Monthly Archives: October, 2013

Update and a little self-promotion

See the white embellishment? That’s my handspun angora yarn adorning the body of a model for Natalia Fedner Design in Hollywood! I know, right? She found my bunny blog and sent me an e-mail asking if I ever did custom spinning orders. She was looking to use some angora yarn for embellishment on some Couture Dresses and this is the end result. We’re in the Big Time now, baby!

The Great Soap Marathon 2013 is all over but the cursing when the bars don’t release from the molds shouting. Eight different batches. One gallon of Pomace (extra virgin olive oil is actually not as good for making soap – pomace is what you want) 1.5 pounds of coconut oil, assorted fragrances, well over a pound of lye combined using Science and Towanda smells like a bordello. What with the underlying odor du dog and cat hair floating on the breeze from the open vents, it’s a little slice of heaven right here in the Willamette Valley.

It was only slightly more complicated that I imagined it would be. I’ll be posting about the idiocy of making soap in a travel trailer over at Travels with Towanda tomorrow.

The next Big Project will (hopefully) be the move into Studio T – Annex One followed by a bunch of sewing for the Lincoln City Cultural Center’s (almost) Eleventh Hour Craft Faire on Black Friday and Mauve Saturday (I totally stole Mauve Saturday from a blog that I can’t remember now…) Stay tuned for more info and Sneak Peek photos as things get done.

Running concurrently with The Move will be NaNoWriMo. Go ahead and tell me I’m crazy. It’s nothing I haven’t heard before. I feel energized when I have deadlines and Big Projects on the horizon so don’t expect any, “OMG! I haven’t showered in a week and my stomach aches from all the coffee I’ve been drinking and my characters aren’t playing nice with each other, what am I gonna do?” posts. I got this. I am Superwoman.

If any whiny posts do appear here, rest assured it won’t be until after I’ve deleted the preceding paragraph 🙂

Anyone else up for NaNo? I’m Sofia Leo over on the forums. Let’s be writing buddies!

Busy, busy, busy!

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Endorsement Kitty is ready for his close-up!

Although nothing much is happening here on the blog (what second OFFF post?!?) preparations are moving forward for a Craft Event next month. Details later.

At the request of the Knotty Knitters, I have finally re-knit and worked up the pattern for my very favorite cabled neck warmer. The pattern is available for free download on Ravelry. It’s still in rough, abbreviated form, but will soon be updated with charts and more comprehensive instructions. It was screaming to be released into the wild and I could do nothing but comply. There will be a matching hat and gauntlets in the near future, so stay tuned.

Tonight after the weekly get together at Knitty Gritty, Mr. Nosey, Crazy Helper Dog and I will be getting ready for the Great Soap Making Marathon of 2013. This entails fishing all of the equipment and ingredients out from under the kitchen sink, finding a place to stash them out of the way for a day or two while some sort of kitten-proof set-up is devised to house the curing bars.

The soap will then be made (after some recipe research – we never make the same batches from year to year) and set aside to cure for 4-6 weeks until it’s ready for use. The whole place will smell like a French bordello, but there’s nothing to be done about that. No pain, no gain.

It’s slightly more complicated than staging a war on three continents because Revy is Very Determined to have his way and his way is Into Everything. No matter what. Nothing will stop him. Laundry day is a nightmare and he has taken to hiding my (dirty) wool socks.

My new studio space is rumored to be available on November 1, so expect a Moving Day post and some pictures of the space once it’s all set up. Oh, who am I kidding? I’ll post pics as soon as I can get in there to see the space in person. I am over the moon about finally having a place to let my creativity run rampant with no one to put a damper on it. Who knows what might happen?

All this as the leaves turn and fall and the weather gets cooler. The last week has been chilly but sunny every day after morning fog and I am loving it! The soft light is perfect for photos, but I have been inside the office during the short daylight hours, so you will have to wait for another day.

And with that, I must be off. Happy Knitting!

