Saturday, October 28, 2006

More Natural Phenomenons

First I'm going to post about my International Scarf Exchange scarf and mitts I got from my lovely pal. Not only did she make me a wonderful leaf lace scarf, but she had some leftover yarn, so she made some of those fetching fetching from knitty.

As you can see, the scarf quickly went back to nature, blending in with the local scenery. The mits were a little harder to photograph, as they are a shy and elusive creature, who prefer to remain hidden in pumpkin patches.
One of the alpaca farm I'm doing a fleece to yarn trade with, will receive their end of the bargain soon.
From left to right we have 3 skeins Rocky x Dynamo, 50% huacaya and 50% suri, 204 yards total. Coal Man, 100% suri, 380 yards total. Rocky x Marble, 50% huacaya 50% suri, 300 yards total. Naturally Halloween, 40% huacaya 60% suri. Macluster 100% suri, 134 yards total. All 2-ply. Some Closeups :

Isn't this yarn the neatest? It's the combing refuse of coal man and macluster carded with a bit of Rocky (grey huacaya) then spun and plyed together. It's halloween!
Here's a closeup of Coal Man's yarn. This guy is as black as black comes, and shiny too!

The Cloud Cycle

In this post I present to you 3sons Peruvian Grand Nimbus of Howling Hill Alpacas. I received a box with two of his wonderful fleeces in it a few weeks back. His yearling (baby) fleece, and his second year ribboned fleece. It's a wonderful brightly soft white. The first thing I noticed, was how much it resembled sheep fleece! I took it to Tricia Rasku (master spinner, wonderful lady) and she agreed. Therefore I'm not totally off my rocker, or she off hers too. I vote for the former. So, for the first part of our educational display, I give you, the cloud :

Clouds are formed when water vapour in the air cools and condenses as part of the water cycle. Alternately they can be gestated for 11 months, and raised on a healthy diet of orchard grass hay, fresh pasture, and pellets.

Occasionally, it will rain. When cloud droplets (or ice particles) in clouds grow and combine to become so large that the updrafts in the clouds can no longer support them, and they fall to the ground as rain:

Hail is made up of frozen raindrops – solid chunks of ice more than 5 mm in diameter. It forms when raindrops are tossed high up by winds inside huge cumulonimbus clouds. They freeze into ice and are continually bounced up and down inside the cloud. As they rise and fall like this, more ice builds up in layers around them. After a certain period of time the hail will turn into a baby hat, swallow a skein of cascade 220, and attach itself to a pumpkin. This phenomenon, while not as well known as Frog hail, is only slightly less common.
It's getting to be that season her in the Kootenays, where dropping temperatures cause snow to fall instead of rain. Everyone knows that every snowflake is different from the next, but I'm sure some of you have seen one similar to this before :
Up next, we have some a cyclone, a dynamo, and the Suri incarnation of coal.

When you're good to mama

Well, it was pulla saturday here at the Dandelion Spinnery. It's mostly based on Lene's recipe, but I used spelt flour, and usually I would use soymilk. Having no suitable soymilk in the fridge (I didn't think chocolate would go over well), and only some organic cow juice, I used that instead. Interesting, since we hardly ever have cow's milk.

So I made the dough.
Then I rose the dough on top of the antique wood oven, which I made a fire in so that the kitchen would be warm enough for the dough to rise. We have a very cold house, and I usually don't make the fire because fire is really not my element and gives me a hard time when I try.
The I rolled out the dough, put on some butter, sugar and a spice mix. It's only supposed to be cinnamon, but I love my spices so I mixed cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice. Then you roll up the little strips, tie them in a knot (or something). For some reason this step didn't get photographed. maybe because I had buttery hands. Before the oven :
Ten minutes later :
So, it being 10:30 am, naturally I ate a few right out of the oven with copious amounts of butter on top. Nothing's better! Half of these are being saved for my Fall Fibre Fiesta tomorrow, the others probably won't last the afternoon!

Friday, October 13, 2006

SP9 contest

Actor - Johnny Depp
Actress - Keira Knightley
Animal - Alpacas!
Band - They Might be Giants
Book - Deerskin by Robin McKinley
Bubble Bath - haven't had one since I was 5
Candy - Candied ginger, organic dark chocolate
Color - Green!
Flower - Dandelions (who would've guessed?)
Food - Curry
Lip Balm - Weleda
Lotion - Avalon Organics
Movie - Pride & Prejudice
Song - Hall of Heads - They Might be Giants
TV Show - tough, since I don't watch TV at all. Futurama, Friends?
Vacation Spot - If I ever go on vacation I'll let you know

Maybe I'm more mainstream than I thought. Friends IS funny though.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Everyone's a novelist, and everyone can sing, but no one talks when the tv's on.

