Thursday, January 18, 2007

2006 Reflections on Fiber - Part One

2006 Fiber Reflections - Part One

05-06 was the first year I taught knitting classes. Through teaching, I learned (and embraced) that I'm a combination knitter. After almost 20 years of knitting, I finally figured this out. While I'm not changing my style for anyone, it does present some challenges when I teach. I've had many wonderful students and I enjoy teaching but it has curtailed my class offerings for the last few months because I try NOT to knit combination style when teaching my classes. So I'm always stuggling to recall what the "regular" way to knit is which makes me always second guess my abilities. I know, I have issues. Nuff said.




Happy knitting student with looooong scarf

I wrote several patterns in 06' which will hopefully springboard me into other areas in 07 (more on this in Part Two). The only ones that have made it on my blog so far are the Felted Fortune Cookie and the Chaqueta patterns. I get more hits on the fortune cookie pattern daily than I do anything else. I'm still stunned. I'm going to freshen up the pattern and add some nuances for this year's Chinese new year and Valentine's Day. Keep your eyes peeled for that very soon.

My spinning wasn't nearly as plentiful as I would have liked but then again I've struggled with knee problems since May so most spinning has been on hold. My major goal for 06 was to spin with a knitting project in mind. I finally achieved this in June by spinning some awesome Blue Moon Fiber merino/tencel that I picked up at MS&W in May. Now I'm still a STR virgin so I can't compare the colors or feel of the fiber to the yarn. But what I can say is that if you're a spinner, this stuff is an absolute dream to work with. It's only available through The Fold and mostly at shows and festivals. At MS&W this year, while y'all are fighting for the STR, I'll be the one in the corner hoarding the beautiful colorways of merino/tencel. Mwah hahahaha!

Anyhoo, this fiber and yarn...



became this




The front of the P90-Modular tank top by Iris Schreier of Artyarns fame. I've actually misplaced it (I'm freaked out that I can't find it) somewhere in the yarn room but I promise to add a completed picture of it to Flickr whenever it comes back from vacation. It was so much fun to watch this project come together. I plan to do more spinning for knitting this year if my knees stay healthy.

I finally made it to a couple of fiber festivals - Sedalia in April and Maryland Sheep and Wool in May. Fried twinkie took an entire year off my life - fer shure! I finally painted my knitting ashram and laid claim to it over the summer of 06. Its the perfect place to escape with my fiber babies even if I don't get in there that often. After cleaning this room out, I committed myself to knitting through as much of my stash as possible. There's way too much yarn and fiber in there and now everyone knows just how much there is - Yikes! I'm proud to say that I've done quite well. Most of my yarn and fiber purchases in 06 were with gift money from my parents and I exercised considerable restraint at MS&W even though I was seriously tempted. That doesn't mean that I didn't find time to visit some LYS while traveling around VA. Ewe Knit Kits, The Yarn Lounge, Knitting Sisters and The Needle Lady (a new find for me in Charlottesville) found particular favor with me this year.

I dipped my toe into the waters of fiber dyeing and am pleased to add "novice colorist" to my repertoire. I participated in my first and probably last craft show. I'm definitely not cut out for production knitting. Did my first test knitting for the Men Who Knit & the Dogs Who Love Them Book. I've done some other test knits but can't blog about the patterns yet until they're released.
I realized too in 06 that I'm not much of a joiner these days so you won't find me too terribly often involved in KALs, challenges or olympiads though I will try harder to promote the projects and activities and enable others. I've got a muse in my head who has been SCREAMING at me for almost 7 months so I don't need the other distractions. I've got tons of pattern ideas waiting for me to breathe life into them and some that I just need to let go and publish. More on that in part two of fiber reflections and a free pattern too!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

2006 Reflections on Family

Family

With the exception of my brother's Army reserve unit being activated and him being sent (thankfully) to Mississippi instead of Iraq in February, the Muse family has been very blessed. We've gotten to see him and my nephew twice since he left and I feel so lucky for that smidgin' of time.

The entire Muse family - Christmas 06


My lil bro and my nephew - Sept. 06

We have our health (Except for me and some nagging knee problems. Its a bitch getting old.) and everyone made it through the year on the plus side. The Things are doing great in school, Thing 1 is dating - yikes!, King Thing's job has brought new exciting adventures , I got to keep my grant funded job for another year, Mom and Dad celebrated almost 40 years of marriage and my Gma turned a very vibrant 86.

Princess Mavis the wonder Corgi had a near death experience (phew) and emergency surgery in the spring but is actually better than ever now and just celebrated her 14th birthday on Dec. 22nd.

Please don't take my picture. The camera, it steals my soul.

The Muse family made its first international excursion in 06, travelling to Costa Rica (with our West Coast/East Coast friends) in August.



Full moon over Fiesta Premiere in Guanacaste, Costa Rica



Sunset over Fiesta Premiere in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

King Thing chillin' in San Jose, Costa Rica
Lots o' drinking, relaxing and living the Pura Vida
Alfajores, Tapitas, Cafe Britt, cocobolo, banana paper and other goodies from CR
Nothing here but smiles, smiles, smiles...
Me and King Thing headed to a formal for the first time in many years
Next post - Fiber Reflections

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year, Y'all!

I can't believe that 2006 is gone already. I can honestly say that it was the best year in over a decade at la casita de Muse. I'm sad to see it go but very anxious to see what 07 will bring. In true Dick Clark fashion, I found myself reliving some of the events and knits that shaped my life last year. This week brings together the past, the present and the future for IndigoMuse. Today, I start with my friends.

Friends

Jan 06 brought our best buds from college from the West Coast back to the East Coast after a 13 year separation. I can honestly say, this has truly been the highlight of my year. We're like peanut butter and jelly, cookies and milk, knitting needles and yarn. Those 13 years apart royally sucked. But we're seriously making up for lost time. We rang in 06 and 07 with them, spent two weeks vacationing together this summer and have spent at least one weekend each month eating, drinking and laughing together. Life is way too short not to spend it with good friends.



The Muse Family and friends at Montana de Fuego, Costa Rica - Summer 06


Speaking of friends, I can't say enough about how important it is to me to have good fiber friends and fiends in my life. And while I don't have pictures of all of you to share here, you know who you are (especially my Fab Five peeps).






EiKnits, IndigoMuse, Pixiestikz and KeowdieKnits Maryland Sheep and Wool 06




You understand my "addiction" and most certainly enable it. Oh, how so many of you near and far enable me :) And fibery goodness has this magical way of weaving the best friendships I've ever experienced in my life.





IM, Zira and Pixiestikz MS&W 06




On a sad note, a number of my "real" and virtual friends experienced personal loss this year. Boogie, Lolly, Jen and La, and blogless JD are just a few who are top of mind but I know there are many others I'm forgetting. Please know that even though we may never meet, you and your families continue to be a part of my thoughts and prayers. And a few blog buds disappeared from Bloglandia. Anyone know what happened to Froggy Knits or Fiberphile? These two very talented ladies had more skill in their little pinkie than I'll ever have in my entire body. I truly miss their talent and their knits but most of all, I wonder if they're okay.


And yes, I was MIA for the better part of the year and for that, I apologize. That's not what friends do and it wasn't fair to just stop blogging altogether. I promise to at least check in every so often because if you're like me, you worry about people when they just up and disappear.


Thank you dear friends for enriching my life, helping me stay sane when I feel like I'm drowning in a sea of testosterone and always "helping" me understand that I need to buy more yarn, fiber and related items. Thanks to you, every year is a good year!