Sunday, January 29, 2012

Nerd Wars T4 - Team Precious

Team assignments were announced on Friday and I got my first choice to be on Team Precious.  Now the countdown to Wednesday when our first round of assignments will begin.  Although I have a bunch of knitted items in queue with Hobbit and Lord of the Ring themed projects, I will be submitting more handspun and woven goods each month because I am planning on knitting a shawl this tournament.

I want to knit the Tuck Shawl.  I am going to knit up a gauge swatch in the next day or two.  Ooops!  Sorry, I guess I should have told you to sit down first.  Yes, part of the dissertation assignment during Nerd Wars is that you are required to gauge swatch and get approval for your assignment before you begin.  I was hoping to use some of my stash for this but...wasn't finding quite the right color that I wanted.  I've decided I need a shawl that has blues and greens because I simply don't have anything in those colors but I needed just the right colors. 

Argh!  A few tubs of beautiful yarn that I've purchase not even counting my own yarn that I create from my herd and not the right colors.  I think I found the perfect skein at the Winter Wine and Wool Festival yesterday created by Happy Fuzzy Yarns.  I plan to pair it with some of my Sunshine of Wonder tonal dyed yarn that I created here on the farm.  Ah ha!  The best of both worlds.  Of course, going this route doesn't decrease my stash at all but...I will have an awesome looking shawl.  Now...off to check gauge.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fiber Arts Friday - Wine and Wool

Welcome to Fiber Arts Friday!  How have you been spending the first few weeks of 2012?  Knitting, Weaving, Crochet, Felting, Dyeing, Sewing, Spinning...?  There are so many wonderful ways to create with our craft of choice during the dreary days of January so share your adventures!

This week I spent my lunch hours knitting and my evenings knitting. I finished my Just for Him hat and even though my dear Grumpy didn't want to wear it, I found that it fit Brother Bear just as well. It's one of those patterns that fits a child or an adults head.  

I spent all of last weekend at my drum carder creating new Alpaca blend Batts of Wonder for the first ever Winter Wine and Wool Festival at the Sandhill Crane Vineyard.  I love the wine the vineyard creates and the location is great too with a newly added dining room.  I have participated in the last two festivals they had during July and with the new addition, they now can  hold an indoor event.  Seriously, what's a better way to spend a January afternoon than drinking wine and enjoy Fiber Arts? 

I will be adding some of these new creations to my Etsy Shop this weekend too.  I have also been dying some wool and silk fiber and will be starting to carry some non-Alpaca fiber in my shop. I've been working with my test fiber to use in my batts and am now ready to let the products fly solo so look forward to some new changes in my shop in the coming weeks.

I said I wasn't going to knit another Journey hat but...I am.  it's a fun pattern and I had some leftover hand spun that I thought would be perfect in a smaller hat.  Go figure, I chose Orange as the main color. It is the color of 2012. Apparently I can't keep all of the hats I knit so I am making some for heads that aren't quite as large as mine ;-)  Now...share your adventures in Fiber Arts!


Fiber Arts Friday ! 
To participate:
  1. Submit your blog article using your current blog address NOT your complete blog  i.e. you would submit 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com/2010/02/e-i-e-i-doh.html  
NOT 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com
 Link back to Fiber Arts Friday from your post so that your readers can come and see everyone else’s projects! Text link to  WISDOM BEGINS IN WONDER!   
  1. Visit as many of the other participants as possible and leave comments! That’s what helps us all connect!
Check out these wonderful blogs

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WIP Wednesday - La Vitre Scarf

I am still plugging away knitting my La Vitre Scarf.  How is it that I don't think twice about knitting a huge cowl or a bunch of hats but with a smaller amount of yarn, I get overwhelmed with a scarf?  It's going to be a beautiful scarf once it's finished.  I knit another six inches or so this week.  I've decided not to take it to work because apparently I make mistakes when I talk and knit while working on a pattern that has YO.

I am also wondering if I should have went up a needle size.  The pattern called for fingering weight Alpaca and I am using a squishy sport weight Merino.  It will be beautiful but won't have quite the same look as the pattern called for.  Another reason to swatch for gauge. One of these days I will learn.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fiber Arts Friday - Turning my wheels

Welcome to Fiber Arts Friday!  Knit, Spin, Weave, Felt, Crochet, Dye...FIBER ARTS!  Each week Fiber Artists from all over the world share their adventures so what are you waiting for?  Join in!

The last two weeks, I have been spending my evenings spinning (especially since my lace scarf was put in time out).  Last Saturday I met with my weaving/spinning group for an afternoon of fun.  I got into a major spinning groove then spent the next few days filling all of my bobbins.  Having an extra day off of work really added to the spinning time.  The result...lots of beautiful Alpaca blend yarns.

