Friday, March 30, 2012

A Finished Fiber for Friday

Details forthcoming when the hubby takes a real nice photo of the finished skein...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Yarn Cupboard Winter Fiber Arts Retreat

The sign that greets you upon entering
A great weekend was had by all at the Yarn Cupboard sponsored Winter Fiber Arts Retreat.  The weather was awesome, the classes were informative, the people were fiber crazy, and the setting was just perfect to get down to some major fiber crafting. 
Exploring around the retreat house...
The location of the retreat was at Christ the King Retreat House in the Scottholm area of Syracuse.  Even though the former mansion was drenched in Christian statues and other religious pieces, it just added to the tranquility of the weekend.  It was so relaxing to just hang out and spin away.  I love religious statues and what not so it was nice to explore around when I needed to stretch or if I was waiting for friends.

Walking around outside in the 70 degree weather
It was so fun to spin outside in such beautiful weather.  Usually, Syracuse is not this lucky with temperatures in the high 70's, especially during St. Patrick's day weekend.  I was expecting a ton of snow and everyone cooped up inside around a fire or something...or at the very least a rainstorm.

The side entrance of the retreat house
The retreat house was very nice inside.  It had quaint little rooms and I was lucky to have a rear view with lots of trees and foliage around.  There was a chapel inside and lots of nooks and crannies to explore around in.  There was a nice dining area, with windows all along side the wall so that you could see the trees and plant life.  Sunday morning, during breakfast, everyone saw a couple of deer trotting through the yard. I feel like being a local, I should have known about this place.  I felt a little silly not knowing this awesome location existed.
I love religious statues
Most of my time was spent making hexipuffs (shocker!) and working on my Snap Dragon fiber from Clover Leaf Farms.  Saturday, I was checking out the wares made available at the market and coming up with a game plan of what to purchase the next morning.  I didn't want to go buying willy nilly, since my funds were limited. Oh, and I also took a dyeing class with my friend, Gretchen with Jennifer Van Calcar from Holiday Yarns.

Two wheels hanging out in the nice weather
This retreat was definitely well planned and thought out.  There were itineraries for each day and a speaker from Manos del Uraguay was there Friday night.  I missed that one but I was able to be around for the fashion show, local knitter, Betty Smith, who impressed us with her cable knitting skills, and door prizes.  I won some craft gloves for when the hands start getting cramped up. 
My view of the retreat house as I sat spinning away
The market place had about eight vendors selling everything fibery from yarn to buttons to even cupcakes (maybe the cupcakes weren't fibery but you get what I mean)!  I was bummed that Spinner's Hill couldn't be there Sunday morning or I would've bought a few ounces of fiber but that's okay, I was able to try out a new vendor instead.

More of my view

Yarn dyed by me and my friend Gretchen

My skeins hang vertical

Gretchen's are horizontal

Was in a really green mood that day
I took a dye class Saturday afternoon with  my friend, Gretchen.  I was slated to take the class in the morning but it was a pretty full so when the option of switching to the afternoon class came up, I went with it.  Besides, Gretch had tried to sign up for the morning but couldn't get in because it was full.  I was glad I did, because the second round had half the number of people and we were lucky enough to get more one-on-one.  I jotted a few notes about dyeing styles and interesting facts about how color acts in a chemical form.  I am convinced that I learn something new everyday.  The atmosphere of the class was relaxing and fun.  We all had some good banter going on.  I love that!  During the dye process, I wasn't  looking into dyeing yarn as my new favorite hobby, mostly because I don't have the space/time/funds, so I just treated it like a fun art project.  I tried not to think too much about what I was doing, but I did use the color wheel a bit, whether it was correctly or not.  I did, however, gain a new appreciation for hand dyers.  Dang, what a challenging job!
Buttons from Melissa Jean Designs

Dyed skein #1 all hanked up and dried

Dyed skein #2 all hanked up and dried
Couldn't resist...

