Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Knitting and Weaving in the Methow!

The Nordic Mitten
The warp put through the reed
The warp through the heddles

The beginnings of my lace, the Swathmore lace

The Methow Spinners and Weavers Guild has a great project every year and if you look back in some of my post I briefly speak of it. Well this year it is woven lace. So I finally got a start on mine.I'm using a white mercerized cotton. Now, the way I came across this cotton was through a purchase I made many years ago at an estate sale, when I purchased a table loom. All kinds of things came with the loom,books, notebooks on weaving , workshop note books and a life that was no longer with us. A woman who loved to weave, I could tell by the many projects that she kept track of, carefully keeping notes, lovingly putting samples in so one day when someone long after she was gone would find some treasure in all these items. I remember how excited I was when I found this lady and her loom, I all most got a ticket in Snohomish for speeding, but was given a warning instead. So when I got home I marveled at the site of all these things and thought of what I was going to with them. But sadly I never did weave on that loom, but sold it to purchase the loom I have. With the hope in my heart that some day the knitting, spinning, weaving,quilting etc. will mean something to someone and give them the inspiration to go on to try what brings happiness to their heart. So back to my weaving project! This cotton was already in a warped chain, so all I had to do was put it on my loom. What happens when you don't start from the begging? Well you end up sometimes with something you didn't plan on. Because I waited till the last minute to get started on this ( it's due the second week of April) I'm sort of stuck to figure something out. The warp is very long, but didn't come out very wide. Now if I had done my figuring out on paper I would have known that. I did think of something to do when all is said and done, that I'll show you later. I've been almost avoiding working on it cause I'm not very inspired ( there's that word again). I will forge ahead and do the best I can. Even though spring is here I'm still finding the time to knit, and the example in the picture of the Nordic style mitten. I have one done and the other on it's way. I got this pattern from a book called "Folk Mittens" by Marcia Lewandowski. This book has been around for a while, but I finally got around to making something. The yarn that I used is my hand spun, the fiber is Merino-Targee cross breed sheep.I'm very happy with the yarn. I also have some news about me getting a new spinning wheel. It belonged to my dear friend Vicki, but she was looking to buy a new Jensen wheel.This is a Country Craftsman wheel, but I haven't got any information on the maker yet. I have been spinning on and find it pretty fast, but I'm catching up. I really think I'm going to like it. So then that brings me to having a wheel for sale. I'll do another post on that later. I'm heading over to the coast this Friday, and Saturday I'm going with Vicki , Dorothy and Anna Rose for Oak harbor for the "Whidbey Spinners and Weavers' Guild 36th Annual Spin-in" This is a really great weekend, I'm only going for Saturday even though it's for the whole weekend. That's about all for now. I love hearing from everyone so keep it coming. Knits Plent! Diana

Friday, March 23, 2007

Whats New

This is the cover of the Birthday card Sara gave me, the art work is by a local artist by the name of Corrinna Luyken.http://www.corinnaluyken.com
Whats new? Well last Tuesday was my Birthday. I had a great one too, Lonny washed my car and vacuumed it and took me to Wenatchee. The weather was beautiful, sunny, but a little cool.We did the rounds, CostCo, Wally World, JoAnn Fabrics etc. So happy Birthday to me. Wednesday was knitting at the Ashford Gallery, Sara gave a gift to the person who had knit the farthest on their sock and the winner was Laurie. She got clear to the turning of the heel but she is no beginner and has done socks before. Had a great time, and Sara gave me a birthday present and a card. Saturday our friends Jay and Vicki are coming to their cabin and I hope to see them. I'm now working on my weaving challenge project, and I'll soon have pictures. So have a great weekend. Knits plenty

Monday, March 19, 2007

Helping friends with knitting challenges

Sara's Betty Jo Roberts wheel, it's a beauty!
Debbie Christopherson

Check this store out if you ever get to Winthrop!

