Faceless

October 2010 001You’ll just have to take my word for it.  I went to the Fall Fiber Festival at Montpelier and met up with Ann, snagged a few goodies, had dinner with Ann and Dianne, but not a single people photo happened.  In fact, it seems faces just didn’t happen at all.  Hem.

I can’t show you everything.  I snagged a lot of gifts.  On the right above, you see a new bobbin for my Aura (wheel).  I happen to think a spinner can’t have too many bobbins, but these big beauties aren’t cheap, so I might just ask Santa for another and decide five is plenty…

October 2010 007Maybe I went a little crazy in the Tea Time Garden booth.  The owner is a fellow instructor at Dog House Yarns & More.   (You can find the fall class schedule HERE.)  However, a lot of what I purchased was in the above-mentioned gift category, so no photos for you, except of the honey white wedding tea that is for me!  I’d tried Bonnie’s blends at the spin-in a few months ago, but Ann and I  had a blast taking in the different aromas.  Bonnie is also gifted with a spindle, and I can’t wait to gleen some of her knowledge!

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You wouldn’t have known I just saw Dianne and her Creatively Dyed booth the weekend before to see me shopping.  I’d gone in with a plan – nothing but gifts and laceweight for me.  This huge hank is destined to become one of those lightweight cardis that are popping up all over Ravelry.  (And yes, for ME.  It might be Sissy’s hue, but she doesn’t like clothes, remember?!)

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I’d planned and was working my plan until Ann waved some sale yarn under my nose.   Panyard is a scrumptious merino silk blend that is likely to become mitts or a little scarf for me.

October 2010 008This is a little knot of superfine merino.  It’s just a bit for me to try.  The dark portion is actually a little purple, but no amount of editing could get it just right.

And that’s all I bought for me – honest!

I always seem to miss all the people I’d like to see at this festival.  I don’t know if it’s because it’s so local to me or what.  I didn’t go back on Sunday so I missed the Ravelry meet-up.  The mud was all but a non-issue, so I hope no one stayed away on its account.  My tires got dirty, but my shoes were so clean that I didn’t change into the spare pair I’d brought along before I drove home.

How was your weekend?  I also did lots of knitting, but we’ll talk about that later…

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Loot!

September 2010 027This is post three of a 4-part series on my weekend, mostly about the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival.   Please come back tomorrow for details on what I consider the find of the festival, Gretchen’s little pink, boiled wool coat.  It really is worthy of a post of its own, whether you adore wee doggies and their clothes or just admire FINE handcrafted goods.

Before we launch into that, let me mention that Nichole has  another great give-away on her blog.  It sounds like a great book, so if you haven’t entered already, tell her I sent you, okay? 

Now, for the rest of the story.

Before we look at the loot, let’s talk about the people.  Kathy has FAR better photos (read: we repositioned so the wind was blowing into our faces rather than across ’em), so if you want to see her and her friends and family, pop over to her post about Saturday.   It was great to see her, her dear hubby, meet her parents, etc.  I love when formerly bloggy friends become “real” and I think given that I “farm” (Farmville on Facebook) with Kathy’s mom and chat now and again with Shelly, that makes us as real as it gets!

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Beth, me, Anita, Aimee, Magan, Beth's DD

That’s the Blue Mountain crew, minus the young man who was such a good sport about the whole day.  All of the adults are members of the Blue Mountain group on Ravelry.  Blue Mountain Handcrafts is Beth’s enterprise.  You can find her on Etsy or on her website.   I’m still admiring her husband’s fiber tools.   They’re pretty enough to make me think I’d like to blend some of my own fiber… maybe…

Beth, Anita, Aimee and Magan are all members of the FIX co-op I mentioned yesterday.  Here’s a link to Magan‘s shop, which has some pretty roving and cute earrings!

I don’t have a photo of dear Dianne of Creatively Dyed, but I’ll get one this weekend when we do dinner.  She has the best smile in the world, a reflection of her incredible heart!  Doesn’t hurt any that she also has a rather unique approach to dyeing that I can’t resist either.

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That’s the merino/silk/cashmere roving I couldn’t leave behind.  I mean, I know I’ll see her again in just a couple of days, but Gretchen wouldn’t have forgiven me if I’d left this up for grabs.  (And yes, for those of you who don’t really know Gretchen, the wee one does have a passion for cashmere and fine merino!)  And talk about names, since you know I love my yarns and rovings to have real names, not numbers…   Goat!!  That’s also one of Sissy’s nicknames, so this was truly destined to come home with me.

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This is a milk fiber and something blend.  Sorry…  it intrigued me enough to have to come home, but I failed to photograph the tag, so…  I don’t recall the name either, but Dianne wisely names all of her goodies, so rest assured, it has one.  (Cow, maybe?  Bovine?)

I also snagged two of her yarns, but they’re gifts and I want them to be surprises, so… tough luck to the rest of you.

