the Intrepid Fiberwizard

adventures in spinning, knitting, gardening and life

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Along the Road to Olympic Gold

Hey sports fans !
Another Knitting Olympics Gold Medal... came in close, but FINISHED! The ceremonies are still continuing here, and the flame is still burning (*at least on our tv) So I figure that I made it!

Now this might not have been an olympic proportion achievement to other knitters, yet for me it was challenging. Between 3 days of lost knitting while running a booth at Madrona Fiber Arts Festival, 3 days only partial knitting while at Stitches West, AND a full time day job, this knitter had to work hard to complete her first ever lace socks! My previous 'best score' for socks had been one pair in one month.... and so.. Ta Dah!

Along the road I travelled to obtain this gold medal, there were a "few" equipment failures! If you zoom in on the second picture, you'll see three "dead" needles... sigh..
I've now learned that 8 inch double pointed needles are basically not for me!
A big thank you goes out to my equipment-pit-crew
(my husband) who raced to the closest yarn store(a 45 minutes drive) last thursday to buy me some 6 inch size one double pointed needles! (I was flying out on Friday to go to Stitches, and would never have finished without this wonderful equipment!)
And so, the winter Knitting Olympics comes to a close (in our house anyway). Was the gold medal worth it all? Yes, sports fans it was.... because, best of all....... THEY FIT !

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Stitches = extreme shopping

It was a wild weekend at Stitches West in Santa Clara, CA. If you ever get the chance to go, don't hesitate. It's an experience worth having!

The flight down there was effortless - think 2 hours of uninterrupted knitting on my Knitting Olympics project!! Pure heaven. Here's a view of Mt Rainier & Mt Saint Helens from the airplane - wow.

The first wonderous thing I encountered was - palm trees!! okay, okay, so I know that a few of my blog readers see these every day, and that this is not 'news' per say - but to a gal from the good ol' "evergreen state" (WA) this was fantastic! It's been 22 years since I was in California - and the palm trees were wonderful!

I spent the entire weekend shopping and visiting with other vendors who are friends. There were 134 vendors ! overwhelming-wonderful-exciting-inspiring COLOR everywhere you looked. I snuck my camera in, and asked a few of the vendors if I could get a few photos to share the amazing energy of this place. There were people everywhere! Thanks to all who said yes to allowing pictures!

The booths ranged from boutique-chic to garage-sale plain.
One enthusiastic shopper really got into her purchases! I had a fabulous time - laughed alot, ate great food, and of course bought a huge amount of yarn (30 new skeins) photos of the yarn will come in the next blog.

And now I leave you with a photo essay of my visit to Stitches West:

Oh yeah, and I finished one of "Knitting Olympics" socks while hanging out in the hotel on Friday night - my first ever lacey sock!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Woo-hoo what a weekend!

Madrona Fiber Arts Fair was absolutely fantastic!
We arrived on Wednesday afternoon to set up our booth (it took about 4 hours) and then we got to visit with a few friends before leaving for the evening.
Here's a photo of a tiny piece of our booth with my honey writing up some sales for customers - thank you to all who visited our booth this weekend! It was a blast!

Thursday morning I set off for an all day class with Charlene Schurch the author of Sensational Knitted Socks. Wow...what a class! I learned sooo many tricks and techniques for sock knitting that it boggled my mind! Charlene was kind enough to pose with "Tofu bear" who is visiting us from Southwest trading Company for a week or two. I will never again be afraid of picking up stitches along the gussett - I am now truly intrepid!
We laughed, giggled and knit like fiends in this class. AND, (a note for you Charlene if you're listening in) now whenever I tink, I do the back up "beep beep " sound :-) I also learned the 'correct' way to do the stitch for the end of sock toes (no I cannot pronounce this k word, and will not humiliate myself in even trying :-)
We all did the ommmhhmmm sound to calm ourselves before beginning to sew the toe seams..(listen to the laughter that is echoing all around us right now)
Charlene is a treat to take a class with. She made everything seem effortless - gave the exactly perfect amount of information and put everyone at ease with their skill levels in the class. If you get the chance.. take a class from her.. She's the BEST! (thanks sweet Charlene - you're my kind of knitter!)

