Sunday, January 25, 2004

WOW!!! The Destin Spin In was fabulous! My wonderful husband took two days off from work so I could attend on Thursday and again on Saturday. Armed with spinning wheel, equipment, my contribution to the door prize table and all the cash I had left from our Las Vegas trip, I twice traveled the 45 miles to Destin's Seascape resort. I purposely brought no fiber with me to spin. I'd already been told about the vendors!

There was a room full of vendors with incredible fiber and I had no difficulty finding everything I would need. . . for the rest of the year! This picture was taken on Saturday when the booths were well picked over and little remained. I understand why so many locals shop for all of their fiber once a year at the Spin In! However, since glutony in all it's forms is ugly, I will not document my sin here for the world to see.

There were about 80 spinners at Spin In. In my life I've never seen so many spinning wheels!

There were spinners from all over the country, from the State of Washington to Wisconsin, to Georgia to here in Florida. We had at least one vendor from Canada even!

Apparently, people bring their stuffed sheep collections too.

The one laying in the foreground snored whenever a snapping or clapping sound was made. It was pretty obnoxious, lol!

Sheila Bosworth, an owner of the company that makes Journey Wheels and charkas came down from the Boston area to spin and vend.

Having finally seen a Journey Wheel in action, I immediately added it to my "Wish List". What a wonderful portable wheel!

Sheila arrived from the Boston area Friday night and was only able to attend Spin In on Saturday. She told me it was only 8 degrees in Boston. We were in the upper 60's here in the Florida panhandle.

Sheila secured a spot by an open door for part of her spinning day and was thus able to enjoy the weather a little bit at least. I hope she had a chance to check out our breath-takingly beautiful beaches while in Destin!

This year's Spin In theme was "Hand Jive." The local guild created hats and decorated them for the occasion.

They were very creative, but Sally's was my favorite. She ran out of yarn before finishing the top so she stuffed two small red gloves and formed a top for her hat. I was supposed to participate in this project, but will admit I never even finished carding my wool.

I saw a new knitting fashion accessory while in Destin.

This is one group's answer to mobile two color knitting.

If you look carefully you can see that there is a grommet in the center of each cup. A different color of yarn is inserted in each cup and fed through the grommets. The knitter is then free to wander at will and still knit in color. This particular knitter told me her knitting bra made knitting on airplanes and in airports much easier.

I stayed up late Friday night in order to finish my boucle yarn tri-loom shawl for show and tell on Saturday. I just love the way it turned out!

It is actually much more lacy looking than the first picture looks.

Gabrielle got up and modeled it for me this morning.

It is a 7 foot shawl spun from Sea Kelp Wensleydale I had in my stash. I think I used an entire pound for the shawl.

I love how lacy it looks without looking cheesy.

I received many compliments on it at the Spin In.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

I am not very good at deadlines lately. I'd wanted to knit the Dale sweater for Kurt's birthday. But his birthday is tomorrow. Two weeks ago the sweater looked like this:

Last week it looked like this:

The more I knit, the more I knew it was just going to be too small. So I frogged it. Completely. Go back to square 1. Do not pass "Go," do not collect $200. Start again. Oh well. Better to spend the time knitting something that will fit.

Here is what it looks like today:

I suspect it will not be finished for Kurt's birthday tomorrow. I've already gone to the store and picked up something else. Perhaps it will be ready for his birthday in 2005?

I also wanted to finish the shawl I've been weaving on my tri-loom before the Destin Spin In, which I want to attend tomorrow. It is the one I am making with the curly designer yarn I spun before our trip to Las Vegas. I'm doing the fringe now.

If I have enough yarn, I can finish in time. BUT . . .

I think I might be a couple of yards short of yarn for the fringe. It will be close. If I have to spin up another skein, I can't see having it finished by tomorrow. I might make it by Saturday though and plan to attend again then.

I've been fighting the flu all week and that has certainly not helped my production goals. At least I should have a new shawl for my birthday next Tuesday and that is good!

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Lest anyone believe I am technology savvy, let me dispell the myth here and now. I have not posted for these past weeks since returning from my Las Vegas trip for lament over my ailing digital camera. Alas, I finally shared my woe with my husband, who told me twas only dead batteries in my Flashpath system that prevented my pictures from uploading on my computer. So now, fresh batteries in place, I return.

Oh brother!

Two days before leaving for Las Vegas in December, I decided I wanted a new shawl to take with me. So I scrambled in attempt to achieve the impossible. I spun about 300 yards of designer yarn and began weaving on my tri-loom. I did not finish the task, but did manage to complete most of the spinning and some of the weaving.

This is the Wensleydale yarn in which I pushed back on one single while plying to form "curls" in the yarn. It should produce a nicely textured shawl. On the loom it reminds me of a grapevine trailing around an arbor.

I had planned to do tons of knitting during the 36 hour drive to and then again back from Las Vegas. However, since I did most of the night driving, being the family insomniac and since we started both legs of the journey at night, during the day when I was supposed to be knitting, I most often found myself trying to sleep. However, on the way to Las Vegas we did stop for a night so the second day of driving I managed to knit Gabrielle a tam.

She wore it to the mountains when we took the kids to see snow for the first time. Gregory loved the snow despite my best efforts. Gabrielle, unbeknownst to us was acquiring the flu at the time and thus she believes "snow is evil." I will admit to cultivating that belief in her. I figure one way to help keep them close to home when they grow up is to eliminate any desire they might have to move to any more northern regions of the country. Hee, hee!

While in Las Vegas, I started Kurt's Dale sweater. I faithfully swatched for the sweater several times, adjusting needle sizes and being an all around responsible knitter. According to my swatch, I needed to go down one needle size and then knit the large rather than the extra large sweater pattern. After finishing Gabrielle's bobble sweater and discovering how large it was, I didn't want to do that again! I was going to be careful this time!

I am now about 5 or 6 inches into the sweater body:

To my utter horror, I am now knitting less loose than my original swatch. Thus, I am beginning to believe if I continue, I shall knit a sweater for myself instead of my husband. Groan! I believe it is time to frog. . .

I can do it. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. . .

If I don't start over, I may be able to block it bigger, but I'll never be completely happy with it. . . Sigh.

My little floor loom is still beckoning to me. I still need to clean it and it is on my "to-do" list for January.

I will admit the idea of taking apart anything intimidates me! And the thought of dismantling a floor loom is beyond comprehension! I am determined however! I need kitchen towels after all!

At present my loom has found a home between the couch and the fireplace, just behind the end table, next to the hearth. A nice little nook for it. Across the living room is the tri-loom. Our living room has taken on a new decor theme!