Thursday, November 29, 2007

Lime & Violet!

We received some exciting news this week when we returned from our post-Thanksgiving trip to Crystal Cove - we were selected as an Etsy Site of the Day (ESotD) by Lime & Violet!! Click here to read their very nice write-up about us.

Lime & Violet featured shop

Many thanks to the good people at Lime & Violet for selecting us as an ESotD!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Escape to Crystal Cove

We had the best post-Thanksgiving trip ever this year. On Sunday after Thanksgiving, we packed up and headed down to Crystal Cove (a whopping 15 minute drive) for a two-day respite before diving back into our dissertations. Our cottage was just steps from the sand and had a spectacular northerly view up the coast. I thoroughly enjoyed sitting on the front porch with my knitting and watching the sandpipers flirting with the surf!

Crystal Cove Sunset

And best of all, my sweetie proposed during sunset of our last night there! Though I was completely surprised, I did manage to squeak out a "yes".

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Fun with Dye and Yarn

I've been having loads of fun playing with dye and one of my favorite yarns, corriedale thick-n-thin. I love this yarn because of its softness and loft, and also because it felts well. My latest colorways are Cornflower, Caribbean and Charcoal.

Corriedale Wool

Corriedale Wool

I recently put up a free pattern for an Asymmetrical Neck Cozy that uses one skein of the corriedale thick-n-thin in Periwinkle. I really like how warm the cozy keeps my neck without adding bulk to my jacket.

Asymmetrical Neck Cozy

I am also using some extra skeins of this yarn (plus one skein of my handspun) for Elizabeth Zimmermann's Adult Surprise Jacket. Her genius is evident from the very beginning of the pattern, though at first it is difficult to understand how the knitted amoeba is going to morph into a sweater. I am really excited about the day that I can cuddle up with this jacket against southern California's winter coastal chill.

EZ Adult Surprise Jacket

My corriedale thick-n-thin yarns are available in four colorways (Periwinkle, Cornflower, Caribbean and Charcoal) online through La Petite Knitterie.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Knitting Scouts: Fibonacci Handspun Sweater Vest

I have been eagerly awaiting the day that I could make this entry about my finished Fibonacci Handspun Sweater Vest. I have been working on this project since about March of this year. Originally I thought I would have it finished by mid-June, but life (and my dissertation research) happened, and June turned into November.

Fibonacci Handspun Sweater Vest

Fibonacci Handspun Sweater Vest

Fibonacci Handspun Sweater Vest

Not only does today mark the end of Fibonacci Handspun Sweater Vest knitting, but it also marks my earning a knitting scout badge. I am a devoted listener to Brenda Dayne's Cast On podcast. Her most recent series revolved around the theme of knitting scouts. As part of this series, Brenda made available numerous badges that listeners earn by tackling various knitting feats. A few weeks ago, my friend Emily was looking through the badges and came across one that she felt represented my vest project: The "I Will Crush You With My Math Prowess" badge. Recipients of this badge have "applied the principles of higher mathematics to knitting including, but not limited to hyperbolic planes, Fibonacci sequences, Klein bottles, Moebius strips, fractals and Flying Spaghetti Monster hats."

I Will Crush You With My Math Prowess

Here are some details about the vest project:

I adapted Amy Pryor's Dk Cardigan with Handspun pattern (available at La Petite Knitterie) to make this vest. I did knit sleeves, but because of a row gauge calculation error on my part, the sleeves did not fit the arm holes. Rather than rip out several hundred yards of handspun yarn and reknit the sleeves correctly, I decided that a vest was in my future.

The striping is based on the Fibonacci sequence with stripes ranging from 1 to 13 rows. I scrambled up the sequence a bit, so that the stripes appear to be random.

I spun all of the yarns in this vest from various fiber blends, including:

* Baby camel/merino
* Baby camel/tussah silk
* Baby Camel
* Cashmere
* Alpaca/red kid mohair
* Kid mohair/merino
* Shetland/alpaca/silk
* Bluefaced leicester
* Merino/bombyx silk/angora

The buttons on this vest were made for me by my sweetie from a walnut branch that I cut from my grandparent's garden this spring.

Fibonacci Handspun Sweater Vest

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

SoCal Handweavers Guild Weaving and Fiber Festival

My friend, Emily, and I ventured to Torrance on Sunday for the annual Southern California Handweavers' Guild Weaving and Fiber Festival (WeFF). We arrived a bit early and were the second and third people in line when the show opened at 10:00! We really enjoyed looking around at all of the yummy yarns, spinning fibers, drop spindles, books, etc. One of my favorite exhibits featured the art of Vincent Van Gogh translated into spinning, knitting, and weaving. A woven wrap inspired by Van Gogh's "haystacks" was just lovely. Notice how the proportions of color match those in the painting. (Note: I apologize for the poor quality of these photos - I didn't bring my "real" camera, and so had to use my camera phone.)

Van Gogh

Another of my favorites was a woven pillow inspired by Van Gogh's "irises". Just wonderful!

Van Gogh

Emily and I exercised astronomical levels of self-restraint and managed to stay at the show for four hours and only purchase one item (A book: "Dyeing Wool and Other Protein Fibers: An Introduction to Acid Dyes" by Susan Rex). I am certain that I heard the yarns in my stash let out a collective sigh of relief when I arrived home with no new neighbors for them. You see, they are already experiencing some of the negative effects of crowding, and do not appreciate the lack of breathing room!

This fiber festival also marked the debut of Blarney Yarn niddy noddies. A friend of ours, Lori Lawson of Capistrano Fiber Arts Studio, featured our niddy noddies in her booth at the show. Our niddy noddies are handturned from hardwoods, including walnut, oak, maple, cherry and mahogany, without using automated means of reproduction. The arms are made out of maple. Each one is unique. We are really excited about the reception that they received!

Niddy Noddy

Niddy Noddy