Thursday, October 30, 2008


My persimmon tree didn't bear fruits this year. It may still be recovering from being crushed by the fallen yucca branch last winter. Or, I may be doing something that the tree doesn't appreciate.

But, a consolation --


Thursday, October 23, 2008

New Bumper Sticker

I've just put a new bumper sticker on my car.

I know. It's perfect!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Here, There, Everywhere

I was in D.C., Montreal, Toronto, a pumpkin patch in Petaluma, and Placer/Nevada Counties in California, all in one week, and even managed to squeeze in one night on my own comfy bed. But, not much knitting was accomplished, and worst of all, no pictures! I've got to see some of the famous fall scenery in Montreal, and didn't take my camera with me.

In Auburn/Grass Valley, since I was the one doing all that driving (Charlie was stuck in the CAP meetings all weekend at Auburn) and keeping my son occupied, I didn't even think about taking the camera out of my bag. Funny thing.

But I came home without picking up nasty germs from the foreign places, feeling well, rested and a lot accomplished, and first sock of the year (hard to believe) nearly done.

Only if I managed to clean up the mess in the house, and deodorize the mouse cage!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Finally Ravelry

Other Designated Knitters had been urging me to join Ravelry, but it didn't spark my interest so much -- I have this blog to keep up after all, and felt I didn't need another online black hole to suck my time. I already have enough of that! But oh yes my lovely fellow knitters just signed me up and I found myself adding my projects... My ID is Tamami (how original). Knitters, see what you've done to me??

I've finished blocking my False Modesty. I love how it looks and feels, but it was dreadful when I found two more dropped stitches on the mohair! I kept knitting until the Kid Silk Haze was about to run out on me, so it came out a little wider than it was supposed to be. I think it's a great size for a stole.

It's hard to see, but the darker rows are the cotton handspun. The colorway of the carded cotton is "Abalone" and the way it variegates on the yarn is beautiful -- Purple, blue-gray, green, dark green.

This is before blocking.

This is the cotton laceweight. I'm not sure if it stands to be shot close-up!

I've started on Shetland Triangle shawl for my mom. She and I went to Knitterly while she was here in the summer, and there was a knitted sample of Shetland Triangle. My mom loved it, so there I go. I'm not a shawl type of person, but I always wanted to knit one, so it's perfect. The question is whether I'd be willing to let go when it's done.

I am fascinated with the way it's knitted, like starting at the center of the neckline! It's so clever. I'm trying to decide if this is going to be safe for me to knit while flying -- I am traveling to Montreal and Toronto next week. I know very well that distraction is dangerous for lace knitting and that's a sure way to mess up the whole thing.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


Saw this at the Cal Academy of Sciences and I had to stop.

Where will we be 5 million years from now?

(Oh, by the way -- the Cal Academy of Sciences on weekend is about as bad as Monterey Bay Aquarium on Spring break!)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

More Than Pink

So I spun some silk hankies. I had an ounce of rose colored hankies from Nancy Finn (Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks), and half-ounce of white/pink from Deep Colors Studio. I spun the Nancy Finn into two bobbins, Deep Colors' into one, and made a three-ply. I didn't much care for the result -- first it was hard to spin, and then the helplessly pink yarn on the bobbin made me wonder why I chose the colors.

But I fulled the yarn in the hot soapy water and smacked it several times on the counter, and now the yarn looks very different.

The left is a three-ply of deep rose alone. Middle is the hemp yarn I spun at the Summer Intensive -- boiled with washing soda. The right is a three-ply with two Nancy Finn and one white/pink silk (I love the tweedy look).

The texture is very different after it's fulled. It feels more pleasant to skin, like a well-worn old shirt. The color is even deeper and subtler now. Made me think of an old ikat kimono. Only if I were a weaver.

Now a long wait begins until I find a perfect little project for them.

Monday, October 06, 2008


Be the change you want to see in the world. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Get out and vote on November 4th!
(Yes on Q, No on 8, and who can change this nation?)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Fiber, Fiber, More Fiber

Erin told me about the Alpaca Farm open house at Brookfarm. It's in Glen Ellen, not so far from us, on a beautiful Saturday -- no way I turn that down. Erin's boys and we met up there. Debbie and Mark, the owners of Brookfarm were happy to see much bigger turnout for their first National Alpaca Farm Day than they had expected.

What a beautiful ranch, a gorgeous location. Beautiful, happy alpacas. They seemed to prefer eating the hay from the kids hands over from the tubs.

Of course there has to be a wheel or two! The owner of the brand-new Kromski let me try it with her beautifully mill-processed alpaca fiber. Spins like a dream! Some of the fiber came home with me.Up above us, a different kind of spinning was going on. I'm not going to explain (ewww!).

A pound of just-off-Bailey fleece tagged along, as a "Fiber of the month" delivery from Charlie.

It's very soft huacaya in silver-gray. Although it hasn't been skirted, the whole blanket looks clean and usable to me. I will wash it though before I spin, as it's pretty dusty.

And this is Heather's alpaca (Alpacas of Sonoma), Bailey, freshly shorn.

After we came home with the huge bagful of fiber, I had a heavy "oh what have I done I already have too much fiber" moment, but as soon as I put it away in the closet, I was back in my old self. We've got to have enough fiber stash to last my retirement years, right? (for which we'll have many more years to go at this rate...)

Marie at Llama Llama Knit, our wonderful LYS, has become an excellent spinner in just a month. I showed her how to use my Ashford Joy (not even "how to spin", which she seemed to know already at the first time she sat in front of a wheel!) early September, and now with her new Louet wheel, she's spinning away like a pro. She spun some dyed Merino I got her at California Sheep and Wool Festival and knitted this beautiful scarf for me. The last time anyone had knitted anything for me was when my mom knitted my gloves when I was eight! I am so moved.

In less than a month Marie has surpassed me, and I've been spinning for two years! She really is talented. Llama Llama now carries some beautiful spinning fiber as well.

My Joy came home with me with a bag full of white cotton sliver (you are too nice, Marie), so I am going to have fun with it for a while! Non-natural dyeing experiment to come. Yes -- so many projects, so little time.