Monday, June 28, 2010

Estes Park Wool Market

Please consider supporting my fundraising efforts for the Make A Wish Foundation! Click here to find out more.

Two weeks ago was one of my favorite events of the year - the Estes Park Wool Market. One of the best things about living in Denver is that I live within driving distance of this fiber paradise. And this year I managed to talk Denise and Megann to come to Denver and go to the Wool Market with me.

It was unseasonably cold in Colorado, but that didn't stop us from having a great time. We stayed up in Estes one night so could get to the market early and enter some of my handspun in the handspun competition. We even had a chance to meet up with our friend Lynda - a fellow Spring Flinger and fiber junkie. I can always count on seeing her at Estes and Taos.


We ooh'd and ahh'd over the Paco-Vicunas, Alpacas, angora bunnies and the goats and I made friends with one of the goats. He was so soft!

If you happen to know this goat and would like to send me it's fiber to spin, I wouldn't complain!

One of the highlights of the weekend for me was the handspun competition. I entered two categories, thin wool singles and goat fiber other than mohair.

My wool singles won 1st place!

And my pygora won 2nd place!

Not bad for the first time I've entered! I learned a lot from sitting in on the judges comments session at the Market and can't wait to enter again next year.

The rest of the weekend, we spent our time knitting, spinning and setting up my new loom. Since I didn't have enough hobbies, I decided to take up weaving. I'm really excited to see what I can make. This is my first project in progress.

First weave

This photo makes it look much more neon than it really is. These are the skeins I used:


The purple is the warp and the green/blue is the weft (look at me go with the weaving terms!). I've finished it, but haven't had an opportunity to take photos yet. I'll show it and the dish towel that is currently on the loom off in a future post.

Happy Adoptiversary to Purl and Ashford! It is hard for me to believe that three years ago my sweet tortie girls came to live with me and Xena. I'm so lucky to have these goofy cats in my life.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

An Urban Adventure

In August, my friend Tali, my little sis Mary and I are going to be competing in the Denver Oyster, an urban adventure race. The three of us are competing in the full course, a 4-6 hour race where we get clues, find our way to a checkpoint somewhere in Denver, then complete a task that could include a physical challenge, a puzzle or any other type of crazy challenge the organizers can come up with before we are given our next clue. Sort of a mini Amazing Race. We can't wait!

One of the requirements to competing in the race is that we raise money to support the local Make a Wish Foundation. This is a fantastic organization that helps make the dreams of sick kids come true. Our team's goal is to raise $800. We'd love to have your support!

In order to entice you to make a donation, I'm going to hold a drawing. For every $5 you donate by July 31, 2010, you will receive an entry to win a skein of my handspun. I will be giving away at least four skeins of handspun and I'm sure I'll find a few more goodies to add to the prize list, including something for the non knitters. I'll post photos of all of the prizes by July 1. The drawing will be held between Aug. 1 - 15. Here's two of the skeins to start:


1. 400 yds of 3-ply fingering weight, spun from an Enchanted Knoll Fibers Happy Hooves Club Sparkle Batts "Roses in the Snow" (mauve, gold and white with a hit of pink sw merino fiber and sparkles, sparkles sparkles!). Photos can't capture how sparkly this yarn is!


2. This may look like a plain ball of brown fiber, but looks can be deceiving. It is 2 oz of cashmere fiber, purchased this weekend at the Estes Park Wool Market and soon to be spun by me. Based on past experience, I expect to get at least 400 yards (more likely 500-600 yds) of gorgeous and oh so soft 2-ply laceweight yarn.

Additionally, a person or business that donates $50 or more will have the option of their name or url on the back of our team shirts and recognition on my blog.

Any business donating $200 or more would receive their logo on the back of our team shirts and recognition on my blog.

To donate, just click here and select Denver, Team Cupcake Mafia, and Team Member Lynn Zimmerman.

Thank you for your support!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Just one of those days

Waking up at 5:30 a.m. to a blaring carbon monoxide detector followed by a visit by three of South Metro Denver's Bravest is not a great way to start the day. Fortunately, it was a false alarm and I've purchased a new CO detector. I hope I'll get a good night's sleep tonight.

It turns out that 2.5 years after you move into a new house is when things start to break. Last week, I fixed a toilet, and this afternoon my doorbell started buzzing so I had to dismantle it. So, if you're coming over to my house, please knock and walk carefully. Hopefully, this isn't a sign of bigger things to come.

In happier news, Colorado decided to skip spring and after a mid May snowstorm we have gone straight into summer. While I would have liked a little bit of a spring, I'm just thrilled to see the sun. I've been able to get out and ride my bike and go hiking with friends.


Last night, I met some friends in downtown Denver and we wandered around the Denver Chalk Art Festival. The artwork was amazing. It is hard to believe it is chalk on concrete.

And Xena and I have spent a lot of quality time sitting out on our front porch. She loves to roll around in the sunshine.

This coming weekend is the Estes Park Wool Market and this year my friends Denise and Megann are flying in to go with me. It will be great to see them again and I'm looking forward to a weekend of knitting, spinning and weaving! I'm also frantically trying to finish a two skeins of yarn before they arrive on Friday to enter in the handspun competition.

I finished my first skein this morning. This is some Pygora (really really soft cashmere-like goat fiber) that I bought at the Taos Wool Festival. The goats the fiber is from were raised on a farm in western Colorado so I thought it was appropriate to enter in a local competition.

(Pygora fiber, 1 oz, 192 yards)

I'm not sure if it's spun well enough to win because the fiber was a little nubby, which makes it hard to spin smooth, but it is the softest yarn I've ever made. And I think it's really pretty, nubs and all. I'm still trying to decide what skein #2 will be. I think it will be a low twist single spun from a long fiber like Wensleydale.

I also recently finished spinning this fiber from the Southern Cross Fibre Club. This fiber is dyed by a very talented dyer in Australia. The fiber is Shetland, which is one of my favorites.


After (4oz., 612 yards):

I have way too many projects on the needles and haven't made much progress on any of them. The one I'm most excited about right now is my second Daybreak Shawl (see Daybreak #1 here)

This version is made from Zauberballs, which is a single-ply self striping sock yarn. The colors in this yarn are amazing, but I have been disappointed with the quality of the yarn. I'm not even halfway through one of the balls and I have already come across three knots and numerous frayed areas. Not a good thing. That said, I'm very happy with how this is turning out.


Daybreak Shawl

Purl and Ashford are more interested in the project bag I'm keeping the Daybreak in than the actual shawl.


And another Purl photo just because I think it's adorable.