An attempt to document my creative pursuits and spew inspiration into the universe.

An attempt to document my creative pursuits and spew inspiration into the universe.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Groovy Hat and Cacti

I've been dying to knit up Leethal's Vortex hat ever since it appeared in Knitty's winter 08 issue. On my recent trip to California, I picked up some luscious merino roving dyed by Beesybee Fibers and quickly spun up this:
I wanted a striping yarn, so I tore off the different colored segments of the roving and spun them in long, single-colored passages. My first time spinning merino; not too bad, but I wasn't able to draft & spin as finely as I'd have liked too. And even though I felt as though I was spinning it with plenty of twist, I had to run the whole bobbin of singles through the wheel a second time, adding a bit more twist so it would ply well. By the time I chain-plied the yarn, it was, once again...bulky-weight!(Will I ever be able to spin anything else?!) The dark brown stripes are from yarn I picked up at S.C.R.A.P.
Since my yarn was heavier than what the pattern called for, I knit up the child's size, and it turned out perfectly. I love how it fits, so cozy around the ears. Rick's already been wearing it when it cools down at night. The pattern is so fun to knit, that right away I cast on to try knitting up the pointed version.
This time the change in guage didn't work out so well, and it came out rather too small. It's in the frog pond, waiting to be transformed into a pair of stripy mitts. I'll definitely be knitting up another "pointless" version for myself; this is a super fun knit and super comfy, groovy hat. And just a few more photos from the New Mexico trip. These are some little sage bundles we made out of sage growing not ten feet from my friend's front door!
We paid a visit to Bosque del Apache wildlife refuge south of Albuquerque. It's one of the country's largest migrating bird refuges. Apparently, during the spring and fall, there are millions of birds passing through here, and the sight of them taking flight at dawn is amazing. This time of year, though, there's not so much happening. We took a peek, anyway, and saw some Snowy Egrets, turtles basking on logs, a wild turkey, and a goofy Roadrunner skittling along with a huge bug in it's beak. An interesting thing I learned about this refuge, is that it is intensely managed to provide optimum food and habitat for migrating birds. Not only are various areas drained and flooded to create wetlands at certain times of the year, extensive crops such as wheat, oats, and other seed-producers are grown for the birds to feast on while they're here. We also toured one of the most interesting arboretums I've been through; a cactus arboretum!
It's difficult to see the scale, but some of these babies are huge!
There was some interesting art scattered throughout.
I was wearing flip-flops as I strolled the pathways, and some of these plants really made my exposed toes & ankles cringe!
Here I am bouncing around in the back of a pickup with the dogs, on the way to a dusk visit of a very special spring hidden in the nearby dessert, outside of Socorro.
This is me in the plaza on Museum Hill in Santa Fe.
This is a huge bronze sculpture of a Native American dance. I love how fluid and active the forms are, even though they are cast of this very hard metal.
And this is a view of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, up near Tres Piedras. Mostly it's all dry & sagebrush dessert around there, but we went on what was my favorite walk of the trip, up around one of the Piedras, and this is what we saw.
Viva New Mexico

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Black Sheep Gathering & A Wedding

I went to the Black Sheep Gathering fiber fest in Eugene last weekend. I brought my bike with me, so I was able to park the car at a friend's house, and bike around everywhere...that was great fun! A country dweller like me doesn't get much of a chance for bicycling, these days. I so enjoyed myself, seeing all the gorgeous fibers, and especially having geeky fiber chats with just about everyone I came across. Most of my friends aren't into fiber to the extent I am, so I don't get to really "geek-out" about it too often. First off, I headed straight to my favorite bargain booth, Fantasy Fibers. They had two large bins, one of "Mystery Batts", and the other of "Natural-Colored Rovings". At $1.35 per oz., the Mystery Batts are a real deal. I was told that this year, they have lots of alpaca in them, and they are very soft.When Li'l B. saw me taking photos, she promptly wrapped herself in a batt and took a snooze. Check it out; this: Opens up to this:And this one:looks like this inside:It's kinda like eating a box of chocolates.It's my first time spinning from a batt, and I love it! All I want to do is spin and spin and spin...I'll try my hand at making some art yarns with these, experimenting with new techniques. I also came home with a lovely, bi-colored CVM (California Variegated Mutant) fleece; I'll show you later when I wash it. Between the fleece, the mystery batts, and some other oddiments, I ended up having to make two trips with the bike to haul it all! Definitely a year's supply of fiber (at least!) And, since I know you've all been dying to hear about my trip to New Mexico, I'll share a few wedding photos. Here we are, cheering on the bride. We were all friends together in Corvallis, about 23 years ago! It was great reconnecting with everyone, and we all got to stay together at a sweet little guest house in downtown Santa Fe. This is the wedding's framing a "tree" of clematis, on which guests hung colorful paper dragonflies inscribed with personal well-wishings to the couple. Aren't the wedding cakes lovely! Each was a different flavor, all very delicious...I liked the raspberry creme the best.I've been rather out of commission this week, with back drag, except that I have been able to knit! Next time I'll show you what I made, and share some more desserty photos. It's good to be back!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Off Again Already

Oh my. It's time to leave again for another trip. This time it's a quickie to New Mexico for an old friend's wedding.
The past week's been a blur of mad gardening (o, my aching back!), sewing, and a bit of house cleaning (we can't have the house-sitters thinking we're total slobs). I've been thinking of you often, dear blog reader, and of all the lovely things I could be sharing with you. Alas, busy-ness has prevailed, with no spare moments for photographing or posting. *^* - Be back in a week!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Green Man Lurking

I've noticed a mysterious stranger lurking amongst the plants, lately.
He seems kinda shy.
I find him rather hot.
L.B. is not impressed.
A few more things to get into the ground, or at least into larger pots. Here's a snapshot of the garden. I'm rather embarrassed, I mean, it looks so weedy. It's much more organized-appearing in real-life, I promise. You can see my potting-up station, with the wheel-barrow of freshly-mixed potting soil.
This evening was most glorious in the garden, with a thunderstorm blowing in; cool/warm, humid gusts of wind; the air full and active. I felt quite energized and was able to get quite a few things into the ground before hunger drove me indoors. Despite some cloud rumblings & a few ionic flashes, the drenching cloud-burst never quite occurred. I'll just have to keep on watering.