And then there were two

There is some kind of Murphy’s Law at play here.

After years of window shopping and sighing over rigid heddle looms of any size — anything bigger than an inkle loom — a week after I learn how to string my new TIA, my mom (whom I speak to by phone every day and is intimately acquainted with my every craft, triumph, and travail) says, “Oh, would you be interested in another loom?  I’ve had this one at my house for a few years.  I didn’t know you’d be interested in it or I would have told you about it sooner.”

Um, YES!  But why didn’t we make this connection before?!

Meet loom #2, a 20″ Beca, solid cherry, made probably in the late 1970s:

Beca has a nasty old warp on her.

So in the space of three weeks, I have two modest-sized rigid heddle looms and plans to warp one of these ladies for some houndstooth.

I’ve also been sewing:

Abstract fabric art

The sewing has been a compulsion that I cannot explain.  Costumes, drawstring project bags, fabric dolls, doll clothes.  I think it is my internal frustrated quilter crying out for time and space to work.

A few of my pretty bags

Or maybe I just like to sew now.  (I can hear some of my friends gasping with surprise.)

Expo-sing

Jenny, Chloe, and I went to the 4th annual Ann Arbor Fiber Expo this past Sunday.  My first time out there despite it being but a short jaunt to the other side of our fair but wee city.  Past attempts have been foiled by family plans and the like but this year I was all selfishness.

What’s a good fiber festival without running into friends? We had the pleasure of seeing Charlotte (girlfriend, why don’t you have a blog yet?) and her husband.  While we chit-chatted, we were standing right next to the most enormous angora bunny I have ever seen.  Full disclosure: I have not seen a lot of angora bunnies.  But this guy was larger than a Jack Russell terrier!  We all commented on the largeness and how it was probably mostly hair but I am hear to tell you – especially you, Charlotte! – Jenny and I saw the bunny on our way out a few hours later and it had been shaved.  It was still a VERY big bunny.  I think more to the Thanksgiving end of the scale rather than the Sunday family dinner end.  Not that I want to eat rabbit.  Anyway.

I got some things.  More than I planned but by no means a crazy splurge.  As is only right and proper, first was a gift for my husband. All I can tell you, since he does lurk here sometimes, is that it came from an animal and will keep him very warm.  Hopefully that isn’t much of a clue at all since I was at a FIBER festival, shah.

Second was a delightful felted pumpkin from Wooly Pett’s Creations (no website, sorry and my picture is total crap but do you like our scaaaary dinosaur-themed mantel decor?  Guess who though of that).  I could go in for a whole army of these pumpkins, seriously.  Roxanne Pett’s fibery goodies were fantastic and by no means limited to needlefelting.  She is very talented and industrious.  I look forward to seeing Wooly Pett’s Creations again at the Spinner’s Flock Fleece Fair in Chelsea every February and September.  (The magenta price labels were a dead giveaway!)

Moving on, there was some awesome licorice twist yarn – how to describe it?  Handpainted in gently shifting hues of blue and purple (some skeins also had green) but the yarn had a dark wrapping strand so it had an overall light-dark spiral going on.  Why was this suddenly so beautiful to me?  I don’t know.  I don’t generally like the mash of strong contrasts like seen in a marl.  This website has an example of what I am talking about in general although it is not the same vendor.  I missed who that was.  Jenny might now because she did not resist, good patron that she is!

Next piece sans resistance was Studio June Yarn (website coming soon, they say).  Their colors were so saturated and delicious. Jenny and I were both taken with the Bamboo La La yarn and bought some.  I was originally thinking Clapotis for this plummy delight but I have another idea for that pattern thanks to the new Webs catalog.  The Studio June ladies, both mad scientists, were fun to talk to.  They also had Fleece Maiden! I have never seen Fleece Maiden in person, so wow!  I know who I am calling when I am ready for that Fleece Maiden fix.

Finally, my moment of crazy was had over a booth that specialized in punch needle embroidery and rug hooking.  The small pieces (not rugs despite the words on the package) were so completely freakin’ cute, it made my fingers itch to not make one or a dozen!  This booth was near the entrance so I had the entire expo to hem and haw.  Jenny not so gently pushed me over the edge as we were readying to leave.  Now I have a NEW HOBBY.  Bwahahaha!

I have yet to start, though.  Sadness!  If you spend time with children under the age of 5, you have probably had a moment or two of terror that their bodies could come to harm by way of your knitting tools.  Imagine that, plus a pencil-sized punch needle.  Oy.

Also, it might not be fair to my long suffering husband if I start an absorbing new project with his birthday sweater, the Urban Aran Cardigan, finally in the sewing up stage.  Sewing is not my strength or interest but I am by no means incapable.  More on this later.

Nevermind that my holiday-themed punch needle piece will likely not be done for Halloween this year.  Because the boy-child is ill and if it is the flu and just starting today, he might not be well enough for Halloween.  Sob!  Cross your fingers and toes for my little dinosaur.

Thank you!

Elinor received many hand made gifts of incredible beauty from friends and family.  Here they are.

Crochet blanket from Grandma Carol:

Knit Pinwheel blanket from Grandma Marilyn:

Quilt from Jenny S:

Knit bib from Charlotte:

Knit beret from Julie:

Jenny also gave me a precious skein of hand-dyed, handspun yarn:

57 grams of bulky weight plummy goodness (the color of which this photo does no justice)…. What to do with it?  Right now, I am content to gaze and pet.

Annette gave Zander and Elinor handmade pop-up cards, which I neglected to photograph thus far, but she also has a post on her blog on how to make them, featuring our very own monster and ladybug so you can see for yourself here: “Bohemian Life Skills–Making Cards”. (The collage ones are pretty frackin’ awesome, too.)

For these gifts and more… THANK YOU!