Friday, June 29, 2007

Black Sheep Gathering

We're home, unpacked, my wheel is back home and our hundreds of photos have been sorted; here's my BSG (Black Sheep Gathering) experience.

I was there about 9:15am Friday morning and was happily surprised to find few cars in the Fairgrounds parking lot and no charge for parking.
BSG Sign

There were three rooms of vendors in the Trade Show.

There were a few names I knew from shopping on line; Woodland Woolworks, Crown Mountain Farms, Carolina Homespun.
Several vendors that I had only heard of Blue Moon Fiber Arts (Socks that Rock) and many people that were the grower, processor and sales force of their own fleece and yarn - I learned so much from talking to them.

Spinning wheels were everywhere, most I recognized but there were a few worth pictures. One woman was selling a cherry wood reproduction wheel that was made for two. This was the most gorgeous wheel I've ever seen.
double wheel
I never ask the price.

Then there was the woman sitting off to the side spinning on this small 6 lbs. aluminum wheel.
Herring Wheel
She told me that it's a Frank Herring and Son's wheel from England. She bought it back in the 1970's. I googled and there's a website place holder page that says you can request a catalog - which I did.

Ed note: 7/5/07, I've heard back and this wheel is sadly no longer sold. Frank Herring and Son's is an artist supply company; they were only the retail seller. If anyone knows anything else about the wheel please contact me at: tcty AT yahoo DOT com

After several hours in the Trade Show I went in search of The Photographer who had spent his time in the Sheep Barns.

There was some fabulous fleece on the hoof.
super crimp

Outside there was a woman explaining sheep shearing which turned out not to be a demo , it was a class that you had to sign up for.
I knew that a woman from my Spinning Class here in San Diego, California was attending the show but with the size of the place I never expected to run into her but we did. That's Wendy in the brown shirt. (Hi Wendy, Sorry we never could get together during the show.)

This is a Jacob Sheep, I believe. (As with everything else - I'm bad with names.)
Extra Horns

The Fairgrounds also was hosting an Alpaca Show across the parking lot.

I had never heard Alpaca hum before.
The Alpace show was held in a dirt floor building. As you see some were standing on the dirt while other exhibitors had their stalls carpeted

I did buy one half of an alpaca fleece (Isaiah) from Shepard's Pastures. Hadn't planned on buying Alpaca but this was the best silver gray color I've ever seen - couldn't resist. (If you click on their website you can scroll down and see Isaiah.)

Saturday morning I returned by myself while The Photographer rested his back. I spent another hour or so in the Trade Show and was surprised to see how much had been sold the day before. After lunch I walked over to the Wool Sale for the preview.
Wool Sale
There were several hundred bags there each with a whole fleece! Spinner's Heaven!

The Wool Cup winner was a black Weslydale fleece that was so shiny I had to touch it to make sure it wasn't covered in oil - it wasn't. It was just that shiny and beautiful.

After the half hour viewing they made everyone leave and form a line outside. Groups of people formed squads each person with a fleece objective, when the doors opened they RAN in to get their appointed fleece. Unfortunately for me, the group directly in front of me was after the same couple of gray fleece that I had my eye on. Not knowing the routine I was late to the tables as I only walked quickly; my original slections were all gone before I got there.

I still found a nice varigated gray Rambouillet and a second place winning white Corredale fleece.
Corriedale Fleece
(Why were there so many white fleeces in a show that is primarily for colored fleece sheep? Never found the answer to that question.)

Sunday morning I took my Spinning Class but that will be another post. We had planned to attend the Junior Wool Show but The Photographer and his back couldn't take another day of walking around. Sigh...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Here I am with Technical Difficulties

Made it to Eugene for Blacksheep Gathering; wish I could show you pictures but neither The Photographer or I can figure out iView and how to resize and save photos to a file. Even the Flicker Uploader won't work because we can't figure out how to save a resized photo. (If someone can point us to an online iView directions lite site I'd really appreciate it! Jessie are you out there?)

Friday morning just as we were leaving the hotel The Photographer wrecked his back emptying water out of the cooler. He can walk, barely, but he looks like a little old man. Didn't stop him from taking pictues but it's painful watching him try to keep going. He spent lots of time in the sheep barn; he couldn't stop taking pictures of the sheep. This morning while I was taking my spinning class he was over there again. Talking to a sheep breeder about the intelligence of sheep, goats and lamas he was told: you have to add Dirt to the mix then it goes - sheep, dirt, lamas with goats as the smartest.

The weather was cool and overcast here, just the way we like it. Heard reports that last year it was 100 degrees F. during BSG.

