Thursday, April 30, 2009

First Friday in Vancouver~

This is what I have spent the past few days doing....
Preparing for First Friday!
I just found out about it last week so I have not had a huge amount of time to prepare, but I am taking what I can fit into my booth space. If you live nearby, come and see me? I would love to put a face with some our your names and computer identities... (grin)
I will be set up in front of Stitchcraft, LLC, my local yarn shop at 2110 Main St.
Here are more details-- and email me if you have any questions about it.

I will have my handspuns, my hand dyed yarns, knit items (that are not availablel on the site!) and yarns by the many spinners represented on MW.

Here is a shot of a sandwich board with more info....
See you there! I will post pics of the booth in a few days...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

...and the April 09 Yarn Recipient is...

The lucky April 09 "Custom Vertigo Scarf Kit" Recipient IS...

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2009-04-26 16:17:35 UTC

(hear the crowd roar?)

delanequilts said...

Be who you are and say what you think because those who mind don't matter and those who matter won't mind. (Dr. Seuss)

delanequilts !

delanequilts, contact me and we will work out your pattern choices and other details!

Next month's giveaway fun will be up and running near the end of May!
If you would like to be contacted when the new giveaway is up go to the shop and scroll down-- the newsletter subscription link is at the bottom of every page on!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

ArtFiberFest ~Have you registered yet?

There is still room for ArtFiberfest in June! This is an amazing event that I have been dying to go to for years, now it is close to me so I can go- AND I am teaching a mini-workshop!

Top 10 reasons why you should come to Artfiberfest retreat this summer...

Well, OTHER than the fact that Material Whirled will be there... (grin)

Link to my mini-workshop I am teaching. AND I will be selling my yarns and other treasures at vendor night!

1. The price is inclusive (all meals and lodging for 4 nights)...there will be no hidden expenses at the retreat.
2. Everyone will get an added bonus of 3 mini workshops (GRIN) on thursday night in addition to their 3 BIG workshops.
3. The dorms are amazing at Reed college. They were just built a year ago and represent superb architecture and layout. (even though I live locally I am totally staying in the dorms--!)
4. Portland is a destination in itself, FULL of funky inspiration. You'll get a double whammy!
5. The food is superb at Reed. Tons of choices!
6. This will be a nice start to a creative and productive summer...Our teachers will kick start you on some project ideas.
7. I will give a mini lesson on how to make my quilted fabric journals for anyone who wants to learn.
8. The women who come to this are absolutely the best. Always happy and content....we think it has something to do with working with fabric and fiber.
9. You deserve this! You've worked hard!
10. Being creative is one of the best things you can do for yourself and the world around you. And there isn't any place better to get energized with the creative bug than Artfiberfest.

All workshops still have space at this point....but won't for long. we will update our website every few days as workshops fill. Find out all the information at or email me if you have any
Artfiberfest is happening on June 24-28 at Reed College in Downtown Portland, Oregon.

Here are pictures of the classes I will be taking... I cannot WAIT!
Art Studio Journal by Roxanne Padgett

Custom Apron by Syd McCutcheon

and Princess Bug Doll by Dierdra Doan

Handspun Journey v1

This is my first attempt at making my Journey Pattern from some of my handspun.

Handspun used was spun by me like 3? years ago and was a scarf I frogged to use the yarn because I LOVE it so. Yarn was a 2 ply worsted to chunky, not as bulky as most of my yarns. See the mohairy aura? love that.

I am still working on a version for one skein of my typical bulky to super bulky handspun. The trouble I run into is that it is too thick to make the lace rows, so I need to modify the lace pattern to accommodate the bulkiness.

I MODIFIED the pattern as follows– and these are loose instructions mainly for my notes.

Changed cast on stitches to 56.

Kept to pattern until decreases…. changed the purl 2 rows to Purl 1 row between the first 2 decreases....

and about half way through the top portion of the hat I started to decrease every row as it was getting too heavy. This made the top more flat, like a beret. I like this though.

I am supposed to be spinning... but woke with a headache and the meds made me floopyish. meh. Afraid to knit, that I will screw it up, so here I am dibbling around on the time-sucking-computer. haha.

K-- spanking myself soundly and sending me back to the wheel.

ooh-- hat on needles is Acid Grasshopper green with wooden skull beads! almost done. Pics soon.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ladybug Ladybug~

Ladybug Journey Hat~
A beaded version of my free Journey Hat Pattern...

