Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dead Sea Stole

This is a Monster Crochet first peeps! Yes indeedy. This is the first piece that I have made from my very own hand spun and dyed yarn!

I began this project by dyeing merino roving in blues and greens and then combined it with other hand dyed roving that I had previously purchased. Next, I spun the blue/green roving into singles, eventually plying them with black/navy/brown singles I had spun around same time to create the dual colored yarn making up the body of the stole.

Once I had accumulated about 1000 yards of homespun, I began to research stitch patterns and decided on a crocheted chevron.

At this point, I knew I'd be "making waves" and as such this creation was ripe for an applique I had been wanting to design for some time. Fish skeletons!

Bone colored fish skellies did not appeal to me however, so I dyed worsted weight wool with a mixture of yellow green and glow in the dark acid dye. (Yes, it is possible to purchase glow in the dark acid dyes!) The chartreuse fish skelly applique was born!

These skeletons were crocheted using a G hook and then sewn onto the front of the stole with sewing thread. I finished each fish head off with a needle felted eye.

I am absolutely thrilled with the results of this HUGE project! Not a fast process, but very satisfying nonetheless. You can be sure that there will be more "from fluff to FO" projects to come from ChezLinoleum!

Copyright 2008 Regina Rioux Gonzalez. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

Spinning in Solvang

Well, I wasn't really spinning in Solvang. I was actually indulging my spinning habit in Solvang to be more precise.

Yep, Jenna and I headed up the coast on a beautiful SoCal Sunday because we had heard that that there are several fiber haunts in the little Danish settlement just north of Santa Barbara. More importantly, I needed a drum carder and apparently these fantastic tools are readily available in ye old Solvang along with all the Danish pastries one can consume. Twist my arm...

We arrived just shortly after 10:00 am and parked in front of one of the ubiquitous windmills dotting the village.

Before we commenced shopping Jenna and I headed over to Mortensen's Bakery for a couple of pastries. I had a lovely, flaky rasberry danish with an H2O chaser while Jenna had similar treat filled with apples. Yum! Tummies topped off, we were ready to begin our search for fabulous fiber.

Our first stop was at Thumbelina, a cross stitch shop.

There I was able to pick up a canvas of Viking ships and several cross stitch pamphets from the 60's and 70's. Great finds! Okay, I'm a cross stitch novice at the moment, but for stitched Viking ships, I will definitely jump into this craft feet first!

Next we mosied down the street in order to peruse Rasmussen's upper floor. It's basically an alcove filled with fabric, yarn and findings. Nothing I haven't seen before, but definitely worth a walk through.

Finally, our Solvang raison d'etre, Village Spinning and Weaving.

Oh. My. God. All I could have hoped for and then some.

Needless to say, I've been to my share of yarn stores in Los Angeles, the greater US and Europe (this does not include online yarn shops). In short, it's takes a lot to wow me. Regardless, I was definitely wowed by this store. Filled with yarns that are surprisingly difficult to find in LA brick and mortar stores such as Alpaca (not Misti Alpaca mind you, just lots of Peruvian Alpaca available in enormous 600 yard hanks), Buffalo Gold (spendy, but beautiful), Inca Organic Cotton (love this), cones of bamboo (yes, cones), perle cotton, tencel and linen, I kept wondering why I hadn't made the trip to visit this establishment prior to this moment. Then my heart went all aflutter upon discovering the enormous amount of spinning fiber and requisite tools occupying the entire right hand side of the store!

You should all be proud of me as I showed some serious restraint in that place. I didn't buy any yarn. Not one piece of string. I know, that's just wrong. However, I have enough yarn to open my own store at the moment, so I just kept my cool. Don't worry though, I did drop quite a bit of cash on the newest member of my spinning clan...

Meet my new beautiful Louet Drum Carder!

This is sister equipment to my Lendrum...

My Hitchhiker...

My itsy bitsy Babe...

And of course, the progenitor of it all, my drop spindle...

I also bought roving. And no, I didn't need any roving, but what can I say? I'm weak.

Jenna left the store with a fairly large alpaca haul (good girl!) and we topped off our shopping extravaganza with chocolate from Ingeborg's and pasties to go from Olsen's. Wallets light and spirits high we made our way back down the coast to West LA. Definitely a wonderful Sunday if there ever was one!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

First Pair Finished!

I finished my first pair of socks! Jaywalkers at that! Yay for me!!

I gotta tell you all that I was very resistant with regard to joining the sock brigade. Oh, you know, I like to reside outside the proverbial box. Iconoclast to the core. However, me likey this sock knitting thingie! So much so that I am knitting another pair...

Yes, those would be Christmas socks in July.

After I finish my x-mas sockies I'd like to try to knit a pair of toe-up socks. Anyone have a pattern that they fancy that I should try? Simple patterns are just fine. In addition, I will be trying my hand at a few crocheted socks with the hopes that I will be able to design a few of my own based upon what I learn in the process.

Love this sock thang!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Thought for the Day

Thought for the day surrounding the omnipresent concepts of beauty and truth...Read it! The author of the post is my trainer. He's a cool dude.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Back On Track...I Think!

My mother called me the other day and said, "Will you update your blog?!?!"

I just haven't been "feelin' it" folks. It happens, right? Oh, not usually to me, but what can I say? I was struck dumb by the summer blahs. I needed a little jump start to get back on track. So, I had my hair done...

A little color. A lotta cut. Ahhh, feeling a little human again.

That pic is not bad right?

Yeah, third attempt. Take a look at the first two...

Yes, that is my tan teen. Isn't she just lovely?

No comment.

Anyway, I have a pile of FO's sitting next to me, which will be unveiled this week. Happy Monday everyone!