Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Gorgeous Merino Fiber and YES, I can really spin!

Hi all,

I wanted you to take a look at how absolutely gorgeous this fiber batt that Stephanie of Spritely goods produced! The colorway is Twilight and you can see she has this and some other yummy new colors on her web page. It really does sparkle like this in person too because of the Angelina fiber she added. She has inspired me to buy a drumcarder so I am researching and hope to look at some different ones "in person" in Colorado in June. I already have been handpainting rovings that were going to be put into the Yarn Botanika etsy.com shop (VERY SOON!), but this will be a new fun thing along with the hand-dyed yarns and spindle kits. Kathy's husband is building a lathe stand for her so she can make spindles from all kinds of woods! If anyone has suggestions on drumcarders, please let me know! I am reading the BEST book now called Color in Spinning by Deb Menz. She shows how to blend colors using combs as well as a drum carder.

So, look how beautiful this is!! AND, I am so excited and proud of myself because everyone says Merino is so hard to spin and I did it and I think it looks pretty good too! I am going to bring it to my spinning class in a few minutes!! Today we are plying and I have two full bobbins of Cotswold spun and ready to go!! I will show the Twilight yarn also once it is plied!!!!!!!!!!

Time for spinning class! I am just bummed it is our last day!!


Sunday, March 26, 2006

Frustrated with Blogger but Fiber News Still!

I am unable to post photos again!! I will try to put them into this post later. I wonder if it is my computer? I am one of those crazy people who still have dial up and I need to change very soon to DSL/cable. I have been afraid to do it only because I am in the middle of my online school program and I would hate to have things mess up!

I have been very busy between spinning class and practice, knitting, school and trying to finish taxes for both my mom and I. I have a big exam this week and once that is over I will feel more relaxed. Then only ONE MORE MONTH of school to go. YIPPEE.

My spinning is going well and I am sad this week is our last week of class at the Fiber Factory. But, I did sign up for a color blending class at our new store Tempe Yarn and Fiber for April 8th. I dropped in there the other night and bought this beautiful fiber batt (merino and angelina) made by Stephanie of Spritely Goods. I am going to start spinning it this afternoon!! It is very pretty!

I also bought this gorgeous hand dyed superwash merino at the Fiber Factory..Yummy, yummy!

I am definitely a fiber junkie, no question about it. I bought these two big baskets at IKEA the other day to keep some of my growing fiber stash in, along with a straight back wood chair for spinning. The chair was only 19.00 and the baskets only 10.00 each or something crazy like that!! These are just the "for show" fiber containers. I have quite a few more ugly ones filled to the brim with stuff! The problem is I am not a hoarder type. I like neatness so this abundance of yarn and fiber is getting more difficult for that obsessive compulsive side of me, but oh so much fun. Now I just need to set up my "spinning corner" and I am trying to decide which room in my house to put it in. I was going to put it here in my office, but the fiber flies all over including into the keyboard so I am not sure it is a good idea.......

In other news, I am very excited that Kristin and I are planning our trip to the Estes Park Wool Market in Colorado! YIPPEE!!!!!!! I am going to meet her for java now to discuss our plans!

Happy Sunday. I will try to put in missing photos later!

Love, Lisa

Monday, March 20, 2006

Congratulations to my nephew Adam!!

My adorable nephew Adam, whom I love to pieces, won the Most Valuable Player Award this weekend in basketball for the All-Star Basketball League. He sent me the article below the photos. YEAH ADAM!! GO HOOPSTARS!!

"Hi aunt lisa i will bring the trophy over tonight here is the game report from our team website."
www.azhoopstars.com: News & Updates
Game Report: HoopStars knock off Gym Rats & Rim Rattlers for the ABL Championship!
(March 18, 2006) AZ HoopStars-Shea had an exciting playoffs and championship weekend. The ABL playoffs began Friday nights where the HoopStars beat the Diablos by 15 points. That setup a semi-finals matchup against the #1 seed and undefeated Gym Rats. The HoopStars have only have loss twice all year (once to the Gym Rats and once to the Rim Rattlers). As the #4 seed the HoopStars were underdogs but the boys & coaches believed they could win. The HoopStars played great the first half and held the Gym Rats to 10 first half points (17-10). The second half was a battle but the boys never gave up. With 8 seconds left the HoopStars in-bounded the ball from half court with the score tied at 30. Austin Mahfouz got the ball, drove to the right side of the court and took a good shot. The shot came off the rim to the left side where Brian Kwon tipped the ball up. As the ball was going off the backboard the buzzer went off and the ball went through the net for a 2 point win. The boys, coaches and crowd ran onto the court for and incredible win and celebration. What a game! Next was the championship game against the Rim Rattlers who are tall and athletic. Our boys were focused and determined to take home another championship. With all around solid defense and rebounding the boys shut down the Rim Rattlers inside game. On the offensive side every boy scored and contributed. The HoopStars showed a lot of heart over the weekend and the reward was a 22 point victory and the ABL CHAMPIONSHIP. You have proved you are one of the top teams, HoopStars. Great job, we are all proud of you!

