Monday, December 13, 2010

Spinning spun fun

I finished up 3 of my Crown Mountain Farms club monthly fibers.
They are all long fibers and I love them all.  They are soft except the welsh is scratchy.
So here are photos and some of BOB too.
First a pic of Bob at 4 months.
BOB 4 months 005
Here is some spinning. Finished yarn.  It's been washed, whacked, boiling water poured on it. Cold water then boiling then cold.  It was rolled in a towel and danced upon.  It is beautiful.  It has a sheen like an angel.
CMF Handspun wool Fav 003

Below is the Masham wool spun into single ply.
CMF Masham wool fav 003
 Below is the Wensleydale wool spun into single ply.
CMF Wensleydale wool 0001
Below is the Welsh wool spun into a 2 ply.
CMF Welsh wool 004

And now more Bob photos.  He is so sweet and cute.  We are in the puppy stage of chewing on everything.
BOB 4 months 006
BOB 4 months Fav 002
BOB 4 months 001
CMF Handspun wool 006

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Knitting and Spinning update

In looking back at what I have been blogging about, there has been a lot of time passing without any fiber news.  I have been knitting and spinning a lot.  I have many projects on the needles too.
So lets begin with the spinning.
CMF Merino Inspiration 02
Here is some Merino from Crown Mountain Farms  that I spun up. It is 2 ply and DK weight yarn. This merino is from Australia. I gifted this skein to my sister of  Design Diva Susan . She is working on a project for it now.
Info from CMF:
Merino Top

Australia where the real merino boom started.
What a fine fiber - staple length of 3-4 inches with a micron count between 19-24.Not to forget the crossbreeds with merino - the finest fiber from sheep. A delight to every spinner and knitter.
merino from Australia
Above is what the Merino sheep look like.
Below is my fiber from the Norwegian sheep.

Norwegian-Mandala 011
Here is fiber also from Crown Mountain Farms. I love the dyeing that Haas does. He is an artist.  This is Norwegian fiber (wool) from the fiber club. The color is called Mandala
Here is the description from CMF website.
Norwegian Top

The old norwegian sheep - also called Villsau - was widespread all over Scandinavia, the Faeroes and Iceland.
A special sheep breed to the famous vikings who made their sails out of wool to conquer the world in their ships.
Staple length of up to 4 inches and a micron count of 32 makes this fiber very interesting to all hand spinners.
Or better said to all spinners in the northern hemisphere who have to deal with cold winters and snow -
we here in the Pacific Northwest of the USA have sometimes no idea what a real winter is and therefor do not
understand the real value of some fibers - we just want it soft and softer - like our brothers and sisters in the South.

Above is the Norwegian sheep. He is from Norway.
Below is the norwegian fiber spun up. I navajo plied it.
Norwegian Top-Mandal-010a
Spun to a heavy Worsted weight.   I wish I had spun it thinner because it was hard to find a pattern to show off this beautiful fiber.
Mitts & Sketch 01
Knit into mitts.  I was surprised how the colorway turned darker on me.  I tried to mix up the dark and light as I spun but I guess I need more practice.
Also in this photo is the beginning of my watercolor/sketchbook.  It is a Moleskeine.
Handspun Norwegian 01
With the left over yarn I knit this granny square. I love how the colors look like a watercolor painting.  I only had enough yarn to crochet this one square.
Welsh Top-Avalon 02
Here is some Welsh Top.  It is also from CMF.  LOOK at the moss growing in my yard. I didn't plant it.  I really love it.  I love this fiber. It's coarse but rustic looking.
Info from CMF:
Welsh Top
From the mountains and hills in Wales comes this small, hardy sheep.They can withstand extreme weather conditions like high rainfall and freezing winter conditions. Their fleece is course with a staple lengthof 3 inches and a micron count of 36.You will find the fiber mainly in carpets and rugs.Hand spinners may create nice outer garments with the Welsh Top.Good for felting projects as well. 
These are Welsh sheep.  I really am loving spinning this fiber.
Welsh Top CMF 008
This is Welsh Top. It spins like a dream.  It is a little scratchy. I might use it to knit a purse or some French Press slippers.  Or perhaps more granny squares. 
Corriedale Top-Chinon 001
This is Corriedale Top.  I will spin this after I finish with the Welsh Top.
Don't you love it?  It is also from CMF.  The colorway is Chinon.
Info from CMF:

