Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Branching Out

This year, so far, has been a year to branch out a bit and I've loving it.  I'm still doing the things I love - a lot of reading and knitting.  But I've tried a few new things too - podcasting, traveling, spinning, kayaking...

I've always loved learning new things, but I had worked myself into a rut.  Learning stretches me and inspires me.  I had forgotten that!  I'm having so much fun.

Here's a snippet of some of the fibery fun I've had in the last month. 

Another baby blanket is behind me.  I gave it to the mom-to-be yesterday and she loved it.  I did manage to take a couple of pictures before I snuck it into her office, but all I had was my ipod phone and, well...

In bunny news, the bunny now has a name thank to the Happy Camper listeners. Her name is Marshmallow and she is settling in nicely.  She is still rooming with my 16-year-old who wants to litter box train her and keep her in the house...forever.  Sorry kiddo.  As soon as we get her a nice hutch and acclimated to the outdoors, out she goes. 

Anyway, because she needed grooming and the temperatures were unbelievably high, I sheared Marshmallow last week.  English Angoras can be plucked or clipped, so I clipped her - just need a pair of good sharp scissors to do this - and here is the usable fiber that resulted...from just one shearing...filled a shoebox!

Now, I highly recommend wearing an apron when working with an angora.  I started out with in just my t-shirt and pj pants (yes, I wear them all day when I'm home) and I had fur all over me.  When I said that I was going to have to buy an apron, my husband (who had been curiously watching me work with Marshmallow) disappeared into his garage).  When he reappeared...

TA-DA!  It's Apron Man!  I wonder what other mysteries are hidden in that garage of his.

Next, can you guess what I pulled out of the closet?

This is my old Le Clerc table top loom that my parents gave me for Christmas when I was 11.  I had been fascinated by the weavers I saw at Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill when we visited earlier that year.  So my dear parents gave me this loom and weaving lessons.  So much fun!  I toyed with it off an on as a kid and then the loom found its way to the attic where in languished for 20+ years.  I brought it home a couple of years ago and my husband cleaned it up for me and tightened the frame.  I tried it once and then put it away for another couple of years.

Well, it's back, warped in a beautiful yarn that I've had since Stitches South 2011, and I've begun again.  I am loving it!  It's perfect when I don't want to really think about anything or I want to sit and chat with one of my kids or just want to sit quietly and "be". 

I'm halfway through this year of branching out and am looking forward to whatever the next half brings. 

I wish you happiness and fun in the rest of the year ahead!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

I've put another year on the books.

And I just got a new baby today.  Introducing the newest member of the family:

She's an English Angora Rabbit and you know the best part?  She makes yarn!  Well...she produces wool that can be spun into yarn.  She doesn't have a name yet.  Check out the contest in my Ravelry group and help me name my new baby!