the Intrepid Fiberwizard

adventures in spinning, knitting, gardening and life

Saturday, September 30, 2006

It was a grand weekend at OFFF

Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival was a fabulous weekend. If you have never been....... well, all I can say is "get yourself there!"
We left on thursday Sept 21 and returned home on sunday Sept 24th. So much occured during these few days... I will give you a pictoral view of some of it.
We arrived late on thursday, after a typical drive down.
Traffic was nasty thru Portland, but never fear, the sock knitting kept me very happy.. (thanks to K for driving (again)) I was wearing my lovely socks made from Dicentra designs yarn, and was knitting a new sock for Socktoberfest - made from Respect ! (naturally)
We arrived at our campsite and hung out - after a quick 'dump and leave' of all our booth items in the hall - awaiting the next day's set-up... . *talk about postponing until tomorrow whatever you can!)

We set up on friday morning/afternoon (this normally takes about 6 hours) - after that we collapsed and then that night we played with our friends. Sillyness at the campsite was the order of the day. Especially because it was K's birthday! (happy b-day my love)

Here are a few party shots:
Diane McKinnon showing her stuff..... "did I tell you about this shawl?" (it's the infamous shawl that she won from last year's fleece to shawl competition at BSG - Diane was the weaver in the group..... isn't it lovely? ! )
and then there was amazing culinary skill at our camp site.... We dined like kings and queens - it was the chef Doug, and his wife Celeste and son, Daniel .... thank you Doug for all your amazing royal treatment last weekend.Enough lamb to float a battleship was eaten..

there was the hilarious 'moving of the tent event.... a new friend who had stationed herself too close to the goats and was sung to "sleep" by goats who baaaed all night long.. tee hee.. we warned her, but she tried it out the first evening. (yes, we'd had a few glasses of wine that night. what a laugh! before we did this, she asked.. 'who's drunk enough to move my tent/' many hands went up!)

The festival actually began on saturday - photos from our booth pre-show are on my other camera.. and will have to wait a bit. Here's a couple typical shots from that day; people EVERYWHERE ! (this is a good thing!)

Here's my buddy Tina from Blue Moon Fiber Arts (yes, Socks that Rock fame) It was great to see you again girl!

And here's Lan from Carolina Homespun - gottcha good girl!

and then this is Morgaine (the tall goddess in the middle of the photo) Lan's partner and co-owner of Carolina Homepsun. They are the best - and we buy from them all the time. I only wish that we lived closer to San Francisco so we could see them more!

There were 140 vendors in total - that makes this the biggest fiber fair in the Pacific Northwest. Please try to attend next year, if you've never been. There are tons of classes, vendors, outside events, lamb cook-offs, music, kid-events and fleece sales. All-in-all an amazing weekend.

our friends showed up all over the place.(my favorite part of these events....) here's a few photos to share:

Chris brought her sweater to show - handknit from our pencil roving - isn't it amazing?! She let me display it in the booth that day and it was enjoyed by many.

Cheryl (yes that one from my earlier post on the Sock Hop spinning) spun even at night with me by the Rv - talk about dedicated! .. and they brought birthday beer for my honey - Will (Cheryls' husband and cheescake guru) brought home brewed porter beer with a custom CMF label) as well as three cheesecakes (yummmmm.. sweet potato, pinapple and marionberry) We were in heaven!

and many others hung out and played thru the wee hours of the night.. Loyce, Tim, Cynthia, Rebekka, Elda, Sandoval and many more. (if I didn't show a photo of you, you may now thank me.. some weren't so very pretty)

Oh and yes, we sold a bunch. Thank you to all our wonderful customers and friends. We had a blast. and we can't wait until next year. (It's my favorite show.. can you tell?!)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Eye Candy

It's eye candy friday... and this is a photo I took on Sept 19th, 2006 around 5:45 am. What a glorious shadow the mountain makes sometimes. This one was so amazing that I woke my husband to see it.
The mountain is actually closer than it looks in this photo (I had to zoom out to get the full effect of this amazing sunrise.)
more knitting content coming up soon.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

We've got a winner!

Wow. thanks for the amazingly wonderful response to my High Fiber Diet contest. I had alot of fun with this one. The total number of skeins that I dyed (in pencil roving and superwash merino) is 1079 within the first 8 months of this year. That translates to 539.5 pounds. whoa.

and the winner is........................
Amanda ! Her guess was 535 pounds. Come on down girl, and claim your prize. You have your choice of any colorway in the Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks superwash sock yarn.

