Sunday, September 30, 2012

Checking in from the Marriott

I'm settled in at the Marriott, with a 4am wakeup call and a drink in hand. It's been an absolutely wonderful weekend, but it was also absolutely exhausting. I'll be home tomorrow afternoon, and I'll catch you all up with pics and details over the next few days (though it'll be slow because I'll have company there when I get home, and we're leaving later in the week for a couple of days in The Black Hills), but in the meantime, here are a few pretty pics to hold you over.
It was absolutely beautiful there- woods, leaves changing, small lake, leafy paths, moss, quiet, deer.
The colors deepened as I watched.
I am too old to sleep on a foam slab parked on a plywood sheet. Otherwise, my bunkhouse room (with its own bathroom and shower) was great.
They put my name on the souvenir spindle. How cool is that?

We dyed yarn.
I met a baby yak. All together now: awwwwwww

And I was this close to New York. Amazing.

Friday, September 28, 2012

No wifi

Posting from phone. PITB. Beautiful country here. Will catch up at home.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Thursday Tab- Saalfield Calico Cutouts, 1953

Yeah, I know it's still Wednesday, but I'm heading out way too early tomorrow morning for blog posting, so I thought I'd get this one up and running now. This is Saalfield's Calico Cut-Outs from 1953. The dolls themselves are not two-sided (well, at least we don't have scans of their backs), but most of the clothes are. I would have loved this set as a kid- I know my sisters and I would have used the leftover scraps to make other clothes. And we certainly would have glued glitter and sparklies to the clothes. In fact, I may do that now.


Heading out in the morning

I'm leaving very early tomorrow morning, for the Fiber Fallout in Johnsonburg, New Jersey. I'm unclear as to whether there will be phone reception or internet access at the campground, so if I don't post anything between now and Monday evening, that's why. But if I can, I will.

I'm quite excited about this trip- it's my first time to New Jersey, and from the photos, I'm going to a wonderful location. I already know that I'll be surrounded by wonderful people, lovely scenery, and lots and lots of fibery fun. Hard to beat that.

In the meantime, here are some fun pics.
I'm making progress on the needlepoint- I love how this is coming out. I really love the dashes of blue. I can't take credit for the composition- that's all the photographer. This may be my favorite picture, ever.

 The leaves are turning.
We only get yellow foliage here, but man, it's a beautiful yellow.

Harvest is in full swing, even after dark. This is the soybean field in front of our house.
 The corn is drying down.

 It's not quite ready for combining yet.

See the dents? It's almost ready.

One brave little volunteer marigold is blooming under our deck.
 Most of the milkweed growing in the ditches was mowed down, but this one survived.
One whiff of breeze, and these seeds will be airborne.

I love fall, I love the colors, I love the frosty mornings, I love the change in seasons. But best of all...

 I love candy corn!

I'll check in as I can, and I'll catch all y'all on the flip.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Fantasy Fiber Arts Knitting Cruise

I don't know yet if I get to be a part of this amazing adventure, but even if I'm not, you should all go. I mean- there's knitting, and fiber, and cruise. And The Bahamas. Did I mention The Bahamas?

So whether I teach or not, you should all sign up, because... man... The Bahamas...

Remember: The Bahamas

Saturday, September 22, 2012

NCFF 2012 Sort of Wordless Sheep Shearing

Sorry for the quality of these pictures- I didn't realize how low-light the area was. But I was able to snap a few shots during a sheep shearing demonstration at NCFF. The ewe was complacent throughout, only bleating once near the end (and that wasn't an anxious bleat, it was more of a "will you please hurry up" sort of noise). The clipper aparatus hung on the wall (electric clippers), and the whole thing took less than five minutes.

The shearer did not know the exact breed of this sheep (my guess- a mutt with some Dorset in there somewhere, that's the usual breed of meat sheep around here), and frankly, this fleece wasn't really long enough for great spinning. Don't get me wrong, it's spinnable (or would be after skirting, cleaning, washing, and a lot of hay-picking), but it's a couple of months too soon for optimum length. It would make a nice, sproingy yarn.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thursday Tab- Francie Coloring Book Pages

I used to love finding paper dolls in coloring books- it was like getting two toys in one. I don't know which book this set was in, but Francie here has a lot of Mid-60's clothes to color!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pardon the interruption...

... but now that I'm done with my class sample knitting for the Fiber Frolic and SAFF, I can get back to what I really want to work on:

Turning this amazing photo of three of my granddaughters into a needlepoint.

This was taken in the summer of '11, during a wonderful, rainy beach wedding at Cannon Beach, OR.

First, I flipped the photo. Then I printed it on a light fabric iron-on transfer sheet. Then I ironed it onto 18 ct needlepoint canvas.

It came out perfectly. The mesh is tight so the iron-on covers some of the holes, but poking through them is no big deal, and I can see the canvas threads very easily (that's not an issue with 14 ct canvas, but I wanted the higher detail that the 18 ct will give me).

I've already started stitching (using 4 strands of DMC cotton embroidery floss). I'm just going to match floss to the shades on the image- easy peasy. This is going to be such fun!

Tomorrow? Back to the rest of the NCFF pics

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Well,that didn't go how I expected it to go

Okay, so I had another class to teach at NCFF on Sunday- my Little Tips and Tricks class, which is always great fun, and usually full (or close to it). I was going to play in the morning, and then teach in the afternoon.

That was the plan.

Unfortunately, I woke up early Sunday morning with a killer headache- not a migraine but still not fun. I wouldn't have liked doing it, but I could have bluffed my way through the day with a headache (hoping it would fade), but within an hour, nausea also set in. And it didn't leave.

By 9:00am on Sunday, I knew that I wasn't going to be able to teach my class (not to mention the possibility that I might be contagious), so I did something I've never done in over 10 years of teaching knitting workshops and classes: I canceled.

I checked out of the motel, tendered my abject apologies, packed up, and drove the longest 75 miles of my life. I came home and didn't move for the next 15 hours. Though I didn't put them together, the fatigue, nausea and headache rang a bell with one of my friends, and she insisted that I go to the Dr for tests, which I did yesterday. We're waiting on results now, but in the midst of the exam, we learned that my previously excellent blood pressure is now not excellent at all. In fact, it was really quite high. So no matter what the other tests find (or don't find- don't worry, we're not expecting anything dire), I am now taking firm steps toward lowering the blood pressure, which is all to the good. I'm feeling much better today, and none of this should affect the fact that I'm flying out next Thursday for the Fiber Fallout in New Jersey.

At any rate, I do have a few other pics from NCFF, snapped on Saturday, and a couple to share from another friend, that were taken on Sunday.
 Ann took these pics of some of the Fiber Sandwich skeins. Mine is 2nd from the left. I love love the fact that fifteen spinners can all be given the same fiber and yet all fifteen will make completely different yarns.

Ann won the silent auction for my skein! Woohoo! If I couldn't be there to bid on it, I'm glad she was. I can't wait to see what she does with the yarn.

Between Friday and Saturday, I wheel plied the oatmeal colored yarn on the right- the single was spun with the spindle I bought at the Michigan Fiber Festival. I finished spinning and plying the hank in the middle (self striping), and nearly finished spinning the rest of the fiber (which I think is Blue Faced Leicester).

I have some other pics to post tomorrow (sheep shearing, some goats, and other fun things), but until then, here's one of my favorite signs in the whole world. It's a sort of NCFF landmark: