Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, a bunch friends gathered together on Ravelry in appreciation of Piddleloop bags. The Friends of P decided one night that as many as possible should get together in T-Town, since a bunch of us live here already, to knit and cause general mayhem for a weekend. Friends came from Chicago, Indiana, Tennessee and Fostoria, Columbus and southern Ohio to join the Toledoans.

And so, FoP Fest was born.

Yarn Cravin' generously let us take over the porch.Jen K. was spinning some beautiful yarn with her drop spindle. She's heading back to Tucson in a couple of weeks. (waaaaaaah!)Bobbie and DaleAnn, owners of Yarn Cravin' talked to Piddleloop Jen and took great care of all of us.
Tired from the late nights, but happy we all got together, plans are already in the works for another get-together.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

You Spin Me Right Round Baby

Look! I made yarn!This is my very first yarn. I spun two singles, and then plied them together, all by myself, using Posh, which is what I have nicknamed my Louet Victoria wheel. The name was suggested by my friend Jacki who is a genius at dyeing yarns and fibers. (Remember Cider Moon? That Jacki!)

It's not the most even yarn you've ever seen. It's definitely bulky yarn. There are places where I still have way too much twist. That being said, I still love it. Seriously.

You know how when babies are born sometimes their faces are smooshed and their heads are shaped funny from being born? Being born is hard work and babies don't always come out looking all angelic and beautiful, except to their mommas. That's how this yarn is for me. It was hard work giving this yarn life, and I love it the way a new mom loves that smooshed, wrinkly, red baby. Just as babies change almost before your eyes, I could see my singles improve from Saturday to Sunday and then Tuesday. When I finished spinning the yarn on the following Sunday and plied it, I could see a big improvement; a transformation. That "newborn" look was going away already.

I treasure my first yarn, and I don't know yet if I will ever knit with that two-ply, or just bring it out to show people what my yarns looked like when they were babies.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Learning Curve

Saturday and Sunday spinning:

Spinning from Tuesday evening:

I'm not saying anything else for fear I'll jinx myself!


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What You've Been Waiting For... and My New Toy

I was waiting for something special, and some of you have been waiting to see who won my blog contest.

First, Melissa and Kelli were the entrants in my little contest, and I love them both for playing along! Using my random method of drawing (my darling daughter, Mayhem), it has been determined that Melissa won the prize!! What did she win? This lovely sock yarn and little drawstring bag. It is hand-dyed, from Neighborhood Fiber Co. and was part of the Tour of D.C. Sock Club this past winter. Melissa, make sure you email your address to me.

What was I waiting for while you waited to hear who won? I was waiting on my new toy. For some time, I have had the desire to learn to spin. Much time was spent lurking on the Used Equipment and Tools board at Ravelry, along with the Spinner's Marketplace, watching for a spinning wheel with a good price. Finally, a deal I couldn't pass up came my way, and I entered negotiations with a fellow Raveler. My wheel arrived late last week! I am now the proud owner of a Louet Victoria.

This wheel was considered "used" but was still new in the box and had everything that a brand new wheel has when purchased. The only thing that was different was the price! Yay me! The only problem was that my only spinning experience was a little bit of time with a drop spindle. Once I knew for sure the wheel was indeed mine, I called a friend who spins.

Saturday I spent a good part of the day with Becky at Yarn Cravin' trying to learn to spin. You can read her account of the experience if you click on her name. Becky was quite the lively instructor and we gave the owners, Bobbie and Dale Ann so much entertainment! They were so good to us, letting us take over the front room of the shop. Honestly, we were better than a sitcom. At one point, Becky was on the floor sprawled out in exasperation!

Having spent some time practicing, and having adjusted the tension (I get too much twist!) I can say I am getting more proficient and more coordinated. One bobbin full...

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Summer Homework

Loved ones. Family. Children. Smiling faces. Adventurous day trips. Playing.

