Friday, July 31, 2009

There are Winners!

It is a pleasure to announce the winners of my first annual blogiversary giveaway:
  • The Peaches & Cream Love-me Knot Bracelet goes to The Sleeping Poet at Grecian Goldsmith.
  • The Monet's Garden jumbo handspun yarn goes to Trudette.
Congratulations to all the winners! I will contact you via your blog and also through your Etsy store, if you have one, to find out where to mail your prizes.

(My cat, Samba, helped draw the winners, but my attempt to take a good photo of the act while also keeping track of her choices failed miserably. So I went to Flickr and found this great photo by Annie Mole of a cat that looks similar to Samba drawing prizes--how cool is that! The photo even shows a food dish like Samba's and the same little folded post-it note sheets that we used today.)

Thanks to all who participated. Look for the next giveaway in December with a drawing in early January.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Last Call for Giveaway Entries

There is still time to enter my first annual giveaway drawing which will take place tomorrow!

Click here to go to the details.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

2010 Diary Project

I first heard about this great 2010 diary project on Kate8085's blog, Where Eagles Dare

The project is a diary in which pages are designed by different artists and crafters who have a web address from which they sell their goods. Like an Etsy shop, for example. 

There were two reasons that this project really excited me: 
  1. It would be free advertising.
  2. I would have a reason to use Adobe's In-Design software, which I wanted to learn to use for writing up patterns for my original designs.
This project also terrified me because what if I couldn't do it?

Years ago I took a graphic design course which used Quark Express as the desktop publishing software. Luckily a lot that I learned from that course transferred to using In-Design

It wasn't so bad! Even pulling my banner graphic from Adobe Illustrator, changing it to grayscale, and then rotating it. Even trying to figure out the precise dimensions in millimeters of the page and then converting the finished product to the precise pixel dimensions for the JPEG.  Here's a little picture of my completed page:


Monday, July 27, 2009

The Hoh River

Lest you think that there were only trees to photograph on the Hoh River Trail, here are three photos of the Hoh River itself which we got to glimpse from the trail and occasionally access.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Giveaway Highway

Join in the giveaway fun!

If you'd like to go straight to my first annual July Giveaway with a chance to win one of four different gifts, click here

If you'd rather keep reading down this page, you'll get to the giveaway on the July 10th post.

You have until the end of the month to enter! The drawings will occur on July 31st.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

More Trees in Sweaters

From brilliant to drab. . .

. . . more inspiration to knit in green!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Nature's Knitting on the Hoh River Trail

Last weekend an out-of-town getaway took us to the Olympic Peninsula for a much-needed hike. The destination this time was the Hoh River Trail in the Olympic National Forest.

For the first 13 miles this trail gently meanders without much elevation gain through a temperate rain forest filled with moss-draped Western red cedar, Douglas fir, hemlock, and spruce. On this trail lots of slendor can be seen without too much effort.

Of course the day we went hiking, the 90+ degrees temperature sure didn't feel temperate.

After three days of no rain in the forest, the moss was not the vibrant deep green that it is in rainier weather, but still, the image of trees all dressed up in nature's sweaters is exciting.

The next post will have more photos of glorious trees in their green finery.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

I'm still here, a year later. 
Still addlepated and scatterbrained, but still writing. 

Thanks so much for stopping by to read 
and for leaving such great comments!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tagged Doesn't Rhyme with Ragged

I have been tagged by Gallery32 to tell 10 things about myself. It's taken me a while to respond because of Busy-as-a-Spring-Bee-ness.

After these revelations, I will tag 10 more blogs which are written by people that I would love to know more about.  So, if you get bored reading about me, you might check out the other blogs that get tagged. 

  1. Simultaneously I am somewhat shy and somewhat outgoing--sort of an exhibitionist introvert. For example, I might wear a wild hat and then sit on the sidelines at a party until someone comes over to talk to me.

  2. Violets were my favorite flower to eat as a child. Now I am partial to marigolds on salads, love lavender icing on shortbread, and think Haagen Das should make violet ice cream.