Modeled by my Eve.
When selecting beads for your hat, make sure that your yarn will fit in the holes, preferably through BOTH strands of yarn (this hat is knit with double stranded worsted or dk yarn).

The Ladybug Hat hat was knit from Malabrigo worsted merino in their Amoroso colorway, which is one of my favorites. (slurp). The ladybug beads were from my stash.

I am considering putting some Journey Beaded kits on the site, which would come with yarn, beads, and printed a printed pattern and beadign instructions along with embellishment ideas. Do you think that is a good idea? It would save you time finding the right yarn and bead combo that would actually work, both asthetically and functionally.

I am working on 2 more beaded versions for prototypes and am writing up some simple instructions on how to string and manage the beads and how to accomodate them into the pattern.

Monday, April 20, 2009

2009 Yarn Giveaway #4~ Custom Vertigo Scarf Kit

I am no longer taking entries for this giveaway.
Check recent entries for NEXT month's giveaway.
Entries ended with comment #81~

Design your own custom Vertigo
Stop, Drop & Weave scarf kit!
Keep reading to learn the details.

Kit comes with...
~ 20 yd skein of a Vertigo yarn in YOUR COLOR CHOICE (shown in fuchsia) To see more Vertigo ideas visit here.
~ 220 yards of a worsted yarn -also in your color choice. No ideas? I can make suggestions.
~ Pattern/Instructions for the Stop Drop & Weave scarf. (designed by Angela Place)

Scroll down for more eye candy photos of the scarf and yarn ideas...

Vertigo is our Earth Happy yarn! Spun by Material Whirled!
Spun from as much foraged and recycled materials as possible. Created from a wool base with fiber scraps, yarn scraps, trim bits and glitz all whirled and spun together! Plied with mostly re-purposed or mill-end threads.
Each stitch is an adventure!


TO ENTER, inspire me!
Simply place a comment in this blog entry with your favorite inspirational quote. The cornier the better!
OH- and only one entry per person please?

On Saturday April 26th I will enter the number of each comment (first comment is number 1, etc.) into a random number generator online. I will post the winner here in the blog as well as emailing the Material Whirled newsletter list! To join, click here (link is at the bottom of every page on the site).
If I post your name here on in the newsletter, contact me and we can work out the fun details!

A FREE Custom MATERIAL WHIRLED Stop Drop & Weave Scarf Kit!
a $36 dollar value!

(includes free shipping to the continental US)

I plan to do one handspun yarn giveaway per month ...So spread the word!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Beaded OCD....

Wait-- that is a GREAT skein name (writing down).

I am having an obsessive knit-attack. Making Journey Hats.
Of course I have a list a mile long and a tight schedule created to induce maximum production for my summer shows. Plus orders to fill-- which I am working on in between knit fits.
Spin, knit, spin, knit. I spin for a rush of time, then knit for a rush of time. Seems to be working well, I feel all relaxed and satisfied.

OH-- I almost forgot-- I created a new page in the shop that features yarns that will work well with The Journey Hat pattern! Some are my hand dyed yarns and some are handspun from the amazing spinners represented on MW.

Here are shots of the latest hat I completed...
It is knit from my Burgundy Bubbles Alpaca. I added beads, which are very very subtle in this hat. They add a feminine sparkle. I am working on some pattern variations with instructions on how to add the beads.
Modeled by Jackie Sparkles.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Today's lesson...heard loud and clear.

I woke this morning to a sinus headache and some very obvious words.
I love when things come through loud and clear.

This quote was on Medium, one of my favorite shows.
"Time is priceless yet it costs us nothing. You can do anything you want with it but you can't own it. You can spend it but you can't keep it. And once you've lost it, there is no getting it back, it's just gone." ~ Allison DuBois

This email from the Universe was in my inbox.

Oh yeah, Reenie, I forgot to tell you...

You get as many "do-overs" as you like. Of course, you never know you're living a "do-over" until it's over.
There are lots of reasons for wanting a "do-over." Most of all, people want another chance to do things they were afraid to do the first time, and to say things they were afraid to say. Oddly enough, it's not their mistakes they want to rework, but their "unused" minutes.
Yeah, pretty nifty, but you should know that it isn't any easier the next time, and because no two ever go exactly the same, the gifts, opportunities, and loves of one, never appear the same way again. Never.
So all in all, it's better to live as if there are no "do-overs," so that you won't need one. But I thought I'd share this with you anyway, to work in the bits about fear, mistakes, and how precious today's opportunities really and truly are.

