Monthly Archives: June 2012

Chocolate Moose Lodge 2012

Standard

Every year a group of scrapbooking friends¬†get together and rent a lodge for a four day weekend. It’s called the Chocolate Moose Lodge. It’s located near Fairplay, CO. It’s a location that we’ve been going to annually for over five years, with a one year break. It can accomidate 10 people max. The whole basement is set up with tables, chairs, lighting, TV, movies, and some supplies. The trip is from Thurs afternoon to Sun around noon. So in other words, tons of time to get lots done!

At first I wasn’t scheduled to go. Even though the price to go really is a steal, I wans’t able to pay everything up front to reserve a spot, but a friend of mine had to cancel. So she gave me her spot. I was able to get about a dozen pages worked on, which is definitely more than I can get done at a nite at an Archiver’s. We watched a ton of chich flicks due to the fact that some of the ladies we go with have a house full of guys. We also tried to catch up on our episodes of Glee. Last year I brought the first season and we got through all of the DVDs to leave the gang hanging. This year I brought the second season. We were only able to get through almost half of the episodes. ūüė¶ I think some of them got Gleeked out.

I was able to knit a little on the way and back, plus a little while there. I’m still working on my niece’s hoodie, but now I have a 1 yr old’s bday party to go to on Sat. I’m not really motivated to work on the project right now, but I probably should since tomorrow is Fri. It’s just that I have been spinning, and just last nite started to wash my smaller of the two fleeces. It washed out pretty easily. I just need to lay it out when I get home from work. I was worried about leaving my wet fiber lying out on the kitchen floor with my kitty all by his lonesome. Can you say major hairball!?!

Estes Park Wool Festival 2012

Standard

It had been four years since I had last been to Estes Park, CO for the annual wool festival. The first year I went, my friend and I didn’t make it there early Saturday morning like we should have. We instead had an appointment to view the Stanley Hotel. (It was the only opening we could find, so we took it.) I remember seeing fiber everywhere, along with people. I do not recommend going mid to late day at all. It was a pushing and shoving match to get to the next booth. It was not the best experience at a festival that I’ve had. Hence the reason I kind of quit going and started going to Taos, NM instead. My aunt originally wanted to go up with me to see the animals, but instead she left me for my mom and the bead show in Denver. It’s not like they don’t have one every¬†two months! Anyways…I decided that it was time to give Estes another chance.

The reason I was willing to give this festival another chance was a pattern I found in the recent Jane Austin Knits magazine. I found a pattern that I just had to have, but there was a problem. Our local shop was in the process of closing, and I couldn’t find enough yardage to complete it. I then decided that I was going to make it from the ground up. I have a couple of friends who have been parading around in their handspun and hand-knitted items long enough…that I wanted to join the group! I spin, but I have never knitted with any of my handspun yarn. So the plan was to get a full fleece, but I didn’t know what¬†kind. Since my aunt had cancelled on me for Estes, I almost thought about waiting for Taos, but that would have to be til October. I didn’t want to miss out on the available fleeces another three months. So that is what got me to change my mind about going to Estes Park. I have too much…well not too much, but enough Wenslydale and Teeswater, to last me a while. It wasn’t the right look I was wanting. Going through the fiber book with Peggy, I decided I wanted a Bond fleece. She had a gorgeous five-pound (or so) fleece that was a light/medium brown. I wanted it so bad! It was¬†a good find. So that’s what the plan was.

The drive to Estes Park was amazing…as usual! I had driven to my aunt and uncle’s place in Erie the night before so that the drive to Estes Park wouldn’t be that long. I again had to remind myself who was driving so that I didn’t wreck the car. Coming over the hill to see the town is mind-blowing. The market area didn’t open til 9am, but it was a great chance to look at all of the animals. Aren’t they cute!?!

While looking at the animals, I caught a glance at a very nice looking man. I had seen him for the first time a few years ago at the Taos Festival. He is a professional sheep shearer. He is awesome at what he does and he does so looking the way he does. Such a cutie! As I was leaving the festival, I introduced myself to him and told him how I knew him. (A friend of mine has a farm out in Rye, and he shears for them.) Much nicer looking in person and up front!