Game Report: HoopStars Win a Handful of Awards!
(March 18, 2006) The AZ HoopStars-Shea came away from the ABL Winter League Championships with a handfull of awards. The biggest award was the championship trophy. The HoopStars have now won back-to-back championships (one with the YMCA and now ABL). Other deserving awards received were given to Austin Mahfouz (Hustle Award), Brian Kwon (Player of Distinction and Team Contribution), Coach Harold Shea (Outstanding Coach of the Winter Season), Adam Clare (Championship Game MVP), and Brian Kwon (Top Rebounder). Also congratulations to Cavin Sherman for receiving his teams (and well deserved) Hustle Award. Congratulations HoopStars!!!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Finally!! Spinning ZEN!!!!!!!!

Everyone kept telling me that spinning gave them a "zen like feeling." I thought they were nuts and really didn't get it!! Even this recent New York times article on spinning talked about this relaxation. For me, up until yesterday, it was just an awful chore!

Then suddenly, it all came together with my wheel. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my wheel. I nicknamed her Lucky because I got such a great deal on her at the January Fiber Factory Sale. So I was bumming, thinking I might have to sell her. For those of you who haven't seen Lucky, here is she, a beautiful maple Lendrum double treadle wheel. I like to touch the wood because it is so nice. Some don't love this modern look, but I do.

Anyhow, yesterday was my second spinning class. We had cleaned up the yucky wool and now learned how to card it. I can't say I love this whole cleaning..carding process but maybe I will eventually. I do like dyeing and I would love to have a drum carder to make some of the beautiful batts I have seen out there. Check out these batts by Spritely Goods. I only see one on her page now actually, but it is very pretty. I saw more in person recently. I don't know if you read this Spritely, but I saw your batts at Tempe Yarn and Fiber and fell in love with them. Maybe one day you could show me how you make them? So gorgeous if any of you are looking for beautiful colored batts and she makes gorgeous yarn and crocheted animals too.

So back to my class yesterday, after we carded, we started spinning and YES I got the zen like feeling at last. It happened once I had the feet moving with the arms at the same time and the wool was drafting so easily. It lasted at least for a few minutes. It finally gave me some hope that I might like spinning if I just keep practicing. I know I will now. It was so much fun. I yelled out to my teacher. LOOK ELLE....I am doing it and it is so fun..and then the wool broke off! LOL.

Well, I am off to practice now!!! Before I do, let me show you the wheel I am really lusting after now. I am glad I didn't get it at the beginning because no way could I afford it. But this is now my dream. Someone in my spinning class had this yesterday. It is called the Schact Matchless Wheel, double treadle price from the Woolery is $ 809.00. It goes on the wishlist which is very long now......

Soon.......I hope to have handspun yarn to show you! I have some beautiful roving that I have dyed and I am going to work on spinning that this week! In the Moody Blues colorway.

Have a great day!

Love, Lisa

Saturday, March 11, 2006

It is Raining! It is Pouring!

Its raining here in Arizona!!!!!!

You don't understand what a big deal rain is unless you live here! This is the first time we have had any rain since last October (supposedly). I say supposedly because I don't remember rain last October and neither do most people in Arizona. I think it has been longer! The other nice thing about the rain (besides relieving us of our draught!) is that I don't feel guilty staying inside knitting, doing fiber stuff and watching movies!! Normally, every day here the weather is picture perfect, especially in the winter. So you kind of feel bad if you don't get out every day for some exercise or whatever........

I am so sore today from my massage yesterday I could scream. But I am hoping it is going to help me even though I can hardly stand or walk today. My plans are to take a nice hot long bath in Epsom salts and then to just relax and knit. I do have a party to go to tonight and I will have to tear myself away from my cozy house, my dog babies and fiber though for that.......

I have lots of projects cooking. First, see all the pieces of my little Teddy Bear sweater. We are going to put this together on Tuesday in the last day of my knitting class. This is great because I will learn the mattress seam and another seam. I do have another knitting class starting in two weeks which is great so I can put together my wrap sweater then! It will will will will be done by then!

