marilyn said her website was 'under construction' so we'll watch for it.
There was Suzanne of Fireant Ranch assisting a customer on the spinning wheel.
Robin with her wonderful buttons. She was excited to share that her garment was juried into the fashion for the upcoming Convergence fashion show. We will definitely watch for that on the runway!
Next blog will include outside activities.