Friday, February 29, 2008

Fiber Friday 2/29/08

Special leap year edition of Fiber Friday

Today is a special day that only exists in secret gardens, magic castles, and enchanted forests... a hidden room behind a bookcase, a day in between days.

It's a good day for making progress, for making a giant leap.

Today I share with you a progression of fiber. I dyed wool, spun it up, and plied it together into yarn. It's now called sea change.

Is it perfect? No. Was it once the clippings off a sheep? Yes.

That is the sea change.

Even as everything spins around in constant chaos, we have a free day. Use it for do-overs and new beginnings... I suggest.

There is so much magic in creating things. It is a leap. I am a part of it and so are you.

This day is for us!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

9 to 5 progress report

One down, one to go.

Pattern: Nine to Five by Nicole Hindes.

Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy, color: In Vino Veritas.

Speaking of NINE, I have nine days left at my current day job and I couldn't be happier about it!

I was going to list 9 things I won't miss when I leave, but I thought that was too negative.

So then I was going to list 9 things I like about my job, but it took me a long time to word it in such a way that they were actually thinly veiled jabs.

Then I tried to be sincere about it. But I couldn't bear to post a list of things like "free soda."

So instead, enjoy this picture of a sock, knitted in honor of hard working people everywhere.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

March Madness

For unknown reasons I joined Sock Madness. In case you don't know what that is and are hesitant to click links in blogs, it's a sock knitting competition structured like the college basketball playoffs. In short, what have I done?!

What I should be doing:

1. Working.

2. Sleeping.

3. Exercising.

4. Eating healthy meals.

5. Packing.

What I will be doing:

1. Knitting.

2. Knitting.

3. Knitting.

4. Knitting.

5. Knitting.

Anyone else join the madness?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Fiber Friday 2/22/08

On a whim I decided to look back at this day last year to see what was on my mind. It turns out there is fiber involved, so let's have another Fiber Friday Flashback, shall we?

Thursday, February 22, 2007
Come on get happy
It may be raining out but the sun is shining inside my apartment.

I remember hearing a long time ago that we tend to dress for what we want the weather to be, not for what it is. We dress for where we want to go, rather than where we are. I think I spin that way.

Do I want to live in a world of sunshine and lollipops? Perhaps. It counteracts my natural inclination towards depression I think.

What makes you smile? Cute stuff?

For me, it changes. For example, I still smile at the idea of unicorns, which is some weird nostalgia-induced holdover from childhood. A time before all of the soul crushing realities of life get into you and slap you around.

Forgive me, I get heavy this time of year.

Lighten up, you say? Okay! Here is another batt I made, which reminded me of a fluffy cloud.

And then some yarn that looks like the bus on the Partridge Family. The sneaky bit about this yarn is that the colors are in the proper order of a rainbow with white stripes in between each color. So when the yarn is knit, it will form a striping rainbow.

I'm going to go drink some tea and eat chocolate and spin and dream of unicorns now. You do your thing, okay?


Observations from the wisdom of one year later?

1. It's still raining.
2. The sun doesn't shine in my apartment so much.
3. I must have been unemployed that week.
4. I still get heavy this time of year.
5. I am still trying to trick myself into being happy. I won't give up.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

9 to 5

New socks in progress...

Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy. Color: In Vino Veritas.

Pattern: Nine to Five by Nicole Hindes.

Of course I am deep into irony right now wishing that my job was only 9 to 5.

Regardless, who among us can't relate to this classic movie/song/way of looking at the world?

Strangely, I remember the first bit by heart:

Tumble outta bed
And stumble to the kitchen
Pour myself a cup of ambition
Yawn and stretch and try to come to life
Jump in the shower
And the blood starts pumpin'
Out on the streets
The traffic starts jumpin'
With folks like me on the job from 9 to 5

This other part is less familiar, but worth a gander:

They let you dream
Just to watch em shatter
You're just a step
On the boss man's ladder
But you got dreams he'll never take away

On the same boat
With a lot of your friends
Waitin' for the day
Your ship'll come in
And the tide's gonna turn
An it's all gonna roll you away

Just, wow.

Thank you Dolly Parton!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Fiber Friday 2/15/08

Because I am busy and not spinning much right now, I like to show off homespun yarn on Fridays in different ways. So, it's time for a Fiber Friday Flashback. This is from ONE year ago. Yes, time passes in ways I cannot comprehend.

Friday, February 23, 2007
Okay, I've been showing off yarn all week, I know. Well here is the grand total of this week's spinning: 5 yarns... AND this first one is new! Honestly it might be my favorite.

It's richer in person, take my word for it. 4.2 oz, 115 yards. Mixed wool, metallic crochet cotton, glass beads (trust me, they're in there)

Next up, a springy mixed wool blend plied with sturdy gold denim thread. It's basically all my favorite colors spun together, even though we're way off season here. 2.3 oz 113 yards.

This crazy black, white and red one (with metallic crochet cotton) required a lot of concentration. I layered several rovings and the crochet cotton and spun it all at once, together. I really should have pre-drafted, I might have enjoyed the spinning more.

It's a wee 1.8 oz, 37 yards. I was playing around with the candy striping technique, I wanted to stop. I am happy with the results though, and probably should have stuck it out longer.

"C'mon get Happy" is a self-striping rainbow. The colors are arranged in the proper rainbow order with a stripe of white in between each color. It's 3.4 oz, 124 yards.

Last but not least, "Crayons" - It's a thick-thin yarn with lots of hand-dyed wool and mohair colors with black alpaca. 2.4 oz 108 yards. I couldn't decide what kind of yarn to spin, so I took a little bit of everything!