We just got back from a fabulous weekend in Canby Oregon, at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. (I'll post photos soon). It has grown to be the largest fiber fair in the Pacific Northwest. While we were there, I delivered a few huge boxes of superwash (Sock Hop) to our main spinner (Cheryl - god bless you!). She sent me the following photo that I thought you all might enjoy... she titled it "the trouble with tribbles" - seems appropriate eh? ! Now that's some kind of "stash" ~ and no, none of these skeins were dyed in the first 8 months - I did them in September. One more amazing thing to share is that from the end of April to mid September, Cheryl spun 73,080 yards of 2 ply Sock Hop yarn.. that's almost 42 miles. Woot woot!
I'm off now to help unload the RV, and to recouperate from all the fun.
Thanks again for playing in my little contest!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

High Fiber Diet

There are many doctors who recommend a "high fiber diet" for us all~ especially as we age; but somehow I don't quite think that this is what they had in mind:

Recently it feels as though I have been eating, sleeping and dreaming about fiber- in all its forms! We even spent time cleaning out the garage a couple weeks ago and came across a bunch of shetland fleeces that need processing. Yee gaads!

The result of all this fiber, is that I have decided to hold another contest!! I think it might be fun to have you all take a guess at how much fiber (pencil roving and superwash) that I have dyed in the first 8 months of this year...

The winner will be the one closest to the correct number (and in case of a tie I'll pull the name from a hat).
Here's a few facts to consider when you guess:
1) I work a full time day job that has nothing to do with fiber - the dyeing is done in my "spare" time.
2) each skein (of either type of fiber) is individually dyed in it's own pot (and nope.. I'm not tellin' how many pots I have:-)
3) the pencil roving has to "cook" for about 2 hours, then sits for around 10 hours in the dyepot
4) the superwash roving cooks for about 1 hour, then sits for about 4 hours in the pot.
5) we receive the fiber in humongo batches, then we take it to a friend's mill to be processed down the way we want, then Klaus rolls it all off into the 8 ounces batches for me.. all this is prior to my dyeing... and takes quite alot of time.
6) I also skein off and label each hank myself.
7) a batch of fiber takes anywhere from 2-4 days to completely dry.
8) this summer has been filled with a lot of garden watering since we had absolutely no rain for almost three months - this took about 2 hours from every day.
8) I also do other things like spin and knit.....

So there you have it. I've been told that I have "hard" contests... ho ho ho... wouldn't be too much fun if it was a cakewalk, now would it? So take a guess.. take a wild guess... and the final hint is that I was really surprised when I finally counted how much I had done.
So make a comment and guess...... How many skeins of fiber (including pencil roving and superwash roving) have I dyed in the first 8 months of this year???

The winner will receive a skein of Chasing Rainbows Superwash Sock yarn - your choice of colorway. contest runs from Sept 17th to Sept 24th. so get your entries in :-)

Speaking of spinning ~ I have some fun news to share: Amanda (yes that one!) has joined our team of spinners for the Sock HopYarn. Woot ~Woot! I am so totally pleased. Her spinning skills are fabulous, and she's been a huge help in our business. Hop over and give her a big rah rah! We are working at adding a couple more spinners in order to increase our production - yet it takes a bit of time. Amanda's an incredible person, and was exactly what I was hoping for! (now maybe I can clone her.. tee hee)

I've been spinning up a storm recently... Here's My Boyfriend's Back.

and here's the sock I knit for K this past week. (I keep telling him that maybe he'll get the second sock for Christmas - but then again his birthday is coming up next week... we shall see!)
I am completely pleased with the way this new colorway came out - it's very "tweeedy" looking.
A couple of you have asked me how this is different from Heat Wave...... well, My Boyfriend's Back is a deep rust and burgandy (sometimes looking almost black) and the Heat Wave is a combo of Scarlet red and Black with hints of yellow and plum. I think this is a very masculine looking colorway - and so socks for K were born :-)
By the way - just in case you were wondering, he has a 10 3/4 inch long foot... and I had this much left over from one skein of yarn. Yay!
My daughter's boyfriend (who is 6' 4" and has a size 13 men's shoe) has asked for socks. whoa.

We are busy this week, preparing for the last fair of this season. (Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival) If you are anywhere in the vicinity of Portland, Oregon on Sept 23-24. please stop by and see us. It's actually being held in Canby Oregon, but that's only a hop, skip, and a jump from Portland. It is, by far, my favorite of our fairs. It's held on a country fairgrounds that is full of huge trees and grassy lawns. (no blacktop) There are buildings upon buildings filled with vendors,activities for the wee ones, and fun classes. Come on down!

I'll most likely not have time to post again until we get back. The contest winner will be announced at that time.

