Bag it

I must admit to procrastinating about my Spinning Study Group project. It’s been so long, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’d forgotten that I was in a spinning study group. I haven’t forgotten, I just was avoiding it. I had to rewash my merino wool as I hadn’t gotten all the grease out of it and I didn’t want to do it. Well, we had a meeting last Saturday and I had to come with something done – some sort of progress.

So, at the beginning of last week, I started washing a batch at a time in a bowl in my kitchen sink. I boiled water for 2 soapy washes and 3 rinses (okay, sometimes 4 rinses because I got a little carried away with the soap). Anyway, I got the wool clean and took it to the meeting to use my friend’s motorized carder. The batts come off the carder and look like little loaves of wool:

I fell in love with this wool all over again. The batt on the left came off Nancy’s carder and the one on the right came off my hand cranked one. Aren’t they lovely? They’re fluffy and soft and I can’t wait to get spinning. Maybe I can spend some time with the wheel this weekend.

Here’s my other project right now:

That is one side of my Tour de France beaded knitting bag (second side is up to the pattern area at the top). I have some silk fabric on order from Aurora Silk – okay I ordered some weld too. I have in my mind exactly what I want for the lining of this bag and I can’t find it in any of the fabric stores around here. Sooo, I ordered the weld and I’m going to try my hand at fabric dyeing.

However, do you see my problem illustrated in the photo? I ordered a frame from Bag Lady and mis-calculated. When I looked at the measurements on the website, I was thinking that the measurement was taken across the top of the frame only. It’s not. It’s a measurement from one end to the other (which makes perfect sense, I just didn’t think of it that way). Since I don’t want to make the bag fit into this frame (I think it would be a little scrunched), I need to order a bigger size. I hate when that happens.

Incidentally, I had a dream that Sheryl Crow saw this bag and wanted it. I told her no. She begged and pleaded with me. She may even have shed a tear. I told her to go away. Delusions of grandeur? Ummmm, yeah.

Yarn Photos and a Contest!

Here is the lovely Koigu I picked up from Threadbear on Friday. Does it remind you of anything??

If not, you haven’t been reading carefully.

Here’s the other yarn I picked up on Friday:

That’s Cascade 220 on the left. The photo doesn’t show it well, but this yarn has a lot of color in it (yellow, teal, deep green). I love Cascade in the first place, but when Matt showed me a felted bag made with the purple version of this yarn, I knew I had to have some. The depth of color is amazing – go have a look.

The other yarn is Misti Alpaca from Peru – it’s 100% baby alpaca and it’s soooooo soft. I can’t remember who brought it over for us to fondle, but I knew I had to have some right away. This company also makes a bulky alpaca that is just as gorgeous. I never know what to do with bulky yarn, so I passed on that, but I’m expecting something gorgeous from Jillian made from it!

Okay, here’s the contest. The Koigu above (go look again, I’ll wait) wants to be Tour de Lance socks. Come up with a stitch pattern for me to use that incorporates those colors and you will win this:

That’s a yellow wrist band (maybe you saw all those cyclists wearing them in the Tour?). I bought them from the Lance Armstrong Foundation website during the race. They’re now all on backorder, so you can wait to get one from them – or get creative with Barbara Walker and get your very own right now. I’ll also throw in a copy of The Race: A Novel of Grit, Tactics, and the Tour de France, by Dave Shields.

So here’s the pithy version: show me a stitch pattern that looks good for socks incorporating the Koigu organized in attractive stripes and you walk away with a great book and a yellow “Live Strong” wristband. The contest will run for 2 weeks – so have your suggestions to me by August 17 and have fun!

Fiber Fun

I took the day off on Friday and went to Threadbear with Jillian. Originally, we were going to shop, but the store isn’t actually open yet. We went to help sort and count. I must say that Rob and Matt are really nice people. Not that I’m surprised, but I liked them both very much. I even liked the dogs – in spite of Tate’s persistance in trying to kiss me.

The space is absolutely huge!! If you go look on Sarah’s blog, you can see some pictures of how it’s all coming together. Sarah has been helping set things up by spending lots of time with balls of yarn and price tags. Go Sarah!

So J and I spent several hours there, but I don’t feel like I helped much. It was really more social than work. Besides, we were counting in Koigu land – that’s not work at all. I did leave with some Koigu to make a pair of socks. I’ll post the picture of the yarn and you can guess what I’ll be calling the socks when they’re done.