Tag: fiber

Shearing Day and a Sneak Peek 10

Far and away, one of the best parts of living where we live now in Northeastern Tennessee is the huge fiber community. Yesterday, we got to help our friends Brad and Ruth Ann with shearing day. Their farm is called Two Roots Alpacas.

It was a beautiful day.

Here’s Ruth Ann providing a little moral support before shearing.

And here is Paul doing a little friendly herding afterwards.

These are some of the bags of fleece, set aside for processing later.

I spent the day drawing up injections but had plenty of breaks for knitting in between.

I’ll just note in passing that the “two roots” part of the name has to do with the vineyard that Brad and Ruth Ann run and that we were richly rewarded with amazing wine after all the work was done. You can see part of the vineyard here in the background.

And did I mention there was a baby?! Alpaca babies are called crias, and this one’s name is Storm. He was born last week during one of the recent bouts of crazy weather we’ve been having, and ooooh, my heavens! The CUTE!!!

It’s a busy week. Between work and the normal life things, there hasn’t been a ton of time for knitting, but I’ve always got something with me. This afternoon we’re going to be running errands, and I plan to work on a very special surprise project for my BFF. I don’t want to say too much, but here’s a sneak peek.

What are you up to this week? I’m loving all the shawls I’ve been seeing lately and am thinking there’s got to be a Find Your Fade in my future. I was resisting at first because there are so many other things I want to knit, but I’m pretty sure Marilyn’s slew of gorgeous Fades over at Yarn, Books & Roses has effectively decimated my resolve!

Junebug Farms Yarn 18

fetching-6-sm

If you’ve read even a little bit of my blog, you know about my friend Cari. We met online back when Paul and I were planning our move to Tennessee. I had questions about chickens, so of course I turned to Ravelry. I searched for someone in NE Tennessee who’d posted about chickens, found Cari’s blog, and the rest is some of my happiest history ever.

Over the years that Cari and I have been friends, Cari’s fiber genius has exploded. She knits, spins, crochets, dyes like a crazy color savant, and along with her hubby, Jay, has started a small fiber farm. With goats!

Here’s a picture of Cari and Jay that ran in the local paper.

cari-and-jay

They started out with two female angora goats and early this year added two boys. This is when they were bringing the boys home in their car!

junebug-farms-5

It’s all been big fun to be part of and watch develop. And now! Oh, my gosh! The yarn!!!

This Spring, Junebug Farms got their first batch of processed fiber back from the mill. It is crazy gorgeous. Cari gave me a skein of the natural color that I’ve been saving instead of knitting with (I know, I know), and then she started turning out these glorious colors. I had to jump in.

junebug-farms-yarn-1-sm

I’ve had the Fetching pattern in my queue for ages. It seemed good for trying out a new yarn since, with a little cabling, some stockinette, and a picot edge, I’d get to see how it behaved with a number of different techniques.

fetching-9-sm

So I can’t figure out how to photograph the squish (which is OUTRAGEOUS), but hopefully the photos at least show how beautifully the yarn knits up. The stitch definition in the cabled areas is nice and crisp, yet there’s still this lovely bit of mohair haze that just kills me.

I couldn’t stop with the mitts. I mean it. I just had to keep going. So I came up with a matching hat.

fetching-4-sm

This hat and these mitts make me so happy! I’d love them even if the yarn weren’t from Cari and Jay’s precious goats and dyed by Cari herself, but those things make them extra super special.

fetching-12-sm

I knit the first mitt the night the Cubs won the World Series (!!!!), and I’ve been wearing them ever since,  even though this is the most un-winterlike November I can remember. Now, all I can think about is what I want to make next with Junebug Farms yarn!

Rabbit Holes 16

Since things are feeling a bit insane around here workwise, I will make no mention of my own knitting projects today. Instead, I want to tell you about the explosion of blog serendipity that happened yesterday.

