A Tisket a Tasket, What a Wonderful Basket!

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” ~ American Proverb

And that’s the truth!  When Barb and I went to St. Vincent de Paul’s Thrift Shop I found this fabulous basket for $10.  It is wonderful.  I needed a big basket for the fibers that I am collecting: one that the cat can’t sleep in and the dog can’t grab bits of fluff out of.  Took it outside and gave it a good scrubbing.  Good as new.  Lined the bottom with muslin and lavender sachets.  A steal!

Our purpose in going to the store was to find sweaters to recycle.  We look for sweaters which are mostly natural fibers.  This is the  $5 sweater that I found which is 63% Mohair Wool and 37% Acrylic.  It is a lovely shade of peach.  The sweater really has a lovely knit pattern.  Just not the right size and too hot for me.  When looking for a sweater to recycle, make sure you look at the seams.  It is important that the seams are joined by a chain stitch and NOT overlocked.  If the seams are overlocked that means that the yarn has been cut on each side and so if you unravel you’ll just have small bits of yarn.  If you’re not sure what overlock is, look at the inside of a purchased shirt, dress, etc see how the seam has been finished.  Color doesn’t really matter since you can always over-dye.

Curls found this 100% Silk sweater a steal for $5.  Another wonderful spring color.  Who knows, she might decide to over-dye, this really isn’t one of her colors.

At the Goodwill, I found this $7 sweater to recycle.  It is a rich shade of deep purple, my favorite color.  It is a blend of 55% silk, 33% nylon, 10% Angora Rabbit Hair and 2% Lambswool.  Beads and sequins covered the front, which I had to cut off.  Luckily, I was able to find the correct end of the chain stitch and pulled the string, it was like opening sugar bags! Notice how I unwind the rows directly onto my ball winder.  If you try this make sure you start unwinding from the last knit/purl row- usually opposite of the cuff or ribbing.  Mindlessly, I first started to unwind as the sweater was knit, from the ribbing end.  Took a bit to figure out why it wasn’t working. lol

Really, where else could we have purchased that much yarn that cheaply? Now all that’s left for us to do is to decide what to knit!  So many patterns, so little time.

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It’s All About the Office! AKA Starbucks.

~What a fabulous day at The Office! Barb and I arrived around 9 am and left around 12pm!  When on our Northwest Journey we planned each day while at Starbucks; thus we began calling Starbucks – “The Office”.   You can see our “briefcases” and how we’re ready for the day.   It’s Barb’s birthday this week so we did some celebrating.  Pop Cake and drink of choice!  Yum!  Looked at Spin-Off and Creative Knitting Magazines.  Knitted. Talked.  Took pictures. A wonderful day!  Ended it by going to a thrift store to look for sweaters to unravel.  Barb found a 100% silk, light, sage green one which she want to try dyeing and I found a mohair- acrylic blend in a heavenly shade of peach.

One present I gave to Barbara was Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith.  I purchased one for my self knowing we’d have a blast filling these out.  I told Barb that since it’s her present she gets to pick out the page we’d do every week.  The first page she picked is the name page,  saying we have to have our names in the journal!  We’ll share next Monday.  She’s told me she’s going to rename hers but wouldn’t tell me the title, said I have to wait until she picked the cover!!  So mean!

Cooler morning, although bright and sunny.  Barb showed up wearing her knitted: sweater, hat, and scarf.  Can’t get better than that.  I’ve mentioned these items in previous posts.   I had on my Maja shawl.

This is the Herdis by Elsebeth Lavold sweater that I mentioned a few days ago.  It is stunning!  What a knitter!  The buttons she used are antiques from our grandmother at the beginning of last century.  Tried to get a good close-up, but this was the closest we could get.  They are metallic and there is a bit of a shine that’s hard to capture.  The color is washed out even though there wasn’t a flash.  Sigh…  Guess it was a bad picture day!

And, she had completed the bottom and top of the slipper, after assuring me she wouldn’t get that far.  Instead of working on the slipper, I made a special, small, knitted gift for her.  I’ll write up the pattern and share on this blog.  So, I need to go catch up on the slipper.  Here I am madly working on it!

“You’ll Not See Nothing Like the Mighty Quinn”

q8~Today’s spinning retreat was AWESOME!  To paraphrase the song, Cecelia Quinn proved to be a mighty teacher.  She’s a traveling teacher from Alaska and if you get a chance to take one of her classes just do it!  We learned a great new way to join so there wasn’t a clunky seam (as I usually get). Split open the bottom, put the new yarn in the middle perpendicularly, then bend the new yarn down.  Really looks good!  Spun with a wide assortment of fibers – even cashmere!  The visual demonstration of carded yarn vs. combed yarn was perfect for understanding how the two differ.  The main technique for spinning was the long draw.  I just started spinning a month ago and hadn’t gotten to the long draw yet.  Now to practice!  Why do instructors make it look so darn easy?

Of course there were all types of goodies to purchase!  After much deliberation, I selected  a 20% silk, 40% wool, 40% camel blend.  The yarn is from Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks by Nancy Finn.  It’s so gorgeous!  Fingers are itching to start spinning. I think it will be the perfect yarn for Jojoland’s Berry Tam. All of the colors will segue beautifully.  On our Northwest fiber journey we saw a model of the hat at Yellow House Yarns.  What a wonderful shop!  Friendly, helpful, staff and wonderful yarns!  Got a few great ideas which we will be slowly sharing with you.

30% change of rain over the weekend here in San Diego, Ca.  If it is nice, as today was, I’m going to do some dyeing.  Barb works Saturday so I’ll have to have fun without her. I have some great undyed top screaming out to dye.  I’m thinking forest colors.  But, I do get in a rut and pick the same colors  – my “comfort” colors.  I’m trying to step outside of my comfort zone and pick a different pallet.  See the orange in the roving above?  That’s what I’m talking about.  Maybe something with these colors, Browns, Grey, rust, golden yellow, peach:

Using the dropper in Photoshop can help isolate a great pallet!

Ah, my special iris.  This is the great-whatever-grandchild of an iris my grandma planted in the 1940’s.  My mom took some rhizomes from grandma so we had this iris at every home we lived in as children.  When Barb and I grew up and had homes of our own we snagged rhizomes from mom.  This is a family heirloom.  We’ve told our kids that they have to keep the tradition alive!  This iris brings back so many memories every year when it blooms.  We live in San Diego so things bloom earlier here.