The other thing I have to do this weekend (UGH) is tease all this wool apart for my spinning class. I have to honestly say I don't enjoy this at all. I had to first wash all this stuff and you wouldn't' believe all the crap that came out of it..Ugh. It took four washes and four or five rinses for it to look like this. I'll buy my roving and batts already cleaned from now on thanks..I am still not sure spinning is for me anyhow. I keep trying but so far I don't get that zen like feel that everyone describes, but I am not giving up yet.

Oh and I am set yarn wise for the next two sweaters (being the yarn ho I am). Kind of scary how my yarn stash grows and grows. Here is a photo of the next sweater also from the DROPs pattern book 88. I look forward to starting this. I am using the Garnstudio mohair which I already had but I found this wonderful green bamboo yarn to mix with it and I think that is really going to make this sweater. See a photo of the yarns below the sweater! The third sweater of 2006 is also from DROPS. I'll post a photo when the yarn arrives from ELANN. In the meantime, I am still trying to finish my first one and it is coming along!!

Happy Weekend!
Love, Lisa

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Fiber Tuesday

Today was quite the fiber activity today. First, I had intermediate knitting in the am at the Fiber Factory. We worked on learning two new stitches...one with two colors and then moss seed rib stitching. Next week we sew up our teddy bear sweaters. I signed up for a "finishing class" to take in April which will be great. I plan on trying to have two sweaters done by then for finishing!

Then Sarah came to meet me for lunch. This was fun!! Thanks for meeting me for lunch Sarah! Sarah and I met through a knitting email list and we email often so it was fun to meet her in person!! Someone snapped our photo and here it is:

Then in the afternoon, I had my first spinning class. We worked on spinning on the drop spindle and I had a hard time with it and left kind of discouraged. My neck hurt so much today and that just made it worse. I felt like crying the whole way home, but I am fine now. I think using the wheel will just be much better for me and I am about to go practice some wheel spinning in a minute.....

Tomorrow is yet another fiber day, as Kirsten and I are going to the new Tempe Yarn and Fiber store and to the fiber factory as well! Along with lunch out! I am looking forward to it. It is also very nice to meet such nice nice women through Stitch N Bitch which is where we all met!

In other news, I joined weight watchers online and so I probably will blog about it a bit as it is such a struggle to lose weight. I had lost 40 pounds and just recently gained back 20 and am not happy about it. I really would like to lose a total of 40 so here I go.. The plan really is a great plan, plenty to eat, I just notice eating out might be a bit difficult. And I have to work hard at incorporating exercise which is difficult for me due to chronic pain, but I just have to do it. This will help my spine too.. and my self-esteem!

Happy Mid Week! On to spinning some beautiful and soft blue faced leicester wool. OH, this week our homework is to take a dirty fleece and clean it and prepare it for spinning. It is soaking in my sink right now and its pretty gross I must admit! LOL.


Sunday, March 05, 2006

Such a BUSY week

BLOGGER IS DRIVING ME CRAZY! For three days I have been trying to post this and I can't post photos! Anyone else have this problem with blogger??

I think this is the longest I have gone without posting! I have been so so busy and the coming week is just as busy! I have people visiting from out of town. And also lots of plans with different people each day, plus I started a new class. But only two more months, two more classes and I'll have my doctorate! Whew!

Here are the knitting/fiber highlights. First, my friend Linda was visiting last weekend from Portland. On Friday, we went to Jerome, Arizona. I LOVE Jerome. It is a town on the top of a mountain that was once a mining town. Then it was a ghost town and now it is a little artists haven full of shops mostly. I LOVED the knitting store there called Knit1Bead2. Take a look through their website. It is one of the most beautiful yarn stores I have been too honestly. I could have spent hours there. It is a real gem! The gorgeous yarns are organized by color. I really need to get back there when I have more time and can relax a bit in the store looking at things!

On Saturday ,we went to the Fountain Hills Arts/Crafts show. I really didn't see anything I wanted suprisingly.

This was my fun mail package for the week! I signed up for one of these secret sisters swaps. And...look what my secret sister sent me all the way from Florida! All of the materials to make this adorable hat called Odessa by Grumperina (aka Kathy). That will be very fun to knit. She put other fun goodies in there too. THANKS secret sis even though you are not a secret anymore!

On Tuesday, I had knitting class and we learned cables. This was very exciting to me for some reason. I also bought this incredibly beautiful yarn by Trendsetter called Dune. This picture doesn't even do it justice. It is so pretty it is unreal... I am going to make a lacy shawl with it.

This week is also very busy. I am headed to the dog show Monday. On Tuesday I have knitting and my spinning class starts. Then I have friends from Boston coming and I don't even remember what else, but there is more. Oh yeah, two parties over the weekend!! Sounds fun, but I am truly a homebody and need a lot of downtime, so we'll see.....

Well, must run.

Love, Lisa