Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Pulling Sheep over Dutch Eyes, Silkworms and WOOL

LOL just had to lift this image off of the NY Times. The article is just as amusing. NY Times article

The long and short of it is that it violated the ban on highway advertising and due to 15% increase in bookings- the offending hotel is determined to continue the practice.

On another note i am hoping to resist the temptation to grow silkworms....I have seen this being done at TAC, Day Program I am affliated with and am sooo tempted. I joined a caterpillar breeding list serve (groan- can hardly keep up with the various (fibers-dye-spin- knit- machine knit) ones I am on already. The list will serve as vicarious thrills. I do not need yet another fiber related hobby.

Just in case you really want to see what is all about, below is the moderator‘s website pages about it all, that got me into trouble; Growing slikworms

Yesterday i bought about 10 lbs of raw fleece. and will be making a puppy blanket to go along with the bed (see previous post) during this coming weekend. Of course the weather is great so other activities beckon...The wool will be flicked and rubbed into a Felted Piece and I will add lots of loose yarn pieces to it, so should end up pretty interesting looking. An artist friend of mine has given me lots of tips The wool is so fab-various sheep- white, grey and “black” from sheep lovingly tended year around at an Animal Program for the developmentally delayed. Minimal VM! That’s vegetative matter for the unintiated.


Sunday, April 23, 2006

Woolly Events...

Lots of list-talk from our East Coast spinning and knitting folks these days about the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. We do have a few events going on the West Coast- spread out through September. Best known of course is the Black Sheep Gathering in Oregon, in June.

More Locally an interesting one is the Dixon Lambtown Saturday, July 29th, 2006, from 9 A.M. to 9 P.M. There are quite a few interesting classes in spinning, knitting and dyeing. Since the location is about an hour drive, this may be my “Big Event” this year.

Other upcoming events mainly around Northern California include:(Sorry no time to HTML it all...)

May 5 CNCH 06: Delivery due date for non-judged Gallery entries at Modesto Convention Center
May 5 – 7 CNCH 2006 California Landscape Conference of Northern California Handweavers, Modesto, CA. Write CNCH, P.O. Box 191119, Sacramento 95819 Conference of Northern California Handweavers
May 6 Spring Splash, Family Day at the Richmond Art Center 1-4PM, 2540 Barrett Ave, Richmond 510-620-6772 or
May 13 Alameda County Fair entry forms due. or 925-425-7611
May 13 Forest Home Farms Sheep Sheering Family Day 19953 San Ramon Valley Blvd, San Ramon. 11AM – 3PM Spindles and Flyers guild will teach spinning and felting. More volunteers welcomed. Kim, 925-973-3283, or
May 15 CiNCHNotes Deadline for submissions or Susan 415-468-5590
May 20 Haiku Landscape, Shibori Dyeing lecture by Judith Content. de Young Museum, San Francisco. 10AM $5 non-TAC members, no museum admission 415-750-3627 or
May 21 S&F Meeting El Cerrito: confirm new officers for 06-07
June 3 Spinners Day at Retzlaff Winery, fleeces food, fun, and special guests 1356 S. Livermore Ave, Livermore. Bring wheel, sunhat and chair, potluck dish and water. 10AM – 5PM $5 admission. Will Taylor 925-228-7223
June 9-10 Alameda County Fair entry delivery days
June 10 Spinners Picnic at West Side Farms, 7097 Westside Road, Healdsburg. Demonstration volunteers wanted. Potluck picnic, fiber sales and spinning next to the Russian River. 10AM – 4PM JoAnn 707-874-3374 or
June 10 Yard Sale and Fair, Pacific Textile Arts, 450 Alger St, Fort Bragg, CA 707-964-5279
June 23 – 25 Black Sheep Gathering, 86460 Loraine Highway, Eugene, OR 97405-9481, or
June 17 Southern Quiltmaking and Gee’s Bend Quilters lecture, de Young Museum, San Francisco. 10AM $5 non-TAC members, 415-750-3627 or
June 18 S&F Meeting El Cerrito and Father’s Day
Jun 25-Jul 1 Convergence 2006, Grand Rapids, MI; HGA biennial fiber conference and workshops. HGA, 1255 Buford Highway, Suite 211, Suwanee, GA 30024 or
June 28 Speed Crochet Contest, Alameda County Fair
July TBD Sheep to Shawl Contest at the Alameda County Fair. Will 925-228-7223
July 5 Speed Knitting Contest at Alameda County Fair.
July 8 Carson Sierra Guild BBQ (and opportunity to visit Heidi’s new home) –
July 28-30 LambTown, Friday spinning competition with free admission. Classes & workshops Sat-Sun. $2 admission, $2 parking or 350 West A St., Dixon CA 95620
July 20 Stitch and Pitch, Knitters at SF Giants Game vs. San Diego Padres. Tickets include Stitch n' Pitch tote bag buy at Ticket Giants Dugout Stores or 877.4SFGTIX.
July 22-Nov 12 Quilts of Gee’s Bend. Textile Gallery, de Young Museum, San Francisco
Aug 7 – Sept 2 Tamalpias Weavers’ Guild Show, Tiburon library. Reception Aug 8. Dotti Day, 415 924-9436,
Aug 8 Artists Reception for Tamalpias Weavers’ Guild Show at the Tiburon Library
Aug 13 Samplings Textile Festival, Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak St, Oakland. Noon – 5PM Free admission. 510-238-2200 or
Sept 15-17 80th Annual California Wool and Fiber Festival, with Mendocino county fair and apple show. Boonville 707-894-2591 or
Oct 3 - ? Innovations in FiberArts III, a biennial, open show. Sebastopol Center for the Arts. Submission date to be determined.
Oct 22-26 Camp Stitches Asilomar $535-$820 web: or 800-237-7099
Oct 29-Nov SOAR, Spin Off Autumn Retreat, Granlibakken, Tahoe City

Above is actually a tricky way for me to plan and review fiber related things to do, when I am away from home. ;-0

Happy Fiber-ing to you all!

