November 9, 2008

PICTURES OF STUFF! (seriously, get ready)

It's Sunday afternoon. I have an entire house to clean.

Okay, let's start!

I've been busy this past month...

But later for that. First things first, here we have pictures from a few weeks ago, when Ken, my mom and I went to go see MY president, Barack Obama, in Londonderry, NH.

I have too many words. Suffice it to say I am proud, proud, proud of my country, and for the first time since I remember I believe in my newly elected leader. A lot. And DAMN is he one fine elected leader!

This is a fiber and crafty-like blog, though, so let's move on.

But YES WE CAN! Okay, for real this time, moving on. :D

Socks for Betsey's birthday!

I knit these from Araucania Ranco Solid, the pattern is Twinkle, Twinkle pattern from Laurie Lee.

Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm had it's annual Fall Shearing! This is the shearing which will lead to my first spinner's share of cormo and mohair!

Here are a bunch of goats waiting to be separated from their fleeces.

A sheep!

A goat!

Susan with a newly shorn kid. Little guy's like "Aww, come ON, man! I'm COLD now! Lemme go, I'm hungry!"

Here are a few shots from when Ken and I went apple picking at Smolak Farms in Andover. North Andover? Um, yes. North Andover. I think.

A view across the parking lot, across the pond to their tree farm and, more impressively, the 80 solar panels they have. Ken was super excited to see those. He dreams of running our entire lives off of solar panels, and that's one of the many reasons why I love him. :)

Me, literally stuffing my face. :)

We went a bit late in the season, so we walked around for 20 minutes before we finally found a place where there were actual apples on the trees. In the span of that 20 minutes, we saw one.

Discouraging at the time, but makes for a pretty nice picture.

Here's a skein of, um, something? I got the fiber at Webs, it was unmarked and had been dyed by someone there. That's really all of the information I have, but I spun 3 thicker-than-I-thought singles and plied them together to create this, with which I am delighted.

Ooh! Ooh! Okay, now we get to the really good stuff! Rhinebeck and The Gathering!

Rhinebeck is like, the mothership calling us all home. And you know it.

I went with my knitterly friends Ariel and Sarah. We missed Jess very much, who couldn't make it last minute because of a family emergency, but she will without a doubt be there next year, and she will love it.

Sarah, Ariel and I friggety freezing at the Rav party

Here are Logan and Harry, sons to Patrick, beloved of ShepherdSusie of MVFF. The game was, take off your glasses and shake your head as hard as you possibly can while someone takes a picture of you mid mouth-waddle



We had fun. Then later Susan told me that someone asked the boys who they'd been talking to and they said "Some ladies" which somehow made me feel elderly, lol.

And now for the things I spent way too much of my hard earned money on.

SOCKSTHATROCK DAMMIT!!! IT WAS THERE! THIS WHOLE EFFING AREA OF STR! We stood in a 45 minute line and loved every damn second of it. We emerged, battle scarred and exhausted, but with a pretty tidy little haul.

Now, I need to say here that this place was so riotous that I really have no idea what I bought or where, so please forgive the utter absence of details here.

I also got some very autumnal sock yarn, with which I made some Halloween socks. I was wearing them when I was finally taking all these pictures and completely forgot to photograph them. Doh.

In addition to the above, I scored 3 bottles of wine and some yummy cheese, and some maple cotton candy. DUDE. YUM.

The Gathering, is a weekend spinning workshop event hosted by the Northeast Handspinner's Association, of which I am a member. It happens every other year in one of the New England states or New York, depending on whose turn it is. This year it happened to be held in a hotel about 12 minutes from my house. I took two classes, Spinning Sock Yarn with the amazing Abby Franquemont, and Wheel Plying Techniques with the equally wonderful Jenny Bakriges.

My class with Abby was a full day thing on Saturday, and the Plying class was just for 3 hours this morning, so I have much more to show from Abby's class. But boy, did I learn a lot!

