Passing Down Crazy

Because Sometimes the Best Thing You Can Give Your Kid is an Addiction…To Yarn


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Where Do I Start?

I haven’t posted since February.  I’m not sure where to even start!

I went to a Hill Country Weavers retreat with my mom the end of February.  One of the highlights was finally meeting Christina.  We’ve been blog friends since 2007!

After that was a trip to Florida where My Hero worked and I did lots of spinning.

Then I went back to Texas to DFW Fiber Fest with my mom and The Genius.  We took spinning classes with the fabulous Jacey Boggs.  The Genius and both learned a lot.  And, if you’re in the market for a spinning magazine, Jacey publishes Ply Magazine.  Go subscribe!  There was also a fabulous marketplace there.  Miss Babs and Western Sky Knits got most of my money.

And I got a nasty cold.  A cold that I’m still fighting four weeks later.

Between naps and fevers and a running nose, I’ve done some spinning and knitting.  Rather than describe all of it, I’m just going to do a photo dump.

As of today, I think I’m going to survive this stupid cold.  Maybe I’ll blog again before May!

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I Love Cherries!

I’ve always loved cherries.  Almost 29 years ago, I picked out a dress for our rehearsal dinner.  I only ever bought clothes that were on sale, but this dress was expensive.  Anybody remember Carole Little?  Anyway, it was white with cherries on it.  My dad actually went with me and bought it.  It was a great dress!

Fast forward to last week.  I had to make this!

This is Mini Cherry Pie from Fig Tree & Co.  I pulled some fabric scraps, and by the next day it was pieced, quilted, bound, washed and dried, and hanging in my sewing room.  I found the cute little shelf on clearance at Target.  And yes, I love wild wallpaper!

I also finished a spinning project.  I think I started spinning this in November.  I was going to leave it as singles, but I hate single ply yarn.  I just have to remind myself of that occasionally.

It’s a little bit under plyed for my taste, but I may just be too lazy to fix it.

Speaking of single ply yarn, I have another weaving fail.  I chose an alpaca, wool yarn to weave, and it has problems!

I had a terrible time working it through the lease sticks.  See how fuzzy it’s getting.  I’m starting to break ends.  I’m going to go as far as I can with this.  Maybe I’ll at least get a couple of pillows out of it.  No more singly ply yarn for me!!!  My only consolation is that it would have made a horrible sweater.  It would have pilled the first time I wore it. Now it’s out of my stash.

By the way, if you’re a weaver, you probably just groaned and said, “Well, duh”!  Please feel free to offer advice in the comments.  I won’t be offended.  This weaving thing is kicking my butt!

I’ve been spending the bulk of my time in my sewing room, because it’s the easiest place to contain this little girl.

I actually heard myself say, “Lola!  Don’t eat the sewing machine”.  She was quite interested in the foot pedal cord.  She listens well, but has to be watched all the time.  Todays lesson was to not chew on my knitting.  She is the sweetest little thing and hates being scolded.  It will all take time!

And now it’s bed time for me.  Having  toddler in the house again is hard work!


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Christmas Quilting

I finished a quilt.  Yes, you read that right.  Well, sort of.  It’s pieced, but not quilted.

I started this quilt several years ago and quickly got bored making star blocks.  I’d pack it away and every time I’d pull it out to work on it, I’d realize I didn’t have the pattern book with the quilt.  I’d search for the book, make a few more star blocks, and pack it away.

Last week, I pulled the bin out yet again, and started a google search for the pattern.  I think what finally yielded a photo was “Christmas star quilt”.  Score!!!!!  It’s a Brenda Riddle pattern from the book Comfort and Joy.  I ordered the book and finished the star blocks while I waited for the mailman.  Then I finished the quilt, and didn’t do it quite like the pattern anyway, because I was going to run out of fabric.

 

I think this will be one of the prettiest quilts I’ve ever made when it’s quilted which will probably be two years from now.  The fabric is Roman Holiday by Three Sisters for Moda.  Don’t even bother looking for it.  It’s long gone.  I think I saw somewhere that the fabric came out in 2006.

And….another finish, though not nearly as major.  I started a scarf last fall with some squishy soft yarn that I actually spun worsted.  It should have been a quick scarf to knit, but for whatever reason, my ball of yarn seemed to go on forever.  I pulled it out the other day and decided it had to be finished.  Frankie had a band concert the other night.