 

Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival 2013

Here we are, another Monday dawning wet and windy after a wild & stormy weekend here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. We had no significant damage in the park; some of my friends on the Coast were not so lucky. Winds in excess of 50 mph blew well over an inch of rain sideways (why can’t I find any data on exactly how much rain fell and what the peak winds were? Any ideas where to look?) Staying inside with a nice pot of potato soup was a very good idea, but this die-hard fiber fanatic was on the road Saturday morning to Canby, Oregon for the 17th annual Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival. Believe it or not, I attended the very first OFFF back in ’96 and I can tell you from experience that it has grown by leaps and bounds!

Crazy Helper Dog and I got very lucky on the drive North and had no problems with rain, but the wind was whipping the big trucks around so much we had to wonder why they didn’t just pull over and wait it out. There were some white-knuckle moments but we made it in one piece and the journey was well worth the risk.

The outside vendors (hearty souls, indeed) had their pop-ups triple staked and the sides lashed down as tight as they could and the wind was whipping them about alarmingly. For all the rain showers and blustery winds, they were still doing brisk business, the Wooly Bears dashing from booth to booth, their purchases wrapped in plastic bags, laughing all the way.

The atmosphere was remarkably cheerful and remarkably crowded. I’ve never had to park as far away as I did this year. The main pavilion was a mass of talking, laughing, pointing and picture taking humanity, many of the booths spending hours at a time so overrun with people that one had to keep circling back in the hope of getting a peek inside. It was mayhem of the very best kind.

There were many inspiring entries into the various competitions as well as weaving demonstrations going on upstairs.

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This lovely hand felted cape won for it’s division, but not the overall prize – a sad omission, IMHO. The workmanship was superb, the fabric incredibly soft and the beading perfect. The lining was made entirely of money – bills from many countries.

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This cape was all about the maker’s Journey. There were several spirals made up of painstakingly perfect needle felted poems.

The themes of this year’s festival was Angora Rabbits and Dyeing and everywhere you looked was evidence of some very skilled artists. Of this hooked rug the artist says:

My brother is a professor of Oceanic and Fishery Sciences at University of Washington. In 1973 he found and named this fascinating angler fish from the pitch black depths of the ocean, where bio-luminescence is the light of day. The female is brightly colored, with large sharp teeth that snag the prey she lures with a bright light at the end of her tentacle. Her “husband” is a nondescript parasitic male which attaches himself to her body for his life. She nurtures him and he provides sperm for the next generation.

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I’m relying on Awana to fill in the blanks about names – I totally suck because I did not take notes 😦

Crochet works were everywhere, including this class winner, hand-dyed in shades of green:

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My picture does not do this shawl justice – free-form crochet all along the yoke in patterns that evokes the feeling of a flower garden under the sea.

This hand knit shawl won the Judge’s Choice award:

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The yarn was incredibly fine wool, perfectly spun and knit into a very old lace pattern whose name escapes me at the moment…

This tableau did not get the respect it deserved:

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The entire scene is needle felted and tells the story of an angora rabbit who is cold after being sheared. The angora goat dyes yarn spun by the cashmere goat who sits at the spinning wheel that really does work.

The workmanship was exquisite, each curly lock on the mohair goat a perfect spiral. The sheep are different breeds and you can see how detailed the features are.

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You can see the little white bunny snuggles up to the brown sheep, who is knitting him a pair of pants to the left. A white sheep cards wool while the dyed skeins dry on a rack.

Just gorgeous!

Of course there were sheep:

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An adorable Shetland ewe

And goats of all kinds:

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One of the residents at Goat Knoll Farm

This goat doesn’t even look real:

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No idea what breed this goat is, but its hair was long and straight and it almost looked like it’s face was shaved. It looks like it belongs in a Fairy Tale…

And lots of angora rabbits, but they were mobbed with people ooohhh-ing and aaaahhhhh-ing all over them – not great picture taking conditions.

There was yarn and fiber of all kinds, but that will have to wait for another post. It’s late and I am DONE. More about my haul tomorrow. Or, you know, Wednesday. Or whenever. Did I say I’m tired?