Sunday, June 24, 2007

Black Sheep Gathering!

For your viewing pleasure, I have uploaded some of the pics I took yesterday at the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, Oregon. This is an annual celebration of colored fiber and the critters who produce it, the shepherds who care for them, and the spinners, knitters, weavers, crocheters, etc, who enjoy using it. There are lots of pics of Shetland sheep here, along with Corriedale, Lincoln, Romney, Targhee, Romeldale, and maybe an Angora goat or two, with an Alpaca or two thrown in for good measure (they are so cute and cuddly looking!). Enjoy!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day all!

Hope everyone is having a good day, my Dad is already in Heaven waiting for me, two years now, so I'm celebrating with my DH today. Yesterday we went to Portland to see my Mom and sister and her youngest boy. On the way, we stopped in Woodburn at Al's Garden Shop and I surprised DH with his Father's Day gift - any rose bush he wanted! He's been wanting to add some roses to the east side of the house to put in between the tree roses that the previous owner transplanted there from her Dad's house. So DH picked out a Double Delight bush and he will plant it tomorrow. Reason being, the flowerbed is currently full of grass so when he digs the hole to plant the bush, he will also spend time pulling up grass around it. Right now the yard debris bin is full and tomorrow is garbage day, with ours being picked up in the morning. He pulled all the grass out of the gravel driveway over the last two weeks, and most of that had to go in the garbage as it had a lot of rocks in it (I really didn't want to lose the gravel as now we have to get more to fill in but, oh, well, at least it's weeded).

I've also got some photos to post of things I'm working on. When we visited DH's Mom and stepdad last month, his Mom took me aside to ask if I would knit her husband a sweater as he is always cold from the heart meds he takes. Of course I agreed and she bought the yarn while we were down there. I've put his sweater at the head of my knitting list, especially since he's 86 with a pacemaker and I want him to get some use out of the sweater, so my other projects are kind of languishing now. But it's for a good reason so I'm not upset, I just ke
ep looking at Erin and dreaming of working on her when the FLAK is done.

I now have the back totally done to the armholes and the right front to the armholes finished yesterday. Last night on the way home from Portland I started the left front and I'm maybe a quarter done with it. Then I pick up and knit the sleeves, before finishing the body. This is the third time I've done this pattern and I only have to look at the charts to see which way to twist the cables when I set up a new section. Janet Szabo is the designer for this pattern, which is actually an online group class she led last year, and it is really a pleasure to knit, knowing that you check the fit as you go so no surprises at the end.

This is most of the cuff of a pair of kilt hose I'm making for a friend. I made him a pair last year and he enjoyed them so much I'm making him another pair. This time, I will put the letters USMC down the sides, as he served in the US Marine Corps and is very proud of it. I'm actually on the ribbing under the cuff now, and might get some knitting done on these today, if I finish the left front of the FLAK. I'm trying to get sections done and then work on another project for a bit, to keep the momentum going on the FLAK. It's terrible to have heart problems and then be cold all the time from the meds for it.

This is my St. Brigid, who is resting while I make the FLAK. I'm on the first sleeve, as you can see on the left, with the body done. After I get the sleeves done, I'll knit the top yoke as per the directions, sew it on, then pick up and knit the collar ribbing. I was going to do the top yoke attached to the sweater but did some thinking about why Alice would have designed the sweater the way she did. By knitting the yoke separately, the tension is even on both sides of it and it helps hold the sweater up better and looks nicer. If I had knit it attached, the side knit with the sweater would stretch out and there would be more yarn in those stitches, therefore allowing the sweater to droop and lose it's nice lines and muddy the yoke pattern up. I've learned to think through the way she designed a garment before I modify it, to avoid disasters at the end.

And this is my Erin, also patiently waiting while I make the FLAK. I have just two more rounds to go before finishing the first time through all the charts. I think I wrote earlier that I will be changing the dark red at the bottom of the Celtic animal chart. It is way too different from the other colors and tends to look like a pedestal the animals are sitting on, instead of their feet and bottoms as it is supposed to be. I have a Poppy color I am going to use the next time through the chart, that I think is much better in tune with the other colors in the chart. For unity I will have to remember to use that Madder Red in the animal chart at the bottom of the sleeves, so the garment fits together. Anne in Maine, whose color list I'm using, has also decided that she prefers a different red at the bottom of the chart. Since all the yarns originally used for this design are long discontinued and almost impossible to find, even on Ebay at blood money prices, a knitter has to sub in fingering weight yarns and try to get the colors to look pleasing.

I've been involved in some other matters, like overtime at work, so haven't been current on what is happening with J & S at this point. I need to see if I can find out if any decisions have been made by the east coast US distributor as to which colors she is going to import that have been discontinued. She had been talking about bringing back some of the colors that had been ended years ago (hopefully Marjoram!) and I'm eager to see what she decided on. One has to order 1750 skeins of a dyelot to get discontinued colors and that's several thousand dollars we're talking about, so it's not something to do lightly.

Hope everyone has a great weekend and hug a friend or family!