Thursday, September 28, 2006

Love the Corriedale

OK, remember all that roving I acquired last weekend, well, the spinning has begun!

This is the Corriedale from Crown Mountain Farms. I bought it in pencil roving form, so it was easy to get nice thin singles.

Here it is plyed on the wheel. . .
post washing, a little "poof" factor. . .

and a close up.

I actually went to OFFF in hopes of finding a new orifice hook, something pretty. I found some beautiful ones that were too expensive, and some that I could afford but that were cheesy and I knew I could make something better, so I did! Here it is.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Hometown Lovin'

A co-ex-Utahn sent this too me, I had to post it, and add a little personal annotation.

You know you are from Utah when...

Green jell-o with carrots mixed in doesn't seem strange.
It will always seem strange, but I have seen all too many people eat it.

You can pronounce Tooele.
Not only can I pronounce it, I was raised there.

The U is not just a letter - Neither is the Y.
In fact, I graduated from the Y.

You have actually eaten funeral potatoes.
Sooooooooo good! And, yes, that is actually what we call them, and yes, it is because they are always served at funerals.

You've gotten both heat and frost burns off your car's door handle in the same month.
Oh, don't miss that.

You are not surprised to hear words like "Darn, Fetch, Flip", "Oh, My Heck" and "Shoot".

Your tulips get snowed on three times after they come up and twice more after they bloom. Hunting season is a school holiday.
It's true

The largest liquor store is the state government.

You can go skiing and play golf on the same day.

30% humidity is muggy and almost unbearable.
Wimps I tell ya. My dad complains about the unbearable humidity when ever he is here.

Somewhere in your family tree is a polygamist.
Pretty cool, huh?

You know the difference between a 'Steak House' and a 'Stake House'.
Do you?

The elevation exceeds the population

You've broken down on the highway and somebody stops to help you
AND, I have been the one to stop.

You can see the stars at night
Miss this too.

You have a bumper sticker that says "Families are Forever."
I don't but it's because I don't believe in bumper stickers, not the other way around.

You were an aunt or uncle before you were three.
No, but I know a guy who is a year older than his nephew. . . wierd, huh!

Your spouse's mother was pregnant at your wedding.
I've never actually seen it

You have more children than you can find biblical names for.
Not me

Your family considers a trip to McDonald'd a night out..
Gag, but sadly true for far too many Utah families, especially becasue there are so many good resuraunts in SLC.

Your first child was conceived on your honeymoon.
HA, I've been married for five year, and no children, but I know SEVERAL couples who had a 9 month baby.

You feel guilty when you watch Monday Night Football.
Our FHE in on Wed.

Your kids believe the deer hunt is a national holiday.

You drink Coke from a brown paper bag.

You consider a temple recommend a credit reference.

At least two of your salad bowls are at the homes of neighbors.
I just started buying "disposable" tupperware, it's easier.

You believe that you must be 18 or older to order coffee at a restaurant.

You wonder why fire truck drivers honk when you drive 35 mph in the left lane on the freeway.

There is a similarity between a ward basketball game and the L.A. riots.
The high schools in Utah won't let their players play "church" ball, too dangerous.

You think Jack Daniels is a country western singer.

You negotiate prices at a garage sale.

You can make Jell-O salad without the recipe.
Proff that I was never meant to live there forever. I can't even make jello when I follow the package, it doesn't set up, I think it knows that I hate it.

You've heard about BYU football in a testimony meeting.

You have two gallons of ice cream in your freezer at all times.
It's two Costco boxes of brownies at our house.

Your father-in-law thinks Ronald Reagan was a liberal.
Probably does

A member of your family wrote in Lavell Edwards for president in the last election.
The afore mentioned father-in-law

Cars in the slow lane are traveling the fastest; cars in the fast lane are traveling the slowest; cars in the middle lanes are always trying to exit.

Sandals are the best-selling shoes.
I'm not sure what this means, but Utahn's have a nasty fashion glitch that causes them to wear Birkies and Tevas with socks, very scary.

