Fiber Festival!

I got to go to a fiber festival in Iowa City with my son and his spouse (they sell their alpaca fiber and yarn there each year). It was so fun. In the first picture I bought a yarn bowl , (a vendor had some beautiful hand crafted pottery ones there but since I don’t use them very often I didn’t want to spend $60 on one, so I bought a a plastic one that will still serve it’s purpose. I might get one at a later date, they were beautiful!), some spinning oil for my wheels and a machine embroidered lap cloth for when I am spinning. The lap cloth helps you keep the fiber off your clothes but it’s also wonderful if you are spinning dark fiber to have a light back ground so you can see it better. I also have a less fancy one that a friend made for me that I use that also has a dark back ground on the other side for when you are spinning light colored fiber, and I love it. I bought a really pretty hand dyed skein of yarn, that I am not sure what to do with it yet, it’s a fingering weight, so maybe a pair of socks or fingerless mitts? I found and bought this lovely smelling soap and hand cream that is made from goats milk and the hand cream felt so nice on my hands, am looking forward to using the soaps. I brought home some of my son’s yarn and loose spinning fiber. All of the alpaca is soft, but the black fiber is cria (baby alpaca) and oh my it’s extra soft, I can hardly wait to spin it up. I have started another cabled hat, love the feel of the alpaca yarn when I’m knitting. I’m using a lighter shade of brown (the one in the yarn bowl pictured above, the picture looks a bit darker than the shade of brown of the yarn in rl) so the cables will show better. And my son took me over to look at a different vendor’s hand crafted diz’s (for my spinning). They were made of brass, I hemmed and hawed over which one I wanted, they were all beautiful, and when I went to pay for it my son said nope, I got it mom. So I have this beautiful brass hand made diz as a gift from my son and his spouse. How lucky can a mom get. πŸ™‚

There will be another fiber festival that they sell toward the end of this month and I will get to go to that one too!! I’ll post about it when we get back from that one. I did forget to take pictures yesterday, but I’ll try to get a few pictures from this coming one.

Hope everyone in the mid-west is enjoying the warmer weather this year, sorry that we in the mid-west have spread around our normally ugly winter weather to other states this year and that we got milder weather, nope not sorry :P.

A Hat Update and…..

The cabled hat is finished, I knit it from a very soft worsted weight baby alpaca yarn from my son’s farm, it was a pleasure to knit. Hope it will be loved. I almost forgot to mention this is the Utopia Cabled Hat by Smariek Knits it is a free pattern.

Just a view of my 17 year old Christmas tree and a cute new little city scene I got from my son’s mother and father in law. They are really wonderful people.

I didn’t take pictures but I spent yesterday making cherry nut bread and today making cloverleaf rolls and peppermint chocolate chip cookies for our Christmas dinner tomorrow. Hope your Christmas Day is filled with love and hope.

Below is a YouTube video of Christ’s birth. Hope you enjoy.

More Knitting Accountability and 1st Ground Cover Snow for Winter 2022-23

Trying to stay on task for my knitting accountability. I am ready to start on the sleeves of the Tin Can Knits Flax baby sweater, then to weave in ends, wash the sweater and then gift it ;). I’ll get one more picture when it’s done before I gift it. The 2nd picture is another Dandelion Headband. I should have taken the picture on a dark background but it’s already been gifted, so sorry :P. I think I am going to make her a cowl with this design for next year. I need to keep working on the hats for warmth project.

The last picture is the first ground cover snow we had a week or week & 1/2 ago. It didn’t stay long our weather was cold for about 3 or 4 days and then back into the middle to upper 30’s and 40’s. πŸ™‚ I know it’s coming, but every day winter is not fully here yet is one less day of winter before Spring and one day less you have to hear me ask “Is it Spring yet?”

Hope everyone had a good time with family and friends and enjoyed some Thanksgiving dinner. Even the alpaca at my son’s farm got to have carrots for Thanksgiving (one of their favorite snacks) amazing how friendly they are when they know you are bringing them carrots, lol.

