Sunday, June 28, 2009

My First Finished Glove!!!

Yea, I've been working hard on my WF (Wool Fest) stuff. Here's a picture of my first completed glove. I'm so proud of myself, I love how it turned out. I'm almost sad that I'm putting it up for sale because it fits me perfectly!!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Wool Washing Day

At least once a year we've been getting together at Merce's house for a giant wool washing day. This time it was Merce, Twilight, and myself and we took alot of pictures to document how we do this. It's really intense work, and it would be a long grueling day if it weren't for the constant chatting and gossip. Twilight and Merce did all of the hard hot work in the sun, while I stayed in a special shade structure prepping raw wool to be washed.

Explaining the system. There are 3 metal tubs, each with a propane burner underneath. Each one has a thermometer to keep an eye on. There are a series of screens to help drain and carry the wool to the next spot. We have a wash, a rinse, and a final rinse. But first we prep the wool by "opening it up", or fluffing.

Then wearing special heat resistant gloves we dunk it into the wash with detergent to melt and wash away all of the "grease", or natural sheep lanolin. I think the wool soaks for about 15 mins. in each tub, but I don't remember for sure. I think we figured out we could do a pound per hour.

The wool is drained on a screen inbetween each tub. And it's run through an old fashioned clothes ringer before the final rinse. This keeps the wool from being felted from too much agitation.

And then we get the glorious product of our labor!! The beautiful clean soft fluffy wool that we spread out on large screens and hammocks in the sun and the breeze to dry.

The day was a huge success and it took us two days to recover.....we were exhausted. We completed several pounds and now each of us has enough wool to keep us busy felting and spinning for quite awhile!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Just gotta smile

My bestfriend, my sister. Twilight trying to figure out how to use some new yarn she was gifted.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Finished Comfort Shrug

Here it is! All done! It was an awesome knit. This is a Hug Shrug.....with hand warmers added on.....and a ribbed collar around the opening! It feels wonderful!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Father's Day Sweater

Well I finished my husband's Father's Day Sweater!! I have so much to discuss about this sweater. First, Daniel loves oversized cotton tunic style tops, and he loves all things Viking. So I designed this sweater with a Saxon cable and Wishbone cables up the sleeves. (Very Manly)

BUT, I learned a few crucial things in the process!

Lesson #1 I started this at a time when my yarn fund was empty. So I just grabbed a few balls of Sugar'N Cream cotton yarn, at $1.27 per ball, and I got started!! Then a couple weeks later, I grabbed a couple more balls. Repeat. Until I had enough yarn to complete the sweater. Now, because we don't use electric lights at night in our house, I do most of my night knitting to candle-light. Which is why the sweater was 3/4 complete before I noticed that the dye lots seriously didn't match!!! I freaked out! I think I cried....Twilight would remember for sure. Then I said "screw it" and I just kept going and hoped for the best. After 25 years in knitting, I have finally learned the dye lot lesson!!!

Lesson #2 When I wrote out the new pattern, based off of a previous pattern that fit him perfectly, I forgot to consider the change in size that the cable would cause!! So the same sleeves, previously knit in stockinknit stitch, ended up considerably too small for the armholes!!
I didn't even bother freaking out, I just said "screw it" and I seamed them together, stretching and bunching until they went together!!!

Lesson #3 My husband is the best. He's been anxiously awaiting this new sweater! But when I gave it to him, I felt terrible about the crappy quality....afterall it's got to be the worst sweater I've knit since I was 10 years old!!! So I told him that it really wasn't a new dress sweater and he should wear it as his new "knock around" sweater. He looked at me in awe! I said, "yeah really". And his face lit up!! He was thrilled that I'd give him such a beautiful sweater for everyday use!! He didn't notice the flaws, and raved about how great it is! So I didn't mention it. I had no idea how happy it would make him to get a sweater that he didn't have to be careful with!!! So all in all, I feel it was a huge success!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

What? It's June?

Happy June everybody!!

Because I have a serious lack of great projects that I'm currently working on, I've started another new and exciting artistic endeavor!! I should clarify that this is a long term collaborative effort. I'll be working with Print Designer Sarah Ryan from Eau Claire Wisconsin in a long distance partnership.

Her work is abstract and psychedelic with a retro flare that I love! Her lines and shapes speak to me of feminity, and her sense of color gets me jazzed! Sarah is used to working tiny, for reproduction of fabric prints. So when I proposed my idea of her doing a large piece with me, she got excited and said she was willing to stretch to find out. Our plan is that I will cast a large felt canvas, and mail it to her. Then she will sketch/paint/draw with ink her original design on the felt and mail it back to me! From there, I intend to build off of her design with my materials and creat a fiber art piece from her work!! We aren't putting any time restraints on this project, so that could be either good or bad, we'll see! We are both really looking forward to corresponding throughout the process!

These are just a few examples of her talent!!