K-- I get it-- loud and clear. No two-by-four upside the head necessary.

I am off to spend some time snuggling my man, who is home today. and nurse this headache.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Critter Count

My girls attended this on Sat. and ended up getting themselves in the newspaper!

Making sure critters count
Volunteers spend the day before Easter scouring wetlands for reptile eggs.
Saturday, April 11 | 11:56 p.m.


Eve Hanlin, 12, of Vancouver studies a long-toed salamander that was found at the Washington State University Vancouver campus Saturday during the 9th Annual Critter Count. (Photos by STEVEN LANE/The Columbian)

A gaggle of school kids and grown-ups went on an egg hunt of a different kind Saturday.

Think gelatinous egg masses, salamanders and tree frogs and red-legged frogs newly hatched from the muck.

On a cool and cloudy morning, the group waded into cattail marshes beneath budding willows at the fringe of the Washington State University Vancouver campus, netting polliwogs of various types and sizes along with one long-toed salamander and one slender yellow-striped Northwest garter snake.

The site was one of four chosen for the annual "Critter Count" of amphibians and reptiles organized by the Vancouver Water Resources Education Center and staffed by volunteer scientists and naturalists.

Before the field work, participants got a course in Herpetology 101 at the Water Resources Center from Char Corkran, author of "Amphibians of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia."

Corkran narrated a slide show to help beginners identify some of the creatures they might be lucky enough to find in the marshes and ponds and along the stream banks of Clark County. She explained the difference between an amphibian and a reptile (reptiles have scales, amphibians don't) and how to distinguish their eggs (reptilian eggs have shells and membranes, while amphibian eggs are protected by that jelly-like mass).

She explained which frogs (red-legged and tree frogs) are native to this area and which (bullfrogs) are not. How the male Pacific tree frog puffs up his throat to make beautiful music in spring. How the sticky "buttons" on the tree frog's front toes allow it to cling to bushes and stalks of grass.A long-toed salamander. (Eve's hand)

Event organizer Cory Samia said it's important to understand the creatures that live in marshes and under rocks. "The more you know them, the more we hope you'll protect them," she said.

It was fascinating stuff, but the kids in their rubber boots were eager to get going. The large group broke into four subgroups and each headed to one of the four sites: the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge, the CASEE Center in Brush Prairie, the Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center and the WSU Vancouver campus.

Peter Ritson, a chemistry teacher at Clark College, led the small group at the university site. With its sloping lawns and encroaching subdivisions, it was the tamest of the four.

Yet tucked along the fringe of the campus, the waders with their nets and yogurt containers found pockets of marsh — includa man-made drainage swale built to collect stormwater runoff — that were teeming with polliwogs.

A salamander tadpole. (Paul's hand)

Ritson said the volunteer citizen monitoring group he leads had recently found 20 red-legged frog egg masses in a 15-by-20-foot pond nearby. Although no frogs chose to reveal themselves on Saturday, the unseen tree frogs filled the air with their croaking.

Lisa Peterson brought her Girl Scout troop of 8- to12-year-olds to the Critter Count. One of her scouts, 8-year-old Cambria Keeley, was the first of many to shriek, "I found some tadpoles!" after examining the contents of her net.

Soon after, 12-year-old Eve Hanlin discovered a slender garter snake coiled in a patch of dead leaves. Holding it in her fist, she encouraged it to extend its red forked tongue for the camera: "C'mon dude, say cheese!"

Lyn-Mara Eggleston of Vancouver brought her 5-year-old daughter Isis to the Critter Count in lieu of an Easter egg hunt. She said she told her, "We're going to look for salamander eggs instead of Easter eggs."

As the morning wound down, Ritson took a moment to explain why this particular marsh is important, and has survived.

Peter Ritson, a chemistry instructor at Clark College, leads a group of amateur herpetologists through a wetland area of the WSU Vancouver campus Saturday. (Steven Lane/The Columbian)

One of the biggest things affecting amphibian and reptile populations, he said, is habitat loss.