You have to ask for the uncensored version of "Titanic."

Hotel rooms all have the Book of Mormon.

You buy your wardrobe at the local grocery superstore.
No, no, please no.

You learn about the Mormon Church by taking history in elementary school.
This isn't a joke, it's true.

You live in a state where Democrats always come in third place, unless a zoo animal is running. Then they come in fourth.
AND- they can rebuild an entire freeway system AND a light rail system in 6-8 years. (Can you tell I'm irritated with the transit situation in Seattle?)

You're on your own if you are turning left.

Schools stay open, even if two feet of snow falls overnight, but close for the opening of hunting season.

People wear shorts and T-shirts if the temperature rises above 32 degrees.
I personally have worn shorts in sub-zero temperatures.

There is a church on every corner, but they all teach the same thing.

The most popular public transportation system is a ski lift.

People drive to Idaho (or Arizona) to pick up a gallon of milk so they can play the lottery.

In-state college football rivalries are bigger than the Super Bowl.

Beer drinkers don't shop on Sunday.

You don't have to breathe cigarette smoke until you walk outside a building.

The cost of living rises while your salary drops.

Every driveway has a minivan and a pickup truck.
NO minivan, but the Duke and I have talked about how we really do need an old pickup truck. We have helped too many people move to count.

When you buy a new vehicle, cigarette lighters are optional equipment but gun and ski racks are standard.

Every time a new family moves into your neighborhood, the local elementary school has to hire a new teacher.

Your paycheck has an additional 10 percent deduction.
Second biggest humanitarian organization in the world, only the Red Cross is bigger.

"Temple recommends" is acceptable identification for cashing a check.

More movies are filmed in your town than in Hollywood.
I don't know why this is, but there have been a lot of movies filmed near where I grew up.

You've never had a Mormon missionary knock on your door.
I actually have, but never when I lived in Utah.

Your neighbors complain about where they live, yet refuse to return to the state they moved from.

You make a toast with red punch at your wedding reception.

You have more raw wheat stored than some Third World countries.

Your idea of a good time is playing Pictionary in the cultural hall.

Your idea of a wild party is a six pack of Pepsi and a PG-13 movie.

You and all your friends come to your mother for a haircut in her kitchen.

You measure Kool-Aid by parts per million.
It makes a great dye.

You think "You're a 10 cow wife" is a compliment.
I AM a 10 cow wife!

You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from Utah.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Have you any Wool?

What do you get when you pack two fiber enthusiasts, two terriers, and two reluctant husbands into a Saturn SL2 and drive the whole lot to Oregon for the the weekend?

Two very happy knitters, husbands who now know what a Pygora Goat is, and two very fussy dogs.

We (Tzarina and I, with men and dogs in tow) went to the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival this weekend, and tragedies of tragedies, I FORGOT MY CAMERA! How could I, I don't know. I was too excited, to drunk with the images of fiber animals dancing in my head.

It is a three hour drive that took us 5 hours on the way down. This includes stopping in Centralia, WA at Country Cousin's for a Yak Burger, yes, a Yak Burger. I know, I know, they are endangered in their natural habitat, but these Yaks are bred at a near-by farm and are not in any danger of extinction. For those of you unable, unwilling, or uninterested in driving to Centrailia for a Yak Burger, it tastes much like handburger, but has about 1/5 the fat of beef.

Next day, we slept in a little, but where to the OFFF by about 11:00. It was heaven. I was overwhelmed by fiber, it was wonderful. Tzarina and I also met up with Sarah shortly after we got there and the three of us spent a fiber filled fantastic day together. (Sarah remembered her camera, so watch her blog for pictures.) Karen has suggested that we go through the entire festival before making our purchases. I tried, I really did, and almost made it. Either way, I ended up with enough fiber to keep me spinning for a few months at least.

Here are the spoils. . .