Next we travel to a few photos around the yarn gallery - Tofu bear loved to perch amongst the yarn for sale, and even hopped up into the arms of a dear dear lady, Lauren Lindeman (owner of So Much Yarn in Seattle my favorite yarn shop!) Thank you Lauren for all your patterns, your generosity, your joyous spirt and all around wonderful self! I send you big hugs of appreciation! Anyone who is in Seattle should check her out - she's fabulous!
Let's see - moving right along.. there are other photos from the fair.. Eve posed with Tofu on her shoulder - she owns Spin Alpaca, a sweet little alpaca fiber business. Check her out at fiber fairs.
And here is our friend Bev Galeskas (owner of Fiber Trends) - she was visiting/helping out Acorn Street Yarn shop. I always enjoy visiting with her - she is a woman who inspires many with her amazing energy!
And then there was Julie, owner/creator of Knitter's Anonymous.. if you haven't yet checked out her website, you're in for a treat!!! She is humor and joy all rolled into one! We laughed until we wept with all her wonderful bumper stickers and slogans.. We have been sponsers of her business for the last year, and are proud to offer a 10% disount to all KA members - Go Julie!

I was fortunate to also take a class with Karen Alfke - it was a cableback fingerless glove class. wow.. again I learned so much in the few hours we met with her that my head was spinning! Karen is the queen of simple patterns that are easy to understand, and completely intuitive in the way they are written. She was taught originally by her grandmother, and then eventually learned to read patterns.. she's a genius ! thank you Karen for your effortless class, and all the laughter. Knitting with you was a total joy! AND I walked away with 3/4 of a pair of gloves finished. (note to self.. don't foget to finish the second glove - they are yummy!) I knit them up in a cashmerino yarn from Debbie Bliss. my fingers were in heaven! soft, soft soft.

AND - all around the fair this weekend, there were pictures like this -
many knitters working hard in classes -knitters sitting on the comfy couches in the Sheraton Tacoma hotel, knitters walking around the lobby while they knit, and knitters shopping the the yarn market! They were everywhere! It was wonderful!
It felt like we talked to about 3000 people (tho' logically I know it was less.. wasn't it? was I only dreaming of the thousands??) Whatever it was.. I had such fun! By the end of the day on sunday, my sentences were incoherent, and the words were coming out all jumbled. Good thing that our customers are sweet (and knitters as well). We enjoyed every one of you, and cannot wait to see what you create from all the wonderous fiber and yarn! Send pictures!!!

LAST (yet not least) I bought a bit more 'stash'... this photo's evidence.... I could not help myself! Yummy stuff abounded... (look out, next weekend will bring even more.. I'm off at Stitches West!).. and the roses are courtesy of my sweetie.. Happy Valentine's day to all!

Saturday, February 4, 2006


It's a fairly normal Saturday afternoon around our house (with, of course, the exception of the 75 mile/hour winds!) The storm front is passing over as I write. I am hoping that we won't have to plug the generator in once again. They are promising that we might actually see the sun next week :-)

We've been busy all week, preparing for our booth at Madrona Fiber Arts but today I am resting. Between sips of coffee and reading the newest murder mystery on the block (perfect for a stormy day ) I finished one of the socks for my Bloomin' Feet Secret Pal. No, no, I shall not show a picture of the entire sock ! (suspense is so much more fun - and besides, it suits my mood along with my current book!)

My kitties are lounging about near my feet - one lays about as close as she can to my spinning bobbins, having gotten bored since there was no yarn to pull apart (Miss Emily), while the other (Lady Di) plays tiger beneath the potted plants.

This week, I received the most wonderous gift(s) in the mail - from my best knitting pal Ana. We met through Knitter's Review about 6 months ago, when one of the knitters organized a Gift Elf exchange. I would never have guessed that I would make such a dear friend. Ana lives about as far away as one could be in these United States - she hails from Miami.

This is the great friend that I will be meeting in 2 weeks, when we rendevous at Stitches West !

She has gifted me with a glorious assortment of treasures...a fancy dress scarf (that she knit during the HUGE hurricane in Florida) Isn't it fabulous !!! Lantern moon needles, a bumbley bee tape measure, latte scented candle (she has gotten to know me very well) an assortment of amazing soaps (my husband asked if they were cheese!), a handpainted glass nail file, a set of lavendar saches, and some sweet knitting notecards. How'd I get so lucky? ! Thank you Ana - may everyone find a friend as dear as you !