I was catching up on recent posts from my favorite blogs and intending to keep a tight rein on my habit of following links down rabbit holes, but darn it if Fiber and Sustenance didn’t draw me in with a picture of stripey socks and desert boots. I accidentally kept reading and was reminded that she and a friend were doing a hap KAL and that I’d wanted to check out said friend’s blog over at Rosalind Craft Supplies.

Well . . . Kate of Rosalind Craft Supplies posts lots of pictures of books and knitting against which, it just so happens, I am powerless. Ten or fifteen happy minutes later, I got ahold of myself but fortunately not before I’d discovered this awesome video that Kate shared in a post about her pick for the Top Nine Television Knitters.

I LOVE this guy. And it turns out he actually did finish the bow tie!

So anyway, determined to avoid future detours and stick to the essentials, I stopped by alexand knits. I had several posts worth of catching up to do, and wouldn’t you know it? There’s this post about how Alex’s friend Carol of knit equals joy gifted her a sock pattern. That led to my checking out both Carol’s terrific blog (awesome, awesome photos!) and the sock pattern, Susan B. Anderson’s Smooth Operator Socks.

Well . . . it just so happens that there is a KAL starting for the Smooth Operator Socks in Susan B. Anderson’s Ravelry group, itty bitty knits. You know what that led to, right?

Moving on . . .

But not really. See, in the same post where Alex mentioned the Smooth Operator Socks, she talked about a Wolfberryknits post and said it was really worth checking out. Oh. My. Heavens. Check THIS POST out! It’s the best thing I’ve seen on a blog in ages. It’s about taking local fleece and dyeing it with dyes made from local plants, and spinning it, and knitting it into a glorious pair of 100% Australian socks. There are tons of pictures, and the socks are insane.

Should I mention that as I was reading the comments on the Wolfberryknits post (I told you it was bad) I came across this sentence: “I have always been attracted to shiny things. I am a life experience magpie who wants to know how things work and who collects processes like other people collect random paraphernalia.”  You know I had to find that person.

Turns out, that’s narf7, and her blog is Serendipity Revisited. And yes. It’s an extremely cool blog.

That’s it. Back to work. But first, the final stop on yesterday’s out-of-control coffee break: Woman Sentenced to Five Months of Knitting for Road Rage Punch. Yes–she did, and she was. Here’s the scene of the crime:

Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 10.49.58 AM

(Picture: Cascade)

 

Spinning, Knitting, Summering 6

This is what I’ve been spinning for the Tour de Fleece.

Finn-Singles

It’s Finn in the colorway “Little Islands” from the Spunky Eclectic fiber club.

Finn from SE Fiber Club

These aren’t colors that I’d normally pick, but I’m really enjoying the shades of blue and cream. One of the great things about being part of a fiber club is expanding my color horizons. I’ll probably end up chain plying this when I’m finished with the singles. Then I was thinking I might use it for the yoke of the Garter Yoke Cardigan. What do you think?

I’ve also been working on Checks and Balances here and there. This was porch knitting this evening just before a major, much needed rainstorm rolled in.


Porch Knitting

I got this new project bag from Fringe Supply Co recently, and I love it.

Fringe Supply Co 1

It’s sturdy, so I feel like I can drag it around all over the place with me without having to worry about messing it up. It’s also got several nice pockets inside–a big one on one side and several tall narrow ones for needles and pens or pencils on the other side.

Fringe-Supply-Co-2

In other news, I’ve been pickling.

Pickles

Picking blackberries.

Blackberries

Making banana bread.

Banana-Bread

And opening packages of fun things that have been arriving for the goodie bags for The Knotty Ladies fiber weekend on Roan Mountain that’s coming up at the end of the summer.

Goodie-Bag-Goodies

I have a little work left to do tonight, and then I’m going to get back to spinning the Finn. I’m trying to ease the pain of returning to work after my nice break by interspersing plenty of knitting and spinning. Oooh, and I’m watching The Wire. Don’t know how I missed it the first time around.