I leave you with a couple photos of our evening last thursday. I got home from work around 7 pm, and we had been having some blessed rain here (finally) The rainbow spanned across the hills - a complete arch. It was so enormous that I could only capture a portion.
The clouds turned an incredible color as the sun began to set. My garden (and I) are very grateful for this repreieve from the heat.
Have a lovely week all!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A Sea of Grass

Henry the Navigator has braved hills and valleys, crossing the plains , mountains and deserts until finally he sailed in today on a sea of grass !

Immediately upon his arrival, he disembarked and strolled our deck (must have felt familiar to him to have his feet on the wooden planks)... where he promptly stood stunned by the beauty of Mount Rainier..... at this point, our amazing wanderer dropped to the ground and said glory be, I'm glad I arrived! (ooppsss, actually I think that was me who said that... tee hee)
It's Yarn Aboard... and it's HERE!

Without further ado, may I present.... the stash! Thanks to Ramona, I'm doin' a fine happy dance here! She has treated me to a gorgeous yarn that I have never used before... way to go Ramona!!! Did I mention that I absolutely love it? ! "Appletini" colorway, hand dyed by Scout.
My dear swap pal has given me so many lovely things that I am speechless (well... almost... I can still gush on a little more if you insist!)

Here's a few closeups of some of the goodies that were hidden in the box along with this fabulous yarn:

Organic Gourmet Cocoa - YUMMMM! (I'm going to make some as soon as I finish this post)

Gardener's Handcare lotion - that is being used as we speak

Taos Sauna - a fabulous smelling hand made soap that I think I'm taking to my office, so I can use it everyday.

Hand felted button.. wonder what I'm going to sew that on.. don't know, but it'll be special.

Project Cards for spinning and knitting - these are handy little things.. totally clever, on which you can track all the info you wish you would have written down, but forgot to.. no more excuses now :-)

Eco Diary - a sweet journal, with a lovely hand painted tree on the cover; filled with blank pages. oh, it inspires me to return to my writing..

It is completely clear to me that Ramona took an enormous amount of care with all these delightful gifts. Thank you for this. I love them all.. it's just perfect

And now, since K is heading back out to the post office..... Henry the Navigator has already set sail for deeper seas..... safe journeys!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Toasty Toes Update and a lovely long weekend

Know what this means??? YUP ! Half way through, and no mishaps ~ Hurrah! I have scoured my Toasty Toes swap pal's blog, and come to the determination that she's a "lace" kind of pal, so I decided that a lace sock was in order. I'll reveal the pattern and body of the sock in due time :-)

Want one more peek? Here's the side of the gusset. I'm particularly pleased with this part. I used a technique from Charlene Schurch's book Sensational Knitted Socks. It worked exactly as she described. Yay!

It's been a wonderfully busy weekend ~ my oldest brother came in for a visit from Los Angeles, my daughter Erin had an Art Show in Issaquah, WA , and I finished plying the Twist and Shout Sock Hop Colorway. We are spinning like crazy to re-build our stock and eventually put the yarn up for sale another time.

Here's a few photos from the art show (yes, my daughter Erin is the one with fairy wings!). The town of Issaquah WA had an evening Art Walk, with about 20 artists participating. Many business' opened their shops to show the art. Erin's showing was in the hall of a Kung Fu studio (you might notice some of the martial arts paraphanalia in the background.) The evening was a smashing success - hoards of people came by - and everyone oohed and aahed alot. It was such fun. The contact juggler is Erin's wonderful boyfriend, Sean.

We'll be updating the website soon with all the new sock colorways. Oh and here's some exciting news... as we speak, our webmaster is working on adding a new line of Dicentra Designs Sock yarn in a 50% alpaca - 50% merino. It's gorgeous. (check back in a few days to see all the colorways) Also there will soon be added several Dicentra Designs superwash merino roving to spin. Life is good.

And for those of you who have written and asked me, I still have a few of the knitting/sewing bags that my Mom handmade, for sale. (see the end of my previous post for more information)

Saturday, September 2, 2006


It's been such a long dry summer here - and autumn is finally beginning to arrive. I could not be happier! The days are still hot (80-90 degrees) yet the nights get cool (in the 50's). My garden is still blooming, albeit a bit less quickly. I am ready to slow down.

Autumn marks the ending of the year for me. The time when the last of the veggies are picked, and the flowers set their seed for next year's blooms. It is a time to go inward and snuggle down for the winter. I find this so much more appealing than a mid-winter-new-year.