My scarf is fixed now thanks to KellyJ so...I will attempt to stay away from my spinning wheel and finish the scarf for my friend. I am still very confused with fixing a dropped stitch when YO are in involved and no knit rows but I know as I continue to knit and become more comfortable with various patterns, I will get it.

I have been spending time with my Jacey Boggs Spin Art book and DVD.  I really am digging how she demonstrates and explains the various Textured Yarn techniques.  Now, share your adventures in Fiber Arts.


Fiber Arts Friday ! 
To participate:
  1. Submit your blog article using your current blog address NOT your complete blog  i.e. you would submit 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com/2010/02/e-i-e-i-doh.html  
NOT 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com
 Link back to Fiber Arts Friday from your post so that your readers can come and see everyone else’s projects! Text link to  WISDOM BEGINS IN WONDER!   
  1. Visit as many of the other participants as possible and leave comments! That’s what helps us all connect!
Check out these wonderful blogs

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WIP Wednesday - Just for Him

I'm in between Nerd Wars Tournaments this month and I didn't want to start any major projects so I went through my collection of patterns and decided I needed to knit a hat that a man could wear.  I thought Grumpy might like it but he said he didn't want to "mess up his hair" so he is holding out for a woven scarf.  Alas, this hat will either be gifted or sold.

The pattern is called Just for Him written by KellyJ for Kalamazoo Knits.  I am using my handspun yarn from my Pedro in Lime Roving and Ella Rae Kalemsoft yarn to created the stripes.  I am not one for purling so the K1P1 ribbing is a good way for me to practice consistency before I start my next project that will require a lot of purling on tiny needles.

Monday, January 16, 2012

My Long Weekend here at the Farm

I adore long weekends and this weekend was no exception.  We finally got the Winter slow that we have been longing for here in Michigan. 

The Cardinals make their appearance in my Pear trees when the snow is crisp in the air and the Alpaca barn just sparkles with the January sun reflecting on the snow.
I have been busy with my spinning wheel plying all the bobbins that have been filled and working on knitting projects using my handspun and various stash yarns.

Brother Bear is finally feeling better after missing a week of school so Grumpy hooked the sled up to the tractor and took the Bears on a Monster Sled Ride and we have simply enjoyed our family weekend together.

We sold Sweet Petunia of Wonder this weekend and she left for her new home.  We will miss her dearly but at least her new farm isn't too far away.  We have four more girls left to sell so take a look at our farm website if you are interested in Black or White Huacayas with Gray genetics.

Farm, Fiber Arts, Family and Fabulous Snow...what more can a gal ask for?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Fiber Arts Friday - Weaving in the New Year

Welcome to Fiber Arts Friday!  Another week has passed with lots of knitting, weaving, crochet, spinning, sewing, felting and so much more.  How do we do it all?  Where do we find the time?  Check out the amazing Fiber Artists who have linked in to share their adventures and find out.  This week, I am sharing more of my weaving adventures.

During the Christmas break I warped my new 32" Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom with Mercerized Perle 8/2 Cotton in Red and Green with Silver Nylon.  I am working on a project for Christmas 2012.  Yes, you read that right.  I've decided that if I wait for the holidays to get here, I will never accomplish any projects to enjoy.  I warped about nine feet of length which will give me enough to make a towel (or two), maybe a pillow cover or a cloth for my fireplace mantle or maybe mats for my end table or...as you can see, the ideas are endless.  Wait!  I may even make a holiday hat out of the fabric.  I don't know.  I started with the 7.5 dent reed which won't create the tight weave that I would want for a towel so...I am going to experiment with this first part.  I may weave a couple of feet then change over to a different reed.  Who knows.  What I do know is that I have a whole year to work on this...if knitting and spinning don't distract me.

I am enjoying the experimentation.  Right now I am slowly working through a Spanish Lace Finger Weaving Technique.  Now...share your adventures in Fiber Arts. 
Fiber Arts Friday ! 
To participate:
  1. Submit your blog article using your current blog address NOT your complete blog  i.e. you would submit 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com/2010/02/e-i-e-i-doh.html  
NOT 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com
 Link back to Fiber Arts Friday from your post so that your readers can come and see everyone else’s projects! Text link to  WISDOM BEGINS IN WONDER!   
  1. Visit as many of the other participants as possible and leave comments! That’s what helps us all connect!
Check out these wonderful blogs

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

WIP Wednesday - Not a patient woman

I have a scarf that is supposed to be completed before Friday so I can gift it...that's not happening.  I have found that even a one row lace pattern has gotten the better of me.  I dropped a stitch early on and couldn't fix it so I tore back the beginning and started over.  At that point I had four inches knitted.