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That’s a button I snagged in the Foothills Spinners & Weavers Guild booth.  I don’t know that it’s practical, but I’ll use it eventually because it’s too cute not to be called to action!

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This bow came from their booth too, for Sis.  She didn’t mind having it clipped on her collar at all.

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I couldn’t get the photo I wanted of Sis and the bow, but she’s just so photogenic…  sight hunting with her new accessory. 

Now you’ve seen it all, save the details on Gretchie’s coat.  Friday, I have a finished object report for you too.  Be sitting down when you read this – and Friday’s post – because I finished a pair of socks!

Boxes of Fibery Fun

Good grief!  Where has yet another day gone?! 

Last week, two boxes, overflowing with fiber, showed up on my front porch. 

The first was from dear Alison.   She’s such an invaluable resource to me for all things fiber, and now, some of her stash that no longer sings to her has moved east, where it most assuredly does sing to me… and to MJ, who is just crazy about the round ball of roving.   If I remember correctly, the cone shaped fiber is wool, and the round one is unknown.  Thank you, Alison!  I do adore those colors!

The other package was from Kathy and her pack.   This is a mohair blend batt.   I just love the colors.  I’m on a blue kick, in case anyone has missed that.

This batt is named The Spa.  It reminds me that I need to MAKE time to get to the day spa!  It is a BFL batt, and on a rainy day like today, I can only wish I could go home and spin up some of this sunshine.

This is a lovely new base in the Gypsyknits line.  It’s a cashmere blend, and this colorway is Thunder.   I can only hope that today’s thunder and rain green the grass up a bit.

Regular readers might recall that Gretchen has a thing for cashmere.   Sure enough, before I could scoop the yarn to safety, she had sprinted up the steps and come to inspect the latest lovely to arrive for HER stash.

Of course, the girls weren’t forgotten.  Mr. Bettis took full credit for the Sissy-allowed treats, but a little birdy told me that Mr. B’s owner actually fetched the meat-free cookies.   I can’t tell you how much it means to me that my friends (and their spouses!) go to the extra trouble to find treats for my DIVA.  I can assure you, both dogs heartily appreciate it!

The girls would have liked to have posted their own thank-you, but it just wasn’t that kind of weekend. 

I tried to get a photo of the girls savoring their new favorite treats, but I’m afraid that they were so into them that all I have is an unimpressive cleaning up the crumbs shot.

How was your weekend?  I’ll have to tell you more about ours another day…

Come on in…

… look at me!  I left the Dog House door open.   Slip on in and I’ll show you around. 

I missed the entrance and the big, comfy chairs right at the front door, but there are directions on the shop website, so you’ll find it with ease.

Jessi would be proud.  I forgot a camera, but I did remember that I have a camera in my phone.   I even taught myself how to upload directly to Flickr!  (You just need to go to your profile and tell it to generate an upload by email address.)

Anyway, on the right as soon as you walk in is the spinning fiber.   I’m not going to list vendors in the “group” shots, but if you go to the shop site linked above, most companies are listed by name.

Photo actually of table as you walk in, but...

In front of the windows is the pottery.  

To the right of the pottery is the spindle table.  Are you getting that they really are Dog House Yarns & More?  That’s the best selection of spindles I’ve ever seen outside of a fiber festival.

When you walk in the door, if you make it past the fiber, there’s a fun table in front.   Those bowls are hand-done with all kinds of cute, funky, fun local phrases! 

View of bookshelf to the left of the counter

There is plenty to see.  

Kathy‘s bags are sprinkled around the store.

Just a couple of Anita's marker sets featured in the display case

Anita‘s markers live in the display case.

Seacoast yarn lives on the back wall, under the some knitting totes.

The laceweight yarn is to the left of the bags.  It’s one of the best offerings of laceweight I’ve seen.  There’s even more in the shelves next to this wall display.

I’m really serious… if you’re going, let me know.  It isn’t exactly right around the corner, but I can trek up with some notice, and my favorite restaurant is in the same town.

Photo courtesy of Get Your Knits In VA

Dog House Yarns & More is also participating in the third annual Get Your Knits program.  It’s a fun way to see some of the other yarn shops in Virgina, from the beach to the Blue Ridge Mountains and beyond!  This year’s “passport” is the Knit Kit in a pretty turquoise blue…

I suppose you’re wondering what I brought home.   I did get a Knit Kit, of course, and I didn’t snap a photo, but I wanted to try the Hiya Hiya 9″ bamboo circs, so I got a #6 to try for the decreases at the top of hats.

While I am trying HARD not to buy sock yarn in particular, I couldn’t resist the Seacoast colors, and after much fondling and sighing, the Bee Balm came to live with in my yarn library.