Yep, that’s him playing the tuba.

Anyway, I finished the scarf!

It’s a big squishy roll.

It’s finished and I really like it.

And….there is weaving.

Only it’s not mine.  The Genius got a loom for Christmas….a little early.  She’s never had a lesson and this is her third project.

We call her The Genius for a reason.

And now I’m off to see what else I can finish.


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Fabulous Factory Tour

The last morning I was in Colorado, I was just planning to hang out and knit.  I started out by blog and Pinterest surfing.  Then I decided to look at the Schacht website and dream about the loom I’m going to own some day.  I soon realized that the factory is in Boulder.  Then I realized that I was also in Boulder.  I’ll bet you know where this is going!

I quickly made a phone call, showered, and packed my suitcase and the yarn I had strewn all over.  An hour later, I was here:

My tour guide was Denise, and we had a lot of fun!  The factory smells wonderful!  Who doesn’t love the smell of freshly cut wood?  Are you ready for lots of photos?

I own a Matchless, so needless to say, that was really intriguing to me.  I have a photo of mine when I got it in 2012.  The wood is much darker now, because cherry darkens as it ages.

Here are a whole bunch of legs for the wheel.

And the wheel itself.  The pieces are glued together and then held under pressure for a couple of days.

This is what it looks like before the final carving is done.

Look at all the fliers.  Denise told me they didn’t very often have that many sitting there.

One thing I thought was interesting is that the employees seemed happy.  They’d smile and say hi when you walked by.  Some of them have been there for more than thirty years.  We walked outside and saw a whole bunch of garden plots.  Any employee can have a plot for their own vegetables and flowers.  The only requirement is that their garden has to be organic.  They also have chickens on the property and if a employee would like, they can take care of them for a week and take all the eggs.

Ok, back to the inside tour.  Look at all these cute Ladybugs!

 

Oh, one other thing I learned is that the Schacht company has another factory along with this that makes bike bells and mirrors.  Evidently the owner is an avid biker and couldn’t find a mirror he liked, so he decided to make his own.

And then there are the Sidekicks.  I’m seriously considering selling my Kromski Sonata travel wheel and buying one of these.  They use all the same bobbins, etc.  And they fold up and fit in a small bag for travel.

 

 

But here’s what really had me jazzed up!  I’m thinking this is the loom I’m going to want some day.  That day may be coming because I finally found a time for the weaving class I want to take.

I left there so excited about a craft that I never thought I wanted to learn.  I’ve been spinning for almost three years, and I just love it.  It’s totally relaxing and I’m creating gorgeous yarn at the same time.  Thanks Denise, for the great tour.

I’ll leave you with a photo of what I started spinning last night.

 

JuliespinsThe fiber is from JulieSpins.  She’s my all time favorite dyer and supplier.  This fiber is Polwarth, mohair, and silk and it spins like a dream.  It’s called Pumpkin Patch.  Someone commented on Ravelry last night that with Julie’s stuff, what you see on her Etsy page is what you get, or even better.  She does a great job photographing her yarn and fiber.  Go buy some!  You won’t regret it.

Now I need to go be productive.  Or have a nap.  This “middle age” stuff and waking up in the middle of the night is kicking my butt!!!


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Back To Reality

We had a great ski trip to Big Sky, Montana.  After the day of 15-20 inches of snow, the skiiers had a fabulous week!  I was head cook.  My sister was head dish washer, along with the kids.  One niece was head green smoothie maker.  The two dads supervised all of the skiing and snowboarding, and the kids kept the hot tub occupied.

Before we left yesterday, I threatened sweetly asked the kids for a family photo.

I still have this picture in my head of five little people.  This photo is almost shocking to me.  They’re turning into amazing human beings.  Loud and opinionated, but amazing.

There was some knitting on the trip, between playing chef.  I finished Brickless.

This fiber

Was spun into this yarn (In April 2011):

And was wound into this ball:

And became Brickless by Martina Behm:

This is a wrap that is so very easy to knit.  It was also very enjoyable because of all the color changes.  When I looked at the skein of yarn, I thought it would be bright and obnoxious.  Now that it’s finished, I really like it!  I’m pretty sure it will be a spring staple with my jean jacket.

