Sunday, October 26, 2008

Knitting, Spinning and Politics

This is far from being a political blog. I try to stick with topics that are non-controversial, but since the election is only 9 days away, I'm going to start this post by straying from my normal yarn and kitty fodder and blog about my chance to see Barack Obama in downtown Denver this afternoon. (Don't worry - there's plenty of yarn and kitty activity to talk about in this post too!)

Mary, Phil and I and a few of our friends met downtown way too early for a Sunday morning to start our for breakfast. We thought we'd grab and bite and then be one of the first in line to see Obama speak...apparently many other Obama supporters had the same idea. Fortunately, it was a beautiful day. We walked and walked and walked to find the end of the line to get into the park where he was speaking. Here's the view from the end of the line.


And when the line finally started moving, here's what we saw when we turned the corner.


And when we finally got to the park, here's what we saw. This is the view toward the Federal building. Obama spoke on the steps.


And at the other end of the park is the State Capitol.


They estimated that 100,000 people came out to see Barack speak. The crowd was all the way to the steps of the Capitol. We found a good place to stand across this street toward the front.

We had a great view of the snipers. They looked very serious.


And we had a not so great view of Barack. But at least we had a slight view (see the blue arrow). At least we could hear every word he said clearly. I'm so glad I went.


Now back to our regularly scheduled programming. I have been busy spinning and knitting.

This is superwash merino dyed by Stacy. This is my favorite yarn I've spun to date.


And this is my first attempt at spinning a soft squishy single yarn. It's a bit overtwisted in places, but I'm happy with it.


It jumped on the needles almost as soon as it dried from setting the twist. It became the Turn a Square hat (Ravelry link).


I am almost hoping for colder weather so I can wear it. But I think I can be patient and wait a while longer to get a lot of use out of it.

While all of this knitting and spinning has been going on, rest assured I have had close supervision.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fluffy Kittens!

I'm afraid I might have driven away some of my readers with the tarantula photo in the last post so I will start with one of the most photogenic kittens in the world.


I promise that there aren't any more giant spider photos planned for this blog for the foreseeable future.

It has started to fee like winter here so I've been taking advantage of the cold and getting a lot of spinning done. We worked on 3-ply in my spinning class at Shuttles, so I've been having fun practicing that skill.

This is superwash merino from Funky Carolina


And this is BFL from Spindlefrog - a gift from my swap pal Holly.


Today I started working on another 3-ply yarn using some superwash merino that Stacy from Tempted Yarns dyed for me in the Fiesta colorway. I can't wait to ply this.



I'm starting to amass quite the handspun collection. I'm considering opening an Etsy shop so some of it might get knitted in my lifetime.

The weatherman is predicting snow tonight. Ugh! October is way to early for snow!

I'll end this post on a positive note with more photos of the most photogenic kitten in the world. These are the many faces of Purl.





Monday, October 6, 2008


This weekend Mary and Phil, and I took the Tribeca on it's first road trip. I needed a break after the very successful IABC Southern Region Conference. We picked Taos because it happened to be the weekend of the Taos Wool Festival.

The drive down was spectacular because the Aspens were at their peak and the mountains were bright yellow. So beautiful.

We stayed with Mary and Phil's friends James and Becca. They have designed and built a house in a community that is completely off the grid just outside of Taos. It's called an Earthship and it's built using recyclable materials. It's a beautiful home. Here's James and Phil standing on the dome of the house.


The back wall of the house is entirely made of tires packed with sand. Absolutely backbreaking work! This is an Earthship in progress.


Some use aluminum cans and bottles


This is the view from James and Becca's front lawn. Not bad, huh?


I didn't get any photos of the inside of the house, but Mary and Phil have photos from a previous trip on their blog.

Because we were on a mesa, we saw a lot of tarantulas. They're harmless as long as you don't bother them.


It was a great experience to stay there and Becca and James were great hosts. Such a unique community.


We all went to the Wool Festival. So much wooly goodness!


I brought home some lovely fiber to knit and spin including some cashmere and merino/angora. Fun. But the best thing I got at the Wool Festival was from the Buffalo Gold booth. They had a bin full of matted buffalo fiber that was free to a good cat home. I want them to know that they have made Purl a very happy kitty. I had forgotten about it last night when I got home, but fortunately Purl doesn't mind digging through my suitcase and she found her new toy. It's not the cutest toy, but she loves it.

It was my first trip to Taos, but it definitely won't be my last!

I also received a wonderful swap package from Holly in New York last week. She spun this yarn for me:


And sent me lots of other goodies:

It was a fun swap to participate in. She loves bright colors like I do, so it was fun to pick out the fiber to spin for her. This was the fiber -


And apparently I didn't get a photo of the finished yarn. Let's just say it was a bit more retina burning than I expected it to be. Usually, the fiber color softens as it is spun. This was so saturated with color, it got brighter. I loved it, but I was nervous about what Holly would think of it. She received it this weekend and already has wound it in a ball and is ready to cast on for a pair of socks you can see from space. :)