Posts filed under ‘Cool Things’

Hands Up! & Feet On The Table Trois Kits from Black Water Abbey Yarns

Mitten and Stocking kits from Black Water Abbey Yarns, which I am very sad to see is closed.
Patterns are available on Ravelry (linked below) but the kits are history.

Hands Up! mittens (back)

Hands Up! mittens (palm)

Feet on the Table Trois stockings

I bought the kits in the Marketplace at Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat. I was walking past Black Water Abbey Yarns eyeing the tiny stockings and mittens and stopped dead in my tracks when the idea hit me; she saw me suddenly stop and asked “What are you thinking?!”.
A GARLAND!

A garland of mittens and stockings, her eyes lit up, I picked two kits and she customized them by swapping yarn colors so the two kits would coordinate better.

There was plenty of yarn so…

POM POMS!

Everything is better with POM POMS!

 

January 29, 2019 at 2:23 pm 1 comment

Mountain Goat Wool Happiness

Goat Hat

Handspun Enchantment Lakes mountain goat wool
on Brooklyn Tweed Altair hat

The Enchantments are enchanting.
A beautiful place.
With mountain goats.
Lots of them.
They are kinda scary.

goat1a

And their wool.

I started collecting bits I found on plants and rocks, my husband and brother, joined in. We had to keep moving or I would have spent all day gathering wool. I ended up with two handfuls of goat wool.

On the grueling hike out, I thought and thought about my little bit of goat wool…
not enough to knit a project…a bit of trim…
A MOUNTAIN GOAT EMBROIDERED ON A KNIT HAT!
and I knew just the hat:

Brooklyn Tweed Altair
Photo by Brooklyn Tweed

The arches remind me of mountains and Loft colors Sweatshirt, the color of the granite, and Button Jar, the foliage in The Enchantments.

The goat wool was pretty dirty (I worried abouts pests and poo, but kept stuffing it into a ziplock bag inside my pocket).
I went online and researched how to clean fleece…
and worried.
I resolved to wash it in hot water…
and hoped to avoid felting it…
…and resigned myself to a felt goat sewn onto a hat if it came to that.

Success!  Clean goat.  No felt.

Second finer cleaning, picking out the hairs, and stuff I call “goat funk” – vegetation, skin, poo, whatever; I washed my hands a lot.
In the end I had 2 grams of fluffy fluffy goat down. As soft as any fiber I’ve ever touched.

Sigh.
I don’t spin.

On to Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat 2017 with goat fluff in hand, to ask the experts for advice. At a demonstration booth, the spinning expert described my goat down as “finer than cashmere” and declared,
Judith MacKenzie could spin this”.


Well, that was discouraging,
until I spoke to Judith.
I saw Judith at an evening event,and told her my goat wool story; she invited me to come by her classroom the next day with my goat fluff, she would show me how it is done.
After feeling so discouraged earlier, I was walking on air (Judith does that to people!).
Next day at noon, I showed up with goat fluff in hand.
I was mesmerized, Judith produced a strand a yarn out of the fluff, like water pouring out of a pitcher. Beautiful.

I wondered how long it would take me to learn to do that.
I must have looked like a lost puppy. Judith took my goat fluff home with her.

Three weeks later, this beauty arrived in the mail, along with photos Judith had taken during the spinning process.

Judith’s photos:

ready to begin, goat down, tea, and cookies
skill
mountain goat singlebeautiful 2-ply mountain goat yarn

Also at Madrona, I took Franklin Habit’s “Embroider Your Knitting – Level One” class on Friday. He suggested couching as a method for my goat. Couching keeps the precious fiber on top of the fabric, it avoids using up a lot of yarn on the reverse side and avoids the wear and tear of pulling the yarn through the fabric.

Couched embroidery of handspun mountain goat on handknit hat

I started by drawing a goat on paper and tracing it onto some interfacing, then basted the outline onto the hat with orange sewing thread.Next, embroidered the outline through the interfacing (and basting) with laceweight cashmere.I verrrry carefully cut away the interfacing, then I just winged it on the couching, lots of trial and error.  I did those horns at least five times each!