Once the doors were open I went and looked for Peggy’s booth. (I kind of¬†asked¬†her to find out where I could get the Bond fleece.) This is Peggy’s second or third time at Estes, but her first time by herself. Another friend, who raises alpacas, decided to get her own booth. The lighting for Peggy’s booth was awesome! Her hubby is so creative! He used buckets to hold the type of bulbs that he wanted to use because he couldn’t find anything that would work. It was so much easier shopping for roving or yarn indoors with the special lighting.

Peggy was able to help me find the woman who owned the Bond fleeces. Peggy hadn’t met her when she bought hers, because the woman only sent her fleeces for the Taos show…which is where she got hers. I didn’t find the same coloring as what Peggy got, but I got one that’s light grey. The ram must be big because his fleece had been divided up into two bags. I really wanted something closer to five pounds, but instead got 4.2 pounds. Why not get the other bag? I couldn’t afford both bags, even though I really wanted them. Each bag was $100!!! The reason? It’s an Australian sheep that isn’t too common. Yeah…oOo! Then I found out that she didn’t accept cards! I was all gung-ho on putting it on a card, but no. I had to do a check. It’s all good though. I’ll have to keep my eye open at Taos to see what she sends out for that festival.

Once the big item was crossed off my list, I was able to roam around without being pushed or shoved. It was nice. The getting there early totally paid off! I found a lot of gorgeous roving! What was even better was that I didn’t have to be pushed and shoved in order to look around. I’m not the type of shopper that has to go into every single booth to look at everything…unlike my mom and aunt. I did find an 8-year-old girl spinning on a wheel. I thought that it was amazing that at her age she had the treadling and drafting down! Doesn’t she look awesome!?! I have a 7 yr old niece that love crafts. I’m trying to decide if and when I should teach her how to knit and spin. I guess after seeing this, I have my answer…soon. The wheel that’s in the background with the open spokes…I totally wanted, but didn’t have the money to buy it. With all of the roving that I found, I did have to talk myself in and out of buying a new drop spindle. I had all of this fiber, but nothing to spin it with! I already have about four spindles, but we all know that doesn’t mean anything, right? ūüėČ I was at the festival for a couple hours and then I decided that if I stayed any longer I would run into the crowd that I was trying to avoid and I would spend more money than I already had. So the total was 5.2 pounds of fleece and about 2 pounds in dyed-roving. It’s all so pretty though!!!

Before I left I did take some pictures of the town, sorta. You can’t go into Estes Park and not visit or see the Stanley Hotel. It would be cool to be able to stay there on their off season to see if you could experience something spooky.

So even though I got what I wanted and I spent more than I expected, I probably will hit up the Taos Wool Festival. It’s the first weekend in October. My aunt said that she’s wanted to go down there for a while, but then she mentioned having my mom going. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but I will be getting my own room if they do both come with. My aunt snores really bad, and my mom can sometimes snore/moan in her sleep. So maybe something either across the hall or down the hall or on the other side of the hotel might do. lol Although buying stuff around my mom might not be easy. I won’t need to buy too much with the stash I got this time around, right? I can’t spin all of that by October…hahaha.

Lazy?

Standard

I really thought that by downloading the WordPress app to both my smartphone¬†and tablet I would be keeping¬†up with my blog, but I guess I’ve been lazy? Maybe lazy isn’t the word. I think “preoccupied” is better. I have been working more on my fiber projects lately since I don’t have to worry about completing projects and assignments for my masters that I finished in Dec 2011.