Yet Another Yarn Show

Yesterday I wen to another Yarn and Other Associated Stuff Show. Next year they will probably not hold it so soon after Stitches. The machine knitting Guild had a booth there and I was around to talk and demo about machine knitting. I was also happily surprised to see the Nice Woman (Judie) who gave me my first spindle lesson at Stitches. Yesterday she patiently gave me my first carding lesson. I made quite a few purchases-some nice merino and silk roving, silk tussah, a new spindle, reference card to track my needle collection, a set of needles for sewing, 2 Books on spinning (one about color in spinning), knitting needles, plastic bobbins, and a set of hand cards for processing wool. This is one of 2 local events and most of the items would need to be mail ordered if I wanted them so - I indulged a bit! Actually, I managed to restrain myself....

Thought this little guy was so cute and couldn’t resist adding him to my blog:

my pet!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

fooling around

I managed to almost complete a nice linen/cotton lace Easter shawl but had too much finishing to wear it for Easter. So will do the “hemming“ (so both ends look the same) of these days. I pulled a few needles out of work on Stichworld pattern number 291 to be exact. Beats a few thousand extra passes with a lace carriage.

This Saturday we will be demo’ing a knitting machine for our guild at a show. Due to the hassle involved in returning items, it was suggested everyone just bring items they have created and display them during the time they are volunteering. Opps- most of my completed items are just swatches! LOl...actually a heart, some dishcloths, one hat, a few scarves and a baby sweater have made their way off the needles...Most have been given as gifts. Anyway, I will try to finish the shawl in time.

It’s in Oakland California Thursday 4/20 to 23/2006 (link is below)
The Knit & Crochet Show Spring 2006

As for hand knitting, I am doing up a pair of socks from predyeing the yarn on blanks which I knit on the machine and then painted/dyed for a self striping pattern. I did 2 blanks on nice merino yarn/ EON / on the standard machine. Pinned them down side by side to do the painting to be exactly the same-....Came out pretty nice! If I run out of yarn - which is starting to appear to be the case- I have some yarn still to finish toes with.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Alpaca Show! A Very Fun Event

Yesterday my knitting buddy Leslie and I had a really fun time at an Alpaca Show! Held at the Alameda Fairgrounds, the fiber was yummy, the animals so darn cute. They all were real characters! Before yesterday I only joked about wanting to have an Alpaca; now its going to be a serious thought for my future. It IS Springtime and the young males were so flirty, it was just so funny.

Anyway, the various Show Events gave me a few clues as to the qualities looked for in an Alpaca. Breeders, importers of items, and the public at large mingled freely with the leashed animals as they were waiting for their turn in the ring- very tame and soooo soft, with their full winter coats. Next month is shearing time, according to a knowledgeable person. One Alpaca that had been shorn was rather shockingly slim; now I see how much fiber they carry. Of course, these were all show animals on hand. The one shown was the only spotted one around and was very calm and placed well. She is a yearling.

Anyway, I’ll soon be spinning Alpaca fiber!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Before Pictures

The water bottle is a 5 gallon size and the exercise ball is the largest available, so you can see the size of this latest piece! This week‘s knitting project is the next felted item. I’ve done plenty of felted berets and cloches and brimmed hats so thought I’d venture forth into giganto land to make a dog bed. A puppy bed to be exact. Not sure yet how it will felt up so here are the before pictures. I have not taken any pix of my hats before felting but suffice it to say they all looked rather strange before shrinking down and being shaped. So this one stands a very good chance of coming out just fine. Especially since size and fit will not be much of a consideration. When she outgrows it- it can be a toy basket or something. The dog will grow to 80 lbs., so this item will be basically just a baby/puppy bed for first months away from the nest. All the wool is from left overs, many of which were hand spun from color experiment pieces. One main yarn is from a very old rug yarn and may not felt very much, coupled with a barely spun wool so may look interesting. It shrinks more in length than width. Size 9 US needles. The stitches are made from 3 yarn stands, which will become obscured. Or maybe a not. Time will tell LOL.. I’ll post the felting regime in progress later.

About Me

Marin County, California, United States
I work for 2 non-profits in Marin County CA (near SF) that serve the Developmentally Delayed. I was introduced to weaving and knitting at a very young age. Over the years I have always had knitting on hand. There was a time where I was severely chastised for being so old fashioned, so it is great to see the upsurge in the home arts now going on! I have expanded into machine knitting; fortunately there is a great Guild nearby that has really been great. Spinning Fibers is a new thrust as well, and felting has creeped in too. If only I had more time...