Saturday, June 27, 2009

Spinner's Day on the Farm and Blake

Spinner's Day on the Farm

I can hardly believe that June is almost over! In between camping and the start of summer session, I managed to squeeze in some fiber fun at Spinner's Day on the Farm, an event put on by Sonoma County Fiber Trails and held at Westside Farms near Healdsburg. It was a great day of hanging out with spinners. I made a couple new friends, and saw some old ones too. It was an absolutely beautiful day, and the great company you expect from spinners.

Spinner's Day on the Farm

This was the bench area at about half capacity, early in the morning. Nearly everyone there had a spindle or a wheel, and we saw some rather interesting ones. There was an amazing potluck lunch, and the main attraction for me:

Spinner's Day on the Farm


In addition to a couple of smaller fiber goodies, I got this:


Blake's Tag

Blake in a bag

Blake Unwashed Locks

The thought has been rolling around in my head that I was able to take my Halcyon sweater project from unwashed fleece last August to a nearly completed sweater this June. So the question is, does this mean I can have one fleece a year? In other news, I have 8 hours of car ride on Monday in which to finish the knitting on the Halcyon sweater.

I managed to get one washing session in later that weekend. I am in love with the color just as much as I adore the grey of the corrie-merino cross. It's a very dark brown, nearly black, with lighter brown tips. Blopeep (a new spinning friend from the farm) and I were doing some shopping cross-enabling at the booths, and she described the color as a "dark, rich espresso" and that's exactly how it washed up. I can't wait to see what it turns into!

Unwashed vs. Washed Blake Locks

Monday, June 15, 2009

Our Trip to Humboldt

Two weekends ago, we went camping at Humboldt Redwoods State Park for my birthday. This year my birthday fell at about the halfway point between the end of the spring semester and the beginning of the summer session (a 6-week intensive). Last year we were in Germany for my birthday, so I knew I wouldn't be able to top that this year. I knew I wanted to relax during the short break between classes, so we booked a campsite at the Hidden Springs Campground for five days and four nights. Here's where we parked the car:

Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Then, you have to walk down a short path to the campsite.

Humboldt Redwoods State Park

It was very secluded, and you literally couldn't see the road or your camping neighbors to either side. The whole space was about 20 feet lower than the road.

Humboldt Redwoods State Park

We had a fabulous time hiking, cooking, and swimming in the Eel River:

Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Humboldt Redwoods State Park

There is nothing quite like sandwiches, chips, hard-boiled eggs, apples, and a couple of beers next to a serene river on a hot (but not too hot!) day. What a blast. I never realized how much I use knitting as a stress-reliever until now. I hardly knit at all (and not for want of projects: I took along the rainbow socks and Halcyon). We sat around and read books, made s'mores after dinner, and the significant other got to play with fire and engineer a rain flap for our picnic table. It was threatening rain on Friday night, but it cleared up later and we didn't really need it. It's hard to imagine that our governor is considering closing something like 80% of the state parks (and rather a silly idea, since increased fees could keep the parks open and patrolled, and closures would actually mean a loss of income for the state, not a net gain).

I was sad that the trip had to end, but it was so lovely to return to birthday wishes (both on Ravelry and in person)! The area was idyllic, and we will certainly be returning.

Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Maker Faire

There were people:

Maker Faire 2009

There were robots:

Maker Faire 2009

There was fiber:

Maker Faire 2009

There was Kinnearing (Cookie A.):

Cookie A. Kinneared

There were sculptures:

Odd Tree

Recycled Flower

There were wings:

Giant Wings

There was philosophy:

Maker Faire 2009

We stayed until the faire ended this year, which is a big deal because usually we're too pooped to walk by 3PM or so. I said hello to lots of fibery people, but didn't buy anything because rent was due the following day! We got to hear Adam Savage speak on failure which was really awesome and, to me, incredibly professionally relevant. It was ridiculously busy, crazy, informative, educational, and fun. Everything Maker Faire is supposed to be. I spent the rest of the week last week recovering from some epic allergies, carting my busted laptop back and forth from the Apple store, and getting ready for my weekend birthday camping trip. More on the camping next time!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I spoke too soon!

So when I posted on Saturday, it had completely slipped my mind that the new issue of Twist Collective was coming out on Monday. It's another lip-smacker, full of the fabulous patterns and beautiful photos I've come to associate with this magazine. I have to say, no other print knitting magazine out there captures my interest as fully and consistently as Twist does. If it were a physical magazine, I'd subscribe in a heartbeat (and I don't subscribe to any other knitting or crafting magazines).

As for individual patterns, I love the Bernhardt sweater. I've also earmarked some Verb spinning fiber from my stash:

AVFKW Wooly Wonders Fiber Club Falklands
Verb Falklands Wool, "The Silent Undergrowth"

for Anne Hanson's Artichaut. I started spinning the singles last night, and man oh man does this stuff like to get skinny! It's the perfect color, all greeny gray, but not too much variation. I love artichokes, and the significant other suggested I try to work some purple in around the edge, so the scalloped edge looks like the inner leaves of an artichoke

And finally, there's Aphrodite. I've never seen a little shoulderette I like this much. It's like the universe heard my call for a summery, beaded shoulder covering and summoned up the perfect design (by Sivia Harding no less!) just for me. Okay, not really, but I'm a little amazed at the coincidence. I'm off to get the singles off the bobbins now. I'm sure I have at least enough for the small version, but I must know for certain. Anyone know a good place to get beads?