Corriedale Top

The legend has it that Innanas (Ishtar) husband Dumuzi was the God who took care of the livestock in ancient Sumer - thousand of years before there was even a mentioning of the bible. But be it as it may - from Mesopotamia (Irak) one of the finest sheep breeds conquered the rest of the world. The phoenicians brought the merino sheep to North Africa and the Arab Moors brought it into Spain - which gave Spain  an advantage for many centuries over their rivals in the midevil worlds.
Of course the royal houses were interconnected so at some point in time the merino sheep from Spain made its way to France (Rambouilett) and Germany (Saxony Merino) and then to the colonies like Australia where the real merino boom started.
What a fine fiber - staple length of 3-4 inches with a micron count between 19-24.
Not to forget the crossbreeds with merino - the finest fiber from sheep. A delight to every spinner and knitter.
Here we have a perfect fiber for the spinner and felter - even the dyer. A staple length of over 3 inches and a micron count of 28.
Somewhere in 1860's on the South Island of NZ a new breed was created by crossing Merino dams with an english lincoln longwool sire.
A fabulous result for future generations. In 1902 the name Corriedale was given as the development started on the Corriedale Estate of Otaga.
In 1916 the first Corriedale Society was founded in Laramie, WY - USA.
Since then this breed spread throughout the world and adapted mostly in the Southern Hemisphere. From there we get our great fiber quality today.
This is a Corriedale sheep from New Zealand. 
I'm still knitting.
Sybaritic Socks & Bugga yarn
This is a sock knit in Bugga yarn. I have turned the heel and I am decreasing the gusset.  I have one more sock to go before Christmas.
Mitts Dusitn 07
I knit these mitts for my son in Idaho.  I finished these in October for his birthday.
They are of 2 colors of Bugga yarn. They are my own pattern and very soft.
Mitts Dustin Wow 05
Farrow Rib scarf 03
Still working on the Farrow scarf.  It is of Malabrigo merino/silk DK. I only knit on it when I am in the car. Slow going.  Kinda boring.
Bugga Sweater 02
Still working on my Sprossling Sweater by Anne Hanson.  I am using Bugga yarn. I love the colorway and the feel of the sweater.  When I work on this sweater exclusely then I really make progress.  I just get so distracted by my metal crafting and stuff like Christmas.  Good stuff.
The Sprossling sweater has finished:
1. Back 100%
2. Left front 95%
3. Right front 0%
4. Two sleeves 0%
5. Button bands 0%
6. Seaming 0%
7. Washing and Blocking 0%

Why do I feel like I am almost done?  I guess because the back is the largest piece of knitting and I am almost down with the left front.
I am going to knit the sleeves at the same time so that my tension is equal on both.  My last sweater has a tight sleeve and a loose sleeve because I let my tension loosen on the 2nd sleeve.  By knitting 2 at a time I will have the same tension. If I get loose then I will be loose on both sleeves.
I will wind up 2 cakes of yarn and knit the sleeves on my #5 - 3.75 mm needles. I'm not sure if I will use the straights or the circulars.  Both will give me enough room for all the stitches.  I'll use whatever floats my boat at the time.  I am leaning towards the circulars.

So that is all in my fiber world.  I am itching to cast on for the blankie that Christine is knitting.  It looks so fun.  I have a lot of left over yarn too.
I think I need to catch up on my projects before I begin something like this.

So now I will go and I will leave you with some photos of my Roses in Winter from my yard here in So. Calif.
Belle Story 002
This is BELLE STORY, a David Austin rose.
The Prince DA rose 001
Here is THE PRINCE, a David Austin rose.  The fragrance is so mmmm yummy
Rose Perfect Moment 03
And here is PERFECT MOMENT, a hybrid tea rose.  She is the whore with red panties in my yard.  Very gaudy but she does grab your eye in the yard.