  3. I have to play games with myself to get things done and keep organized. (If you've been reading my blog, you already know this and it's okay with you, because you're back here reading some more. ;)

  4. I never had any imaginary friends as a child but have adopted some as an adult. Usually they are some projected facet of myself that needs to be manifested--like Amelie, the assistant you read about last month if you've been following the blog.

  5. I have never been highly money motivated and would much rather spend time making something pretty than sitting behind a desk handling paper.

  6. When I get dressed for work in the morning, it takes me hours unless the clothes and accessories have been chosen the night before. This is because my decision-making brain doesn't wake up before 10 a.m.

  7. I love the acting roles of Johnny Depp, the paintings of Maxfield Parrish, the fado singing of Marissa, and the contemporary dance choreography of Mia Michaels.

  8. I rarely read blogs with dark or bright backgrounds because they hurt my eyes.

  9. I once was so addicted to dancing, dance classes, and dance workshops that I had to enroll in a two-step program.

  10. I relish late afternoon naps, especially if there can be sunlight falling upon me through a west-facing window and a cat snuggling up against me.

These are the blogs I'm tagging in hopes that they can find the time to join in the fun:

A special thanks to Aunt Owwee and Ella Mullins for allowing their photographs to be shared through Creative C0mmons License 2.0.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Thin Scarf, Thick Scarf

My mission is to finish some work in progress, so that was the excuse to complete two scarves this past week that are for me (even though I should be doing so many things for my Etsy store.)

Another justification was that they were both experiments for some scarves I'd like to make for the store.

First up is a thin scarf that was made by hand-manipulating stitches on a mid-gauge knitting machine. The goal was to create a machine-knit version of faggoting in a cotton scarf for summer.

Next up is a scarf that is the polar opposite:

This scarf was hand knit on size 19 needles out of some of my own handspun jumbo yarn. (It's the sort of scarf that you could create from the jumbo handspun yarn in my current giveaway--See the previous post.)

The fiber for this yarn was from Targhee Sheep. It is a spongy, lofty fiber that feels soft and comforting next to your neck. I can't wait to wear it!

Here is a comparison of the size of the cotton thread with the size of the jumbo yarn.

What a difference!

What do you prefer, thin fine fibers or thick ones? Or are you like me, and like both?

Friday, July 10, 2009

July Giveaway!

My first annual blogiversary giveaway is being held during the month of July. The drawing will be held on July 31st, so you have the whole month in which to participate.  All the gifts are items of my own creation.  

The Gifts

1. The Happy Skies Jumbo hand-spun yarn discussed & shown in May when I was writing about the blues. (Approximately 53 yards thick-n-thin two-ply wool--very soft; 3-7 WPI; 3 3/8 oz./97 g)

2. The linen hand-knit scarf in raspberry/orange-sherbet that was shown in the post about how hard it is to photograph the color red. (It is six inches wide by 76 inches long.)

3. The Monet's Garden jumbo hand-spun yarn shown in June. (Approximately 46 yards thick-n-thin two ply wool--very soft; 4-6 WPI; 2 1/2 oz/74 g)

4. The Peaches and Cream Love-Me Knot Bracelet shown in Going Fourth, a few posts ago. (For a wrist sized between 5 1/2 and 7 inches.)

The Rules

There will be an advantage for followers: the first two names for the first two gifts will be drawn only from among those who enter the giveaway and who have signed up as followers by July 15.

The third and four drawings will be from the larger pool that includes everyone--followers and casual readers. So followers will have first choice and also be included in more drawings. 

To be in the giveaway drawing, you need to go into the 2008 posts, find a post that amuses or interests you and leave a comment there.  Then come back here, and on a comment for this post, tell me where you commented and why you chose that post. 

Next, tell me what would be your first choice if you win, and also give your second choice. Finally, let me know if you are a follower.

(You do not need to go see my Etsy store for the giveaway, but I would of course love it if you went there anyway.)

The Winners

The winners names and what they won, will be announced on July 31, no later than 9 p.m. PST. If you have a blog, I'll leave you a comment that you've won, and if you have an Etsy shop, I'll convo you there. I'll do my best to reach you. 