RIP Sundance (alpaca) :(

This is Sundance, one of my son’s alpacas. The little one, with her head on Sundance’s back, is Star Sundance’s last cria (picture taken 2 years ago). My son and his spouse called the vet because she was not feeling well, the vet said it would be kinder to let her go, there wasn’t much he could do to help her and she was suffering, so they let the vet put her down. She was 17 and had lived a good life. My son and his spouse are very sad at her loss, they look at them as pets, I know Heavenly Father is taking good care of her, He loves all of his creations. She was in the first flock he bought when he started to raise alpaca. She was very sweet and had a wonderful fleece. If I am correct she was a show alpaca back in the day (most of those in his first flock were).

Give your pets an extra hug tonight.

Last of the Alpaca Pictures, Fall has Fell and a Favorite Quote from General Conference.

This is the Yoga with the Alpaca on the Alpaca Farm Days picture that was on Sunday morning. My son-in-law was kind enough to send me one he had taken. It’s fun for everyone including the Alpaca, I think some of them were figuring out how to join in with the yoga and others were enjoying a snack!

The picture on the right is a large beautiful tree showing it fall foliage. The colors on my phone were so vibrant, however my computer screen doesn’t do it justice, hope your colors show up better than my computer. I love fall, but would love it better if it didn’t mean winter is right around the corner, sigh. Winter is when I dream of living in Hawaii or Florida. They are both very expensive, they both have sharks and they both experience hurricanes, but Hawaii doesn’t have large snakes or alligators, tho they do have volcanoes. Choices, choices, choice. Maybe the very cold weather and snow isn’t quite as bad as I thought, though I still don’t like it :P.

Some friends asked me to give several of my favorite quotes from General Conference. But giving several favorite quotes from General Conference was hard because there are so many, and to give several would make this too long of a post, so I will just do one in this blog post.

This was from the 2nd councilor in the Relief Society General Presidency (Women’s organization in our church), Sister Kristin M Yee in the 2nd session on Saturday, (I’m linking the talk in her name, it was so spiritually powerful, I hope you will go listen to it) “To all who are brokenhearted, captive, bruised, and perhaps blinded by hurt or sin, He offers healing, recovery, and deliverance. I testify that that healing and recovery He offers is real. The timing of that healing is individual, and we cannot judge another’s timing. It is important to allow ourselves the necessary time to heal and to be kind to ourselves in the process. The Savior is ever merciful and attentive and stands ready to provide the succor we need.”

We have all felt this way and I was particularly taken by her words that the Savior “stands by ready to provide”, it’s reminding us we need to do something, we need turn to Him and ask for the hope and healing he offers so He may give it to us. May the Lord be with you and bless you according to your needs. Have a great day all!!

Alpaca Farm Days 2022 Last Weekend and General Conference this Weekend

I went to my son’s Alpaca Farm Days on Saturday and after Church on Sunday to spin while people came to see the alpaca and feed them carrots and pet a few of them. My son has 22 alpaca, 4 males and 18 females. He didn’t breed last year so no babies this year, but he has bred them this year so there should be babies (alpaca babies are called Cria) next year! Here are some pictures from the event, 2 pictures of those beautiful alpaca (I wanted to get a picture of the yoga with the alpaca but it was on Sunday morning and I was at Church). He had a skirting/sorting table set up with a fleece on it and he had a tumbler that he built and used to clean the fleeces before sending them off to the fiber mill so they don’t have so much work to do but I didn’t put the picture in (sorry), and he had his drum carder set up to show people how to make batts. The last picture is my Rick Reeves spinning wheel, that I brought to spin some alpaca with. I managed to get 1 bobbin done there and I have started the 2nd bobbin, hope to finish it this week and ply it so I can finish the 2nd bobbin on my Kromski Polonaise. I get anxious when I have too many things going at the same time, so one at a time to get it worked down!

