Don’t Judge A Store By It’s Cover

q~Do not be fooled by the unassuming outside view of this store, the inside is a cornucopia of yarn and fiber delights. If you are in Hill Country, Happy Ewe in Jonestown, Texas is not to be missed!

happy ewe

One side of the store is filled with oodles of yarn just waiting to be fondled and knitting/crocheting supplies and patterns. The other half of the store is devoted to spinning and weaving and has fabulous fibers to longingly finger.  I could have remained in the store for the entire day, unfortunately Hubs was in the car patiently waiting.

yarn_spin

The owner, Misty, is delightful, friendly, and super helpful. Ok, I’ll admit that she’s ringing up my purchases.

misty
Two of the fibers I purchased were dyed by Heather Cabanas of Western Sky Knits (WSK) located in Woodlands, Texas. I wanted to purchase fiber from a Texas artisan. There was also an Ashford fire in colors of purple, orange, and black which I could not pass up. I cannot wait to card it in with some hand dyed purple, orange and black fiber. Super yum for Halloween.

wsk

A few of the knitted items on display that I was quite taken with:

Half Moon Shawl knit in Alp Oriental – free pattern
Austermann #30 shawl knit in Egytptian Mercerized Cotton – pattern free at Austermann’s website
Milanese Wrap knit in Jojoland Rhythm – pattern for purchase
Striped Shrug knit in Taiyo by Noro – pattern in Noro Magazine Premiere Issue

Oh great! Now there are even more things for me to do. ūüėé If you’re ever headed through Hill Country, this is a great store in a tiny town.

It’s All About the Neck Candy!

~I’m sure all of us have knit our share of warm, serviceable scarves. ¬†Every so often it’s fun to knit something totally outrageous to wear as neck candy. ¬†While visiting the Acorn Street Yarn shop they had an extremely fun exhibit of yarns made specifically to “knit” into ruffled, wild, scarves/neck candy. ¬†It took me at least half and hour to decide which one to purchase. ¬†The directions were on the package. ¬†It took a couple of hours to make while on the road to Missoula. ¬†Finished it at my sister’s house. ¬†Sad to say that I did not keep the label so I cannot remember what the yarn is. ¬†It is really long so this picture shows the scarf doubled. ¬†Isn’t it fabulous?

Barbara is such a fast knitter that she made two scarves during our journey. ¬†It really was cold! The yarn is Cascade’s Alpaca and is softer-than-soft (my favorite yarn to knit with). ¬†She knit both in a straight garter stitch. ¬†After she got home, she decided she did not like the plain look on hers and wanted to “punch” the color of the yarn better. ¬†So she tore out the entire scarf and reknit using the Fisherman’s Rib, a type of Brioche stitch, found at one of our favorite online sites, The PurlBee. ¬†It is so pretty and SOFT. ¬†She lives in our San Diego mountains where it gets cold and this scarf is wonderful!

I have a totally off-the-wall “neck candy” that is almost finished, I’ll try and share that with you tomorrow. ¬†Today is spinning day, at least for a bit. ¬†It is still cold, drizzly, gray here and the arthritic hands do complain. I do see spots of blue poking through here and there. I’m wearing my new Maja shawlette, with the perfect stick pin, to keep warm.

I’ll leave you with a stunning picture taken during sunset at Carlsbad State Park in San Diego County, California. ¬†It was taken by daughter Emily while we were camping there a few weeks ago. ¬†She fancied it up with the iPhone app Histamatic. ¬†Cool!

“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.