 

Sleeves and Such 3

Gramps

If it’s okay with you, I’m going to skip the part where I go on and on apologizing for the posting desert the blog has been over the last couple of weeks and get right to talking about sleeves. K? K.

It’s been ages since I’ve knit a sweater with set-in sleeves. I almost always choose the seamless route because I love the idea of being completely finished with the whole thing when I bind off on the last row. As I’ve been dealing with the pile o’ Gramps in my lap lately, though, the idea of knitting the sleeves separately and not having to constantly reposition the sweater body while I’m going around and around on each sleeve has become pretty appealing. I’m actually thinking I might do something with set-in sleeves for Paul’s sweater, which is one of the next projects on my list.

What do you think about sleeves? If any of you have thoughts on sleeve knitting methods, please share them with me. 

Gramps Sleeve

At the moment I’m perusing patterns for a quick sweater for myself to see what I think before I commit to anything for the Paul project which will be a significant investment of knitting time. I’m looking at a couple of patterns by Amy Miller, Put the Kettle On and Sixth Street. I especially love the funky shaped hem of Put the Kettle On. These patterns actually call for you to pick up stitches and knit the sleeves as you go, but I think I could modify them without too much effort for the sleeves-knit-separately route. Both patterns call for bulky weight yarn, so they should be pretty quick knits, important so that I don’t get derailed en route to Paul’s sweater.

Here are a few pictures from the last fiber guild.

Cari Magic

This is lusciousness from my friend Cari. She’s one of the contributors to the April edition of Spinning Box. There are also some insanely gorgeous dyed locks from her Angora goats that I didn’t successfully photograph. She’s turning into one of those dyers whose fiber is like a magic spell—it draws you with the force of thousand magnets to immediately drop everything and spin. Resistance is futile.

And here are the babies:

Cara

PJ

Teddy

And Sidney, ML’s glorious peacock:

Sydney

And here is my tiny forsythia transplant that not only made it through the winter but is actually BLOOMING!!!! Yay, Spring!!

Forsythia

 

Ugh . . . 4

Sick day 3

I brought the creeping crud home with me from my trip. I’ve got a miserable cold. It’s nothing that won’t pass, but it makes me not want to do anything but sit around and feel sorry for myself. Know what I mean?

There is no shortage of work stacked up, though, so I’m trying to persevere. As I was sitting at my desk this morning, I looked over at this.

Sick day

Yes, I had ice cream for breakfast. And yes, I was using periodic rows on my BFF sock as a negotiating tactic with my sick self. I actually managed to make some progress on my editorial project this way.

Augie had promised to help, but the yarn and ice cream were too much for him. It wasn’t so bad when he just wanted to sniff the ice cream, but when he started chewing a knitting needle, he got himself demoted from his position as number one office assistant back to kitty who doesn’t get to be on the desk while work is going on.

Here’s a question for you. If you had to choose, would you prefer that a blog be updated every day, even if that meant that some of the content was nothing more than a picture or two and a quick shout out, or would you prefer that it be updated every few days and that the content be more substantial? I actually think I prefer the former, but the only blogger I read who actually does this is Jean Miles. When I myself start to post for a second day in a row, I usually end up stopping myself because it’s just more of the same . . . knitting, reading, cooking, working, hanging out with cat and dogs. But then, that’s what this space is all about, right?

There are definitely times like today when I don’t have much to say, but I’m thinking about knitting, so it seems nice to pop in and mention that. At the same time, I don’t want to bore readers with content that is even more inane than usual. If you have an opinion about this, I’d really appreciate your sharing it with me—either by leaving a comment or by emailing me at melinda@knitpotion.com.

I’ll leave you with a couple of pictures of today’s mail delivery.

Pounce

Tinkle and Glint

Can you even believe the gorgeousness??! I got this in two separate destashes. I’m in love with the colors. Hello Yarn fiber is always beautifully dyed, but these reds and pinks absolutely slay me. Spinzilla is coming up in a couple of weeks, and I’m planning to dive into this then.

Thank you for stopping by. Have a great day, and happy knitting!