I am going to finish the hat I am knitting (very close to done) and start a sweater to work on this weekend for General Conference week end (friend’s baby is coming in two months). Because it’s on the BYU channel on cable or on the BYU channel free to add on the Roku plug in on TV, and at http://www.churchofjesuschrist.org on line, Saturday from 11am to 1pm and 3pm to 5pm and the same times on Sunday, I can sit and enjoy the wonderfully spiritual talks that bring peace to my soul and knit at the same time, can’t get any better than that! Hope you can enjoy some peace in your day and watch a little bit of this wonderful General Conference time.

Please join me in prayers for less damage, injuries and loss of life as possible during the hurricane. I know there will be some of all of that and the devastation of any kind of loss is horrible, so I’m praying for the blessing of help from others, and peace and comfort as they deal with and rebuild what damage was done and that people not affected by this large hurricane will reach out with prayers and physical help to help them. I know the help was much appreciated a couple of years ago when we had that awful derecho.

Tour de Fleece 2022

Another year spinning with the Tour de Fleece while the Tour de France bicycle race is going on :). These are two pictures that show my progress. This is CVM (California Variegated Mutant) sheep fleece blended with about 15% alpaca. The mutant tag has to do with the fleece coloring. I already had the 1st bobbin spun and had started on the 2nd bobbin and they just sat there for months while I waited for my knitting/spinning mojo to come back, this event is helping to spark that :). I think I have about 1/2 oz of fiber left to spin then I can ply it and presto, yarn. πŸ™‚ This skein is a surprise gift for someone who made me a gift last year. Hoping she will enjoy her little surprise. πŸ™‚

My life has been pretty busy and there aren’t enough hrs in the day to try to squeeze in enough sleep, but that’s entirely my fault, if I would go to bed earlier it wouldn’t be a problem, but sorry night owl here and I’d rather be doing other things except when it’s time to get up hahaha.

Our temps have been very warm and humid :(. I did get to spin on my balcony this last week, that day was so beautiful outside and that is something I enjoy doing. I usually try to do that in the spring before the flies and mosquitoes and other biting bugs are out but this last spring was a lot of overcast and rain, not conducive for the care of my spinning wheel. But at least I got one day in so far this year. In case sometime during my years of blogging I have forgotten to mention, I wish I could give the man that invented refrigerated air a hug, it’s so amazing!

Hope you all are doing well and enjoying whatever weather you have in your area.

FO! And the Hat I Will be Working on

I finished the scarf I was making for a friend for Christmas, yeah it’s late, so what else is new :P. The color isn’t showing right on my screen, it’s actually a fawn color and not grey. This is my Little Lace Cat’s Paw Scarf that I corrected a line of the pattern and added two more rows to, it’s not a beginners pattern but it’s not hard, just pay attention to what row you are on. I knit this out of some of my hand spun cria (baby alpaca), that my daughter had given to me as a fleece and sent it off to a fiber mill to have processed into what they call bumps for spinning, which is similar to a batt of carded fiber. Soft stuff!

The next picture is of the hat I am finishing for my friend this is where she left off with her knitting. It is Quivet (muskox fiber, and is very soft stuff too, and very warm) and I am getting ready to figure out where she was with it and see if I can finish it for her.

Our temps are back up to normal, I always hate those arctic blasts, but we get them every year, and I’m sure we will get another one before the end of Feb. The days are teens and 20’s ambient temps, occasionally we get up to the mid 30’s and we think it’s spring (LOL), and the nights are single digits to below 0 ambient temps, but I’m not out at night so I keep warm at home :P. Hope everyone else is staying warm as well.

Accountability for WIPs Now FOs, a New Spin and a National Alpaca Farm Day Visit

Ok, accountability time.

