Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night.

My apologies to Bette Davis, but this is a rather disjointed post. So hang onto your hats!

This is Devon, my new neighbor, and her mother, Nancy. Devon and her husband bought the house next door several months ago, but Devon's been in Phoenix trying to get their house there sold or rented and finally got here last week. ToolMan apologized for making so much noise in his garage (running the woodworking equipment making shawl pins), Devon said she was a crocheter but wanted to learn to knit and spin. Poor thing didn't know what hit her.

When she came to, she was in the middle of Westside Wednesday, being forced to play with sticks and string. Nancy had been a knitter, but hadn't picked it up in years; by the end of the night, she was back to doing garter, stockinette, and ribbing like nobody's business.

Last week was unofficial "Sweater Night" at Westside Wednesday. There were "February Lady Sweaters" in abundance.

And a "Hey, Teach!" was there as well.

Kathleen presented a darling turtle sweater to Rachel.

And trtlgrl herself finished teeny, tiny sweater dress! Some of us who are already mothers thought trtlbby might have already outgrown this one; hopefully, it'll fit long enough for her to wear it home next month!

I finished, or mostly finished, a sweater for trtlbby this week, too. A BSJ made from Red Heart's Heart and Sole in the "Mellow Stripe" colorway. This is one of their fairly new yarns; it's a superwash merino and nylon blend which has been infused with aloe vera that's supposed to last through about 50 washings. It's didn't feel especially soft when I was knitting it, but it did soften a lot when I washed it.

I had 2 balls and you can see how much was left over. I used US 6 needles and did an I-cord edge all around the neck/front/bottom. It's about a 6-month size. I didn't leave buttonholes; I think I'll add either I-cord toggles or loops for buttons.

The TKGA Spring Show was in Portland this weekend, so Tami and I rode MAX into downtown on Saturday morning to hit the marketplace. We met Kathleen and Sara for lunch; they were both working the Carolina Handspun booth for Morgaine. The lucky girls are getting paid in fiber!

We arrived at the marketplace about 11:30 but Kathleen didn't get out of her class until 12, so we went to Morgaine's booth to visit a few minutes with Sara and Sheila until Kathleen arrived. Somehow, in that short space of time, Tami bought her first wheel! Well, to be fair, she's been wanting a Lendrum for awhile; she's not been terribly happy with the borrowed Louet with the warped wheel, so it's not like it was a real spur of the moment purchase!

The four of us had a nice lunch (fried egg and bacon sandwiches, Reuben sandwiches, sweet potato fries, and onion rings) at the DoubleTree Inn and headed back to the marketplace. Kathleen and Sara went to work, and so did Tami and I; we methodically went up and down every row and every booth. Partly to look for the best buys, and partly to visit with friends and vendors. I tried to restrain my spending but there were a few things that fell into my bag.

Klaus at Crown Mountain Farms had this exceptional black silk roving. The picture just doesn't do this justice. It's a true, deep black and the silk sheen is beautiful! I bought 2 ounces which I think will eventually become a shawl with jet beads.

And from Morgaine at Carolina Handspun, I picked up 4 ounces of merino in a luscious turquoise and 4 ounces of merino in a heathered blue/green.

Good thing Tami and I got home early on Saturday because we were up bright and early this morning to meet Cindy and head for Islay Hill Alpacas. The owners, Jan and Jim Grammer, invited us to come for the spring shearing.

The shearers got an early start on the llamas and were almost done with them by the time we arrived.

Then it was time for the alpacas. Jim had separated the boys into a separate pen, and divided the girls into two holding pens. While the shearers finished up the llamas, Jim talked about alpaca babies, including one little cria who was absolutely adorable.

That low humming or moaning sound in the background is the alpacas. I thought they sounded like one of Andy Rooney's toys when the squeaker is almost shot.

The girls waited patiently for their beautification,

and then spent a few minutes recuperating afterward.

Then it was time for the boys, who were generally not as cooperative; it's all that testosterone, you know.

I know Tami had her camera and took some videos of the shearing; go over to her blog and check them out.

When everybody had their new "do's", it was time to head home.

By noon, all 6 llamas and 20 alpacas had new haircuts, Jan and Jim had fiber bagged and weighed and ready for sale, their daughter Kate had gotten a drop spindle lesson, a little white dog named "Perogi" had herded alpacas, and 3 fiber fanatics had fondled a lot of fiber. All in all, a pretty good way to spend a sunny Sunday.


  1. Oh, what a fibrously fantastic weekend you had! And thanks so much for sharing the shearing photos. The poor creatures look so tiny when they've been sheared.

  2. Awesome post! Love the fashion show and fiber pr0n. Hope to see you at knit night this week.

  3. Whew! You covered a lot of ground!
    Love your fibery goodies. I haven't spun silk, yet - that looks glorious!
    And I've always thought alpacas look kind of top-heavy after shearing - great big heads on little skinny bodies...


Unfortunately, Blogger will not let me track back to you, so if you would like an answer, please include your email address at the bottom of your comment.