Tuesday, January 29, 2008

STITCHES WEST Feb. 21st - 24th -- Santa Clara
I am off to Stitches West up in Santa Clara a few weeks from now with Pam and Karen. Hope to see lots of friends up there, too, and looking forward to visiting Melissa Sheppard's Argosy Yarn booth. I need some of her beautiful cashmere. Some of the classes I am taking at Stitches are: "fiendishly difficult stitches", "mitered patchwork" and "Russian-style continental knitting" with guru Galina Khmelva.

I have been busily dyeing the past couple weeks, putting together a shipment of sock yarn for Morgaine Wilder of Carolina Homespun, who will be featuring sock yarn in her booth at Stitches. Besides my Capistrano Fiber Arts sock yarn, she'll also have Nature's Palette and Claudia Handpaints. Morgaine's booth at the fiber shows is always one of the best. She literally brings a store with her and has all things fibery that run the gamut from spinning to knitting. [http://www.carolinahomespun.com/] So make sure to drop by the Carolina Homespun booth.
SUMMER FUN! While at TNNA on Jan. 11th, I Iearned from Morgaine that she and Judith MacKenzie McCuin have put together a slate of summer intensive workshops to be held July 28th through August 3rd at Point Bonita in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, just north of SFO. The workshops will be put on by their organization, the Golden Gate Fiber Institute. Margie and I got so excited just thinking about a summer intensive in a natural setting, we immediately signed up for natural dyeing and spinning ancient fibers. Some of the other classes are lace knitting, felting, crocheting, each with great instructors. All meals will be prepared by a culinary institute chef, so you take your classes, socialize, hike around, and they feed you, too. And it's all within reasonable driving distance. I can hardly wait for July to arrive. For information, visit their website at http://www.goldengatefiberinstitute.org/.

New Year's resolution well in hand I have been spinning almost daily to keep true to my 2008 resolution of spinning ALL of the fibers I have purchased at Rhinebeck and Black Sheep Gathering the past couple of years. I am happy to report that progress is being made. Here are a few skeins I spun last week. The emerald skein is merino/tussah (80/20) and the deep jewel toned skein is merino/bombyx (50/50). Both of these were spun from roving purchased from Clover Leaf Farm at Rhinebeck. The taupe skein was spun from baby alpaca roving I got in the alpaca/llama barn, also Rhinebeck. It's a blend of the fiber from four baby alpacas.

This past weekend, my knitter friend, Jan, was visiting from NYC. She wanted to go to a LYS, so I took her to Strands Studio, a very cute knit shop in Dana Point. When we walked into the shop, we were met by a long row of colorful knit squares hanging from the beam in the middle of the store. I recognized them as squares from the Lizard Ridge afghan (Fall 2006 issue of Knitty.com), a pattern I had wanted to try. The shop's owner, Kelly, has been knitting these colorful squares out of Kureyon and will put them together with a cloth backing. Kelly's artful display motivated me to run home and start knitting. I only had two skeins of Kureyon in my stash, so I then tried the pattern with some of my sock yarn. Here's the result. Once you get the hang of the short rowing in the pattern, this is a very easy knit.

And it's always good news when another spinner comes into the fold. Jerry reports on his blog (http://twistedknitster.blogspot.com) that his new Fricke spinning wheel was waiting for him when he got home yesterday. He was so excited he put the big size 15's to the treadles last night. I predict he'll be spinning easily within a month since he did pretty well as a beginner when he tried out my Rose last year. Just another little obsession, huh? Thankfully, he and Mrs. Twisted are both knitters, so they'll be able to do something with all of the yarn he's going to spin.

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