I also had an opportunity to visit another small yarn shop, right at the ski resort in Big Sky.  It’s called CR.eations 2.  I think the shop was 12 x 12.  It’s probably the smallest shop I’d ever been in, but it was extremely neat, and packed with gorgeous yarn!!!  I’ve already started one project with yarn purchased from Christine.  I bought yarn for three projects, and could have easily gotten yarn for three more.  She and I had a lot of fun!  She also has an etsy shop!

My reality today is pretty great.  It’s silent in my house!!!  My only goal today is to unpack my suitcase and make dinner.  I shouldn’t be tired after a vacation, but I am.  

I’m off to see what is hidden in the freezer.  I really don’t want to go to the grocery store today.

 


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Spinning On Vacation

What???  You don’t take a spinning wheel on vacation?  How very strange.  More on that in a minute.

My Hero and I are in Florida.  He’s being educated, and I’m goofing off.  Does that mean he’s smarter than I, or was I already smarter, and therefore don’t need more education?  Anyway…

Superblonde spend the weekend with us.  She and I goofed off while My Hero was in school, and then we’d go out for dinner at night.  On Saturday, we had some serious fun.

It’s really easy to go to Epcot with just one kid.  It was a fabulous day.  Except for dinner.  We had reservations to eat at China.  We were surrounded by screaming, hysterical toddlers…and their parents.  It was 8 PM and they were tired.  Both the parents and the toddlers.  It was almost impossible to have a conversation.  Fortunately, the food was decent.

We decided that rather than carry around jackets all day, we’d just get new sweatshirts at the end of the day.  And no, we didn’t get matching ones.

When she was a little girl, Superblonde sounded like Minnie Mouse and when she got excited, we called her Minnie Mouse on Helium.  So this sweatshirt is very appropriate.

Superblonde headed back to school today.  I took her to the airport this morning at 5 AM.  Yes, I went back to bed!!!  I did finish spinning this when I woke up.

It’s not quite that bright in real life.  It’s going to look like the sunset when I ply it this afternoon.

Here is some spinning I did on Thursday night when we got here.  I had some black wool with little bits of red in it.  The tag was gone, so I don’t know what it was.  Suffice it to say, it was kind of yucky, with felted bits in it.  I then plied it with some leftover merino silk from the yarn in this post.

I actually really like it now.  I have 180 yards.  It might make a nice hat, except that I never wear hats.

My Hero is done with school at the end of the day, and then we have a couple of days to actually hang out.  We can actually have a conversation without a teenager around.  I’m looking forward to it.  After almost 28 years, I still really like the guy.

And now, this ice cold Minnesotan needs to head outside to soak up some Florida sunshine.

 


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The Irony Of Spinning

I really do love spinning yarn.  It’s quiet and methodical.  It’s relaxing, but doesn’t leave you with a headache like margaritas would.  I love watching colors twist and blend.  It gives me time to think.  My kids friends think it’s cool.

But it creates more yarn, while allowing for less knitting.

Quite a while ago, I started spinning some fiber called Millefiore by All Spun Up.  It’s probably the most gorgeous fiber I’ve ever seen.

I think I had 24 ounces of it.  I spun half of it into three ply and I don’t love it.  It’s spun too tightly.  My plan is to run it through the wheel to take a bit of ply out of it.  But that’s for another day.

I decided to spin 12 ounces of it as a two ply.  It seemed to take forever.  Unlike the way I knit, with 50 projects going all the time, I’m a monogamous spinner.  Almost.  I did a bunch of stuff in between working on this, but I only ever have two spinning projects going at a time.

After the Olympics, I got groceries, did laundry, and decided to finish up this spinning project.

I ended up with 1060 yards.  I haven’t played with it yet, but I suspect it’s light fingering.  It hasn’t talked to me to tell me what it wants to be, but it’s going to soon!  I hope.

After that, I decided it was time to clean up bobbins.  Any leftovers I have, I navajo ply onto one bobbin.  It’s kinda like a scrap quilt, only it’s yarn.  Here’s what I ended up with.

Can I tell you how much I love this mishmash of color???  It’s 360 yards.  I’ve got a couple more skeins somewhere that I’ve done with leftovers.  I started a scarf, but now I’m rethinking this.  I’m wondering if it should be the start of a blanket.

I’ve got a few more fun spinning projects lined up.  I’m hoping they won’t take as long as the last one.  I’m planning to spin some worsted weight and that will go much more quickly.

And the yarn multiplies…..