I have been busy getting ready for the fair!  We turned in our entries last weekend and, after waiting with painful anticipation all week, we found out how we did last night!

Joe got a second place ribbon for his lego boat ( it is right behind his shoulder).  There were a couple of us trying to get a picture of him, and he was so excited he couldn’t hold still long enough to stay in focus.  This shot I got when he was distracted by one of the other photographers.

He also entered a painting with his school class and got a First Place ribbon.  He is showing us which one is his with the red balloon

Becca, my sister, entered some salsa and got Second Place!

And she made a dress for the Renaissance fair this year, so she entered that too and got Third Place.  It is the purple dress over her shoulder.

I got a Third Place for my Geisha embroidery.  There are notes on the card about how to frame her better.  I was in a rush the morning we had to turn in our items for judging and I know I could have framed her better.  I will re-frame her when she comes home because she is to be hung in our bedroom next to a Samurai that I am hoping to have done for next year’s fair.

I also entered Jack, who one first place!  I am thinking of entering The Scream next year.

And I entered a hank of the Purple/black laceweight and it one first prize too!

Over all, we had a great night at the fair!  Ate lots of greasy food, rode on lots of fast rides, spent way too much money, came home exhausted!  We have exhibitors passes, so we can come and go as we please, and I think I need more funnel cake!

I have been kind of quiet recently because a couple weeks ago my husband was out of town on business, leaving me here by myself for about a week with the kids.  Then he took a week off to be with the kids for their spring break vacation.  It has been a heck of a couple weeks, but I have been busy during that time!  So, get ready for some photos!

I did some spinning for this month’s Spin Along.  I chose the color path this week and went with the St Patrick’s theme. 

 

This is superwash in my Erin colorway spun laceweight.  Turns out that it is almost an exact match for a bamboo merino blend that I got from Spunky Eclectic last summer that I am making a shawl with.  I think I will add this fiber to that project so I don’t have to worry about running out of yarn before the project is done.

I have also been knitting on my Galveston Shawl.  I am about a third of the way through chart E.  It still looks a lot like this, only bigger

 

This is the big chart before the borders start going on.  I am so in love with this pattern!  And the pattern has now been released to the public!  If you go to Zari’s blog, you can download the pattern PDF!

I have also just done a good sized shop update!  I added some new fibers, including new colorways such as Beach House, Dark Berries and All Your Base.

And NEW CRAFT CUBES!!!

These cubes are so fantastic for small or medium sized projects.  They are 6″ square and have two rigid sides and a rigid bottom panel.  This means that you can put a yarn ball or cake into the bag, set it someplace convenient and comfortable and not have to worry about the bag collapsing in on your project!  I am so completely in love with these little bags and I have already cut the fabric for lots more of them!

Along with dying for the shop, I also dyed up fiber for this months fiber club.  This month I chose a painting by Fragonard as my inspiration.  It is called The Swing

frag_swing.jpg

I love this painting.  It has such a feeling of fun and frivolity!  The woman is being pushed on the swing by her Bishop, kicking her shoe to her lover hiding in the bushes, as a cherub watches over the scene admonishing us to keep the secret.  This painting embodies Spring!  I chose these colors to create this month’s fiber (Link for peekers)

I hope to get back to the blog sooner next time!

So I showed you this picture last time

Of some Sable and Purple BFL I spun up, 5+ oz of each color.  Those are very accurate colors on the bobbins.  I finished plying them this week!  After spending a month spinning these colors it felt like I was never going to get to spin anything else ever again!

When I began plying the two singles together I was a little disappointed because the colors seemed to fade into each other.  There was not a strong purple single and a strong sable single anymore, they were just grey.  I expected the colors to blend together, but I wasn’t expecting them to get lighter.  That was my first surprise.

You know that sateen fabric that looks different colors in different lights?  Sometimes it’s blue or purple, other times it looks black.  Depending on how the light is hitting it.  Well, I apparently have spun up the yarn equivalent of that fabric!  Sometimes the yarn looks completely sable.  Not a trace of purple in it at all.  That is how it looked this morning when I took it off the shelf down stairs.  By the time I got half way up the stairs, in the direct sunlight, it looked like this

When I got all the way up stairs to my desk in a room that is full of diffused light, it looked like this

and now that I have the curtain closed, it looks exactly like the purple bobbin again!

I am so intrigued by this yarn.  I think I might run another experiment like this with some blue, or maybe green.  I think I might use it to knit the Secret of Chrysopolis shawl or something else that has high detail and needs a solid colored yarn.  I am wondering if it will hold its color shifting properties after it is knit up!

I have also been working on my Galveston Shawl.  After I recovered from the trauma of having to rip it all back, I have quickly caught up to where I almost was.  I am about half a chart away from where I think I got lost.  Here it is, sitting on the amazing color shifting yarn, which has shifted back to the darker colors again

Zari should have the pattern available soon.  I love this pattern and I know I will be making more than one of these.  The texture of the waves makes me insanely giggly!

 ETA:  Just counted up the yardage on the yarn, and it is 2800 yards and close to 12 oz total weight!

I have been tagged by She for the 6 Unimportant Things meme, so since this blog has been all work and no play for too long I thought I would give this one a go!

