Saturday, May 26, 2007

So yesterday I found myself sitting behind a big ol' Mercury Marquis with a vanity license plate that read:
MRSTASH

Hmmm...is it Mr. Stash?....which would be kind of a stupid way to advertise if it meant what might be implied from the 60's drug culture.

Or is it Mrs. Stash...with the double s just glossed over?

A woman was driving.

That car has a freaking huge trunk. Any bets on how much yarn it could hold?

I'm betting it means: Mrs. Stash.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Tapestry Loom etc....

Here's the tapestry loom mentioned in my previous post:

(apologies for the fuzzy focus...must have something to do with the shiny surface and limited skills of the photographer..me.) The weaving area is 16" wide by 22" tall. Note the big connectors on the side uprights which allow for increasing the tension on the warp. The loom is the perfect height to work at when placed on the coffee table or the loom bench.

I wanted a warp separater at the top, so dh installed this spring which is positioned at 10 EPI:


Here's today's sampler weaving in progress on a 3/16 linen warp with various sport to worsted weight knitting yarns:

The instructions I'm following are in this book. This sample is only about 2.5" wide.

The following is for Leigh:
It's a 4 harness summer & winter sampler where the color stripes do not line up with the S&W blocks both in warp and weft. The fibers are 8/2 & 10/2 unmerc. cotton and the red is a cotton flake yarn. This sampler was inspired in a S&W intensive correspondence study with Mary Bentley of Vancouver through HGA about 10 years ago. I've always loved this sample because it's complex appearance for a 4 harness fabric.

And now it's time to get back to the loom.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Still here and still up to my eyeballs....

No pictures today, but a brief update:
  • For Mother's Day, son and hubby combined efforts to make me a copper pipe tapestry loom. They combined the best aspects of the PVC loom in Kids Weaving and Archie Brennan's copper pipe looms. I am so thrilled to have this for the workshop I'm taking at the end of June. My plans are to weave a sampler from this book book in the next week or two.
  • I've been knitting on Hyrna Herborgar with handspun cashmere singles. The yarn has been spun for awhile but no project seemed to fit. Then Ted posted his completed shawl and I went immediately into lemming mode. (Must have been Md. Sheep and Wool influence!). I'm on row 85 of 127 rows, but it's a triangular shawl knit from the center back neck, so the rows are getting more and more stitches.
  • Meanwhile spring continues apace. Just picked up 6 hosta plants on the way home from the gym that will need to go in the ground. Will also have to pick up about 5 flats of impatiens to fill out the beds in the basement walk out. Even tho' we had temps in the 80's, Michigan soil is still a bit cool for the impatiens. I've learned from experience that they will not fill in much once they've had cold feet.
In the midst of all this, I've had a headache since Monday night that I just can't seem to completely shake. It seems to be a weather headache. Given the rate of weather change in Michigan, it shouldn't be with me much longer!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Michigan Sheep & Wool Redux:

It's been a week since we went to Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I've been thinking about what to post about this year's festival. One thing that says it all: I purchased 3 polymer clay sheep pins. That's it. No fiber, no books, no tools....nothing. Nada.

There were a lot of people there. There were a lot of knitting vendors there. Most of the garments in the exhibit were made with commercial yarn. Or, if they happened to be handspun, they were spun from commercially prepared fibers.

So I was not particularly impressed with this year's festival. In fact I was a bit disappointed. There are so many venues for knitters....conventions, workshops, retreats, camps, competitions, charity knitting.......(need I go on?) And though I am a knitter and have been since childhood, it seems this current generation of knitters are a bit too lemming-like for my taste.

Example: Early in the day, I noticed that if I stopped at a sales booth and looked at something (anything?!) intently, soon a small crowd gathered around me to see what I might be examining and some would even reach in front of me and grab what they thought was the object of interest. After I first noticed this, I tested it and stopped at a few spots just staring at nothing in particular. Each time a small crowd hemmed in and I ducked out and walked away.

There was only one place that this did not happen: The area where the raw fleeces were set up for sale after judging. The traffic in this area was so light that I spent the bulk of my browsing time in there: peeking in bags, fingering just a lock, examining the information on the judging tags, and dreaming about the possibilities inherent in the wool. Oh yes, and fighting off a serious seduction attempt by a 6 lb. bag of fine black/charcoal cormo fleece. It was so tempting, I had to keep chanting 70.3 this post to fend off my desire!

Sheep and wool festivals sprang up for those who raise wool and those who appreciate that raw material and make it into something useful. But it seems they are now turning into one more venue to cater to knitters. I'll parrot my friend Carol (blogless to my knowledge) and say, perhaps they should now call it the Maryland Sheep and Yarn Festival. The middle link seems to be dropping out.

So there are yarn snobs, and fiber snobs, and now it seems I have become a "festival snob".
Michigan Spring Wildflowers:

It's been a beautiful spring for wildflowers in Michigan. Here's a few from the past couple weeks:

Trillium:

07 trillium
Originally uploaded by vmusselm.



Wild Ginger

wild ginger 2 april 29 07
Originally uploaded by vmusselm.


Spring Beauties:

spring beauties 3 april 29 07
Originally uploaded by vmusselm.


Wild Geranium:

wild geranium 2
Originally uploaded by vmusselm.