Far Left: Corriedale, 8 oz, colorway- comfort, Judy's Novelty Wool, which I just now discovered is a UTAH fiber addict. I will have to visit her again when I am visiting. Can't wait to see how these rich colors spin up.

Center Left: 50/50 Alpaca/Bluefaced Leicester , 1 lb, undyed- I didn't get a card, and there is no band because it was being sold by weight. Sarah, do you know her name? She also had some of the most beautiful hand dyed fiber there, again, watch Sarah's blog.

Center Right: Corriedale, 8 oz, colorway- Blue River, Crown Mountain Farms They sell this off of their website, very good price, lovely colorways, wonderful fiber.

And Last But NOT Lease, Right- Llama, 12 oz, undyed, Sialia Llamas. This came from a very generous and beautiful little llama girl named Ella Jean. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Ella Jean. Your downy wonderful cloud like fiber will be a very special treasure one day.

Oh, isn't it all wonderful.

With all of the driving time, and despite the fact that I had a dog on my lap for much of the time, I also got one Jaywalker finished and the second one down about 3 inches. I haven' knit socks in such a long time, but I really like these, I may have a new small project obsession, BIG SURPRISE !

Friday, September 22, 2006

Good Friends Deserve Knitting

So in the previous post I mentioned friend, J. He is the one that has "dragged" the Duke and I to Winthrop twice now. If he hadn't, we would never get away. We would just stay home and work on the house (specifically the attic right now, which actually has a ladder and lights now!)

J. is a great friend. Now, Yarnnation is a small nation, but we do have one great natural resource. . . yarn! We set the needles a working, and presented J. with a gift from the people (and dogs) of Yarnnation.

The specs:
Yarn: Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran Tweed
(This is SUCH a nice yarn to knit with)
Pattern: simple 4x4 ribbing, blocked out
Gauge: Oh, like you really care (4 st per in.)

Here is J. wearing it. Looks good on him, doesn't it.

And, just because everyone needs to know how cute and smart and angel-like my dogs are, here is Maggie with her paw on the my scriptures.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Winthrop, WA- a study in relaxation

Our friend J. called us up and said
"We are going to Winthrop this weekend"
We said
So off we went
We went through the North Cascades Pass, taking our time to enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery in the world

This first picture was taken in Newhalem. It is of the Skagit River.

This next three photos were taken from the dam at Ross Lake.

Have you ever seen the Duke and Duchess looking so happy and relaxed? Clean mountain air will do that for you.

When we got to Winthrop we had lunch, went to a great classic car show, and drove up to Sun Mountain Lodge, where we stayed. If you are in need of pampering, this is the place.

After a short hike where we communed with one of the largest Mule Deer herds in the country (these deer will let you get within feet of them.) We checked into our room for a much needed nap. Had a lovely dinner at the lodge's Wolf Creek Bar and Grill, a little more relaxation time (that meant knitting for me,) and then amazing dessert with Hector, the manager of the lodge, and friend of J. Mentioned above. (I had a dark chocolate cake with blueberry sorbet made in-house. . . oh mmmmm.)

The next day we slept in, relaxed, played Gin and Cribbage (Duke won Cribbage, barely, and I won Gin- a reversal of our usual,) and of course more knitting. The drive home, also beautiful.

For those of you who are car fans, we shared the lodge with the Porche Club of America, Puget Sound Chapter. We were too busy relaxing to take a photo of the between 30 and 40 Porche's in the parking lot, but we did get a small sampling as we were leaving. We overheard someone talking about a car out there that was worth $750,000. Can you believe that? A car worth 3/4 of a million dollars? I would like a house worth that, forget about the car. Crazy!

Anywho. . . I got a lot of knitting done, one finished project, and another 4/5ths done. I'll see if I can finish up the second tomorrow and give you a photo, but the first is Knitty bound, so no photos. . . wish me luck!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

One Step Forward, Ten Steps Back

There's a whole lot of ripping apart going on here in Yarnnation. This lovely pile of yarn used to be 3/4 of a cardigan with it's side shaping 3 stitches off of where it should have been, and a comfy 1/2 of a shrug that was too stripey. SIGH.