Lately I've been reflecting over the past year and my accomplishments. It has been a very good year. As I ponder it all, I consider what has touched my life. There is far too much to mention in this blog without boring you all to sleep - so I will share just one for now ... my parents.

Following a week where two different blog buddies each lost a parent/parent-in-law, my awareness of love for my own is in the forefront of my mind. Please take a moment and pop over to Amanda and Carole and give them a cyber hug of understanding for their grief and the exhausting hours of to-do's following a death in the family.
Despite living 3500 miles away from me, my parents (and their wisdom) touch my life almost every day. And although they will potentially blush, I'd like to tell you a bit about them....

Dad: Throughout my life my Dad has inspired me. To this day, I often use him as an example with friends and clients of an intrepid spirit. Dad has always believed in himself and his ability - and is one of the few men I know who was brave enough to begin an entire new profession in his mid-fifties. When we were kids, Dad was a self employed family medical doctor. The number of babies he delivered is astounding (and they still all send him Christmas cards!)

Never one to settle for just one accomplishment, he went back to school (in his 50's) and completed a full second medical residency, and obtained yet another medical doctorate, this time as an anesthesiologist... not stopping there, he later went on to teach at Tulane University, then began a company that taught other doctors how to pass the anesthesia certification boards, and then did "locums tenans"(flying all over the country being a doctor in many hospitals) for many years... only to finally 'retire' a couple years ago. Although saying he has retired is a bit of a fib, for he is still teaching (an AARP safe driving course) and volutneering at his church and helping his neighbors. I won't tell you how old either of them is (cause that seems a bit tacky) - but to give you a guess, he worked almost 20 years past when most folks quit. I am delighted to see him finally doing some things for "play". His strength and belief in himself inspired me to go back to college when I was 40 and know I could succeed. Dad always told me that I could do anything. thanks Dad.

Mom: hmmmm - how does one describe one's Mother ~ this is a tough one, yet I will try. She is the absolute personification of kindness. Mom is a "giver" - and like the energizer bunny, she never quits. She loves making gifts for people, and she gets so excited about what's in the package that she'll sweetly write a descriptive gift tag with bold hints as to what's inside :-) and the many ways she pictures you enjoying it. As a child I recall my Mom selling real estate and keeping a beautiful home. I used to think that we had magical fairies who did the laundry and cleaned and cooked (for I never actually witnessed her doing all that work!) We had the most beautiful home in Massachusetts; a glorious garden, and wonderful meals every single night. How she accomplished all of it (keeping up with my three brothers and me) while working, I will never know. She's a genie!

Mom sews, knits, crochets, beads, paints pottery and many other crafts as well. She has written and published multiple children's stories. She volunteers (still) at many charitable places. She knits baby blankets for hospitals, was recently president of her women's church league for more than 10 years, organized and ran their small boutique for gently worn clothing, put on yearly fashion shows, and still maintains a lovely home and garden. Phew. way to go Mom!
When things happen in my life, my Mom is still the one that I want to call and talk to. Her kindness and understanding are worth more than she will ever know. thanks Mom.
In keeping with my parents years of courageous acts, they are now going to be moving. They have built a new home (near Tampa FL ) and are leaving hurricane alley (yay !) While I know that their friends and church will miss them both, they will make new friends in Tampa. They are indeed a valuable example of well-lived-lives.

So... segue now to the other part of this blog.
The knitting/sewing bags that my Mom has made.
Many of you commented on these sweet bags and asked if you could buy one~ so I convinced my Mom to make a few. Here they are! (thanks for whipping them up so fast Mom)
There are six of them for sale right now. Two with stripes, two with batik dots, one black/grey and one rust/golden.
They were originally designed for as a helper for those who sew.

The little bean bag is a pin cushion and the bag holds your scraps while you are sewing. very handy!

Now me, I of course use it for knitting! This sweet little bag will rest on the arm of your chair or on your leg, perfectly holding your yarn while you knit. see... like this(here's a pic of Mom using it at the lake this summer):

I'm selling these for my Mom at $24 each + $6 shipping. This is all there is until after the first of the year (due to their moving). If you'd like one let me know. I will update this post at the bottom and tell you when they are sold. Please also email me (teyani AT crownmountainfarms DOT com) with your address and I will write back with where to send the check etc.
So let's support my sweet Mom and give her a little bit of Christmas spending money eh? (*grin*) thanks Mom - you're the best!

Parents are a gift ~ and interestingly enough seem to get "smarter" as I grow older (now how did that happen! :-) Give a hug to someone that you love and remember that life is too short.
One - yellow/rust: SOLD
two - polka dots:
two - striped:
one - black & grey batik: SOLD