Family. Loved ones. Daytime adventures.
Playing. Fresh fruit.
Flowers in the rain.
A tiny knitted sock. Sunset at the river.

Kids swimming in the pool. Laughter. Telling bad jokes. Sock yarns.

The Photos That
Capture Your Summer

The tiny knitted sock your son helped with

The kids playing together... nicely!

Raindrops on the lilies.

Show me in pictures what has captured your summer moments. Put them on your blog. Then send me a link in the comments. I'll offer up a yarny prize, (maybe two) from my stash by using a random number drawing.

All comments with links to your photos must be posted by midnight EST Sunday July 13.

Now go capture your summer!

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Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Sweetest Thing

Sometimes the simplest gestures mean the most - a phone call out of the blue, a card arriving via snail mail just because, a friend showing up with a fresh, hot cup of coffee. Those kinds of things mean more to me than extravagant gifts, particularly because often times gifts are given without much thought going into them. Something helpful related to knitting just about sends me over the moon, because I know then that whoever did that has really taken the time to know and care.

Friday afternoon, July 4, to be exact, Buddy Bill and I were sitting outside, enjoying the day. He was reading, I was knitting. It wasn't quite sundown, and the temps were cool for the 4th of July. We have this easy relationship that doesn't require words all of the time. A companionable silence is often fine; that quiet doesn't have to be filled up with chatter or other noise like it does with other people. After a while, I realized that my knitting was going along quite smoothly. I hadn't had to tug on the ball of yarn to get more yarn to work with in a while. Glancing sideways at B, I found that he had pulled out some of my ball of yarn, and was feeding yarn to me as I knit, all while continuing to read his book. Without saying a word.


At that very moment, I just about turned into a human puddle in the backyard. (Is that possible?)

I've happened to come across some male knitters, but I honestly do not know other men who will patiently, all on their own, sit and hold the yarn and quietly unspool it as their loved one knits. My knitterly friends - females - all agreed that the guys generally stay away from their yarn. And of course, Bill has no idea why what he did is so special, which makes it even more special.

Girls, if I ever toss him back I'll give you advance warning!

PS. Bill? You're still going to bring me coffee, right?


Friday, July 04, 2008

Friends and Fiber

This is why I am NOT buying any yarn in July. Seriously. Or anything else I don't need!

In June, my mail carrier was kept hopping. Dream In Color Classy arrived from The Loopy Ewe for another shrug. That's Beach Fog.

I'm loving the shrug I'm working on and I see myself making another one. My red one is about half done. See?

And then there's the yarn from Indie dyers from Etsy that arrived... My friends. People I know, and some I don't, but "do" through Ravelry and the blogosphere. I finally get to meet Melissa of Keegan Lane Yarns tomorrow! I bought her first yarn, and her 100th skein. She dyed that light blue sparkly yarn. Jeanne in Cleveland dyed the blue/white/bronze skein that stripes. Go check out Destination Yarn. The turquoise and brown is Dashing Dachs... the colorway is Weiner Dog. I bought the same skein for SarahLou to cheer her up. It worked. But maybe it was the George Washington false teeth magnet from Mount Vernon?? On the end is a skein of "Algae" from Sarah at Perfect Day Yarns. Sarah is so sweet in person! I just love her. (She just put new yarns in her shop, and I can't buy any!!!!)

My ninja skills were in top form when I scored my latest Piddleloop bag. This is "Groovy," my most favorite project bag from the dynamic duo, Jen and Wendy. There are a couple of bags in the shop still, but not like mine! hahahaha

Along with the tangible goods, there were plenty of meals out, and extra trips to Starbucks. I had a memorable lunch with The Divas, my two dear friends from work. We went to a little Italian place, which one insisted was a Greek place before we arrived, thus explaining why we all had trouble finding it. That was before the wine. Trattoria was the perfect place to relax, catch up, have some good food and wine, and laugh ourselves silly. I can't even tell you about after the wine.

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