Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Fahrenheit 451

For those of you who aren't familiar, Fahrenheit 451 is the Ray Bradbury tale about a futuristic society that bans books, encouraging society members to have large television panels on their walls to pipe in the "party line".  The movie, made in 1967, was on TV the other night, and I couldn't help but rewatch it.  Julie Christie plays dual roles; the detached wife of one of the "firemen", and the neighbor who seeks the company of the same fireman, curious as to how he can burn books each day and not wonder what he's missing.  (Eventually he comes over to her side and starts hiding and reading them...only to end up, at the end of the movie, seeking solace with "the book people"...an encampment of refugees whose lives have been dedicated to memorizing the text of his/her favorite book, in order to pass it on in an oral tradition to future generations.)

What on earth am I talking about this for?  Because I'm one of those people who can't own enough books, not unlike many of you.  I have them piled in bookshelves, lying sideways on the shelves where they no longer fit, in stacks on my nightstand, on the floor next to the bed, on the kitchen tables, and yea, on the treads of my treadmill (now you have a clearer picture of my exercise program, as well). 

Watching this movie brought the question to mind:  if I narrowed it down to knitting books only and could only have one, which would it be?  I love all things from Elizabeth Zimmerman.  Mary Thomas's Knitting Book is another favorite.  Sally Melville's books will always be good to have on one's shelf, beginner or not.  My latest conquest from our shelf:  "Knitting with a Smile", by Inger Fredholm, sharing a rich history of Swedish knitting and photos of Sweden that make me want to book a flight.

So, my fellow knitter, I ask you:  if you could only keep one knitting book, which would it be????  I'll spend some time on this and let you know what I've decided, but am truly curious about your responses.   If you'd like to comment back to this posting, please do.  Otherwise feel free to e-mail your response to me at the shop:  martie@taossunflower.com.  Please put "451 answer" in the subject line.  Looking forward to hearing from you...I'll post the results on July 15!


Spring socks

I have long been intrigued with the socks in the Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook where the dyer merely spotted roving with dye vs. totally covering all the white fibers.  I found some Merino roving recently and decided to give it a try...but heavy hand that I have, I ended up with more dye in the roving than I should have, so contrast between light skein and dark skein isn't as obvious as I'd like.  I spun this wool on my Rio Grande wheel, in a two ply that seems to want to be knitted on 2.25 (metric) needles.Cimg0386 I am a woman possessed...I started these at bedtime and stayed up too late to get this far enough along to share with you.  In case the color doesn't come through well, these colors are the fresh green of spring and the color of the wild Rocky Mountain Iris that, on a good year, bloom profusely in selected meadows around Taos.  ---Martie

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Camp Report

Scene_of_camp_pluckyfluffWith the best of memories and tired to the bone, Monte and I returned from CA and Camp Pluckyfluff Monday evening.  On a scale of 1-10, I rate this trip a 10+. 

We arrived in Sacramento last Thursday afternoon and in our trusty rental car, headed east to Placerville.  We arrived at our B&B, the historic Albert Schafsky house (circa 1902).  Our hosts, Rita and Stephanie, have three guest rooms in this gloriously loved and restored Victorian home.  We had the two upstairs bedrooms, as well as our own private sitting room.  Rita made THE best breakfasts and while many might have been full all day afterward, we shamelessly ate our way around town anyway (more on that later).

Fibers_at_camp_pluckyfluff We had Friday to knock around town and then arrived at Camp Pluckyfluff early Saturday morning.  Our teacher and host, Lexi Boeger, is just the most unassuming, sharing, and bright young woman.  She has started a revolution and I couldn't be happier to be one of her foot soldiers.  The workshop was held on the patio of another historic building, located on her family's winery, the Boeger Winery.  Lunches were artistically created by her friend, Steve, and served under the canopy of an ancient fig tree.  It was bliss, the entire way around.  I'll try to stuff some pictures in here to give you an idea of what we enjoyed.  We spent our days watching Lexi and having her coach us in her fun techniques, including adding little goodies to our yarns.  After spending years and years of spinning yarns to be uniform in appearance, this was the kick I needed to make my spinning fun again!  Lexi and I discussed holding a Camp Pluckyfluff here in Taos; I'm thinking next spring.  I'll keep you posted and if you're interested, let me know so I can start keeping a list of those interested.  You must have basic spinning skills (spinning & plying) but this will give you permission to set yourself free and take your spinning to an entirely different level!Lunch_at_camp_pluckyfluffLexi_spinning_happilyLexi_carding_a_batt

For those of you who haven't had the good fortune to visit Placerville, it's nestled in the Sierra foothills approximately 60 miles east of Sacramento, and southwest of Lake Tahoe.  This adorable town has a rich history, dating back to the California gold rush.  The historic district, walking distance from our B&B, boasts an awesome yarn shop (Lofty Lou's), a huge bead shop, the oldest continuously operating hardware store west of the Mississippi, antique shops, and restaurants galore.  We had a great salad lunch at the Courtyard Cafe, next to the historic Carey House Hotel (scene of Monte's French soda).  That evening we had a fresh seafood dinner at Powell's, and the rest of our evenings were spent at the Buttercup Pantry Restaurant.  The Buttercup serves old fashioned home cooking and THE most yummy home baked pies.  I snapped a photo on our last evening to remember them by...I had to leave town while I could still fit into my clothes! ---Martie



Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Off to Camp

Thundershowers_4 I'm posting this and heading home to pack for camp.  I was thinking of taking a photo of the mess that has overtaken my knitting and spinning room, but I decided even I am too embarrassed to let you see it.  Picture:  yarn strewn everywhere, UFOs cascading off the table, spinning wheels everywhere (three at this count) and the floor partially eclipsed by piles of dyed rovings.  That's enough for now...we all have our tale of woe when it comes to organization (or perhaps you're organized?  Let's hear a round of applause for you!).

The most glorious thing happened yesterday afternoon:  we got rain!  I was so excited, I went out to take a picture to show you.  Lightning and rain entertained us happily for a couple of hours.  We'll need more than we can dream of to pull out of the drought, but it was a happy start.    Martie

Sunday, June 4, 2006

Snug Buggy

Last week I received a message from Celeste Nossiter, a member of the Dropped Stitch Knitters Guild in Albquerque.  She and some other guild members have taken an idea, gleaned from projects around the country, and are doing a fund raising project called Snug Buggy.  Proceeds will benefit the S.A.F.E. House in Albuquerque, which is New Mexico's largest shelter and service provider for survivors of domestic violence, serving more than 1,600 men, women and children each year.

The plan: participants are asked to create a 5-6" square that must be made in some shade of purple.  It may be knitted, tatted, crocheted, sewn, embroidered, quilted, or created by any other means of fiber art or craft.  These pieces will then be assembled by the guild to form a cover for a VW bug, which will be displayed at the Albquerque Fiber Arts Fiesta in May 2007 (the volkswagen to be generously loaned by a local dealership for the duration of the show).

Entries must be submitted with an entry fee/donation of $5.00 per square.  All entries must be received by February 1, 2007 to allow for assembly time.  For information about paying your fee/donation and where to mail your entry, please contact Celeste Nossiter celeste_nossiter@prenhall.com.