Starting in Jan, I was teaching part-time¬†here in Pueblo and Colo Springs, which wasn’t new for me, but the 6 hr break between classes in Springs was new. It’s difficult trying to find places to go when you’re in a town that is more than 40 miles away from home. You can’t go home to nap or work on a project. Well…you could, but that would be a waste of gas¬†with the way¬†today’s economy is going. On Tuesdays I would go to the Yarn Outlet for their morning knitting session and then to Green Valley Weavers and Knitters until I had to be back at work for tutoring before teaching my early evening class. On Thursdays I would go to a friend’s house to spin. She hand dyes her own fiber and yarn, but also spins herself. Peggy is amazing when it comes to color and spinning. I’d have to say she’s definitely an inspiration when it comes to my spinning. Her business is called The 100th Sheep. You should check her out some time…if anyone’s reading. As a warning, there might be some drooling over her stuff. ūüėČ By visiting her once a week from Jan to May, I was able to get a lot of spinning done. More than I was getting done probably in the whole year of 2011.

Back in Jan of this year I got some of Peggy’s hand-dyed roving. I was able to get some of it spun up. These are my final products for¬†two of the¬†four colors I bought. The first is a thick and thin plied with a grape purple merino bamboo. It came out so nice! The second is bright pink combination. The coloring is a little off due to the fact my camera’s coloring is off. I think I’d like to make something for my niece. Even though I don’t like her always wearing pink, this is a fun, bright pink.

I also had a few projects that I had on bobbins for a while and needed to finish. The first was a CVM that I got at our location shop and I decided to ply it with a Rose Grey Alpaca roving that I had gotten at the Taos Fiber Festival a few years ago. The combination was perfect! The second is a roving that I got from a friend, Heidi. She does her own hand-dying also. This was a merino, alpaca, silk blend (variegated), and I plied it with two different shades of merino/bamboo. I love it turned out!

 

Also at Green Valley, I joined a Xmas group…yes…Xmas. It’s to help get your Xmas list together of all of the projects that you want to have done before Xmas. So far I’ve done ok. I haven’t gotten as much done as I’ve wanted. I have finished a couple of things. I wanted to make a sweater for a friend of mine’s son. She was my childhood friend¬†back in Ada, OK. I swear I have a completed picture, but I guess this will have to work for right now. I’m also working a hoodie for my 7 yr old niece. I can’t wait til I’m done. I have from the bottom to the armpits, and 1.75 arms done. I just need to complete the second arm and connect it to the body to continue the rest. This is the first time I have done a bottom up sweater while attaching the sleeves this way. Then I have plans on working on mini somethings for the close friends and family.

I also was able to finish the following square for an afghan that was auctioned off in town. It was a nice combination of work for women that knitted at the shop. While talking to a friend from middle school on FB, I found out that she had been diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer and was going through chemo. I offered to make her a hat that she could wear since she had decided to go ahead and shave her head. She told me that since she lived in Texas that a lot of the hats she was previously wearing were too hot and tightly knit. I offered to make her one using a cotton blend and a somewhat lace pattern. I didn’t want it to be too open. It turned out to be perfect for her. She really likes it and I did too….so I made one for me also. I might make one for my sister too. The grey is for my friend and the pink is for me. The pattern is called the Lotus Hat, and I found¬†through a blog through¬†Ravelry. I even have a few friends in the knit group wanting to make one too. I did have to alter it since it called for worsted, and I used DK.

Every year, except for last year due to finishing my masters, I’ve made mini ornaments for the holidays. I’ve done mini sweaters, santa stockings, beaded cozies¬†that go over a glass ornament, and I think that’s it. Last year I got into the hexipuffs and putting together my own Beekeeper’s Quilt. I’m a math teacher so it just made sense to make my ornaments a hexipuff, but I wanted to add something different this year. I wanted to spin the yarn I was going to knit for these ornaments. I wanted a non-traditional look. I’m not into the standard red, green, and white. The yarn on the left is my first attempt. I found an amazing gold bamboo at Green Valley and wanted to use it for this project. It’s gorgeous, but a little too Mardi Gras¬†(Two merino singles & bamboo). The second (middle) attempt is still pretty. I replaced the gold bamboo with an off white/grey merino. The last attempt is my favorite. It’s a cranberry red with the green merino and gold bamboo from the first skein. I might use them all, but I plan on spinning up more from the last color combination. I’ll definitely have to post more once I have more finished projects.