TGIFiber Friday everyone!


That first yarn ended up with the name Merle Norman and the crayons yarn ended up as a part of a series of yarns I spun with many non-repeating colors. It's a fun technique and I plan on doing more again.

A lot has changed over the last year, but not my love for all things fiber... and certainly not my enjoyment of the Friday Feeling.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Semi-annual reprinting of an important poem

dreams be dreams
Photo by Meredith_Farmer

A dream deferred comes up every so often. If you aren't dreaming, then you are dying. If your dreams are on hold, or too far away, you suffer. What are you dreaming of?


A Dream Deferred
by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Not socks

Here's something crazy - I'm working on not socks. It's the famous clapotis by Kate Gilbert.

It started with knitting Monkey Socks in January. I'm interesting in knitting iconic patterns each month now.

I agree with all of those who have knit this pattern before me that dropping stitches on purpose is tremendous fun. It feels like you are getting away with something very naughty. What could be better?

Yarn - Wollmeise 80/20 Fluffy in the color Dani Medium.

Needles - Knit Picks Harmony 16" circular in US size 4.

Feelings about not knitting socks - pretty good. I may have to do more not sock knitting again when this shawl is finished.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Fiber Friday 2/8/08

Today is not a good day to tell your boss what you REALLY think.

Today is the day to imagine the bright sunlight shining on the clean water trickling from the rocks reflecting prisms and rainbows bouncing off of every surface. The air glitters, dense with warm energy.

In the distance, two baby bunnies discover what a juicy dandelion tastes like for the first time.

Are you smiling yet?

Unicorns and fresh tangerines!

A catchy tune and a great haircut!

Pretty yarn!

These pictures here are a collection of wool I dyed in rainbow colors and spun up, crazy style.

They are here today to make me happy. I hope they make you happy too.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Don't kill me!

I can't believe I am doing this again, but I have to tell you about ANOTHER sale at Sonny and Shear.

Look away now or you may be tempted.

In honor of their first anniversary, Sonny & Shear is having a big sale.

Between now and February 12, 2008, you can save 25% on ALL your yarn purchases by using the code OneYear when you check out. They ship all domestic orders over $40.00 for free.

I'm using this opportunity to try out some new yarns: Hazel Knits, Whimzy Pinzy and Chewy Spaghetti. Some Dream in Color happened to fall into my cart along the way. It couldn't be helped.

Now for the hard part... not going back for more. I don't know how strong I am. I am showing off a picture of Schaefer Yarns Heather. I'm sorry to be the one to break it to you, but that yarn is also 25% off.

Don't kill me!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Why stop now?

I can't organize my thoughts today. I'm thinking too much, knitting too much, and eating too much. But then again, who isn't?

What I can't stop thinking about:
The legacy of knitting. When you teach someone to knit and they are frustrated, but they don't put it down, they focus in and are determined to get it. And then it clicks.

Witnessing the click is simply the greatest. This is true with other things we teach.

What I can't stop knitting:
Something I wanted to submit somewhere, but I fear I won't make the deadline. Why? Um, it's... ugly. I can't believe it, but I made something seriously ugly. And then tried to think of how to pretend it wasn't. Yeah, back to the drawing board.

What I can't stop eating:
Oranges. I have been eating one a day and am totally addicted. I love peeling them, I love the fragrance that sprays out, I love pulling out the plug on the top, I love dividing the sections.

I love eating them.

What can't you stop thinking about, knitting, and eating?

Friday, February 01, 2008

Fiber Friday 2/1/08

In honor of Gigi Silva (Monkey Toes, Momma Monkey) I am revisiting some fibery things I've dyed and spun in the color orange. I understand it to have been one of her favorite colors.

I'm not even sure anymore how the concept of Fiber Friday came to be, but I have been playing along for a few years now. I know a lot of other knitters and spinners do too.

It's a small treat on the day we most look forward to, but Fiber Friday also connects us to our traditions and to each other.

I consider the other fiber people I know through the internet, blogs and Ravelry to be my friends. We share our own language and culture, despite our vast diversity. (niddy noddy anyone?)

You, reading this right now, may be different from me in every way, except that you also like to look at pictures of pretty yarn. You know what it's like to stay up too late do "just one more row."

I know there were people 100 years ago who stayed up late knitting. I imagine there will be some in 100 years from now doing the same.

I am part of the cycle and so are you.

I learned to knit from my grandmother, when I was around nine years old. I learned to crochet about five years ago from my mom. I learned to spin, at a fiber festival in 2005. I plan on doing these until I go. If we are lucky, we get to teach these things to the next wave.

Last summer I taught kids at summer school how to knit, weave, kool-aid dye, spin, and braid. All summer I spotted kids reading Harry Potter with bookmarks they weaved on a cardboard loom, girls walking to class with handmade purses slung on their shoulders, kids collecting leaves and twigs in their bright felted bowls.

At lunch break I would see a cluster of girls I had just taught to make braids sitting in a circle, braiding each other's hair. After school, I saw a girl sprinting all over the yard, showing off the crazy wild hat she made. Before class one morning, I saw a boy teach another boy how to use a drop spindle, slowly, thoughtfully, and with focus.

It was just a job, but it felt really important.

I've been thinking a lot about the knitting community the last couple of days, since hearing about Gigi's passing. I didn't know her personally, but I feel like she was a friend. She was one of our own.

I encourage everyone to pass on what you know about knitting, spinning, weaving, crochet, felting, etc. as freely as possible. Yes, your time is valuable, but so is your legacy. This is a good year to get that book/vacation/fair isle sweater/business/your dream here/ off the ground!