Friday, July 27, 2012

Some little responsibility...

I have to admit that I now feel some sort of responsibility to this blog for some reason. I actually do meet people who read it. Thus my vague feeling of guilt for not posting for quite awhile. I assure you that I have loads of things to relate, but no time to complete the posts. They'll likely come in a flood once I find the time. Sorry about that. I know it is so much more delicious to catch up in bits and pieces.

I went to Vermont. I got married (Whoop!)... that was the best part.
Then my sweetie and I went to Canada and had a blast.
Now we are in Minneapolis where I am attending a remarkable workshop which I will tell you all about sometime in the future. We have thus far driven 7500 miles. Say a little blessing for the remarkable Camry (and her 38 mph gas mileage--no, I don't know what that is in liters per kilometer--which helped a lot in Canada where gas costs more... and I am conflicted about this due to the environment and all--likely it should cost us a bundle more in the states--don't get me started)... and may she take us safely back to Colorado next week.

What with all the honeymooning and the driving and the camping without internet access, the blog has fallen down the list of things that must be done. I promise it'll return one day soon.
In the meantime, keep weaving!

Here I am warping my Mirrix on the shores of a little lake in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario Canada. Looms can go anywhere after all.

And here is a little clue to where I am right now. Do you know who's work this is?

July 28, 2012:
Here are another couple shots of the Helena Hernmarck piece (which Kathy Spoering identified right off). It is Full Costume Details woven in 2006 and is installed in the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

More Vermont yarn stores...

Some of you are undoubtedly sick of yarn store photos... for some reason I find the hunt for yarn stores immensely gratifying though I have to admit that the selection doesn't always vary that much.  I'm looking for that one gem that has the yarn I've never seen before. Maybe I'll still find it... we're heading to Canada next week after all!

This yarn store was adorable--and in Burlington. Nido sold both fabric and yarn and was on the second floor of the pedestrian section of Burlington.

Whippletree is in Woodstock and we drove by it repeatedly until Emily recognized it as a yarn store.

I did find a beautiful silk merino blend though they only had one skein. I think it is destined for a baby hat.

In Woodstock, VT there is a large old mill on the south side of the road which is signed prominently for Shackleton Thomas. This little weaving cooperative was inside of that building. They were not open and it looked like they made mostly rag rugs out of t-shirts.

Does anyone know what loom this is? They were weaving rags on it using some tapestry techniques.

This is the longest warping board I have ever seen--a great idea though especially if you don't warp sectionally and you don't have room for a reel.

Shackleton Thomas makes beautiful furniture and pottery. It is worth a visit... and this particular Shackleton is a relative of THE Shackleton (the polar explorer himself).

Apparently the intrepid explorer loved legos as a kid. You can go play with them if you want to--though they are covered with a lot of sawdust (they are upstairs in the woodshop).

Hurricane Irene hit this part of Vermont very hard August, 2011. There are still signs everywhere--buildings destroyed, huge swaths of rubble, creek beds widely expanded, bridges recently rebuilt, a covered bridge only half there. Even the elevators haven't recovered.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Vermont trails

We are enjoying Vermont. It is a lovely state. Much of our poking through corners of central Vermont was in search of the perfect wedding site. Let me just say that Vermont is much smaller than the west and there are not huge expanses of public land where someone might have a ceremony un-molested by mosquitos, traffic, or tourists. (In case you are worried, we did find a place this morning and will be eternally grateful to the lovely rangers at Coolidge State Park in Plymouth, VT.  Thanks Tammy and Bill!!)

I have continued my yarn store search and now believe that the yarn-store-per-capita statistic must be much higher for Vermont than New Mexico or Colorado. And the stores are pretty good also. I will put the yarn stores in another post so those of you who just don't care can skip right over it.

We visited Billings Farm and Museum in Woodstock, VT which had some amazing animals, people, and exhibits related to farming. There weren't any old looms though I am sure the people here in the 1800s must have woven. There was this modern LeClerc with a sign saying "No Weaving Today" which I will admit was slightly disappointing.

