the Intrepid Fiberwizard

adventures in spinning, knitting, gardening and life

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival

We got home around midnight on sunday from the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival in Canby Oregon. This is our fourth year having a booth at this fair. What a great time we had!
There were at least 2000 people attending each day - and we had fun meeting new friends, as well as seeing old friends.
There were even more vendors than ever this year as well. There were animals being judged, fleeces judged and sold, and a huge assortment of booths both inside and out. Lamb cook-offs for amateurs and pros, and an outdoor bbq saturday night! Classes went on throughout the day - and there were events for adults and kids as well. If you are looking for a FUN weekend fiber outing, this is the one for you!
So now we are home again, and I've already got the dye pots going to restock our supply of corriedale pencil roving. Check out our website (in the photo gallery on-the-road section) if you'd like to see more pictures from the fair - we'll have them posted in a few days!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Sneak Preview

Autumn is always my favorite time of year - the garden still looks yummy, the nights are cool enough to snuggle with a blanket.. and I can begin to pull out my favorite wool sweaters and dream again about what fiber to spin over the winter.. ahhh - perfect!

September finds us preparing to go to Canby, Oregon to one of our favorite shows - Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival ! It is a warm-hearted show, tucked amongst huge old trees in their local fairgrounds. The show is small enough to allow for time to really visit with our customers. I am always inspired by them - and its a real treat when people come back each year to share their fiber creations! Old friends gather outside the RV in the evenings following the show and we sit and laugh until the wee hours of the morning. The buildings on the fairgrounds have huge windows, high ceilings and gorgeous old hardwood floors.. creating just the right space for fiber to tempt the passerbys.

This year we are taking more fiber, yarn, and spinning wheels than ever.. so yesterday was spent designing how we'll squeeze it all in our booth - a good dilemma to have! This is our fourth year attending this particular fair - and I must say we are truly excited!

Our website continues to grow - this month we are adding a few new featured artists! One of the things I like best is to promote incredible art - and this month I am totally inspired by Rama. She is a raku artist who makes amazing buttons (among other incredible art). These photos are but a small sneak preview of what we'll be offering.
Visiting "Rama" at her home was an experience not to be missed... a soft small house, tucked between trees and shrubs welcomed me as I arrived. Entering the private world of an artist is a full sensual experience - all I can say is "wow". From floor to ceiling and wall to wall, beauty abounded. It was hard to know where to begin! "Rama" laid her buttons out on a large table and we began to select a few to market on our website - the hardest part was how to choose! After several hours, I had chosen 16 different button patterns to put up on our site. Each work of art is so unique - the raku glaze is vibrant and almost "alive". No two buttons are identical.. earth - fire - water.. combined with the inspired creativity of "Rama" brings forth the beauty you see here.
Treat yourself to some of these - you won't be sorry!

P>S> if you get a chance to come to Canby next weekend, stop by and see us - we'll have about 250 of her buttons for sale! Cool eh?!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

felting on a rainy day

Fall in the great northwest has finally returned, and with it our much needed rain. Most of us who live here are grateful for the break in watering the gardens and trees. The past few years have seen less and less rain during the summer months, threatening many evergreens in our area.

For me the rain offers the chance to sit, guilt free, and knit to my heart's content! (yeah!) One of my knitting baskets had recently succumbed to a case of I focused on making something for myself.
out came the bags of pencil roving that I have dyed and are waiting for our booth at the fair in a couple weeks!! I felt a bit like a kid in the candy store as I up-ended them on the floor. The knitting bag I had chosen to make requires 3 skeins of unspun pencil roving. I ended up choosing 2 skeins of my "oops" colors and one skein of inspiration colorway.
It's knit on size 15 needles in the round. Such a fun a gratifying fast project! Emily is checking to see if there are any mousey treats hidden inside!

One of the wonderful things about this pattern is that it falls into the class of knitting that I refer to as "mindless". I can talk on the phone, play with the cats, watch football with my husband or ponder life's great mysteries and all while knitting along on my bag. Definately a nice change of pace from the lace shawl I'm still working on where I have to hold my tongue just so to make it to the end of each row..

Here it is completed and felted (just two cycles on our good ol' front loader!) I might decide to run it through the washer once or twice more, but for today I couldn't wait to use it!
I've already started on another one in a new colorway and I'm making a couple of modifications - most important is shortening the closure length - its just a tad too long and wants to keep opening up. I might also increase the length on the shoulder strap since I enjoy having it hang a bit lower (so I can stuff it full of more yummy yarn!)

Back to knitting I go.. its still raining - hurray!

Sunday, September 4, 2005

1 an' a, 2 an' a, shrug shrug shrug!

It took about a week and a little bit of ripping out, but I finished the shrug for my daughter! I even had a little bit of "help" from my friends...

I found an old pattern in last year's Knitter's magazine, and decided to give it a try. It took a bit of fiddling, as the pattern was written for a fine alpaca yarn (and my daughter wanted washable) Hmm.. let the games begin! I found a worsted weight black yarn for her in superwash. The pattern was well written, so I was able to switch it to size 8 needles from size 4. It didn't exactly work out to 'half" the stitches, but pretty close.
I mailed it off last wednesday.. and yahoo, it fit! Not only that she asked if I could make a couple more in other colors .... ummm, errr, "you DID write down the changes you made to the pattern, didn't you Mom???" umm, uhhh.. sort of.. well, I can figure it out again. It's a sweet pattern for those of you who are looking for one.

And now for the kitten update: the little sweeties have found how to jump up on the counters! so much for having safe places to hide things! And they must definately be knitters reincarnated, since they absolutely love to help me knit.. Here's them helping with the shrug...

Needless to say, I enjoy playing with them as much as I do knitting - I've thus slowed down a bit on my knitting speed, but the company is well worth it!
I think from now on I'll get a little extra of any yarn I'm working with so they can continue to help...

After a few days of being glued to the television news about the hurricane aftermath, I decided that I needed a break, and went outside to play in my garden. The flowers are in their last hurrah for the end of summer here. I knocked down the weeds and dead-headed and pulled grass.. it felt good to do this.
The weather here has turned perfect, in my humble opinion, a sunny 70 degrees with a few scattered clouds hanging about.