Last Wednesday night I went to the Ashford Gallery, that is owned by my friend Sara Ashford and her husband Don. Don is a potter extraordinaire, he makes all the beautiful pottery in this store. Sara is also an artist,she does many things, spin, weaves knits, but most of all she is an artist of natural dyes. She has spent a couple of years studying with Michele Whiplinger. Sara has such an artistic eye for color and makes it come alive in silk. This shop is eye candy, but now she's taken it a step further to add a greatly needed source in this valley and that is top of the line yarns and needles. So this all brings me to helping friends with knitting challenges. Sara has been for several years offered help with spinning and knitting by opening her store after hours for a inspiring time of sharing. So last year I started going every Wednesday night and what a great group of gals. We are all so different but knitting has brought us together. So Sara asked me if I would help get the group started on a sock. We are using the book "Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles" by Cat Bordi. So last Wednesday night we got started,some of these gals are beginners. I thought they did really well, it's hard to see this method in your head if you don't have some experience and in truth I had never done this method, well I did, but different in that, I knit two socks at one time from the toe to the end of the cuff, with an after thought heel. So the same idea. So here are some pictures of the shop and the beautiful Debbie Christopherson, my friend and neighbor, who is the fastest learner on earth. This is an awesome life and these are awesome people. Diana

Friday, March 16, 2007

Did St. Patrick Knit?

Heck I don't know! Have a great St. Patricks Day!

Monday, March 12, 2007

March has been exciting!

Color and weave towells with twill structure.
Ingrid, with her hand woven blanketsKiki learning to knit with M. J. Kiki has red hair.

Well here it isn't even the middle of march and it has been exciting! Lets see, last Thursday was the Methow Valley Spinners and Weavers guild meeting and it was exciting. Kay Reiber, has broken ground for a new building next to her house that will house a studio for her and a large room for the guild to rent from her. This building will be so nice. For one thing the floors will be heated, so during the winter our little feet will stay warm. Room for all the guild looms and library. So back to the guild meeting, Kay gave a lesson on color and weave. We also did some practicing drawing draw downs of different weave structure. This I kinda knew about cause the towels I sold at the guild sale last nov. were a color and weave with a twill structure. Are you impressed? Ha Ha. Any way it was very interesting. We also had a great show and tell, so many beautiful things.

So then there was Friday and I was taken out to lunch and a nice walk.

Then came Saturday, Jan came and picked me up, then we went and picked up Diana, and we all headed up over Loup Loup pass to Omak. Did the Wally World stop, then went to Ingrid's house for a great day of spinning and enjoying each others company. Ingrid has the most lovely house in what I would call a canyon, surrounded by huge rock hills that are awesome when the sun shines,cause there are so many beautiful colors that come out. That day went by so fast, what a great time.

Then today, Monday was spinners here at my house. The month of March is my anniversary of moving here and this month is two years. So we have a pot luck, it's kinda my way of throwing a party for me and everyone brings food, pretty good huh. It's been two really fast great years. To add to it, the snow almost disappeared today. I'm a bit worried that we will get some flooding, I'll let you know.

I'm so disappointed cause line dancing was canceled tonight. I Really love line dancing,It's such a great way to exercise and not know your exorcising.

I wanted to mention who was here today for our celebration, Diana,me,Jan,Sara,Ingrid,Katie,and Laurie. Thanks to you all for such a great day.

Oh! I for got at Ingrid's we got a new person who lives in Omak and she wants to learn to spin, knit and weave etc. Her name is Kiki. So welcome Kiki and happy spinning to you. And happy spinning to you too. Diana

Thursday, March 8, 2007

See what you think

Today is a beautiful day. Well about a week ago my really good friend Jan Kuester took me out to lunch. She's gone allot cause her job takes her out of town and then I miss her. So we went out to lunch at a fairly new restaurant call Black Birds, and it's in Twisp. We had a great lunch. While we were visiting she said " I got you something on my last trip to Montana". The package said, Grow a Farm and in side it was this little sheep. So later I read the directions, and here are the results. The directions were to put the little sheep in some room temperature water. Than in about 2 hrs it would grow twice it's size. It took over night. I won't get any fiber off it but it did grow! So I'll just buy my fiber and save myself the time.

