Tuesday, June 18, 2013

World Wide Knit In Public

This past Saturday I had the great opportunity to organize and participate in a Knit in Public event.  Andrea, owner of The Yarn Club, Inc. in Virginia Beach, VA, wanted to do something for this event, but would be dealing with her daughter's graduation that week.  My wife did some investigating and found a great venue.  Town Center in Virginia Beach would be having their monthly, Town Fair event on Saturday, June 15.  I called the organizers and they offered us a spot  without a fee because we were there for demonstrations and not profit.

When we arrived, we got center stage, literally.

We were given a spot right in front of the fountain to enjoy a cool breeze and an occasional spray from the fountain.    Here we are just after set up.  

Hazel and Heather enjoyed chatting as Hazel drafted some fiber for spinning and Heather worked on fingerless mitts for her sister.

Brittany worked on some fiber to spin on her drop spindle as well.  As the time passed our group grew:
There were about 12 of us coming and going through the 3 hour period.  It was great to connect with new fiber enthusiasts, friends we haven't seen in a while, and enjoy each other's company.  
As you can see there was a nice breeze to keep us comfortable through the event.  Hazel was drafting more fiber to spin.  
Here I am, Mr. Organizer, beside the banner I made for the event.  I did not add a date to the banner so I could use it in year's to com.  We all had a great time and enjoyed our time to share fiber arts with the community.  

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Almost 2 years in the making

When I started to do a blog post yesterday, I noticed that this was the last blog post that I had tried to do before life went spinning out of control.  The picture below is of my Herbivore, made from Regia Hand Dye Effect.  (It looks much better with my burnt orange henly shirt.) I started it over 2 years ago and decided that it would be my project for the Ravellenic Games last summer.  I entered it in the Works in Progress Wrestling category.  Since it is made with fingering weight yarn, and begins with a garter tab cast on technique, it seemed as though it was taking forever to knit this piece.  After 3-4 days of knitting, I picked the pattern back up and read "knit until @ 12 inches deep from cast on."  So I measured and had 13" from cast on.  I knit the last 3 rows, bound off and have gotten tons of compliments every time I wear it.  I probably could have sold it for a huge price at a yarn store event last fall to a woman who did not knit but was there with her friends. (She told the shop owner she wanted her to make one for her as a gift.)  Since completing this scarf, I have started another Stephen West pattern for this fall season.  It is the Boneyard Shawl, and I am knitting it in 100% alpaca that I got from a local farm.  I hope to work on it this summer, so it will be blocked and ready when the cooler weather of fall is upon us.  I am including another picture of my Herbivore, all spread out, below.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Spinning Out of Control

Last August, the day before teachers went back to school,  I bought a spinning wheel for myself.  I had wanted one for quite a while, done some research, and used my birthday money to get a steal of a deal on a Majacraft Saxonie.  I was so excited to start using the wheel, then school started...This has been a particularly stressful year for me as a teacher.  Between implementing the new Common Core curriculum,  learning to do DIBELS reading assessments, a new math assessment, and taking care of my own family there has not been a great deal of time for knitting or spinning for myself.  As the school year is winding down,  I am trying to find time to do some of the things I really enjoy.  A couple of weeks ago, I ordered some new tension springs for the wheel and installed one as soon as they arrived.  (BTW  The Woolery is a great place to order your fiber supplies.  Prices are great and the shipping is very fast if the items are in stock.) 

It took a little practice to get used to the new spring, but I got better over Memorial Day weekend. 

Here I am at Twin Lakes Campground with my family and parents.  It was so nice to be sitting outside with beautiful weather, family that I love, and wool that I had been longing to spin for over a year.  It is wool from Tunis sheep, the same kind of sheep that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson raised on their farms.  I am hoping to continue to practice spinning it, dyeing it, and knitting something beautiful from it.  Starting Monday I should have a lot more time to knit, spin, and even do a little crochet.