Sunday, February 16, 2014

Another Weekend Bites the Dust

Warning this is a picture heavy post.  Reed and I headed out to Gastonia Saturday.  We had lunch at Spindle City Cafe.  It is a delightful cafĂ© and one my favorite places.  It is  decorated with spools of cotton, shuttles and a spinning wheel to honor Gastonia's rich textile history.  They have a terrific menu and everything is homemade.  The grilled brie and blackberry sandwich is stellar.

We visited Arts on Main.  This is where our Guild meets monthly and is a space I love.  Just walking through the door you are surrounded by the creative magic of local artists.

Our guild, The Piedmont Fiber Guild met today.  We had a wonderful speaker, Marcee Musgrove of White Lotus Arts.  Marcee demonstrated silk painting using various techniques.  She also brought some of her wearable art.  You can see by the following pictures she had us all engrossed and ready to learn more.  We are hoping to have a workshop soon.

Marcee puts wax resist on stretched silk on a frame.

Beth adds some finishing touches.

Burgl and Sara join in painting on our PFG scarf while Ursula looks on.

Marcee describes her techniques.  Yes, we are all listening as we knit and spin.

Our PFG Scarf.  Liz was the lucky duck who will take this home after it is steam finished.

Stephanie checks out the finished projects in the vault show.

My involvement in the guild has been one of the best benefits of our move to Statesville.  So many talented people and there is nothing better than friendships and connections based on a shared passion.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Spinning my Wheel

I have a spinning assistant.  He loves to sit with me while I spin.  He is learning to not play with the yarn although he watches it intently while purring in my ear.

I continue to sample with the Corgi Hill BFL/silk.  Changed the whorl for a 19:1 ratio and got a little more than a 30 degree twist angle.

Susan and Roxie gave me this orifice hook  for my birthday.  They found it at SAFF last year, just using it makes me smile.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Another Snowy and Fibery Day

It continued snowing today.  We ended up with 10 plus inches.  I also continued to work on my sweater.  Here is a progress shot.  I love top down sweaters because you can try them on and try to perfect the fit.  I put a lifeline in and put it on the dress form.  I am trying to decide between making the large (38) or the extra large (40).

 I also did some spinning on my Corgi Hill BFL.  I am trying for a two ply lace weight.

I want to spin it thin and definitely need to add more twist.  I am spinning it with loose tension at a ratio of 13.5:1.  This is high for me but not high enough.  Last Saturday, I took a spinning class from Nancy McGraw with my guild.  She taught us a technique for measuring twist.

I like the yarn but the twist is less than 30 degrees.  It is under spun and there will be even less twist after plying.  Tomorrow, I will sample some more and try to get the twist angle between 35 to 55.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Ravellenics Day 6

Making steady but slow progress on my sweater.  I checked my gauge again for safety sake and am getting the required 18 stitches to the inch.
We have  8 inches of snow today and may possibly get 2 more tomorrow.  Everything is shut down.
Working from home it doesn't effect me much.  It is pretty and I am glad not to have to go anywhere for the next few days.

I started spinning some Corgi Hill bfl/silk tonight.  I wasn't going to spin during Ravellenics but really missed it.  Pictures tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Many Splendored Things

Sunday, we went on a drive and ended up going to Seagrove.  We checked out some pottery studios and then found a very cool little store called "Many Splendored Things".  This is a delightful store owned by Vicki Merritt.  Vickie carries lots of yarns, including her own hand dyed alpaca from High Meadows Farms.  She also has quilting supplies, rug hooking supplies and classes as well as local pottery and jewelry.

Vicki is as warm and welcoming as her shop.  There is even a shop dog, Belle.  check out the pictures below.  I will definitely be going back.

Beautiful, hand dyed alpaca
The store front, wouldn't you love to sit and knit here?
Yarn and fabric, oh my.  This is only one of many rooms to explore.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Hello there!

I cannot believe I have not posted this year.  Where did January go?  I have been working, spinning, spending time with family and friends and just generally living life with out recording it.  There is something to be said for that but I enjoy having these blog snapshots.  As I looked at last year I was surprised by the lack of knitting output.  Further thought revealed there were reasons for that.

The most significant reason is my discovery of the joys of spinning.  There was also the detour into the soap making business.  Over 500 bars made and sold. Also there was sewing in the mix.  I am like the dog in "Up" yelling out squirrel. Distracted and "chasing" the next thing.

My word for this year is focus.  Trying to avoid the "ooh shiny" and staying intent on the project at hand.  Case in point, I am participating in the Ravellenics on Ravelry.  You challenge yourself to complete a project during the winter Olympics.  I am working on a handspun sweater.  I spun the yarn during the Tour de Fleece.

It is Day three, I am ready to start the raglan shaping.  You read about the importance of knitting with your handspun.  Working on this has driven that point home.  As I knit with this, I can feel the changes in the texture and diameter of the yarn.  My hands feel the crunchy over plied spots and relax when I feel the soft cushy bits.  This was the first chain ply I did and it shows.  This will be a rustic sweater.  At least this is what I am telling myself.  Stay tuned.