31 August 2012

who is up for a challenge? ~ posted by Melissa

I put it out there to a few people already that I'm itching for a challenging project ~ I mean really challenging ~ and that I would love to knit a Herbert Niebling design and just like that, another knit along is in the works!  There's no set start date yet but the planning has begun!  I think the consensus is that it would be much fun to pick whatever lace pattern of his interests you the most and we'll all get started on the same date (to be determined).  This will give everyone the chance to find a design that stands out on a personal level and then we can all share our different choices and progress as we go, especially since I think once we've all got one of his glorious ideas finished we'll be itching to do another and we can use this kal as a gauge to pick other designs.  I don't have my yarn yet and I'm not exactly sure what pattern I will choose, but I've got it narrowed down to just a couple.
So far, Kelly Lightbeam, Jeff in PA and Morgen have jumped on board.  Morgen has already done a bunch of homework in the last couple of days so I think she's chomping at the bit to get started!  There are a few free Herbert Niebling patterns as well as downloads available for purchase on Ravelry, and Morgen has let me know about this website: Doilyhead's Blog ~ adventures in lace knitting (or Raising Herbert Niebling) .  Glenda's blog (as well as her flicker site ~ there's a link to it on her blog homepage) has quite a few Niebling patterns for purchase, also.  There's a page on her blog about copyright issues and why she is selling his patterns so if you have issues with copyright infringement, you can read why she has the right to sell them (please please please ~ if you are reading this and do have a problem with her selling them, don't make this a forum to start a discussion or argument about it ~ it's a really gray area for me and all I'm saying is, if you want to buy from her, do, and if you don't, don't!).
So, here's the skinny.  If you are interested in participating and I didn't already name you above, let me know and I'll get you added to the blog.  I'll keep everyone posted and hopefully have a start date figured out in the next couple weeks.  I haven't knit anything that has really stretched my skills since my Snow Queen Pi Shawl over 2 1/2 years ago and I think this knit along will be exactly what I need!
I hope to find that there are more lace fanatics out there than just the four of us...this kal could prove to be the most interesting one yet!   ~ Melissa

28 August 2012

Evergreen State Fair ~ posted by Melissa

Chapter Five ~ Odds and Ends
thanks for spending the day with me, mom ~ it was sure lots of fun!  ~ Melissa


Evergreen State Fair ~ posted by Melissa

Chapter Four ~ Grange
Probably my fair favorite.  I love the order and brilliant colors of all the freshly picked produce and the hundreds of different canned items, all creatively displayed like works of art.  I don't know how you pick a favorite if you're a judge ~ all the different granges are so good at setting their exhibits to show the best of what they have to offer.  Hats off to everyone involved at all stages of these displays, from the minute the seeds are put into the ground to when the fruits of their labor are harvested and readied for their big moment.  I always want to come straight home and reorganize my pantry and refrigerator after strolling through this barn!  ~ Melissa


Evergreen State Fair ~ posted by Melissa

Chapter Three ~ Goats, Sheep and Alpaca

We saw baby goats that just couldn't get close enough to each other:

and angora goats that are so visually soft:

and the final of the 4H sheep judging:

 all of which made mom with her bucket of allergies sneezy and wheezy, but then it was on to the alpaca section, where we were informed that you cannot be allergic to alpaca (if only that were true!?) by the owner of Jo's Fleece Fields in Carnation (who also gave me his card and invited us out to see his alpaca and pygora and visit their farm stand).  We watched raw fleece that had just been taken from Ron the Alpaca:
being spun without first being carded and processed:

and I was given a handful of fiber from an alpaca named Porkchop to take home with me:
I wonder if I could work this somehow with my drop spindle?  Hmmmm....  ~ Melissa

Evergreen State Fair ~ posted by Melissa

Chapter Two ~ The Divine Bovine
Mom and I were enthralled with the 4H kids and watching them show their cows.  We spent a good hour watching groups being led in, then judged, then led away so the next batch could enter the arena.  As each group was placed (1st, 2nd, etc) the self-proclaimed world travelling judge would announce to the crowd what had determined the order.  It quickly became clear that there is much I don't know (or want to know?) about this enormous animal, when the judge announced to everyone that he placed a cow lower because he would have 'liked to see it's anus a little higher'.  I immediately regressed to the age of 2 and got the giggles.  ~ Melissa


Evergreen State Fair 2012 ~ posted by Melissa

Chapter One ~ Meet Darlene and Margaret
My mom and I were lucky enough to have chosen a day to visit the fair when these two ladies were demonstrating...bobbin lace making!  We spent quite a while talking with them and admiring their skills, and I was thrilled not only to be invited to Margaret's lace group that meets monthly in Kent (much too far away but the invitation was appreciated!), but to be offered free lessons by Darlene (whose coffee group meets twice a week 5 minutes from where I work!).  After much assurances that I would most definitely not waste her time, and that I was very serious about wanting to learn, and that I had more than enough patience to enjoy this craft, I passed her test and I was given her card with strict instructions to not show up on her doorstep unannounced and to please call or email her to set up some time with her.  If she only knew that since the day I started knitting, I have asked everyone I've met if they can tat or do lace work of any sort because I so want to learn.  I'm in heaven!
Darlene was working on lace edging, at the amazing pace of 1 square inch per hour (talk about a craft of patience!) that her daughter then sews onto linens for gifts:

I'm sorry to say that I did not think to ask Margaret what she was making but she had my full attention and was so kind to let me stand behind her so that I could take some pictures:

Intrigued?  I certainly am!  I couldn't have hoped for two nicer ladies to chat with ~ now I just need to find some time for a lesson or two!  My mom really enjoyed what she found in Barn 500, also ~ between the lace makers extraordinaire and getting to see in person the ribbons I won for my knitting (I'll share more about that when I bring them home next week), she was happy as can be.  A fun way to start the day for sure!  ~ Melissa

27 August 2012

a solitary saturday ~ a picture post by Melissa

edmonds - kingston ferry

free music in the courtyard outside Churchmouse

a walk along the Bainbridge Marina waterfront

sabayon marsala wine custard for brunch ... wicked

Susanna Hansson and her amazing fibonacci inspired sweater

Churchmouse Yarn and Tea's classroom

a full and busy class

fibonnaci student works in progress

my fibonacci baby hat ~ 4 color ~ 3 # sequence (8, 5, 3)