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Minnesota, United States

28.12.16

Unwrapping and Wrapping Up

Christmas 2016 was a nice, quiet holiday.  Jim and I visited Holidazzle in Loring Park.  Holidazzle used to be a Christmas parade and has since been revamped into a Christmas market featuring local Ben came on Christmas eve to wrap gifts.  Crazy weather made it a good day to hunker down and enjoy family time.  We waited until Christmas morning to open gifts and enjoyed reminiscing about Christmases past and how our family traditions began.  Jim was very happy with the mittens and the pajama pants I made for him.  I cannot believe I was able to finish those projects!  Ben's sweater is coming along, I started the fronts together.  It's been some time since I made an intarsia sweater.  The process is like a mullet hairdo - business in the front, and party (or mayhem with the yarn tails) in the back.  Good thing I have plenty of bobbins to wrangle the yarn.

I'm pleased with the color choices for this project.

Jim and I went to the mall after Holidazzle and stopped in the bookstore to check out the magazines.  Imagine that!  

Some of the brown sugar cut out cookies.  Ben chose the cookie cutters this year.  Ampelmann, forest critters, puppy dog, and pine trees.  The toffee bits were a tasty addition to the hedgehogs and moose this year.
The Holidazzle lights were beautiful!




Our little tree decorated with memories.  (Humm, it's dropped a few needles.)

One of Jim's mittens before fulling...

...and the happy recipient.

Ben making butter with the churn Jim got for us.  It was delicious!
We took time on Christmas Eve to drive around and look at the lights.
"Droid to the World"

Looking ahead to 2017...time, it can be a friend or a foe.  There are 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 365 days a year (with the exception of leap year) and yet the minutes, hours, and days go by so quickly!  In spite of my time passing too quickly, I managed to produce not only fiber works, teaching classes, and painting with limited vision until March 2016 when Dr. Conrad restored my sight with a new lens implant in my left eye.  The next few months were spent planning and training for the 12-day Philmont trek in August.  Naturally, a month before we were to leave I bashed my foot on the corner of the cedar chest (that has been in the same spot for 17 years).  I ended up buying new boots because of the swelling and pain.  My third and fourth toes became buddies taped together for a few months.  We hiked 75 miles in the New Mexico mountains.  It was beautiful.  I missed my other hiking boots and it was a happy day in October when I tried them on and they were once again comfortable!  I wish I could say the same for my hands.  It's a good thing I switch out my hand work often.  Between knitting, spinning, weaving, painting, sewing, and baking my grip is not quite as strong and there is a bit of pain in the joints (sad face).  Limiting my keyboard time on the computer also helps, although it is necessary whether I like it or not.  

Now that I'm exclusively at Anoka Fiber Works, my time is my own, meaning I'm in control of what I make, classes I schedule, and the number of students I have in class.  Just over a year ago on December 5, our little group started a weave-along that turned into finished vests, a weekly weaving group, floor looms for Mary and myself, a published article, and me becoming a vendor at AFW.  I'll be moving to a space along the wall before the year is over.  Collectively we continue to build community through our common love of all things fiber.

20.12.16

Sweater weather is here!

It is that time of year again, which makes me happy.  The woollies are coming out of the cedar chest and placed within easy reach.  Since the last post I've been working on Plans B, C, and D for the twill fabric because the width is just shy of what I need for a skirt.

The two pieces of fabric came off the Cricket loom and can be used together for a top or separate for scarves.  The jury's still out on that.  Yesterday, the fabric for the sides of the cotton top came off the Cricket and I am very happy with the result.  The loom was warped with 158-inches of hemp, cotton, and cotton/linen and the weft  was a textured cotton throughout.  All the yarns were from my stash and originally intended for sweaters.  Combining the everything into one project is a great way to use up that yarn and the colors worked well together.  There are a couple of pretty cotton skeins that I will use as part of the weft for the center and back panels.  The Pontunic is from Weave Knit Wear, by Judith Shangold.

For the warp, the thinnest yarn is hemp, textured white and the blue are cotton, and the green is cotton/linen.  The weft is a textured brown cotton.  I love the color and texture of everything together.  Everything will soften up nicely with washing.  

There are two knitting projects in the works (amongst other WIPs and UFOs) for holiday knitting.  One is a sweater for Ben, a classic Mary Maxim cardigan with a moose on it.  Classic Alafoss Lopi is my yarn of choice and it will be nice and warm.  A friend and I took a drive to Depth of Field in Minneapolis to find the yarn, as it isn't easy to find in most of this area's yarn shops.  Woolly wool is considered scratchy or "old" these days.  Yes, I had a local yarn shop clerk use physical quotation marks while saying old when she referred to the yarn about which I'd inquired.  'Tis a shame some folks this that about some wools.  I love Icelandic wool for its warm loftiness.  The more I wash my garments made with it, the better they look and feel.  Washing makes the yarn bloom and spaces are filled in with fibers creating a woolly halo on the fabric's surface.  The warmth of the knitted fabric is warm without heaviness and often I wear a sweater instead of a jacket for that reason.

14.12.2016 Oh my, time certainly has flown by!  I had a commissioned project to knit and it set my other projects on hold for a bit.  I'm back to working on two gifts for Jim and Ben's sweater.

In the meantime...the article in Spin-Off, Winter 2017 issue came in the mail and we were very happy to see ourselves in the magazine on pages 90 and 91!