I am constantly confronted these days, with the changes that have come to north america in the last 100 years, even in the last 20. I've started listening to CBC for the better part of the day, while processing fibre and spinning. Increased mounted border guard on the Canada/US border. North Korea is testing nuclear weapons. The conservative government is making some of the same promises, and allocations of funds, that the liberal government made. Neither government followed up. The news is increasingly depressing, and this is on the radio. I'm so glad I don't watch television! And yet, these days, most of North America watches hours of television a day. Is it just escapism? Most people I know will mute the news or turn off the tv when it comes on because it's "too depressing". Are we constantly being bombarded in an attempt to create even more of a fear-based culture than we already have? I have to admit that I'll most likely be one of those parents that kicks the child out of the house to go play outside. Jumping in puddles and catching frogs Has to be more fun than watching tv, doesn't it?

While on the note of children, has anyone else noticed the trend towards children with No manners at all? I wonder if we are increasingly afraid to discipline children. I suppose I should write down all of my "child rearing theories". After all, you know how to raise children, until you have them.

On the craft front, I've been inundated with fleeces. I received my International Scarf Exchange scarf (hint : it's lovely). Spinning continues apace. Pictures will follow of things that should (if you have your priorities right) make you drool.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Everyone's Favorite Questionnaire!

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? - I love alpaca, in all its forms. Soft luxury yarns are where it's usually at for me, but I can be prevailed upon to take colour combo over softness, and I'm always excited about a colourful sockyarn! Don't like acrylics, I'm a yarn snob, I'm afraid.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? - They're currently residing in extra-tough ziploc bags with the size written on the front (DPN's anyway) and then all stuffed in a grocery bag, which is in a box on a shelf.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? - I would consider myself an 'advanced intermediate'. I can knit lace, knit backwards, a little bit of two-colour, and follow most well-written patterns.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? -
I do, I do!

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.) - I'm really liking the spicy scents right now. nutmeg, ginnamon, cloves, ginger. But only if they're derived from natural essential oils, I seem to react to lab-made scents.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? - Dark organic chocolate and candied ginger will win my heart any day.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? - I do spin, quite avidly and mostly with alpaca. I crochet a little, weave a little, want to learn to dye.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) - Andrea Bocelli (but only the classical stuff), They Might Be Giants, Moxie Fruvous, Counting Crows, Traditional folk music.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? - LOVE autumn colours and adore greens, Not really olive or neon, but most greens I like. Blue is okay, purple if it's deeper wine coloured. Not so much into pink. Natural fleece colours are nice (rose grey!).

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? - I have 3 younger siblings and another on the way (I know, weird), Parents and step-parents. I also have 3 tarantulas, a dog (you may have seen him before on this blog), a red tail boa, and an old arthritic arab mare.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? - Yup

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? - Lace is good, socks are good, mittens are good, hats too. I have the attention span of a spatula so small projects are easier on my nerves.

13. What are you knitting right now? - Scarves, a sweater, shawls, socks, stuff!

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? - certainly, if it's something I'll enjoy!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? - I like circs and straights, but not long straights. Haven't used wooden needles yet, but would like to try them. So far I like metal.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? - ball winder, yes, skeiner and swift Desperately needed!

17. How old is your oldest UFO? - About 4 years if you don't count the scarf I started when I was 9.

18. What is your favorite holiday? - Thanksgiving (canadian) is good. Pumpkin pie, stuffed squash (vegetarian here!).

19. Is there anything that you collect? - Alpaca fleeces, I used to collect bags, but mostly fleeces now.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? - There are many! Barbara Walkers treasuries, and the Flower Basket Shawl and Fuzzy Feet and Creatures of the Reef shawl (which I actually had at one point but sent it to my SP7). And the Lace Smoke Ring pattern from heartstrings and also also the Silk Corset pattern by Annie Modesitt (very much).

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? - practice more with two-colour knitting, maybe some entrelac, and knitting two socks at once with the double knitting method. Maybe magic loop too.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? - Sock are the knitting godess' gift to low-attention span knitters who get bored in public places easily! I'm about a size 7-7.5 US.

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) - April 7