14 April 2010

wish me luck

I looked out my window this morning and realized that the large maple tree standing in the parking lot of my building has blossomed. The morning sun seemed almost green, because it had to filter through this mesh of young leaves before it hit my bedroom window.

On my walk into school I discovered all the trees in the city are blossoming.

I guess I've never thought of trees as "blossoming" before, but they really do. Their tiny buds look like flowers before they either fall off or mature into larger leaves.

The yarn above is something I spun at around this time last year. It's a bit over-spun, but perfect for socks. I'm calling this colorway Wish Me Luck. As in wish me luck with the upcoming summer . . . wish me luck on my final reviews . . . wish me luck with the garden . . . wish me luck with all the adventures in my life.

Upon reflection, though, I must admit I think a lot of times we make our luck. (I'll post that colorway in a few weeks, if I'm lucky enough to catch up with all my work.)

07 April 2010

unexpected inspirations

Today I'm thinking about all the things that inspire me when I work with fiber. First, there's all the patterns that are available to knit with. I love the way that cables twist and bend stitches into a braided organic form. On the top of a mitten or down the front of a sweater, it doesn't matter where they're knit, they always capture my attention and interest.

This mitten is a tag team effort between my mother, Julie, and my cousin, Ashley. My mom spun the yarn from some of our gray CVM Romeldale top and Ashley found the pattern and knit the mitten. It's called Cruiser and its free on Ravelry.

Here's another collaboration between my mother and Ashley, some hand-painted hand-spun inspired by the colors in a peacock's feather. They did this over Ashley's spring break.

Their process involves winding a very large skein of fiber (I'm talking at least a fifteen foot segment) between two chairs and then draping it over a tabletop and painting the color segments with foam brushes. Next, the fiber goes into a pot to steam for about an hour. Finally it is rinsed and hung out to dry.

Here's another effort of my mother's. The middle skein is an example of our Barn Raising colorway, spun into a double-ply, worsted weight yarn.

The gray fiber beside it is a sample of the top that we dyed over to get this colorway and also the same top that we spun "straight up" to get the gray yarn in the mitten on top.

There's so much that you can do with this fiber!

Here's one last image that I couldn't resist posting. I guess my point is: sometimes when you're inspired you get unexpected results. Our hens have been up to some shenanigans in the hen house. My Mom discovered these wildly varying eggs last week.

Underneath, is a hank of dyed roving that we call Mermaids in the Basement. This fiber is perfect for socks. I like to spin it with a bit of "overtwist" so that the final stitches slant slightly when they're knit.

I hope you're inspired and/or surprised today. (Preferably both.)

03 April 2010

jellybeans + garlic sprouts

This is some of my mother's hand-spun and hand-painted yarn. It reminds me of a handful of colorful jellybeans.

Spring is running full throttle here at Crosby Hill farm. Lambs are leaping around the barn yard, and chicks are peeping in the chicken coop. There's even some garlic sprouts poking up through the soil in the garden.

I've been charged with photographing all of these things, so I'd better get my tail out to the barn.

My family will gather this evening for a meal and some card games. The "roast beast" is already in the oven: some of my dad's pastured beef, prepared by me. (A cup of red wine, some rosemary, garlic and shallots and let it cook slowly all afternoon.)

Hope all of you are enjoying your Saturday.
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