I also snagged some of the Abstract Fiber in a silk BFL blend…

and some Corridale in a hue that I’m sure will surprise some of you.  I had to laugh at myself when I decided that THAT was the batt I wanted to buy…

So there you have it!  What’s up for your weekend?  If you’re in the USA, are you off on Monday?  Are you doing anything special for the 4th?  We have a few options, but haven’t made plans yet…

Good Gifts

Woohoo!  It’s little friday, which means Happy Dogs on Thursday, and Thankful Thursday!

Why is it okay for Sis to sit down on the job?!

Since I’m in the doghouse, I’ll throw the girls a bone and urge you to visit their post for the day.   I must be doing something right if Gretchen gets all knotted up when she can’t post THEIR appreciation fast enough!   (Sis is grateful too, but she’s cool with just having me email the givers and say how much we all appreciate the gifts…)  They also let you know what yesterday’s mystery photo really is.

We bought Sis a special gift last weekend too, but I notice even dear Gretchie didn’t bother to mention it in their post.  You see, Sis seems to simply be unable to stay out of the trash in the bathroom.  She doesn’t bother the kitchen trash, and only lifts a rare piece from the trash can in the living room, so we gave in and bought a covered can for the bathroom.  I’m not very excited about it either.  It’s big and boring, but it’s the one the Knight and I thought mostly like to dissuade Sis…  Hopefully, it will work.

When Sis and I got home from the vet Monday night, I had a surprise waiting.  The Knight had decided I needed a spinning chair.  With a little help from Barbara at Stony Mountain Fibers and Neighbor Guy, he bought the Ashford chair, and then assembled and stained it while we were out.

He also bought his first fiber!  I am beside myself delighted.  It’s a silk merino, and I have almost 8 ounces of it.

Of course, I started spinning it right away.

Why yes, you do see at least part of a dog in most of my photos.  That’s life in the woods, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thankful Thursday?  I’m so blessed to have a husband who understands and supports my hobbies.

Now, does anyone have a secret way to download a host of photos off my Blackberry to Flickr?  I swear someone told me once you could upload (?!) directly to Flickr on the phone, but…  Generally, with a single photo or two, I email them to myself…

Blue Moon

I don’t think we really have a blue moon, but it’s been a stunning sight the past few nights, and I was looking for something with blue for a title…

When I got home Friday, I had the sweetest package waiting for me!  Anita sent all kinds of goodness, but you’ll have to wait for the girls to blog about their goodies later.  (The girls also got pressies from Ann, so they have some thanking to do!)

First up is the superwash Anita dyed just for me.   She named it “Ocean” and it does look just like our mid-Atlantic waters.  There are six glorious ounces there, so I can spin it finely and navajo ply it and still get plenty of yardage.  Anita knows me so well…

I am blessed to have received Anita’s first WIP tool. (Wraps per inch… a necessity in spinning, but nice to have for any yarn-related crafting)  Isn’t it ADORABLE?!

Look at that sweet face!   I love the detail in Anita’s clay animals.   This long-backed sheep has a poodle cut so that  its “bare” middle can be used to measure the wraps per inch.  (You don’t need to REALLY wrap…  I just spread my yarn one row “deep” and line it up closely, then count…)

Of course, the other end is pretty cute too, thanks to Anita’s attention to de-tail, er… detail.   

I’m so honored to have the first of Anita’s newest line of clay fiber arts  jewelry.  If you’re local, you can find Anita’s cute critters at Dog House Yarns & More in Culpeper.   They quitely opened for business on Saturday.  Yes, I’m going to scoot up there sometime this week and tell you all about it!  If not, you can find them on her Etsy site.

Oh – and I wasn’t the only one smitten with Anita’s fiber, but you’ll have to click over here to find out more…

Edited to add:  Here’s a photo of another WIP tool in use.

12 WPI (wraps per inch)

More Catch-Up

… and another contest!  I love all the contests going on right now.  Do stop in at Nichole’s blog and help me win Edie Eckman’s new book.  Edie’s kinda’ local, and I was lucky enough to take a couple of her classes a couple of years ago.  I credit her with getting me past the “I CAN crochet but I’m not really a crocheter” to the “Why yes, I DO crochet” stage.   I have most of Edie’s other books and a pamphlet or two as well, but her Motif crochet book is my go-to crochet resource.  I am pretty sure this will be my new edging resource too.

Oh – and this time, DO tell Nichole I sent you, please?  (And if I can’t win, I hope you do… I’m trying to learn to say that and mean it.)

A bit ago, there was a contest on Eternal Arts & Crafts, and I won one of the prizes.  I got to select an Etsy vendor, for whom I then received a gift certificate.  That lovely BFL is what came to live with me, from Greenwood Fiberworks.  I actually got two braids, because…  I could.   I just love a pretty little package, don’t you?  Thank you for the contest and the prize, Eternal!

So, that brings us up to date, I think.  Morning is almost over here and I haven’t heard from wondervet, so after lunch, I’ll have to call back and be a pest.  I hate to call and call, but I want to talk to her about Sissy.

I think normal might be creeping back into my life!