Happy knitting
hugs Carol

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Work Shop & Tools I Love

Hammer & leaf 001

I wanted to make a post of what I am doing in my newly set up work-Art shop-studio. I need a name for it don't you think?
Here is a leaf that I cut out of tin then put some solder on it.  After that I put on some alcohol ink.  I punched holes in this leaf. I might use this leaf as a wall decoration or put it where a candle can shine through.
Do you see that ballpeen hammer?  It was my Richard's hammer. Richard is my one and only hubby who died of cancer. Here is another photo of this much used hammer.
My sweetie's hammer 001
I love that I can see where his hands held this tool. In the background you can see my handtool. It is similar to a dremel but this is what dental technicians use. I am a dental tech. So I like the feel of this in my hands. It is not too heavy. I can change burs, or mandrels at ease. You can see part of my collection of burs on that pink magnetic thingie.
My Sweetie's vise 001
Here is my Sweetie Richard's vise. It has been used a lot.  I brought it from my old house when  moved.  I have it right next to me on my work table. It's probably more heavy duty than I need but that was Richard. If a little was good then more was better.
Sketchbook & box 002
See that box?  It has a reostat on it and an electrical cord coming out?  My sweetie Richard made that for me when I got into making stained glass windows.
I use it for my soldering iron. I can regulate the heat. I put a tiny night light on it so I can see that it is on.
Other accessories in the photo are a sketchbook which I covered in soft leather and put a shell button.
Also is a model of teeth.  It is a plaster model where I designed a set of teeth with gums in wax.  Each tooth is pinned and could be removed individually, that is if I cut the wax gums. But I didn't.  I like to practice my tooth carving on models.
Work station 003
So here is my work table from a distance.  I was lucky to find the lamp with a double light. It has both incandescent and florescent. It gives good light for detail work. This is the kind of lamp we use in the lab.
That tall think you see on the left, black with a cloth bag & draw string is my magnifying glass. It has a flexible goose neck. I take off it's hat and bend it over.  When I do dental work I am always looking through this.  It has so many scratches it's crazy but loved.

When I was working in my garage studio I took a walk outside to check the weather. Here are the looming snow clouds.
Storm Coming 004
I am looking north towards Big Bear.
They were darker in person. But they were so big and cold looking.
Nov.23 looking East 001
Here I am looking east towards Yucaipa, my old stomping grounds. My family lives there now.
Highland Sky Nov.2010
And here I am looking west towards Redlands. This is taken at 5 pm. We have the best sunsets.
Brushes and tools 001
Here is a close up of some of my tools. I have a love affair with paint brushes. These are watercolor brushes. My oil painting brushes are in a cabinet. Watercolor brushes are softer and finer.  I have some that you don't even want to know the price of.  I love them.
Wall stuff 001
A couple favorite brushes are on this wall.  My wall is messy. I will work on it later.
That is a real genuine indian ax head made of stone on my wall.  My step-dad Walter made the handle and wrapped it in leather. He also made my arrows. I have 2 branding irons hanging there. And you can see half of a painting I did in 1973.
My first college work 001
This was my first college oil painting. Richard had to take a class at the college so I tagged along and took painting.  It was fun.  This painting is ok. I love the deer. I hate the bushes. They look so arrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.............  I have no word.

So there is a peek into my studio-work space. I need a name for my area.
To end this I will leave you with an image of Peanuts area. She had a little accident. Gotta love her creativity!!!
Garage floor 001

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

WIP of my Paintings

I can't believe I let 2 weeks + go by without blogging.  Well I have been organizing my art area in the garage and going through a lot of old sketchbooks.
I also have begun a new sketchbook.  Here is a finished sketch/watercolor even though it's not framed, it's done.
This painting is the emotion I had all last week...............
Sad Tree 01
I've been sad because a friend died last week of a stroke. He was only 47 yrs. The same age as my late husband.

Sketch in Progress 01
This is a WIP (work in progress). I haven't touched it in the last 4 years.  I need to finish it.