The sheep at the farms had names (as did the jersey cows and the oxen). I chased Grace around awhile before I got this photo with her name tag (one of my new sister-in-law's names is Grace. Grace the person is much prettier than Grace the sheep).

We climbed Pico Peak which is 3,900+ feet. The hiking was awesome and the views of the Green Mountains were so beautiful. I hope to come back and hike the whole Long Trail one day soon (and perhaps even the AT). I will say that hiking in New England involves steep trails, lots of rocks, mud, and roots everywhere. I now believe it when they say that of the three long trails (AT, PCT, CDT), the AT is the most physically demanding.

We went up to Burlington for a day and I loved walking on the boardwalk and watching the boats on Lake Champlain.

Both gay people and dogs are welcome in Burlington. At least I'm pretty sure this doesn't just mean gay dogs...

And lastly, there are many cemeteries in Vermont. They are old and lovely and nothing like cemeteries in the west (except for the dead people of course)... and sometimes the headstones are somewhat amusing...

We did stumble across Robert Frost's grave at First Church in Bennington.

Friday, July 6, 2012

A double yarn store day

It was a double yarn store day yesterday and for that I have to thank Emily.
Firstly, there do seem to be more yarn stores up in Vermont than in the parts of the USA that I frequent. For this I am grateful. I like yarn.

The first store was an accident. We were on our way from Emerald Lake State Park (fantastic camping!  Thanks State of Vermont!) to Rutland and we passed this store:

This store did seem to have a thing about these big yarn balls. I suppose it is one way to "use up" extra yarn.

I admit that I picked up some new soy yarn for a little baby project... I might have also bought a pattern to go with it. It was one of those silky fantastic yarns that I'd never seen anywhere before and I took it home with me. They did not have blocking wires for the Pagona. This will be an ongoing issue.

We picked up a free phone book at the tourist information place in Rutland, VT and I quickly turned to the "Yarn" entry in the yellow pages. I wanted to visit Six Loose Ladies in Procterville. I steered us expertly with the use of 6 different maps miles north of Rutland to this city:

There was a street name vaguely similar to the one listed in the phone book for the yarn shop and off we went. After driving through a very not-yarn-shop neighborhood on the edge of Proctor, Emily suggested that perhaps Proctor was not indeed the same place as Proctorville and maybe I should check the map index. She was correct. There was an entirely different city called:

And perhaps I should have realized that Proctor and ProctorSville were not the same place at all.

Fortunately for me and for those of you on the virtual yarn shop tour, ProctorSville was close to where we are camping last night and we were able to visit this yarn shop:

I do wish I had asked who the six loose ladies were though. The shop was lovely. They didn't have blocking wires for Pagona but they did have little bottles of Eucalan that were small enough to carry along.

We will see how long Emily participates in the yarn shop tour. So far she has been quite the trooper. If she gets tired of it I may have to find yarn shops next to bookshops, disaster museums, or at least a coffee shop with wi-fi.

We also stopped at the Calvin Coolidge Museum near Plymouth today as well as seeing damage from last year's hurricane Irene and a great deal of marble. Even the fence posts are made of marble. I'm not kidding.

Also there is cheese and a few mosquitos in Vermont. The few mosquitos that I saw must have actually bitten me and it will add a nice decoration to my wedding attire I'm sure.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

In search of red

This was last week's project which I am just getting around to posting.
I am conducting a dye experiment in search of red. Red is a very hard color to dye, at least I have found it to be so. I need to find my own red formula as I don't like the ones other people have provided. So I am returning to the practices of class back at fiber arts college and dying 10g skeins of yarn in glass jars. This allows me to dye more colors at once to test the formulas.

The jars get filled with a regular mix of leveling agent, dye, yarn, and citric acid and then multiples of them are put in each dye pot with a water bath around them. It works fairly well for sampling though you are limited by the amount of yarn you can get in each jar (10-20g).

This is some of the Vevgarn I mentioned in THIS post which dyes so well.

I haven't found the color I am looking for yet, but I'll keep looking. I will have to put off the resolution of this question until I return to Colorado in a few weeks.

When I find it I suspect it will go well with my sister's strawberries.