Here's some of what I produced, given the LA LA AWESOME fiber Abby provided for us for FREE, as it was donated to her by Louet and Spunky Eclectic. Both of whom, by the way, make some pretty effing amazing fiber.

At the top here, I honestly can't remember what this was. The pink is Louet 80% Merino, 20% silk. I actually have some of this in a gorgeous olive and I can't wait to use it now. It's a DREAM to spin. I spun both using a short forward draw and plied them pretty tightly. The blue and purple are a 2ply yarn and the pink is 3 ply.

The white was Louet's Organic Merino Top. This picture won't do it justice, but I mean this- this is the most wonderful fiber I've ever been in contact with. Apparently, Louet has decided to discontinue it. If it sounds interesting to you (and I promise, it's more than interesting), please talk to your local fiber shop and ask them to request that Louet continue making it. Here I used a long draw, which was the first time I had done that, so it was pretty thick and thin, but oh man it was like... what was it like? Okay, it was like you know how when you're making rice krispies treats and you get to that point where the butter and marshmallows are all melted together, and the color and texture combine to provide just this ridiculously creamy, satisfying experience? That's what long draw with Louet Organic Merino Top is like. So I spun up a couple singles and plied them together and I'm just wishing I had several pounds of it for a big, thick, soft, chunky, butter-and-marshmallow sweater.

We got 2 oz of Shetland from Spunky Eclectic, mine was in the Rocky Mountain High colorway. I spun those singles long draw and then Navajo plied them together, and was literally newly delighted with every inch that came together. It was a very exciting 15 minutes! There really isn't a lot of this, but I want to try to do SOMETHING with it. Maybe I'll have enough for mitts?

Speaking of Spunky Eclectic, I had bought a couple of Corriedale batts from her in a gorgeous Aquamarine colorway, and brought two very full bobbins of singles to the Gathering with me. Last night at the spin in, while we listened to some AMAZING live traditional Irish folk music played by three immensely talented teenagers, I plied it up into this.

This morning I learned some really excellent tips for plying, and was able to ply together some older singles I had, which I thought I'd never be able to find anything good for. I plied them together as practice, but fell in love with the yarn they produced. The color doesn't QUITE show up here, but I have to find something to do with this.

And hey! I went shopping, too!

From A Touch of Twist:

Four ounces of the most brilliantly dyed silk I've ever seen, plus some hankies with which to... do... something?

Two ounces each of the following colors of 100% tencel (colors REALLY did not make it here to this screen)

A bobbin, and some very pretty merino top which, once again, really looks nothing like its picture :)

From Foxfire Fiber and Designs I got some intensely soft Cormo & Silk Roving, 2 oz in Olive and 4 oz in just plain old white, which, I promise, will not always be plain old white:

And finally (FINALLY!) from the Woolen Rabbit, 100% Superwash BFL, 4oz in each colorway



babyjenks said...

sooooo many pictures! and despite all of the beeeoootiful photos of gorgeous yarn, my favorites are the photos of you and ken in the orchard. so cute! and i love that hoodie of yours, bought it in my old hood didn't ya? i have one in brown with red letters, i love those hoodies.
well, haven't seen you in forever. glad to hear from the ariel that you healed quickly and can spin and knit again. come back to wed. night group, we miss you!

~ sabe

Divine Bird said...

Wow, I LOVE your haul from the Gathering. :D The blue yarn is just fabulous; you can see how great your plying is in that glamorous close-up shot!

Sarah said...

Damn girl, you have a lot of bea-u-ti-ful fiber there! I can't wait to see it in person! I have to agree with sabe the pics of you and ken are adorable. But gotta love the shake your face and take the pic shots. Too funny!

Susan said...

Wow! You have somehow managed to capture the worst pics ever taken of me, Patrick, Logan and Harry while you look cute as a button. I am in awe of your powers.

Quirkles said...

You look adorable in all the pictures. I love your new (semi-new) haircut! Wish I was at Rhinebeck, but yes, I'll be there next year come hell or high water! Love all the yarn and fiber--it's gorgeous! Miss you!