Told you I was in a green mood.
I can't tell you what my dyed skeins will be turning into, what I will put the buttons on, nor can I quite pick out the perfect project for the Manos and fiber.  But at the moment, fondling them is what's currently making me happy for now.  I can say one thing for certain, it was an awesome weekend and I will definitely want to participate next year!

Thanks, Mom and Dad!  Best Christmas gift ever!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hexipuffs 38-42

Current hexipuff habit: a puff and a half a day

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hexipuffs 34- 37 1/2

Lost a half to a kitteh.  Gained a half with the last skein I used.

Current habit: 1/2 a puff a day

Friday, March 16, 2012

Hexipuffs 27 - 33 1/2 and a retreat!

I bring you this blog post to kind of interrupt the hexipuff craziness that has been going on in my life.  Tomorrow morning I will be going to a Winter Fiber Arts Retreat and Market care of the Yarn Cupboard and staying the night into Sunday afternoon.  I am very excited and have packed and repacked about twenty times today.  I will be taking a dyeing class with Jennifer Van Calcar of Holiday Yarns plus oogling her wares at the market along with Melissa Jean Designs, Jill Draper Makes Stuff, Spinner's Hill, Three Irish Girls, and Manos.

What did I pack?  
  • my Snap Dragon fiber from Cloverleaf Farms that I have yet to start but I did pre-draft
  • mini skeins for my hexipuff addiction
  • one of my amigurumi books, Hello My Name is Amineko - The Story of a Crafty Crochet Cat by Nekoyama, cuz I want a kitty in my life again (that doesn't meow or poop outside the box)
  • Interweave Knit and Spin 2011 issue
  • a notebook and pen
  • camera - I hear this location is pretty awesome looking
  • clothes and toiletries...booring! (I almost forgot!)
  • orange soda (I need to ensure that this future child has red hair like me and the Haze)

Full report sometime next week.  Here's to a fibery, friendly weekend!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Hexipuff 20-26 1/2

Current Hexipuff habit: puff a day

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hexipuff 17-19

Current Hexipuff craving: 1 1/2 puff a day

Friday, March 2, 2012


 Warning:  You are about to enter a blog post full of gratuitous shots of hexipuffs.    

I am totally addicted and I cannot stop!  It's a good thing I didn't give up hexipuff making for Lent!

Oh little hexagons of happiness, why must you be so tempting?

Look at you all, acting cute and innocent.  Just hanging out,  flashing your six-sided goodness.

What's the total count you ask?  Currently, I'm almost to twenty.  There are  few puffs missing from the family photos.   Mostly because they weren't born yet.

I just want to squeeze these things when I'm not knitting them!  Is that wrong?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

4 more ounces!

This is my second incomplete four ounces that I spun up this past month.  Say hello to "Jolie en Pink."  It's fiber from Spinner's Hill Top in merino that I purchased from The Yarn Cupboard.  I say incomplete in that when I started to first spin it it was I think November?  Anyway, it's done and I love it!  I did not end up Navajo plying it because I was too chicken.  My spinning friend Angela, showed me how to do it on a spindle and I even tried to do it with some practice yarn while she helped me at our last spin night.  I'm going to continue practicing that way until I feel confident.  What was cool is that the method of Navajo plying is almost like starting a crochet chain.  So, I shouldn't be too scared, right?

I'm really proud of this skein because I noticed my singles are more consistent and I don't have as much thick and thin areas like I did with my Blue Jay Way yarn.  I didn't check out the yarn on my WPI gauge but by eye balling it, I'd say that my two ply merino is clocking in at about a bulky weight and I got about 106 yards in total.  What do you think I should make with it? :-)

Next fiber up for this month:

 This is Snapdragon from Clover Leaf Farms that I purchased at the Hemlock Fiber Festival this past fall.  It's four ounces of merino top.  I have already pre-drafted so it's ready to go ...once I can break away from my hexipuff addiction.