Wednesday, October 12, 2016

New toys!

Some new toys ordered recently arrived today!

The first is a collapsible one-yard Niddy Noddy, from Katrinkles on Etsy.  It's made from bamboo; ingenious design!  I borrowed one with a similar design, made of plastic, at the Topsfield Fair spinning bee, and when I went looking for one, this is what I found.  I have a few other items from Katrinkles' Etsy shop, and have been quite pleased with them.

The second is a travel lazy kate.  This is also from Etsy, from a shop called Ogledesign.  I saw someone using one of these - this exact design and maker - at the St Distaff's Day gathering in January, and really liked it.  This photo shows it in use.  This is mine (maple) when closed.
This is what you see when you open it.  The pegs that form the supports for the kate and for the bobbins are stored inside.  A strong magnet keeps it closed.  The two shorter pegs support the kate; the three longer ones hold bobbins.  It is wonderfully compact, and a very clever design.
This is what it looks like set up.  The pegs hold the bobbins.  They are lightly tensioned due to their position on the kate.  It might be possible to add a little more tension with a string or rubber band; I'll have to experiment.
Both of these will be useful for spinning gatherings or competitions in the future.  I’m looking forward to using them!  For now they will reside in the Zuca case, with my Hansen Mini spinner and all of its accessories.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Updates everywhere

It's been a busy time, with lots of crafting and critter news happening.

In cross stitch news, I ditched the Guitar Strings pattern, and started one from Artecy - a rendering of photographer Dorothea Lange's Depression-era portrait, "Migrant Mother", in cross stitch.

The pattern has 9 pages.  I finished all of the first page, then did all the black on pages 2 and 3 (across the top) before I was distracted by something else.

My new distraction was a Star Wars chart, from Tilton Crafts.  They have both a website and an Etsy store.  I came across a charted creation based on Star Wars artwork by Tsuneo Sanda, called "Master".

There's also a Darth Vader companion piece called "Dark Force".

I bought both charts, and materials, and have started "Master."  I adore this piece!

Of course, my creative streak was interrupted by something else - the Deerfield Fair.  For quite a while now (about 14 years, I think) I spend all four days of the Deerfield Fair spinning in the Farm Museum.  I love it!  I'm also glad, after four days, to be done, but always look forward to doing it again.

After the fair, the Pygora goats were sheared, and the same day, I put the sheep coats on the two Jacob ewes.  The Pygoras are now 6 months old.  Still small enough to cause trouble, and still stinkin' cute.

Before and after of the goats!

I managed to get out to the Topsfield Fair spinning bee last Wednesday, for the first time!  I took a 3rd in wheel spinning (advanced) and first place in spindle spinning!  I know the procedure now, what's being done and what's being judged, and plan to do better next year!

Last weekend hubby and I (along with the grandchild) managed to visit three of the four stops on the NH Wool Arts Tour.

I didn't end up buying much, but had a great time visiting with friends and vendors!

The puppy, Jasper, continues to get bigger and remains almost impossibly cute!  He has reached 5 months, and is very busy!  Penny is his best friend.

I finished a couple of spinning projects, too!  The first was a cafe au lait colored Polwarth I was using as my demo fiber at the Deerfield Fair this year.  I ended up with 4.73 oz and 590 yds.

The other finish was my fine-spinning challenge, from my class with Abby Franquemont at the 2015 Fiber Revival.  After sitting around for a year, and surviving moving around and several puppy attacks, I ended up with 103 yds of two-ply, weighing just over 5 grams. Getting somewhere, but I still need some practice for the Longest Thread contest. I have learned several techniques for dealing with very fine spinning, however, so it is definite progress.

Another finish was a baby blanket.  This just needed to have the ends woven in, before being delivered to the recipient.  This was the ABC Baby Blanket, a free pattern from Ravelry.   It has now been finished and delivered.

I'm now working on a Pumpkin hat.  I couldn't find the exact pattern I wanted, so I am using a combination of two patterns - one called the Citrus Hat for the base, and substituting the pattern for the Berry Baby Hat for the top third and topknot of the hat.  This should be a very quick project - I'm hoping to have it done today, and ready to deliver to the mom.

Next weekend I'm off to the Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival.  I am very excited to be able to go, and looking forward to an entire day to myself, without grandchild or other family!  I do wish hubby was coming, but the 3-1/2 to 4 hour drive each way is too much for him.