Saturday, January 28, 2012

Shawls, Fibers and Yarns!

Here we go--second day of spin-in!  Let's take a walk through some of the shawls, fibers being spun and yarns!

And for the next photo--don't ask!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Shawl We Dance!

The time has arrived!  We are nestled in our conference center and glad to be here.  Even though the weather hasn't been cooperative, we are inside and all is well!
This is the view from out tenth floor condo--we have a gulf view if you look hard.  But, this morning the fog covered most of the view.
The ballroom is empty except for chairs as the vendors move in their wares.

A new vendor, Colorful String Theory, with new baby in tow--nothing keeps these gals away from the event.

Okay, we are getting there!

Here are two other vendors sitting up--Gale's Art and Funny Face.
What's in all those bags?

The door prize tickets are ready and waiting for participants to arrive........................stay tuned.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Walk on the Beach

It is our annual trip to the seaside.  The weather is perfect.  The sky is blue.  The water reflects with slight ripples as the waves crash on shore.
So, we take a walk on the beach--our feet crunch over the white sands as our foot prints are left for only a matter of seconds.

It is calm and peaceful.  The sounds of the ocean is music to your ears.

Life is good!

Ah, the creatures that wash ashore are colorful and interesting.

A small matter of replenishing the sea.

And the grains of sand move our walk on the beach.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cleaning closets and storage units are a good thing!  There are all sorts of treasures just waiting to be discovered.  Well, actually, these 'treasures' were stored many moons ago and somehow, the old brain just forgot about them.  You know the saying--"out of sight, out of mind"!  Yeah, that's what happens.
This was just a plain white scarf--bought on a trip to China and it languished away out of sight for a long time.  Then when it was time to search for another item, lo and behold, this little  bundle appeared--all neatly tied and ready to be dyed.  Even forgot what the search was looking for in the first place once we discovered this bundle.
Also buried deep in the drawer was this assortment of dyes--most likely bought at quilt festival after seeing a demo--nothing like impulse buying!  At least, the dyes weren't all dried up and unusable. 
Nice colors for silk--instant dyes too!  So, we took the little silk bundle and wet it with the dyes.  A little tad here, a little dap there and we have this.......................
Doesn't look like much to speak of in this state, but once it was open up completely.........
The design appeared!  Whoa, looks like a kaleidoscope!  and it makes us look like a real artist.
Up close and personal--a real winner in any book and so easy.  Now, to find the other silk scarves--where are they?  Must be in another storage bin.
And on the needles--another Stephen West treat from his latest venture--a shawl of the month club.  This is January's pattern--Arroway.  The black is malabrigo yarn and the multi color is koigu--both yarns were in the stash basket.  And easy to find!
The glasses are modeling the mystery sock pattern--way cool pattern!  The heel is turned and the instep is complete; just waiting on step #4.  Heading off to check out the other storage bins for more treasures.............................see you later.

Friday, January 13, 2012

And We're OFF!!

And we are charging around the back bend and coming on strong...................oh, wait that's a horse race, not the race to finish up some UFO's.  But, we are out of the gate and running. 
Why is it we never start working on a project until the date is right upon us??  It's Valentine Day soon--very soon!  So, cutting hearts from freezer paper............

Ironing those hearts onto red & pink fabric to make this delightful wall hanging.

A bouquet of hearts-- Pattern in the latest issue of McCall's Quilting Magazine. 

We are in RED mode and continuing some redwork stitchery.  We have three more to stitch just like this one. 
And we finished knitting this shawl from Stephen West Designs.  This is one of the five patterns that Stephen is offering through his shawl club via Ravelry.  We opted for the PDF version, thinking we could use up some of our stash.  This yarn was handspun.  The pattern doesn't show up very well with this yarn so there might be another one in our future using different yarns.
And Oh My Gosh!  Just couldn't resist this funky chicken from Fat Cat Patterns! Just love these chicks!  This is Sindy's 2012 BOM--this is going to be fun.  Luckily, we are using stash fabrics.  Well, we completely forgot about finishing an UFO before beginning another UFO..........
Maybe, this will count for ticking off the UFO list--Miss Birdie Stitches.  We are putting on the borders and readying for quilting.  Was so much fun to do these each month!
What do you do with mohair locks, felting needles and a silk scarf? 
You felt the locks to the ends of the scarf to make an interesting fringe!  More scarves in our future??  It's a good possibility!!  This was quick and simple--just had to find the felting needles and that we did at Joann Fabrics --used 50% off coupon. 
Back to the studio to wrap up a couple more UFO's......................

Monday, January 9, 2012

Roc Day--Louisiana Style!

We are traveling back to visit several of our 'old' fiber friends in Louisiana.  It is the traditional Roc Day or St Distaff Day held January 7th.  Distaff or Roc was the spindle used to spin flax or wool fibers before the invention of the spinning wheel in 1533.  The flax was wound around a short staff known as the distaff, which was fastened at the woman's waist by her girdle or tucked under her arm.  When women visited each other, they often carried their distaff and spindle with them to occupy them as they chatted.  It is sometimes called 'Roc' from the German word rocken, which describes the spinning apparatus. 
Pulling pranks was common during the olden days and we still do those light hearted pranks these days, as the photo shows!  Dear friends, Mary & Mary Lynn, are enjoying their conversation while young spinner does her best to create havoc!

Distaff Day was originally celebrated in England and other European countries but in our country we encompass all nationalities as represented by Chotima from Thailand-spinning away on her Magacraft wheel. 

Her spinning fiber of choice is this blended merino wool/silk blend from Weaver's Corner.

This is her latest finished scarf--an overshot with silk warp and handspun wool/silk weft--lovely lightweight and absolutely beautiful!  The pattern is Star of Bethlehem.

Such fine work!  Not only is she an excellent spinner, she is an excellent weaver!

Okay, it's not handspun, but this fabric on a bolt speaks volumnes for outstanding weaving!

It was a small gathering with a few vendors, but the day wasn't a lost cause--many to speak with and see what was going on their wheel.

A delightful smile--always!  Cecile!

What is Saori Weaving?  "Saori is an art of weaving by hand that is dedicated to free expression and self-development for everyone, regardless of physical or mental ability, age, or artistic aptitude. Saori weaving is pure improvisation from the heart, with no premeditated pattern in mind. Colors unfold, designs emerge, and beauty blooms directly from the genius of each unique individual working in harmony with loom, thread, and the spark of the moment. Saori is a profound inner journey, yet we can enjoy it socially, working alongside others. We can also create clothing, bags, tapestries, and many useful items that can be appreciated by all. Saori is fun, and anyone can do it!" from the website of Saoriworcester

Warps come prepared for the loom so Albion is tieing on the ends to pull through another warp for Cecile to weave on.  This is a simple operated loom with only two harnesses.

We visit with Bev from New Orleans who is wearing a lovely shawl--she generously shared the free pattern.  The shawl pin is an added attraction.

An effective use of multi colored yarns such as Noro or as Bev used Lion brand’s Amazing yarn.


Thirsty handspun brown/green cotton towels by Chotima.

A good use of handspun wool--fulled and ready to wear!
It was a good day to visit with old friends and make new friends in the fiber world.