Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Hot Summer Day at Lambtown, USA

So I thought that I would try to fit one more blog post in before we hit August 1st. I am unexplainably excited for August. I am not sure why.

Michelle, Adrienne, and I hit up Lambtown. Whoa, it was hot -- something like 95F. In the Bay Area, we rarely reach 85. Maybe in September. We looked around. I want to be a supporter of Lambstown. Truly. But there were alot of vendors that had nothing to do with fiber. And, they were interspersed with the fiber vendors which kind of sucked. I kind of felt like it should be called "Lambtown & Other Random Stuff". I hope in the future they place all of the fibery vendors/ people together. I did see alot of great spinner/ knitter friends that I haven't seen in a while so that was great.

It was so hot that we decided to sit under a tent and listen to live music. Well, that was just not going to cut it. This was the perfect excuse to buy some fiber. I ended up with 2 colorways of Chasing Rainbows. This orangey color and a blue-teal color. I plan to use it for the Chevron Scarf.

This was working out quite nicely until these 2 60 year old guys took the stage and started singing about cowgirls and texas. I started dropping my spindle. Michelle started to make mistakes in her knitting. We took it as our queue to pack up and leave.

I am going to divert away from fiber for a moment. On the way out of Dixon, we stopped at a car show. Loved it. Sidenote: I was raised by a man who looooves moving objects; virtual and real. We are talking about everything from Atari to U.S. Airforce Jets to any number of cars, etc. He taught me about these moving objects whether I wanted to know or not. Out of all of the moving objects, cars were always my favorite. You can imagine my excitement when I drove up to see this...

It was very interesting to see the dashboards -- to see how the knobs and levers had changed over the years.

I hope everyone had a nice July.

Friday, July 27, 2007

I am a tiny little sea anemone.

I guess I am still stuck at Agate Beach.

Here are 2 more yarns inspired by the tide pools:

They were difficult to photograph -- the colors are a bit unruly.

Tomorrow, we go to Lambtown, USA in Dixon. Look forward to reports on sheepies and wool.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Today's Verbs: Weaving and Growing Dye Plants

I am sssooo happy. My dye garden is really taking off. Finally, we are seeing our first cosmos, dahlias, and chrysanthemums. Now, we are only waiting on the correopsis.

All three types of flowers will yield a range of yellows, oranges, and rusts depending upon the mordanting process. We plan on experimenting quite a bit, so, hopefully, we will end up with samples reflecting this range.

Otherwise, Adrienne and I began our weaving project. Adrienne works at the SFMOMA and they have an employee art show, so, we decided to a collaboration. She names the project "Tilth" which means healthy soil -- something Adrienne is rather obsessive about. We are planning on using a bunch of Habu that I picked up at Stitches 2005. And, we are going to drop spin some of the Shetland guard hairs from our fleeces that we bought at the BSG. Stay tuned! We plan to incorporate a little knitting -- to add a 3D feel.

Here's Adrienne hard at work!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Jabbar and Bandhani Awake My Intuitive Creative Process.

Wow, it has been way to long to go without blogging. It has been a big week. The house's exterior is finally done being painted. My grandfather's brain surgery went well -- and I had a very special guest this week.

My very good friend, Jabbar. He is a master bandhani dyer from Gujarat, India.

I was lucky enough to have gorgeous silk scarves strewn around my house!

About Jabbar's work: He and his family do a form of resist dyeing called Bandhani, also known as tie-and-dye. They use natural and acid dyes. Each dot you see here is made by tying a very small bunch of silk with thread. When the fabric is dyed, that little tied part does not take the dye. After the dye has set, we pull the scarf and all of the thread pops off and the design appears.

When I lived in India, Jabbar and his family took very good care of me and I consider them to be my second family. It has been five years since I have seen them. And this is Jabbar's first trip to the U.S. I can describe this trip emotional at best. It brought up alot of feelings about my time in India, and alot of feelings about the fact that I have not returned to see my loved ones in India. I have been literally aching to write about textiles and India lately and seeing Jabbar really sealed the deal. I am thinking about creating a series on my blog dedicated to textiles: history, cultural meaning, and technique.

I decided that I really needed to take the day (and maybe week) off. I really want to make art this week and focus upon my surroundings. Today, we went to Bolinas to Agate Beach.

bsolutely beautiful. To look at the tide pools.

I am always amazed how much color is packed into these small microcosms. Inside the purple shells, live little blue crabs.

Otherwise, on the home front, I have washed more fleece. argh. but beautiful....

And here are the spun samples, knit up into cable swatches. They are a little hard to see....

And last but not least, I spun a little yarn tonight, inspired by my day at Agate Beach. All of the fleece used was natural dyed indigo, cochineal, and madder.

I love using my intuitive sense to create -- and can easily get bogged down by practicality, structure, and theory. This week I am devoting to the intuitive creative process -- creating from and trusting my gut feeling. I can't wait to see what I will make!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Help! I am sinking into Ravelry!

Oh Ravelry. Its a dangerous place. I left my blog to the wind. It feels dusty. What has been going on around here? OK -- Obviously, I received my Ravelry invitation last week. Promptly signed in -- and was simply overwhelmed by the sheer amount of content, people, and organizational capabilities. A fire lit under my ass, I became superbitch to Adrienne, would not eat, and only wanted to upload things onto Ravelry. And everyone has all of these "friends" and I don't. And all of a sudden I am back to my first day at school. Whoa, step back from the edge. Not good.

I had other firsts as well this week. I don't know how many of you know this but I quit my job in january so I could pay more attention to my online fiber store -- and of course spin and knit. Well, this week, I decided to start a little marketing work for a friend. I plan on working about 15 hours a week. Well, the knitting side of myself gave me hell. Its as if I had decided to abandon the entire program and go back to work 40 hours a week. So, I had to sit down with Miss Crazy Knitter/spinnng woman and provide some perspective.

This week I have also decided that I must start taking vitamins again, exercising, and eating salads. I keep telling myself "Next week, I know that I will feel better and more energetic." Needless to say, this week I have been a little cranky. Oh, and I forgot to add my landlord is here and they are painting our house and the cottage in the back and building new gutters. We are on day 3 (out of 14). tap, tap, scratch, scrape, scrape, yelling. Our dye garden looks a little sad.

On a brighter note, I am almost done with washing fleeces. Adrienne and I have planned a new weaving project for the SFMOMA employee art show. She wanted to participate last year but ran out of time. I bought a bunch of Habu at Stitches West 2 years ago -- so, I thought that we'd play with some of that. Plus, I have been meaning to practice my warping all summer long and have not gotten to it. So this should be good.

I am busily spinning superfine merino for the new line of naturally dyed singles. Hopefully in the next week or so, I will get them into the mordant pot. Oh, more firsts! We receieved our first order of Earthues natural dyes. We are trying to get the web page for that up and running. I guess its back to work for me.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Come one! Come all! Handspun Yarn & Hand Dyed Roving!

Hello -- I am happy to announce my offering of beautiful hand spun yarn and hand dyed roving at our new online store: A Verb for Keeping Warm.com. Right now, we have a great selection of fibers in stock: merino, merino/silk, corriedale, and bluefaced leicester.

In the upcoming months, we will be working hard on expanding our company to include our first line of naturally dyed 100% merino yarn, naturally dyed roving, and dyestuffs like madder, indigo, fustic, and cochineal. We will also be expanding our list of fibers to include cashmere and alpaca.

Email me your contact information and I will send you upcoming store specials and updates. Thanks for stopping by!