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Minnesota, United States

23.4.13

Fibrrrrr fun!

The group from Anoka Fiber Works with our goodies.
On Sunday Anoka Fiber Works had their first field trip to Woolen Meadows Farm in Delano.  Sue Ross was wonderful and we spent time bonding with the friendly flock of sheep and shopped in the studio.  The adult sheep were naked, but the new lambs were adorable.  The black lamb with a tuft of curly white locks on its forehead was my favorite.  I bought some washed white fleece (6 pounds), a small bag of white cashmere, and Sue gave me a bag of color bits and bobs from previous felting projects. The weather was cloudy and chilly.  On the way home we stopped at a nice coffee shop to warm up and have a snack--thankfully the rain held off until we were on our way back to AFW.
The kitty liked being around all the action.
Sue and her daughter show off one of the lambs.
This lamb was my favorite!
Pretty kitty.
Cute lambs.  All the sheep were very friendly.

Yesterday we had some more snow.  It looked so pretty this morning.  I do believe this may be the last of the snow because warmer temperatures are on the way.  The other day the robins and squirrels were out and about, but I have not seen them today.  It must be very confusing for them!

The early morning light was beautiful.
Before the melt.

15.4.13

Sample finished!

I like the curves toward the center.
I finished the Upcycled Elegance scarf this morning.  It was a challenge to get all the pieces to stick to the scarf, but I did it!  I didn't like the original idea of just having the pieces on the ends and wanted it to be more organic-looking.  To make sure all the ribbon, metallic, and wool pieces stayed on I spun a single of warm brown Shetland wool and plied it with some leftover mohair from the vertical lace scarf.  It was just enough to felt on top of the other bits and bobs.  Now to see if this can become a class...
Detail of the scarf.  The needle-felting also adds texture with the needle's barbs
catching the scarf fabric and pulling on the threads. 

The Silken Straw sweater is progressing and I am on the first sets of decreases and second hank of yarn.  Making my way from the bottom to the top.

It has been snowing quite a bit.  We said, "The heck with it," and turned on the Christmas lights outside for the past couple of evenings.  When spring finally comes to Minnesota, it will be lovely.  I do not worry too much about it, as the mosquito season will be shorter this year.
I am hoping the snow cover provides some much-needed moisture for the yard.


10.4.13

Winter's icy grip

We are experiencing winter's last icy grip for the next couple of days.  Rain and sleet for today and possibly snow tomorrow.  The slop rugs and boots will be in the foyer a bit longer!  Maybe if I change the flag on the porch from the snowman to the butterfly I can think it is April when I am at the kitchen sink.

I have been busy with samples.  The Vertical Lace Scarf is finished and at the shop.  The Silken Straw top is progressing even though I must stop and check for wayward threads on the reverse side--very annoying and time-consuming.  The color is lovely and the yarn softens as I knit.  I hope that when I block the finished project the stitches will even out and the yarn will bloom a bit, which seems to be the consensus on Ravelry.
Mindful knitting.  The more I knit, the fewer the stray strands.  Whew!

The Upcycled Elegance scarf from http://www.pagewoodfarm.com/upcycled-elegance.htm is ready to be needle-felted.  I cut the sweater pieces smaller and left the woven silk pieces as I first cut them.  The silk scarf is delicate and I do not want to weigh down the fabric.
First layer--silk scarf
Second layer--wool sweater fabric
Third layer--woven silk fabric
Final layers--silk ribbons, yarn, and sparkle
Planning stage
My poor UFOs are beginning to whine about being neglected, but Louie is quite happy.  He has been given my full attention lately.  I spun up the two packages of Three Feet of Sheep and plied them together.  That is one big honkin' hank of yarn.  I was winding it onto the swift and had just a few inches to go when the swift collapsed and the yarn went into a tangled heap.  It took me a couple of evenings to clean up the yarn barf and I hand wound the yarn again using the backs of three dining room chairs.  To keep the behemoth from tangling again, I tied it off in five places.  The colors are gorgeous and now I need a neutral background color for what I have in mind...humm...what to do...what to do.

Big honkin' hank of handspun!


The Groupon/Deal Chicken classes are going well.  I had a student come back to the second session with a scarf!  I really enjoy teaching other how to knit.  Some will stick to it, some will not but everyone has been great and I enjoy teaching the classes and the students.

Jim is excited for cycling season.  Ben and Jim went on their first ride of the season on Sunday to prepare for the Ironman ride later this month.  With the weather the way it has been they are not going to register early!  I was the sag driver the first year Jim rode and it was freezing cold and raining.  No fun for the riders!

Jim finished up as Round Table Commissioner.  I will continue to make goodies and have ideas on how to change things up for next season.  Jamboree is less than 100 days away.  Jim is busy as Scoutmaster.  I have to mail my health form in and order my nameplate.  We had our first development weekend for the Fall Wood Badge Course.  The church kitchen was wonderful.  It will be a bit more of a challenge on course at Stearns.  My friend, Kristi, gave me a notebook with her notes from last year.  Kristi and I will be teaching Cooking With Cub Scouts at University of Scouting.  I have my fingers and toes crossed for good weather, as we will be outside.  Cold is tolerable--rain is a pain.

10.04.2013  I got my newsletter from Rowan and clicked on the link for Sarah Hatton.  She has photos of her US tour and Amazing Threads.  The first sample I knit for the shop is the checkered shrug on the Rowan wall.  I loved the Classic Cardigan she wore the day of class and it is available on the site.  Now on the quest to find the Liberty of London binding!