Now I have 29 inches which is about the halfway point and I have dropped another stitch.  It's right in a YO (Yarn Over) and I have tried a few different ways to fix it and pick it up...and it's not happening.  I went a couple of rows beyond just to see if what I did fixed it...but it didn't.  Argh!  This WIP is officially on hold until I can go in to see the Knit Doctor at my yarn shop.  I sure hope KellyJ can work her magic because I don't want to gift this scarf with this in it.  I thought about what it would look like once blocked and...it would be bad.  Argh! 

In the meantime...I put this away where I won't mess it up anymore and have cast on a new project.  Yes, I know my limits.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Fiber Arts Friday - What Would Jacey Do?

Welcome to Fiber Arts Friday!  Share your adventures in Fiber Arts...knitting, spinning, crochet, felting, weaving, quilting.  I finally received my Jacey Boggs Spin Art book that I pre-ordered eons ago.    As I continue to learn spinning techniques, I find yet more I want to try.  I get frustrated when trying to learn from a book with photos because I want more details.  You can never see all the angles from a photo or a pencil drawing.  This book has beautiful photos plus comes with a DVD.  Hooray! 

So far I am really digging how Jacey has written the book.  I have been spinning for a couple of years and didn't understand aspects of my wheel that she explained easily in two pages.  I know more about my tension and the orifice that had been previously explained...and it makes sense.  I am super excited to work my way through this book and DVD exploring new spinning techniques and finding new ways to understand and respect the fiber I enjoy. 



In a spinning project unrelated to the Spin Art book, I have completed another beautiful Alpaca blend yarn.  Back in October, dear Heather sent me a braid of roving that was beautiful but just wasn't the best for felting.  She knew that I would spin it into something beautiful and...I did.  I kept enough of it to spin a bobbin by itself and the rest I ran through my drum carder with some of my brown and fawn  Suri Alpaca.  I LOVE the muted rainbow of the batt I created and the intensity of the colors in the roving she sent me.  Even in the singles, you see the bright color.  What surprised me (and it always does) was how much the color ended up getting muted once plied.  I am still working on techniques to make that color POP more.  I thought by keeping one of the singles the pure color with no brown or fawn it would help but it didn't as much as I had hoped.  It's a lovely yarn none-the-less and will knit into something amazing.


Now share your adventures in Fiber Arts!
Fiber Arts Friday ! 
To participate:
  1. Submit your blog article using your current blog address NOT your complete blog  i.e. you would submit 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com/2010/02/e-i-e-i-doh.html  
NOT 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com
 Link back to Fiber Arts Friday from your post so that your readers can come and see everyone else’s projects! Text link to  WISDOM BEGINS IN WONDER!   
  1. Visit as many of the other participants as possible and leave comments! That’s what helps us all connect!
Check out these wonderful blogs

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year's Ramblings

So...it's  2012.  I have no clue how it got here.  I just learned how to write 2011 but it's already a new year and I have some goals to set.  2011 was the year of being Positive, Productive and full of Wonderful Possibilities and I've decided that I need to keep that mojo up so 2012 is the year of being Awesome, Adventuresome and full of Wonderful Possibilities (Hey, I was on a roll last year, why stop). 

I intend to learn more about weaving.  Now that I have my new Rigid Heddle Loom, I am going to work on the the finger weaving techniques to create patterns plus I intend to buy I second heddle kit so I can create more colorwork.

I intend to continue my enjoyment of knitting...maybe attempt some lace.  I am currently working on a pattern written by Denise at Voie de Vie called the La Vitre Scarf and really enjoying it. 

I bought some crochet needles.  I am going to learn to crochet.  I have been practicing with the single crochet stitch this last week...time to take the next step.

I am still working on my spinning skills.  There is so much to learn about spin control and I intend to work on making even and consistent yarn when that is my intention, art yarn when that is my intention, and all around any weight yarn...when that is my intention.  Instead of letting the fiber take me away, I want to be in control.  The yarn shown is my attempt at core spinning and coils...still not what I want but closer.

I will continue to experiment with wet felting and enjoy all of the amazing felting artists that I've come to know both near and far.   I will also process the Jacob fleece I bought at the Michigan Fiber Festival in August.  Geez, I started to clean it but...yeah, somehow the word clean just stalled me.

I will clean  my fiber studio...and have it be contained to one space instead of taking over the whole house.  (haha, that may not be a realistic goal but I can always hope)

I will keep promoting the Alpaca Fiber Industry and Made in Michigan.  I have a wonderful herd of Alpaca and I will continue to enjoy my time in the barn with them so I can enjoy the complete Pasture to Product process.

These are my Fiber Arts Goals.  First and foremost, I will enjoy my family, nurture my children and take time to enjoy the little things in life.  In the last year I have started a path in healing that was long overdue.  I have a long ways to go and I know the journey won't always be easy but I have finally learned that I am never alone and that...well, that's a whole different post.  Anyways, Happy New Year!  I'm ready for another great year of Fiber Arts Adventures.