Facial structures drawing
So back when I was in dental tech classes we had to take a class called: Anatomy of the Head & Neck and Oral Facial Structures. Phewwwww that is a mouthful.
But I became interested in the muscles of the face and the structure. I found a photo of a medical model showing all the muscles and that is what I was drawing. I should finish it. I kinda like it.

Moleskine #1 book
Here is my new sketchbook.  It is Moleskine.  I like it a lot. The watercolors on the yellowed paper seem to glow. I decided to paint a palette and put some of my watercolor pigments to look like the paint wells as my inside cover illustration.
 I bought the Sketch Moleskine but the paper is buckling from the water. I read that there is a Watercolor Moleskine. Cool but my Barns & Noble doesn't carry it.
Sketch Citrus Plaza
I am using the Moleskine sketchbook for location and outdoor drawings. I worked on one today.  The drawings will be quick in the moment drawings. Nothing precise. Just a quick sketch to capture the moment. Then go back and put in some color. I'm rusty so this is not so good. Practice, practice, practice........

Computer cover 08
I wanted to share my new laptop cover. It looks like an old book.  I love it. Oh and those are my reading glasses on top.  LOL
Computer cover open 01
Checkout my wallpaper.  It looks like the program Photoshop or Photo Studio. But it is real. It is made out of real items, cardboard  boxes, pencils, paintbrushes, etc.  It's so cute!!

Lastly is a photo of Peanut.  This is how she looked on Halloween. She was a leopard.
Alexis Halloween 2010
She is my cutie pie.  I just love her to death.

Goodnight Peeps and Happy Painting....

Monday, October 18, 2010

My Homemade Travel Paint Kit

Sketch kit paints01

So what do you think of my Travel Paint kit I made?  I took an online watercolor class last spring from Laure Ferlita. She showed how to make a travel watercolor pallet with watercolor pencils. I tried that but my pencils were not so good so I decided to use my watercolor paint. Click on the link to see how Laure made hers.
 Laure Ferlita's video
Here are a couple more photos of it.

Travel paint kit & Journal

 Here it is with a watercolor journal. I like this journal because it is made with watercolor paper that is heavy. I hate when paper buckles as you paint.


Here is my kit opened up.  You can see that I use Daniel Smith liquid watercolors. They come in a tube so I made a dot for each color.  I numbered each color and then listed the color names next to it's number. I also put the number of light fastness by it's name.
Also in my kit is several water brushes. These are good for travel.  You fill the barrel with water and they don't leak. Yeah!!  They will drip if you squeeze them as you paint.  But if you don't squeeze them they do let out a little water as you paint to move the paint around.
In my kit I added a pencil, and 2 waterproof ink pens, one black and one brown.
I also have a nice paper towel for wiping the brush.  If you are out hiking and in your jeans you can wipe your brushes on your jeans. Yep.

To see the photo larger you can click on the photo and enlarge it.
Sketch Journal orangetrees02

This is my first try at painting with my new kit.  I have never painted from dots with nowhere to mix my paints.  I was parked at the elementary school waiting for Peanut. I parked so that I had a view of the orange grove across the street of the school.  I took artistic liberty and added a lake and a couple pine trees.  Although there is the brown sandy area there.  It is a dry river.  If we have a lot of rain then there are massive flash floods there. I lost a friend there who got swept away by the water. So sad.

Sketch journal orangetrees01
I took this with the painting in the sun.

After I got Peanut we went home and we painted in the new garage studio.  I need to think of a name for our art/craft/painting area (studio).  Any suggestions?

Sketch journal Alexis012

I tried to capture Peanut.  She only stayed in that position for a minute or two.  I couldn't get her hands since she is always in motion so I just blurred them. LOL
She was painting  also.  She loves to paint like me.


Here you can see the watercolor painting kit with my Peanut painting.

My verdict?  I love the Travel Kit.  It is easy to use. It isn't messy. It all fits into that little ziplock bag.  I could put it in my purse easily with my journal and go out walking or visiting a museum.  It is very versatile.
I love it.

Well go give it a try.  Happy Painting!!