Friday, July 27, 2012

July Happenings

July got away from me this year.  What with the Tour de Fleece, a spate of housesitting, getting back into running, starting a fashion illustration class, finishing up a couple designs and having a few others published, a trip up the coast for a wine and yarn weekend, and, oh yes, normal, day to day life, I feel like July picked me up like a whirlwind and dropped me off at the cusp of August, breathless and a teeny bit dizzy.  So here's a quick rundown before August treats me the same way!

This year's TdF started with a bang and ended. . . kind of with a fizzle.  For the first time in five years, I was a DNF--there were too many other things going on and working spinning into my schedule was stressing me out.  And since this is supposed to be fun, I made the grown-up choice (note: not my normal mode; I am far more likely to stick to something if it kills me, just because I said I would) and let it go for this year.  Instead, I got some sleep, worked on some deadline knitting projects, and petted the yarn that I had spun.  In addition to the first week's spinning, I managed to ply the eight ounces of 1 ply BFL, 1 ply Falkland fingering/sport weight from Pine Star Studios:


I also got started on that yummy CVM/Romeldale fleece I got back from Morro Fleeceworks.  Here's how it's spinning up:

I have plans a-foot for a 3-ply Aran weight to make a cable-y shawl collar cardigan, should I ever get the rest of it spun!

During TdF, and just when I needed it most this past month, my friend Elise came through with the best proposal ever: a weekend in a cabin on the ocean, with spinning wheels, knitting, friends, and wine.  Elise runs Nerd Wars over on Ravelry, so she has about as much, if not more, on her plate as I do! Some of the CVM/Romeldale spinning happened then, but my weekend mostly looked like this (you'll have to imagine the glass of wine that was out of the frame):

It was such a great weekend--loads of fun, lots of new friends, and a chance to take a step back from the rest of the crazy.  When I came back, I was ready and raring to go, which is good, because I had two designs come out in the next two weeks!

The Kit Camisole came out with Quince & Co. first.  This was a big leap of faith for me--it was the first time I'd done a garment with this much positive ease to it, and I was nervous as to how it would come out or what the reception would be.  It's been so great seeing people's reactions to it!


Kit is worked in Quince's Sparrow, which, as we've discussed, is one of my favorite yarns.  :) It takes texture SO well, and was a delight to work with once again.  You can find the pattern on Ravelry here!

The second pattern that came out this month was the Tideline Cowl, which will be published as part of Cecily Glowik MacDonald's first self-published book, Landing: Winged Knits Vol. 1.  Cecily is possibly the sweetest, nicest, most hard-working person I know, and it was a complete honor to get to be part of this latest endeavor.  

(both pattern photos by Carrie Bostick Hoge; she's amazing!)

Tideline is knit in Quince & Co.'s Puffin, another one of my favorite yarns! I LOVE the stitch definition and texture in this; I had originally thought about knitting it in Finch, but fell in complete love with the idea of knitting it with a larger yarn for even more of a statement.  You can find this on Ravelry here, where you can pre-order the book both in e-book and hard copy, and quick! Cecily's doing a giveaway about the book on her blog here!

So now that July's almost under my belt, what will August bring? Only one of my favorite weeks of the year! I'm leaving tomorrow for a week up at Medomak and the New England Fiber Arts Retreat.  I'll be teaching classes on designing a top-down shawl, picots, pleats, and welts, and wet-felting a bowl or vase.  I will also be swimming every day, spending as many hours as I can on the porch, and hanging out with some of my best friends.  I.  Can't.  Wait. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Tour de Fleece Week 1

So, I've got this relationship with the Tour de Fleece.  This is my sixth year playing along (that's crazypants right there), and it's probably one of my favorite times of year.  This year is no exception! Here's what I've been working on so far:


This is 8 oz of 2-ply sportweight, spun worsted.  1 ply is Sour Fig in Shetland by Hello Yarn, and the other is Rambutan in BFL by Into the Whirled.  I still need to check yardage, but I love this yarn unabashedly.

Also on the wheel was 4 oz each of BFL and Falkland from Pine Star Studios:


The fast and furious plying on these started last night, and I'll hopefully have it finished up today.  I should have probably around 800 yards, and I have no idea what I'm going to do with it.  But I'm excited to move on to the next project! 

One thing I forgot to mention in the whirlwind of last week (thank you all for your kind words, by the way!) is that I got two fleeces back in the mail from Morro Fleeceworks.  I had sent them off during The Great Beetle Scare, which helped me be realistic about the actual likelihood of me washing those fleeces in my closet.  So off they went, and two of them came back to me last Tuesday.  Want a peek?


This is a CVM/Romeldale lamb fleece I picked up at Rhinebeck in--wait for it--2008.  It was an absolutely stunning fleece and I wasn't doing it justice by keeping it in the closet.  I can't wait to give it a spin! What are you working on for TdF?