The Duke also has our closet ripped to shreds, like I said, lots of ripping going on here in Yarnnation.

If you would like to see a BEAUTIFUL finished object click on over to the Hilltop Blog and see Martine's work of art.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

THE RETREAT (it's a 575 thing)

Ok, so this "retreat" you've been hearing so much about.
I went here.

I ate from this.

With these wonderful people

. . . and this is a little of what we learned.

Clear as mud? It's a 575 thing.

Knit, Purl, That's It!

Finish, Felt


The pattern is a shop pattern (I'm pretty sure, as there is no info at all on it, not even a designer's name- sad) from The Black Sheep Wool Shop in Salt Lake City, Utah, which sadly is lacking presence on the web (tisk, tisk.) If you REALLY want it

Black Sheep Wool Co
430 E South Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 487-9378

It calls for a yarn called Heillo, I knit it with Plymouth's Galway(abt 210 yds,) 2 balls of the red, 1 of the gold with most of the gold and half of one red left over.

Size US 8 needles

gauge is not important, but my bag did felt more than my mom's. I knew it would, having felted with this yarn before and knowing that it felts down tight and quick. I think she knit it in Cascade 220. I also made the handles shorter, as I know from my mom's bag that they will stretch eventually.

Tomorrow I will go in search of the perfect button for it.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

A Saturday to Dye For

Tzarina and I have been planning this day for weeks, and it was well worth the wait. Our husband's were settled in for a long day at their computers (one working, one playing, either way we didn't care,) and we set up around 11:00 am

Supplies: A cheap shower curtain, undyed wool, cool aid in a multitude of colors, dye bottles, plastic wrap, stock pot, glass casserole dishes, strainer, various large bowls, vinegar, rubber gloves, newspaper, niddy noddy, and of course smoothies.
Step one: (DON'T FORGET) soak the yarn. It needs to soak for about 15-20 min. Princess P. and I forgot that step the first time we did it, it made a huge mess.

Keeping with my yarn as food obsession, doesn't this look like a giant bowl of tasty pasta?

Step Two: PLAY!
We mixed up the cool aid and vinegar in the bottles to see what the colors would look like. We had several small skiens to play with before we jumped in with our project yarn.
We tried several different techniques. We hand painted, which is what Tzarina is doing in this photo. We let the yarn soak in various mason jars which is what I am doing here, and we dyed in large batches in a stock pot. All of them had different effects. The photo's below give you some ideas of how they differed. We also used more than one of the techniques on some of the yarn.

Dyeing in the mason jars gave us very distinct stripes that didn't run into each other at all. We also over dyed some of the yarns this way. The hand painted yarns look, well, hand painted, what else?

Step three: spin and hang to dry. I learned a little trick to speed up the drying process in my spinning class. We threw the yarn in my washing machine, set it to spin, and let the machine spin nearly all of the water out of the yarn. This would work great for sweaters as well, as they seem to take forever and a day to dry here in the PNW.

This was Tzarina's first project batch. This photo doesn't do it justice, it is stunning. She first dyed in blue in the stock pot, then later added purple to the stock pot without stirring it much to give it a subtle variegation. I will try to remember to post "post winding" photos of it, it really is beautiful.

I started out hand painting my first batch of project yarn. When it dried (upper left) I didn't like how the colors look at all, so I resoaked it, threw it in a stock pot and overdyed it deep red with some purple thrown in. The result, well you judge for yourself.

Tzarina's second project batch. A beautiful pale green. It should be called something like Whisper of Spring.

And my second, which Tzarina appropriately named Spiced Pumpkin.

This was such a fun day, and suprisingly less mess than I had anticipated. We have the feeling that it won't be long before we move on to acid dyes. I'll let you know.