Thursday, September 27, 2007

out there

This young knitter is psyched to get herself and her passion for fiber arts out there. She knit this hat for her oh-so-loved Great Grandma's (Gigi) 88th b'day a while back and shipped it off to Pennsylvania.

This is the Madison Hat, the same pattern that she made for herself last winter. She happened to have her own version of this hat with her when we were in Greece this spring and it was mighty windy up on Acropolis Hill, so she loaned her hat to Gigi to keep her toasty. Since this hat is made of mohair-merino and alpaca yarns, it's soft, fuzzy, and very warm. The last time we visited GiGi, she mentioned that she would like Leah to knit her a hat like that someday. And so she did. Exactly like that, since we had plenty of both yarns.

Leah is also getting her knitting out there by becoming an entrepreneur. The owner of a boutique in Pittsburgh has commissioned her to knit gauntlets/fingerless gloves. She knows it goes against copyright protection to sell knitwear made from someone else's pattern, so she made her first pair with an online pattern and gifted them to a friend, and she is now choosing cables and stitches from stitch dictionaries as she designs her own fingerless gloves. She's on her fourth of five commissioned pairs and having an awful lot of fun with the design possibilities. She even came up with a name for her little knitting empire, Cotton Hollow Creative, named after one of our favorite swimming holes. I just have to smile at all of this because I know somebody who earned a tidy sum, starting at around the same age, by selling crocheted clowns, taking orders of up to 30 at a time!

On her urging, we have started up a new group called the String Thing as a way to connect with other homeschooling fiber artists and those who might like to be. Through this group, we've already made some new friends, hooked up with known fiber junkie friends, heard about some cool events, and discovered some older friends with similar interests. Perfect.

She'll be demo'ing spinning and knitting at Burgis Brook Alpaca Farm at their open house this Saturday as part of National Alpaca Farm Days. I'm looking forward to the knitting time while we're there too and am hoping that the blanket-in-progress will be finished by then so I can start the project that's next in line, assuming the yarn arrives in time. The more mechanically-minded members of this family will be on a romp full of steam-powered contraptions and primitive technology that day, so when we hook back up in the evening, there will undoubtedly be a lot of enthusiastic chatter! We're all looking forward to an inspiring day out there among our peeps.

And at long last, this young knitter's Ravelry invitation arrived this week. I wasn't home when she got the invitation, but apparently she has already set up her account as cottonhollow. She hasn't added any projects or details yet, but she most certainly will, as soon as she can get the momperson to help her. Now I can quit razzing her about surfing the Ravelry goodies under my account and she can add her favorites to her own notebook, which is good because once you've been bit by the bug, there are a fantastic lot of project temptations out there.
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Monday, September 24, 2007

Sunday, Fiber Sunday

Yeah, there's still knitting and other creative stuff going on around here, but there has been a lack of blogging about it over the past couple of weeks, mainly because I'm in the never-ending portion of the Hemlock Ring blanket, where it's over 600 stitches per round, not especially portable, and growing at a snail's pace. Rather than bore you with pics of the brown blob in progress, let's instead look at some shots from an absolutely beautiful sunshiny, friend- and fiber-filled yesterday.

Jesse was on a romp with my mom and Scott was laying the brick portion of the new porch foundation, so Leah and I started the day at the Coventry Farmer's Market's Fiber Twist. Unfortunately, the Goob had what is probably her first ever full-blown migraine by the time we got there, so we found her a cool, shady, grassy slope at the edge of the market, where she crashed hard for a 45-min. nap that, in combination with some Tylenol, seemed to work the magic. While she was sleeping, I met up with some new friends to enjoy a dyeing demo by Kris at The Painted Sheep.

As Anna from Annavations was doing a needle felting demo, we bumped into some old friends and eventually wandered off among the fuzzy criters, yummy treats, droolworthy fibers, and smiling faces everywhere.

We bumped into quite a few other folks we know and met more along the way, so the whole thing felt like a big happy festival. Leah picked out some goodies from The Painted Sheep and, of course, at a farmer's market brimming with fresh, locally grown produce and nutritious gourmet delights, she also chose some fudge. :-)

Home for a salad for lunch, to balance out that fudge, then out again to the Farm Day celebration at a historic home turned living history museum in town, where we again ran into friends and acquaintances everywhere we turned, chatted with the sewing ladies, the spinners, the weaver, the llama people, the blacksmith, the artists, the shoemaker (visiting for the day, but previously known to us from Old Sturbridge Village), some of my mom's neighbors, and participated in a little archaeological dig. We were tickled to be recognized from previous visits there and asked with much enthusiasm to consider becoming volunteers with the historical society in our town, since we obviously have such an interest in the fiber arts and support of living history.

Once Leah recovered from her greenish pukey state in the morning, there were countless exclamations of what a great day we were having. Jesse arrived home soon after we did and told us of his day's fun with Grandma. Scott reached his goal for the brick work for the day and we all settled in for a movie in the evening, during which I chugged away on the big blanket rounds and Leah pulled her spinning wheel in front of the TV and dove into the Plummy (burgundy, rose, navy) bluefaced leicester roving, getting it about half spun before the day's end.
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Monday, September 17, 2007


When I left home this morning, it was 43 degrees. Mmmm...sweater weather!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

blogging the goob 2

What do you do when you're a crafty sort of gal and your dad's spending a lot of time at the hardware store to get supplies for a porch renovation project? Well, if you're Leah, you find your way to the free make-it project offered while you're at the store. And if the make-it project happens to be sponsored by ESPN and have a football sort of theme to it? Well, you just hammer away happily and then come home, whip out the box o' paints with the friend who's visiting, and turn the whole shebang into a knitting-themed project!
And on another day when a friend comes over for the afternoon and there's a chill in the air and there's been talk of feltmaking 'round the household? Well, then you pull out some autumn-inspired roving and make tiny felted pumpkins with the friend while your granola bars are baking.
And when it's time to be a devil for Halloween and your family believes half the fun of a Halloween costume lies in making it yourself, you just might choose some sparkly pink/red/gold yarn, knit the horns from a free devil hat pattern and a quick headband to mount them on...

and then proceed to wear your horns around town as a daily hair accessory. :-)
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Monday, September 03, 2007

honey, I shrunk the hat

You know the Lusekofte Cap that I finished last week but it turned out too big? I thought about shrinking it to fit, but I never tried to shrink anything just a little bit. I always want to shrink them to an extreme and usually am able to do so very well. I was concerned that I'd shrink this hat to an extreme too, but with gentle nudges from some blog friends, it occurred to me that I usually check projects that are being shrinkified about eleventy bajillion times along the way, so then I realized that I'll have lots of checkpoints along the way.

So into the wash it went, on HOT with a bit of suds and some towels for more friction. Leah and I checked the progress often, each wearing a towel around our shoulders and a plastic grocery bag on our head so the soggy hat wouldn't make us soggy too. I'm just realizing now, that would've been a great blog picture! ;-)

I am happy to report that the Lusekofte Cap is now the perfect size for all members of our family. We all like it even better now that it has a fuzzier appearance and tighter, warmer fabric. The tassel felted a bit too, as expected, but I was able to just trim its ends to clean it up and it matches the fuzzy felted hat very well.

See? Even lice can be nice!

Off to lobster fest we go!!
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