You will have two weeks in which to contact me (my name is in the sidebar) [at] to tell me where to send your prize. If you don't contact me by August 15, another name will be drawn for the prize.

Best Wishes, Good Luck, and Thanks!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

One Year Blogiversary Coming Up!

On July 15, I will have been blogging for one full year. This giveaway is to celebrate this blogiversary and to show some appreciation for readers and followers.

When I first started blogging, I was too shy to promote my blog much and didn't really know how to promote it, anyway. For the first six months, I just wrote and had no idea if anyone was reading.  It was always a question--was it better to know or not know that someone was reading? For me it was better at first to not know.

Now a little more experienced with this whole blogging thing, I love getting your comments, knowing you're there, and having regular readers sign up as followers.

Part of the rules are going to involve your going into the 2008 archives and leaving a comment on at least one post.  That way you can get to know me a little better. (And if you don't already, perhaps you will decide to follow the blog if you see something of interest.)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Preview of Coming Attractions

This is just a short post about what is coming up next.

1.  In one week I will be celebrating my one year blogiversary, and the next post will summarize what goodies will be given away and how to get your name in the drawing.

2. I have been tagged with my first meme and am working out my answers and whom to tag in turn.

3. Based on a couple of my answers that have been worked out for item #2, I have decided to do a little series of posts on a special topic. Here is a hint:

Sunday, July 5, 2009

New Handspun from Pencil Roving

The loveliest pencil roving that I have seen is from Crown Mountain Farms. It is made from Corriedale sheep, which according to the Crown Mountain website, is a Merino-Lincoln-Leicester crossbreed. It is a nice long fiber which feels springy to the touch.

Corriedale pencil roving is fun for a beginning spinner because it is easy to turn into yarn. You can lightly draft it for a lovely single, a bulky two-ply or a worsted weight yarn. Once you learn to draft a little better, you can easily turn it into sock weight or even lace weight yarn.

I really recommend this roving, not only for its hand but also for the beauty of the hand-dyed colorways that are available. If you are a knitter, but not a spinner, you can knit up the roving itself for a chunky scarf or for a felted bag project. 

A couple weeks ago, I sat down with some of this pencil roving in the colorway called From Dusk to Dawn.  On the right are two skeins of bulky two ply created from 5 oz and on the left is a 3 0z skein spun in worsted weight. 

Notice that the finer you spin the yarn, the more blended the colors become. In a sock weight or lace weight, the color would appear even more solid. 

The next photos are of the colorway called Ghost Dance. The first photo shows some some of the roving that was given to Amelie for her work in the studio. It will really look different after it is spun.

Here's how it looked on the bobbin after Amelie spun and then plied it:

Here are two Ghost Dance skeins after the twist was set and the fiber was dried. It is gorgeous with blues, greys, pink, lavender, cream and more.

The next photo shows the two Ghost Dance skeins next to two skeins which have one ply from the Ghost Dance roving and one ply of a solid-colored lavender from combed Colonial top. Isn't it amazing what the addition of a solid color ply will do?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Going Fourth!

Some progress is being made in the studio, in spite of the holiday.

You may remember that Amelia has me on a short leash to complete some unfinished objects so that she can actually get some organization and cleanup done around here. I am determined to do my part, because good (free) help is hard to find!

Here are the results for the weekend so far:

Here is Valerie who I had to coax out of the closet to model one of my biggie berets for this fall. (You may remember that Valerie has been sulking because I haven't bought her any hair yet.)

The hand-spun super-bulky fiber for the crown is in the beautiful colors of sangria: mostly a rich red, with a little orange, gold and pink for accents. You can see the yarn here. This funky oversized beret was started in April.

The second finished project, started in May, was this Love-Me Knot bracelet in peaches and cream.

After finishing these two items, I wondered what to start as a new project and immediately felt guilty. There are still so many UFOs around here, and I sure want Amelie to keep coming 'round, so I'm going back to the UFO pile to determine the next project.

Oh, and Amelie earned some Corriedale pencil roving and spun it beautifully. There will be photos in the next post.