"In the olden days, they would have just filled this in and put in a pipe," he said. "This is all protected now."

It's important, he said, to document what kinds of life persist in these protected wetlands. That's why data gathered in the Critter Count, now in its ninth year, is sent to a statewide wildlife data base.

But Ritson said the Clean Water Act, which requires protection of the nation's wetlands large and small, is not enough to assure the continued survival of frogs and salamanders and lizards and snakes.A Northwest garter snake. (Eve's hands)

They also need upland areas, including forests, he said, and those uplands are disappearing as fast-growing areas like Clark County continue to convert open space to development.

"Wetland get protected, uplands don't," Ritson said. If wetlands like the one at WSU Vancouver get cut off entirely from woodlands and forests, he said, amphibians and reptiles will have no place to go.


Here are some shots Paul took of the day-- notice the images of Eve getting her pic taken by the photographer-- and see the pics in the article above? Love that!

Click to see larger versions...

This shot of Ann's boots walking in the water made it into the newspaper, but not on the website.

The Creative Spiral~

Am I the only one who has so many plates in the air at any given time you are running in circles?
Forget circles-- I am running in spirally doodles!
As I mentioned before- I exhaust myself.

Since returning from ArtFest (a WEEK ago!) I have been just shot. Coming down from the adrenalin was a harder crash than I anticipated-- it always is. I have two more adrenalin infused things coming up this year so I think I need to remember to schedule in the crash week(s) after.
The end of June I am attending and teaching a demo and vending at ArtFiberFest in Portland, OR.
The beginning of August I am a vendor at the massive SockSummit in Portland, OR. wow-- still have not fully processed this one.

Back to my rambling....
I have had my days of rest and vegetation, then prep for Easter and all that entails. Now I find myself going in A.D.D. circles. Is it REALLY ADD? or am I over committed? sigh.
All self-inflicted. I tried the simplification thing but it made me depressed and sad. I just filled the open slots with more projects and commitments. THE GOOD NEWS IS.... I am NOT alone!

At ArtFest they had a teacher panel night, where the teachers sat at a table with microphones and the crowd shot questions at them. This was one of the best things about the week. They hit many many topics that were so very relative to me that I found myself on the verge of tears so many times. They spoke of creative inspiration and over commitments, finding studio time, family, mommy-guilt, artist-guilt, how being an artist is not viewed as a 'real job' and on and on...

I am NOT weird! NOT crazy! I am an ARTIST! The many plates in the air? They are all different embodiments of my creativity. I approach everything as if it were an art medium, from my spinning to my garden to my errands to my precious girls. When I realize that I really view it all as my art (and it totally is) I am so much kinder to myself. I process things differently than most. I am an over-achiever. I am manic. I am crazy and I am not crazy. I am unique.

They also talked about how family and friends do not always 'get' them. This too hit home hard but that is another post. haha.

K-- enough rant for now.... here are some pics from the past few days of my 'art'.
You can see more in my 365 days photo journal in Flickr.

Prepping the ground for planting...

Almost ready...
Basking dog...Ann at Critter Count-- counting amphibians and reptiles in the wild~
An Easter Rainbow~

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ephiphanies and Paradigm Shifts- oh yeh...and Yarn!

I just returned from a 5 day art retreat and am so very tired, BUT am also on fire creatively. The retreat was so inspiring and surreal and paradigm shifting. It's such a gift to spend time with 600 other like-minded spirits. It's like coming home. I was at ArtFest in Port Townsend, WA.
I learned that I am not alone -- there are others who think like I do (scary-- I know) but also that what I like most about creating my yarns is how they inspire YOU. I love to be a catalyst for your creativity. This is why I am here. Figuring this out has brought me peace from the "What path should I take?" constant angst of the past few years. phew. a total relief.
More to come on this, please keep an eye here on my blog, bookmark me or add me to your reader! The RSS link is in the right column if you scroll down a bit.

I just put 14 new skeins in the shop here are some pics of the loveliness.
Talk soon!
Have a Spectacular Springy & Eastery weekend!
I love you all!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Would YOU dance?

This is a T-Mobile commercial, where professional dancers sporadically started dancing in a crowded Liverpool train station. People, both young and old, crowded around to watch and many started dancing along.

Love this.... and love moments like these...
Would YOU dance?