Socks that Rock was at the Trade show selling seconds! I think I bought seven skeins and two patterns at their booth. Good thing I bought what I wanted on Friday because when I went by on Saturday all the lightweight seconds were gone.

Bought a half silver alpaca fleece from the Alpaca Show that was going on in the Fairgrounds at the same time as BSG. Then bought two more sheep fleece at the BSG Wool Sale. No one warned me that buying fleece at this sale one needs a group run like a military campaign. No Kidding! The group in front of me had six members each had a specific fleece target. Doors were opened, I was number 11 in line. I walked in fast but all the fleece I had selected during the preview were already taken by the group ahead of me. We all were looking for gray corriedale.

We're back in Beaverton/Portland now. Tomorrow, ship my wheel home and fleece to Moro Bay Fleece Works then a drive for photos of Multnomah Falls. Tuesday we fly home.

Promise lots of photos when we get home

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Scared me at First!

The flight to Portland was very nice; spent the first half of the flight (to Reno) talking sock knitting with a woman that had knit sweaters for her babies but never had success with socks. She was talking about finding a Yarn Shop and taking a sock class by the time we landed. (I'm converting 'em one person at a time.)

Downtown Portland we found Knit-Purl;
what a wonderful yarn shop. They carry an amazing amount of yarn: Rowan, Habu, Koigu, and lots more. They also now carry their own brand yarn Shibui - very nice yarn! Their sock yarn was just discussed on Knit Review. I bought two skeins of their fingeringweight in Teal and two skeins of Koigu for socks too.

Finally got to our hotel and they sure gave me a 15 minute fright until they found the box I'd shipped. Took them four phone calls to different people and calling in someone that was off duty before they could locate my spinning wheel. I was really freaking there for awhile! So now everyone can relax.

I'm using the Macbook to post with and I can't figure out how to put in embeded links sorry.

Tomorrow driving down to Eugene.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

When it Absolutely, Positively Has to Get There!

I feel like I've shipped one of my kids cross country on their own! My Sonata Spinning Wheel was packed and dropped off at UPS Thursday on it's way to meet us at our Hotel in Portland, Oregon this coming Wednesday. I keep logging on to UPS tracking to see if I can find out where my Wheel is right now; all it says is, "shipped, on time." That doesn't tell me anything!

The Photographer and I are headed to the Back Sheep Gathering next weekend. The Wheel and I are taking a class from Judith Mackenzie McCuin on spinning Bison, Cashmere and Yak that I'm really looking forward to.

Last fall when I went to the Southern California Handweavers Guild's Festival I bought three batts from Crosspatch Creations.
Crosspatch Batt

This had to be finished before the wheel left for vacation. No particular deadline but I've had other projects lap over a vacation period and I can always see a difference between the two parts. I was spinning as many hours as possible to finish this.
Crosspatch Batt 2ply

What to take with me on the plane and for the rest of the trip both yarn and books is always the question. I always take more than I ever have time to get to but I worry about running out. My ipod is loaded with The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason. And I've been busy on Bookmooch trading books; not sure what will arrive before we leave. (Haven't heard of Bookmooch? It's a great online book trading site. You can download a toolbar button so that when you look at a book on Amazon you can click the Bookmooch button and see if anyone has a copy to trade. All it costs you is postage when you mail one of your books to someone. Each member accumulates a point for each book they send.)

As for plane knitting; I plan to take my second Teosinte sock (finished the first sock last night) The Photographer had to make a quick trip to a camera store in La Jolla early this afternoon so I walked over to Knitting in La Jolla. Such a wonderful selection Suzanne has. (And if you're looking for purse handles in San Diego this is where you Need to go!) I bought Berroco Love it Colors in the color 3291, Lucy in the Sky, to make another entrelac scarf. This should keep me busy.

I'll have to go enter this in my stash on Ravelry. My stash is too big to start entering there so I'm just going to start with new acquisitions. My Ravelry ID is CC123 if you'd like to visit.

Summer of Socks starts Thursday the 21st. I'll be on the road that day driving from Portland to Eugene so I'm hoping to post on Tuesday. And if I can remember all my passwords I'll try and update here the week we're traveling.

Have fun while I'm gone...

canna against the rosemary

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Credit Card Application Revenge

Just a quick suggestion for all those Credit Card Application forms you receive in the mail. (with no exaggeration this household receives at least two a day) I was reading the blog Lickety Knit's June 10th entry. She has taken up mailing back the empty pre-paid return envelopes that are included in each mailing. It's not much but if even a small percentage of those envelopes are returned empty maybe the companies will get the message we're all pissed off at received all this potentially identity-theft-threatening junk mail, not to mention the waste of trees and other resources.

