June 29, 2010

Sheep Shares Lamb Visit Day

Bottle lambs_3
Originally uploaded by miminh3
I was lucky enough to spend some time last Sunday with the sheep that grow the wonderful wool I love to knit with, the people who take such good care of them, and the extraordinary woman behind the Foxfire yarns and fibers.

There were cormo sheep, border leicester sheep, angora goats (Butch and the tiny Gypsy), and llamas (Caitlyn and the freshly shorn Crackerjack). But the highlight of the day were Mistral and Georgia -- these bottle-lambs behave more like puppies than lambs! Mistral was especially curious and looked through our knitting bags.

More pictures HERE! Thanks again to our hosts for a great visit!

June 20, 2010

Contest #2: tell me about your favorite LYS!

Boy and I have been tracking my yarny comings and goings: I've been to 124 yarn stores so far, like Liberty of London (above) and Purl (below). I'd like to celebrate local yarn stores, how much they bring to our community, and how much I love visiting them by having a contest.

Just post a comment to tell me about your favorite yarn store (name, location, and why you like it so much!). The deadline is whenever I make it to store #125 so it could be next week or it could be in a month. The winner (or winners if I get a lot of entries) will be chosen randomly from all the entries and will receive some yarn in his/her favorite colors handpicked from my stash. Thanks for participating and enjoy this picture of a Nantucket 'sheep'!
Edited to add: Shop #125 has been visited (Fil et Fibre in Quebec) so the contest is now over, thank you for participating and your LYS suggestions! The winner of the random drawing is NutmegOwl!

June 13, 2010

Défi 13 de juin: dentelles

Flower Basket Shawl
Originally uploaded by miminh3
Lorsqu'on me dit dentelles, je pense immédiatement à Evelyn Clark. Ses créations, telle que le fameux Swallowtail, sont magnifiques, ses modèles ne comportent aucune erreur et elle révèle comment inventer son propre châle à forme triangulaire dans le livre, Knitting Lace Triangles.

J'ai choisi le Flower Basket Shawl, un modèle facile à tricoter même sur la route car les parties gauche et droite du châle sont identiques (et non symétriques). A celles et ceux qui veulent se lancer dans la dentelle, je vous conseille fortement ce modèle. Le fil est 'Ixchel' que j'ai recu lors du Spirit Trail Yarn Club l'année dernière. C'est le même alpaga que j'ai utilisé

Il est temps d'admirer les autres créations à trous-trous.

(Et va falloir aussi cogiter pour le défi de juillet car le thème me semble difficile et je me suis inscrite au Tour de Fleece, pendant lequel nous devons filer de la laine tous les jours du Tour de France.)

June 11, 2010

Knitting Memories of Alaska

Haines, AK
Originally uploaded by miminh3
Our trip to Alaska went by too fast, as all great vacations do! Here are some knitting-related highlights from our trip -- Boy and I spent five days on our own to visit the Denali National Park and the Kenai Fjords National Park and then hopped on a seven-day cruise from Seward to Vancouver.

- In Anchorage, I stopped by the Oomingmak co-op and bought a beautiful Herder's cap from their Tundra and Snow collection. I talked to one of the knitters there and observed the meticulous and lightning-fast blocking of items. Tip: they use a cardboard sewing cutting board for blocking, it has everything you need to measure your finished item and the cardboard is fine for lace items.

- In Palmer, we visited the Musk Ox Farm which supplies the Oomingmak with its qiviut. It was great to see these imposing animals in beautiful scenery: some calves were born just a few days before our visit so there was some chasing to give one of them a shot, it was just like a rodeo.

- During the cruise days where we were at sea, I took five knitting classes, three with Lucy Neatby and two with Donna Druchunas.
*I had many epiphanies during Lucy's classes regarding the modified conventional bind-off, the garter stitch short-row heel, the toe chimney,... and the list goes on and on.
*Donna's classes on Japanese Knitting and Lace design opened up a whole new world of possibilities. I look forward to navigating japanese knitting charts and maybe even use some of those stitches in my own designs. Should I join 'Je tricote en japonais'?

- I had the opportunity to enhance my stash with some local finds
* sock yarn handdyed by Fireweed Dyeworks in the colorways "Alaskan Wildflower" and "Lupine"
* local qiviut purchased at the Far North Yarn Co. I was thrilled to see a knitted sample hat that only required a half ounce of qiviut, the Wavy Feathers Qiviut Hat, and a knitted cowl that required one ounce. Not only was it the only yarn store I visited that sold qiviut by the half-ounce, it was also the most affordable one ($38 per half ounce). I was slightly overwhelmed by their awesome yarn selection but regained enough consciousness to also purchase Donna's new book, Successful Lace Knitting.
* silk hankies to spin by Raven Frog Fibers
* SweetGeorgia yarns purchased at Three Bags Full: I know that I have plenty of Felicia's yarn already and that I belong to her monthly fiber club but one can never have too much of her vibrant colors
* yarn by Indigo Moon and Gourmet Crafter purchased at Urban Yarns

I might not get around to knitting or spinning these for a while but when I do, the memories of this trip will bring me comfort.

Oh, and have I mentioned that I have a new weapon in my stash-busting arsenal? At last week's Maine Fiber Frolic, Boy bought me a Cricket loom as a birthday present.