February 19, 2018 at 8:58 pm 6 comments

crochet dad

As far back as I can remember, my dad was crocheting with fine cotton.
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A small sample of my dad’s crochet:
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There was a doily on every table.

I remember my mom starching the flowers propped open with cotton balls.
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My dad’s Boye crochet hook priced at 15¢
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He learned from his mom.
My grandmother’s crochet and embroidery:
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Back in the ’70s, he tried to get me hooked with this kit (puns happen):
but by the time I was 8 inches into it, it was 8 years out of style…


…I would totally wear that skirt now.

June 19, 2016 at 12:45 pm 3 comments

circular and double pointed knitting needle organizer

Circular and double pointed needles wrangled at last. 🙂
Convenient, practical, and presentable.

Starting with this Receipt File from The Container Store.
The whole thing expands accordion-style and the sections are separate all the way to the bottom so dpns won’t migrate between sections.
When full of needles, the file is too big to close.

I folded the cover back and slipped it into a train case (by World Traveler).
The large case fits perfectly with a little extra space for stitch holders and crochet hooks.

It has a perfect spot for my favorite needle gauge!

Since the train case comes in a set of two, I can use the smaller one for travel.

May 8, 2016 at 6:54 pm 2 comments

p.s. Madrona Fiber Arts Retreat 2016

June Hemmons Hiatt was there.

I’m a fan, loved her book since way back.
I got the knitting belt; I tried it out, it felt pretty good, seemed like a good idea to alleviate some knitting aches I get and avoid long term damage…
Who am I kidding? she probably could have sold me acrylic yarn and a gun if she wanted to.

February 25, 2016 at 12:49 pm 1 comment

Good times at Madrona Fiber Arts Retreat 2016

Excellent classes I took:
Cat Bordhi Developing, Writing, and Publishing
Fantastic teacher, very experienced, knowledgeable, and generous. She understands what you need to know, what is important, and provides that information. Lot of information packed into a mini class.
Amy HerzogSweaters: Deconstructed
As good as I’d heard. She teaches how to get what you want when knitting a sweater:
A sweater that you want to wear and makes you happy
How to get the right fit and style.

And.
I guess I knew this would happen someday.


And of course it happened at Madrona.
I was only curious about spinning; someone said I should see Sarah Anderson demonstrating in the rotunda. *Sarah Anderson* said with meaning and nods of approval all around. So I went to see Sarah Anderson.
I was mesmerized.
She was knowledgeable and encouraging and clearly knew what she was doing.
Someone else showed up, sat down and started spinning angora on a drop spindle.
I said, “I don’t spin, yet”. “Yet”, they laughed. I don’t even know why that word came out of my mouth, but apparently they did.
Next, someone walked up to talk about an upcoming retreat in the woods with Sarah, very rustic and inspiring.
I wondered if this was a racket, with the spinning wheel, dropping words like angora, cashmere, spinning spindle, retreat in the woods…spinning, spinning…

Next thing I knew, I was standing at a booth in the Marketplace looking at spindles, confused. The person looking at spindles next to me, decided to teach me to spin right there and then.
At Madrona, these people just appear.

And now I own this.

Greensleeves Damsel Monique spindle

Around the corner, my new spinning teacher helped me pick out roving in beautiful natural colors.

Roving from Island Fibers
clockwise from top – Shetland, Targhee, and a Polwarth/Silk blend
(because she said I really should try some silk. Because. Silk.)

Typical Madrona, there’s always an expert, or twenty, around to show you how it’s done, and happy users ready to enable, with a Marketplace so you don’t have a chance to sleep it off.

So that happened.


February 24, 2016 at 7:41 pm 1 comment

ANEMOI Mittens To Match

UDATE on this hat:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAColinette JitterBug in Morello Mash

After five years of wear by a college student, getting stuffed into backpacks and pockets, this hat looks as good as the day it was knit.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have knit socks that look worse by the time I’m finished knitting them.

Even the ties, which have been tied, knotted, tightened, and re-tied a few thousand times, do not have a single pill:
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With yarn leftover from the hat, I knit these mittens to match:
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ANEMOI Mittens by Eunny Jang in Colinette JitterBug color Morello Mash and Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in color Hoppy Blonde

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December 26, 2014 at 8:33 pm 1 comment

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