You have to open the blasted things before you shred them (because they have started including non-shreddable stuff in the envelopes!) just take a moment longer and pull out that pre-paid envelope, seal it, and mail it back to the company.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Paris Photoshoot

The Photographer came through with my Paris Waving Lace Sock pictures; and he confirms it wasn't easy to capture. He has no explanation why this burgundy red wants to photograph orangey.

Here we go top down:

the curvy top
I added an extra pattern repeat in the leg for length.

the heel that reminds me of the top of the Chrysler Building

the gusset (wonder if the second sock will have the colors pool around the instep in the same way?)

and the foot and toe.

The lace pattern doesn't show up the best with this yarn's busy-ness.

Waving Lace from Favorites Socks by Interweave Press
Fleece Artist Merino Sock Yarn, Paris colorway

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Some Knitting has been Done

Progress on several projects and casting on for one new sock has kept me from loosing my mind while I've been home waiting to resume my regular life. (I'm feeling much better but bronchitis coughing whenever I talk is keeping me couch bound. Thanks for the get well messages last week.)

I finished a Waving Lace Sock from Favorite Socks from Interweave. Way back in February I showed the Fleece Artist Basic Merino Sock yarn, colorway Paris and the start of these socks. I knit the first, first sock on size zero needles and it was too small - had to frog the whole thing! It's taken me this long to get back to the second First sock. There's no picture because the pattern and yarn defy my ability to capture a decent photo; I'll see if I can get The Photographer to take one while I play foot model.

The new socks are Teosinte from Anne Hanson of Knitspot.
teosinte socks
Fleece Artist Basic Merino Sock yarn (I'm thinking this is the Rainforest colorway. I'm no better with yarn labels and names than I am with plants.) This is a fun and easy pattern to follow.

My Raverly invite arrived yesterday. I played with it a bit in the morning but I can't seem to sign-in this morning on a different computer. I've sent a message asking for password help. It looked very interesting; easy to see who else is knitting the same project. So frustrating not to be able to get back in!

Miter Thing has progressed but my brain on flu didn't seem to be able to knit a straight miter. When I started feeling better I had to rip out 10 blocks that were really wonky.
miter thing
Sam was very interested in what was going on in his window seat but he hasn't got posing down. (Had to delete about a dozen cat nose and butt pictures; deleting - the best part of digital cameras.)

Karalyn in my spinning class brought in a barrell of her sock yarn leftovers for me.
barrel of leftovers
This pictures is after I've taken a bunch out. Thanks Karalyn.

I read the Debbie Macomber book Back on Blosson Street
while I was ill. This was the perfect feel good story to read while you're sick. Everyone is nice, there's a good story line with knitting woven through out without being too overly complicated for a fever addled mind to follow and all the problems are solved by the end. (Not necessarily a happy-every-after saccharine ending but no hanging loose ends either.) The knitting projects throughout the book are Prayer Shawls with two patterns included; a beginners shawl and a more complicated lace shawl.

Strong Personal Opinion: The only thing I found unreal was the yarn shop. I work part-time in a local shop and we have no where the business this mythical shop does yet we have three to four times the staff that work and teach. No way only two could do that sales volume, help customers and teach; this goes way beyond poetic license into I don't know what I'm talking about.

Any one interested in this hardback copy of Back on Blosson Street? First one to write to me at tcty123ATyahooDOTcom will get it.
Ed: the book has been spoken for.

That's what's been going on here...

Friday, June 01, 2007

This and a bit of that

Where did the last two weeks go? Wish I could say I've been having a wonderful time; unfortunately for me I've been sick for the last eight days. I picked up some incredibly vicious virus that just doesn't want to let go - the horrible chest and head cold that keeps on giving variety.

I don't have much to blog about.

Wednesday, the 23rd, I ordered four bobbins for my new Sonata Wheel which were delivered Friday the 25th! I was surprised at the delivery speed. When I unpacked the box
broken bobbin
I found one bobbin had split. There wasn't any damage to the box it looks like a fault in the wood.

I had bought the spindles on ebay from Seller Coppermoose. He ask me to send a picture. The replacement bobbin arrived in Tuesdays', the 29th, mail. Can you believe I didn't have to pack up the broken bobbin and schlep it to the Post Office, wait for it to be delivered and then wait some more for his package? I've very happy with the way this problem was handled. Next time you need spinning supplies look him up.

A friend and I went to a Sewing Expo show in Del Mar several weeks ago. The only thing I bought was a cute little sock change purse. Sock knitter that I am I couldn't resist.
Sock purse

Now for the beauty shot here's a close-up of a Hibiscus bloom
A local breeder has come up with a new variety he calls Hotbiscus. As usual, I can't tell you this one's name. Here's a link for more information.