Knitting – FOs (finished objects) I finished the last Flax baby sweater I was working on, it’s in the Yarn Bee Soft & Sleek in Coral colorway, size 6 to 12 months. I follow directions on this pattern, but when I add the extra stitches called for when I pick the stitches for the sleeves I add up a couple of extra stitches on the body of the sweater on each side to close holes when picking up the stitches at the bottom of the sleeves and then knit 2 together in the next round when I get to the extra stitches to reduce the stitch count back to where it is suppose to be, works well :). I also finished the charity hat I was working on. Both are pictured above. I will be starting a new flax baby sweater (a mom is due in Nov would really like one :P) and a new charity hat. Will post pictures of the yarn when I get them started.

Spinning – I finished the cria (baby alpaca) spin. I over spun the ply a bit accidentally and a friend is going to post a youtube video about taking some of the extra ply spin out. She’s really cool, she is Fiber Love Diary on Youtube, she has a lot of nice spinning, dying and weaving videos. Anyway, it was over plied because I was spinning at my son’s National Alpaca Farm day and I was sitting in the shade and I couldn’t see the ply well and I over plyed, sigh. Picture of the yarn above, it was 18 wpi (wraps per inch for my non spinning friends), and 3 1/2 ozs and about 330 yds, a nice fingering weight. Was very soft spinning, but to be honest, plying is boring lol. I have already started a new WIP (work in progress), it is a CVM/Alpaca blend – (CVM = California Variegated Mutant, it is a Romney sheep, courser fleece (less soft), from NZ, bred with Rambouillet sheep, finer fleece (soft), and has to do with a mutation coloration that was re-bred and stayed in the line, look it up on line for more information. It is interesting). This is much less soft than Alpaca but I don’t think it will be too course for next to skin wear. I’m not sure how much alpaca was blended in, it seem to be mostly CVM. It also has lanolin (Alpaca does not have lanolin) that was not completely washed out that gives it a slightly tacky feel, but it’s not hard to spin. The picture shows the ball of roving (2 ozs, I have 2 of these for 4 ozs) as a lighter color, it is actually a little darker, tho not much darker, and shows up a little better as spun on the bobbin, it has a mottled look.

Last picture to talk about, on Sunday at their National Alpaca Farm day event (I only went Saturday to spin, so my son in law was kind enough to send me this picture he took :P) a friend of theirs teaches yoga and she had a class in the alpaca pasture. Fun was had by all, the alpaca were as curious as the people doing yoga. Dotty to her mother Summit, “what the heck are those humans doing?” :p.

Hope everyone is enjoying their fall weather, winter isn’t far behind.

Knitting and Spinning Updates and a New Cria!

In the first picture are some of the things I am actively working on, a little girl baby sweater (yes the Flax :)), it’s in the Yarn Bee Soft & Sleek in Coral colorway. The larger item is a garter stitch comfort shawl in Lion Brand Homespun in the Waterfall Cascade colorway. The last item is the hat I will be knitting for my family member out of the lavender hand-spun (wool with a little alpaca blended in) that is showing in the next picture. I haven’t started the hat (Snowtracks Cap by Timothy Peters) yet, but I did get it wound into a ball. I actually enjoy the hand winding process, I find it a mindless and peaceful experience, well except when it is tangled as I wind, then it’s just an experience :P.

The next picture is all the yarn I’ve spun this year, (well except the orange skein it was a fractal spin I did last year, it’s just pretty :P).

The next two pictures are the alpaca cria (baby alpaca) roving I am spinning on my Rick Reeves double drive wheel. The alpaca fiber is butter soft as it goes through my fingers, and oh my it almost spins itself!! This roving was from a cria fleece that my daughter bought me a few years back that I had sent off to a mill in the east to turn into roving and they did a tremendous job!!

The last picture is one of my son’s alpaca, Summit, and her new cria, who was born this last Thursday, isn’t he a cutie, he’s white just like his mom! His dad was a beautiful fawn color from another herd. They have one more cria to be born in the next two weeks and that will make 4 new babies this year.