Here are the six six non-important things/habits/quirks about myself

1.  I love driving!  Road trips are my favorite way to travel.

2. I can turn my right foot around backwards, but not my left

3. I have knit a cunning hat

4. I have a trophy for ball room dancing

5. The first movie I ever saw was Star Wars, the original theatrical release.

6. I eat candy bars a layer at a time.  First the chocolate off the outside, then each internal layer separately.  I have even been known to eat each peanut inside a Snicker’s bar individually.

And I will tag

Amy

Jacki

Stephanie

TheBon

 I have been knitting some too.  I took a big knitting break after the holiday rush, but I think I am getting back into it now.  I knit up some hats for Amy to take with her to SPA for the Ship’s Project

It was fun to make these because they were fast and it got me back into the groove of knitting.

Matt and the kids made a patio this weekend.  It has the Teeny Seal of Approval

And I have some news on the Galveston front.  Back in December after the vote I pulled the Galveston Shawl out and found I was very, very lost in the pattern.  I ended up frogging it back and starting over.  I am almost caught up to where I had been.  I will try to get a photo of it soon.

And I have been running a color experiment with my spinning.  I spun up 5+ oz of these two colors, Sable Grey and Purple, for a laceweight 2 ply.  They look very cool separately.

When I started to ply it wasn’t coming out like I had imagined it in my head.  The purple made the grey lighter and the grey made the purple greyer.  I thought about overdying it a rich purple color when I was done, until last night.  I was plying last night when I noticed that I couldn’t see the purple!  Under the indoor lighting, the whole bobbin looked Sable!  I liked that it changed colors, but I don’t know if I am completely sold on it yet.  I think I will hold judgement until I have at least one skein off the wheel.

First things first!  I messed up the listing for the fiber club something fierce!  It wasn’t until Jo pointed out that there was no listing in the shop that I noticed that I had left it in edit mode for a couple weeks!  SO, I am leaving the fiber club open until Sunday, February 24th.  There are only a few spaces left and the shipments will be shipped out on the 25th, so run over and get your spot now!

CLUB SIGN UP HERE!

Now for something super exciting!  The monthly fiber peek!  I am desperately and deeply in love with this month’s colorway for many reasons.  Thanks to my Dad I have a deep and wonderful appreciation for Art History.  I took it as a minor in college and I love looking at the Great Masters for hours.  I have drawn from them in the past for designing some of my dolls, but I thought I would start using their inspiration to dye up some of the club fibers this year.

I started with this month.  My Dad is a part time Professor at a college in Holland and he tells me about getting to see the Dutch Master painters.  How he can sit there for hours looking at Art (with a capital A).  I decided to start there.  One of my most beloved Dutch Masters is Vermeer.  His paintings have a quiet sadness to them that draws me in and can hold me there for hours.  The one painting that I love the most is

Girl With a Pearl Earring

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Using this painting as an inspiration, I went to my dye pots and after some argument with the dyes on who was in charge, I came up with THIS (linked for those who don’t want to ruin the surprise).  This is my absolute favorite colorway so far.

I had such a great time this month that I think I will continue in this mode for the club fibers.

Hey guys! 

 I wanted to let you know that fiber club renewals are now open!  They will remain open for returning club members until next Friday, then the remaining spots will be opened for everybody else for a week.  I have had such a great time dying club fibers and I hope you guys have too!

I also have finished another 8 oz of lace weight yarn for another shawl.  This is Party Dress the December fiber from the Spunky Eclectic fiber club.

I split out each color and spun it separately.  I have been thinking of adding in some black for a contrast, but I haven’t decided on a pattern yet.

I had such a shock this week, I almost fell over dead!  My husband and I were looking through flickr pictures of Amigurumi last weekend, and he says “can you show me how to do that?”  O_O  I was completely speechless for a few minutes, and for those who know me in real life know that is something that rarely happens.  So this week I showed him how and he did a great job!  I will try to get a photo of him doing it next time.

Also, my son has shown an interest in spinning again.  You may remember that he gave it a go about a year ago, but hadn’t really been interested since.  Then he asks me this week if he can go with me to my spin-in on Saturday!  I told him he absolutely was more than welcome to come and I went and got him a drop spindle this morning.  I will try to get photos of that too!

This is what has kept me busy for so long

I have been working on some secret projects that got sent to the publisher this weekend!  YAY!!  I locked myself in my design studio (read bedroom) and pounded the keyboard and yarn for hours.  You can see my desk is all covered in swatches and half finished samples.  They aren’t due yet, but I want to get them done as soon as I can.  Some people who have been reading my blog for a while, might be able to figure out what those various pieces are.

 Also this weekend the January Fiber was sent out for the club people!  This month the fiber is BFL and the colorway is London Fog.  Link for those that want to peek.  There will be an announcement about new club openings in a few days, so keep watching this space!

When I haven’t been pulling my hair out over small pieces of yarn, I have been spinning even smaller pieces!  I have been working on spinning up my December fiber from the Spunky Eclectic fiber club and it is nice.  I am 2/3rds done with it and I hope to be able to finish this week.  I will get a picture as soon as it is done.  I also have a new shipment of yarn in, so there should be new yarn in the shop soon too!  It is amazing how many things just get put on hold when you have a looming deadline.