fiber diva

This is the chronicle of one woman's forays into knitting, crocheting, spinning, embroidery, papercrafts, and whatever else catches my fancy at any given time. Oh, and I talk about my cats a lot, too.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Exchange update

Last night I finished the red scarf, which I'll do the final touches for tonight and send out tomorrow, along with my skeins for "spin me a treasure." And just in time, because tote exchange III is starting in full force. because there are quite a few of us who volunteered to be hostesses, we each have only 13 or 14 people to monitor through the exchange. I've now gotten my "downstream" pal, who I need to contact, and heard from my "upstream" pal. And I have successfully matched my 14 partcipants and sent out pal assignments.
So the next step is deciding what to make! I was originally thinking about not doing something felted this time, but my pal is a working mom with 2 kids who sounds like she does a lot of active, outdoor stuff. So I'm back to thinking about a felted bag! Either something roomy or a maybe a backpack. Honestly, the constant companion bag sounds like it would work for her, but I really don't want to do 2 of the same thing, and I made one in the first swap. Oh well, I guess I'll keep looking for patterns.

I'm also still deciding what to make for Debbie, for the mystery skein swap. Over the weekend, I bought a copy of One-Skein Wonders, which has a number of cute patterns. 'Course, I'm hindered by not knowing what size she is (and I don't want to go too crazy with fitting, anyway), but I'm hoping that I can find something I want to make for her.

Friday, January 26, 2007

catching up

Still trying to keep my resolution of posting on the blog at least once a week, and stil failing miserably!

Anyway, to catch up a little bit on what's going on in my life, I seem to have had a run of bad/stressful news lately. I tend not to see a silver lining in having lost my mother almost 10 years ago, but at times like this I do see one: I think I'm less rattled by times like these, when the tough events just seem to pile on. I keep thinking, "I'll get through it; I've gotten through worse." 'Course, probably part of the getting through comes from having had a great relationship with my mom, and some certainly comes from my mother's handed-down, wonderful Irish/Italian pragmatically hopeful stoicism.

But I don't want to dwell on the bad or the worrisome. So I'll suffice it to say that I could really use some good news right about now (feel free to share, if you have some), and plunge back into the world of fibery pursuits by talking a little bit about my various projects.

First up, I'm working frantically on trying to finish my red scarf, for the red scarf project, a drive of the Orphan Foundation of America. I'm making a bias scarf designed specially for the project (not by me!) and available here. I'm having my usual problem of feeling like I'm making great progress and going like gangbusters and then holding the scarf out and seeing that it's only about 2 inches longer than the last time I held it out and looked at it. Sure, sure, 2 inches is 2 inches, but you'd be surprised how long 60 inches is when the foot you thought you just finished turns out to be just 2 inches. But I need to get it mailed out in Jan, so I'm planning to get it finished over the weekend, come heck or high water (as my much-missed mom use to say)!

And around working on the scarf, I'm also finishing up several spinning exchanges. I'll post more about those when I get the pictures out of the camera.
In the meantime, here's a pic of the silk/merino that I sent my spin to knit pal for Jan. It's spun on my first spindle, the Cheap Sheep from Grafton fibers, and Andean plyed, which is the only way I know how to ply! My pal Brooke seemed to like it, or at the very least, she's polite enough to have posted good things about it on her blog! I'll be spinning another skein for her in Feb, and I'm still trying to decide what that ought to be.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Just a little note about spindles

Because one of my swap pals was asking what spindles I have, I thought I'd post a bit about my burgeoning spindle collection. I stared out with a cheap sheep from Grafton fibers, and I have to say that I'm a big fan of it. I did a lot of spinning and learning on it, with a variety of fiber types, before I decided that I was probably going to keep spinning, so it would be ok to buy more spindles.

The next I bought were a couple of Bosworth's "bossies." I love the spindles but I seem to order challenging wood choices, because I ended up waiting a good while for the first 3 I bought (two middies in paduak and purplehear and a cute little mini in pau amarillo) and a second order seems to be in limbo. Course the spindles themselves are fabulous, so I guess it's worth the wait.

The most recent spindles I've bought (just before the holidays) were an Emily and a Lizzie from Mielke farms. Also very pretty spindles and also good spinners. I also like plying smaller singles with the Emily. In the middle, I seem to have collected four other spindles, two gifts and two tht I bought at Stitches East, but I'm not sure what any of them are. The ones I bought are on the smaller side---about the wieght of the Bosworth minis and smaller diameter than the Lizzie.

It's funny---all the spindles have their different features, but I have to say that I like all of them, and enjoy spinning on all them. I think the next additions to my collection will be either from Golding ring spindles or a Kundert, both of which I've heard good things about on the spindlers and spindlitis Yahoo groups.

Friday, January 12, 2007

International Tote Exchange III Starting!

I'm interrupting your regularly scheduled lack of posting from me (ack, sorry---been a busy January so far) to bring you the following announcement about the Tote Exchange III. I was one of the hostesses for versions I and II of the exchange, which really came out of the scarf exchange, and I'm planning to continue to co-hostess for III. What's it about you ask? Well, read the announcement below. I'm also going to see about putting up a link and button on my sidebar (but we all know how quick I am with the new technology! )

It's time for International Tote Exchange III. So how does it work? You will make a tote/purse/handbag for your Secret Pal and a different Secret Pal will make a tote for you. The "totes" can be big or small, knit or crochet, felted or not - whatever you want to make. If you are interested please read the sign-up process, rules and schedule (found here) and then, if still interested, send an e-mail as described in the process. SIGN-UPS END JANUARY 24, 2007!!