The weather has been so nice I've been back to walking on my favorite rd. the Mundy Rd. I've even have gotten to know some of the people there. One of my friends is Annie, she's a very nice lady from the south many years ago. Her husband Bud has lived here in the valley his whole life and has never left it. Anyway yesterday she saw me walking and called me to the house. The next thing I knew I was inside to have coffee and a visit. This was so great, we got better acquainted and I left knowing them even better. Annie likes an occasional glass of wine so I think we'll have to get together soon. Make new friends it will make you smile. I'm off to guile. Kay is giving a talk on color and weave. That's what my hounds tooth scarves are. Knits Plenty Diana

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Mittens and Eagles

The majestic bald eagle
The mittens

Yesterday was beautiful and warm. I went for a walk and wore my beautiful new mittens that I just finished. I wanted to wear them before it gets to warm. Yesterday I also saw a beautiful sight of wildlife.There are lots of deer here in this valley and sadly there are many killed by cars. There was one deer dead not to far from our house near the hwy, and it attracts different kinds of animals such as coyote, and all kinds of birds including vultures and eagles. Well I was distracted by something outside and there eye level in a tree in our back yard were two huge immature bald eagles and two mature bald eagles. Where is Jr.? Well when I called him he came running like a bat outta hell. So then I got my video camera out and spent some time capturing some footage. They are so awesome to watch, and majestic but they kill pets. So this makes me crazy to have them sitting right there not 20 feet away. Of course Jr. is band to the house for his own safety. They aren't even afraid of people not even if you holler, scream or bang pots and pans they just look at you like you're crazy. So I can only hope they finish up their fabulous meal and move on. I really do feel lucky to see such a beautiful sight. So enjoy your surroundings, take a look above your nose once in a while and maybe you'll see something as awsome too. So I started my hand spun Norwiegin style mitten and I think it will be pretty cool. Knit on! Diana

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Welcome March

Last years challenge ! Fat quarter bag

Woven hounds tooth scarves.

Groovy air balloons!

Welcome to March. This is the month we know for sure that it's close to spring. Even if the weather doesn't cooperate. There are many things going on in this valley, and last night we went to one of them. First we went out to dinner in Winthrop at a place called Vittles a cowboy cafe.We have been there once before and had a great meal then and had a great dinner last night. It has a great feeling of being in the west, try it some time. Then in the town of Winthrop there was a air balloon show, where three balloons are on main st. and when it's dark they make the balloons glow. Now this is a whole weekend of ballooning but we just go to this event. I haven't been totally idle lately. I did Finnish these three scarfs that are wove of baby alpaca and silk in a hounds tooth pattern. In total Iv' made seven since before Christmas. I'm done with hounds tooth, stick a fork in me I'm done! Then because I do miss working with fabric and need to Finnish a Quilt I started I decided to sew a small project just to get the hang of my sewing machine again. I made this bag that's called the fat quarter bag. It's huge and holds allot of stuff. This project turned out really well so now I'm ready to Finnish my quilt. But first I've got to also get started on my challenge project for the spinners and weavers guild. Every year the guild has a challenge project, last year we did a really fun one. We each got a photo that was draw out of a sealed envelope. Then we did some color studies. Then it was up to us to choose a project to do from all of this. So this year it's woven lace. It's not like the lace you have on a pillow case or on a handkerchief. So I have lots in mind as to what I'm going to do. I'm all most done with the mittens I'm knitting accept the last thumb. Then I have some hand spun I'm going to make a pair of mittens in the Norwegian style. I can't wait! So the rest of this week is same ole same ole. Monday night line dancing we've learned the electric slide, The rose,The cowboy strut and The smooth oh yeah the Cha Cha. Next Saturday I'm going to try to go to my guild meeting over in Omak again. Sighning out, Knits Plenty Diana