Saturday, April 16, 2011

Trip down south, new toy

I had a lovely time last weekend in Charlotte, NC. On Friday I drove a bit south to Pineville to visit the yarn/fiber shop. What a lovely well-stocked place. And their spinning teacher, Linda, is a delight. Having an appreciable stash at home, there's not usually much that I find I need to buy. However, they carry Mountain Colors dyed top and I just love the colors. So 2 bundles of Crazy Woman colorway followed me to my car. I plan to ply this with purple and knit myself a jacket--perhaps a sideways jacket to take advantage of the color changes. And on the way to the car, 2 skeins of sock yarn jumped off the shelf and asked to be adopted because their colors were so enticing. (Yes, yarn and fiber talk to me. Ask any fiberholic, it's a common occurance.)

On Saturday we headed for the mountains to see Blowing Rock and Grandfather Mountain. Knowing that the weather would change later in the day, we spent too much time wandering around near Blowing Rock, having a delicious lunch and hiking to Linville Falls. By the time we got to Grandfather Mountain the rain and lightening had arrived with us. The top of the mountain was closed as it's not smart to stand on a mountaintop when lightening is striking. So we headed down to dinner. Found Countryside BBQ in Marion, NC--OMG, what good bbq it was! Highly recommended!

View from Blowing Rock:

Linville Falls:

Before I leave, I'd like to introduce you to my newish toy.
I actually bought it a year ago, fooled around with it, stumbled on a class taught by the vendor (Eileen Hallman of New World Textiles) in January and I'm now having a blast spinning on my charka. It's got a 65:1 ratio so spinning cotton and other short staple fibers goes lightening-fast. And it makes this nice buzzing sound that I find quite relaxing.

L-to-R: Class skein playing with different tpi, class skein just getting accustomed to the wheel, 2-ply tricolor cotton top/recycled jeans. I'm still playing with different ways to handle the singles cotton before plying, and ways to ply efficiently (if you've spun high-twist fibers, you know how snarled they can become in the blink of an eye). And once I conquer cotton, there's always yak and cashmere to spin. Yep, the charka will require a LOT of spinning time!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I'm off adventuring again!

No posts this week other than to let folks know that I'm heading out on another adventure. And I'm hoping to visit a yarn/fiber shop during my travels so will take photos of interesting things to show you. Off to pack the last bits and try to fit all my less-than-three-ounce toiletries in a quart plastic bag, which is really the most difficult part of packing for a trip--knitting project was packed yesterday, of course.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Hat Contest Winner!!

Remember this hat and my mental block naming it? We have a hat name--Sea Anemones Hat! I think it's very appropriate. The little depressions are surrounded with bumps formed by purl stitches and they look exactly like a colony of sea anemones on a coral reef. Jennifer Green of Desert Garden Farms came up with the name and I'll be crediting her on the pattern. The pattern is out for test-knitting at the moment but should be up on Ravelry and my Etsy shop in the next month or so. Jennifer will also receive 20% off her purchase in my shop. This was such great fun, I should think about letting my peeps name ALL my patterns for me!

It's snowing sideways here but not sticking on the ground. Last storm of the season, I hope. But it's nice for drinking coffee, watching chick flicks and working on another hat pattern. I seem to be obsessed with hats this past year and have about 6 designs in the works. Hopefully, I'll be able to get them finished in time for cold weather/holiday knitting. I love spinning some yarn, playing with color and stitches and ending up with a garment--it seems like magic every time!