Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Knitting Alien

In the last few weeks I have been trying out several new (to me) knitting patterns. I don't know if it is just that I have been pre-occupied at my mom's house or if an alien occupies my mind and body, but...my knitting has been weird lately! I usually knit the pattern as written for the first time to see how it turns out and how I like it. Well, I've been doing that and several times now (that means more than 2) the item doesn't turn out like the picture! So I rip out the knitting and back away from the pattern for a couple of days. I start on the pattern again and I swear there are directions there that I hadn't seen before! And when I knit with those directions, the item turns out just like the picture. Whad'ya know?! I'm starting to think someone is changing around the patterns just to goof me up. sigh...its very confusing. and time consuming.                                                         This is a head shot of Jett the other day.

Try to keep the aliens out of your knitting.

Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Monday, March 14, 2011

Jefferson City Fiber Retreat

The Fiber Retreat is held at Lincoln University's Carver Farm each year. It is a wonderful facility! We had 190 people registered this year taking classes. Registration included buffet meals together which was a great time to catch up with old fiber friends and make new ones.

There were vendors, too! Lots of shopping till you dropping!  To the right is my friend, Bonnie Ahrens, in her booth selling fiber.  Bonnie also taught a Nuno felting class. If you are interested, check out the event for yourself for next year. Lots of classes are offered at very reasonable prices. And its a wonderful, peaceful feeling to be in the midst of fellow fiber people. I am originally from Missouri and you drive past the State Capital Building to get to the retreat. And I would drive by it each evening going back to my hotel. I still get a feeling of childish awe driving by it all lit up at night! I guess it is from childhood because the capital in Springfield, Il doesn't affect me at all. Maybe that feeling is part of my affection for this Retreat, I don't know, I just know it is there. There is a Gallery of participants work to admire. And I do spend time in there admiring their work! In the past couple of years the Retreat has expanded into a local 4-H Camp to accommodate more registrants.  Below is a picture of Leslie Carroll-Bartlett manning what I call 'the command post' at the entrance of Carver Farm. She is there most of the weekend answering questions and giving directions. Thank you, Ms. Leslie, for all you do !      
A couple of the vendors at The Retreat will be at Waterloo's Sheep Festival on April 9. To the right is one of them, Nancy Barnett. Nancy sells Border Leicester roving and some other surprises she sometimes comes up with! Doesn't the picture make you want to come to the Sheep Festival and check out her wares in person? Nancy also helps to organize The World Sheep Festival in Bethel, Missouri over Labor Day weekend.

Another vendor that will be at Waterloo is Linda Little. Linda is a crazy nut (as you can tell from this photo!) and also has some very nice rovings and yarns. I was hesitant about using this photo in my blog because I was afraid it might attract many offers for a date for her. She might get overwhelmed with phone calls! But she assured me if I mentioned she was only in interested in men that it would be alright. lol  Yes, men, come to Waterloo and meet her in person! Needless to say, I had a good time at the Retreat this year. I look forward to next year already! Talk to you soon,  Tammy
The last picture is of the other side of Carver Farm. It is a working sheep and goat farm under the wise eye of Dr. Helen Swartz. Now that woman is a phenom!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Days Seem Shorter

I have been very busy the past weeks getting ready to teach a class at the Jefferson City Fiber Retreat. I'm teaching how to make the feltball bracelet shown above. It should be a fun time! I've been putting together the class supplies and then there is all the 'stuff' you bring with you to something like this. You know, a knitting project. First, I have to decide on a mindless knitting project. One that I don't have to follow an intricate pattern because I am talking and visiting the whole while I am knitting. Then, what if I get that one done? I need to bring a back-up, mindless knitting project. Then, what if I get tired of knitting? I need to pack a needlefelting project. What if I don't feel like needlefelting? Watching people spin makes me want to spin. I have learned that before. So I'd better pack my spinning wheel, also. Luckily there is only wheel I travel with, so that one is easy! But what fiber do I bring to spin? Decisions, decisions!   It takes me a while to pack. I am looking forward to a weekend with fiber people doing fibery things!  I've added a couple more pics of the llama carting class. We will be offering it again in the fall. Talk to you soon,
  This is Rob and Denise with Don Tomas.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The "Carting With Llamas" Class

Yesterday we, 3 Sisters' Workshop, held our class "Carting With Llamas" with instructor Tim Kohloff. It started out a rather soggy and cool day but it didn't bother the spirits of those attending! We had a blast.

 We started off learning about the harnessing equipment and how to fit it on your llama. We used Herbie Miller, shown in the picture above, to start the class.
Mr. Miller has carted before and it was evident in his patience with us as we learned. (Tim showed alot of patience with us, too. Thanks, Tim!)

This is a picture of Mr. Miller hooked up to his cart with Tim at the reigns to get him off on his first spin around.
It was actually exciting to watch Mr. Miller trotting back to the barn with Michelle at the reigns! Tim was there with the lead rope trotting alongside 'just in case'. Doesn't Mr. Miller look proud as a peacock pulling that cart?

And lastly, to the right is a picture of my husband, Darrell, with Vision. He was learning about ground breaking with him. As you can see, Darrell really took a liking to Vision! He is a beautiful boy. Yes, we are talking about getting a cart and when Darrell starts talking about making a harness he gets a gleam in his eye. Its fun to see him excited about it. I'm sure we will talk more about this in the future. It was such a good day and we were exhausted in the afternoon at its end. I think 3 Sisters' will hold another class like this in the fall. I'll keep you posted.

Talk to you soon,  Tammy


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Mitts Have It!

Mitts are very popular these days due to the Harry Potter movies and the vampires on "Being Human". Being old like I am, (((giggle))) I remember when the movie "Oliver!" came out and the pickpockets were wearing fingerless gloves. And I remember them in the 80's. But everything cycles around and mitts are the craze once again. I'm happy about it as I've always liked them. I have knitted three pair recently in this pattern. Two in brown and one in a light fawn with silk and sparkles. (Girls like shiny things) I'm getting ready to sell them at wool festivals this year and I have been thinking about how much to charge for them.
For this pair I have decided on $45. Some might say "what?! that much?" To backtrack on their creation, it takes about 3 hours to knit each one. Before that, the yarn is hand spun--its not $1.99 plastic Wal-Mart yarn. The roving I spun was blended with colored silk and firestar. The fleece had to be skirted (an hour to 1 1/2 hours) and then washed. It easily takes me 3 hours to wash a fleece. In order to have fleece, I have to feed and care for the animal for a year. Only healthy animals can provide healthy, strong and shiny fleece. I spend an hour a day feeding animals with up to 4 hours a day outside with them, caring for them. Buying grain, scooping poop piles, halter training, cooling them off in the summer. I've just talked myself out of selling these mitts. I think I'm going to keep them now. I'm not charging nearly enough.

Talk to you soon,  Tammy