Thursday, January 11, 2007

Rumpelstiltskin and straw spun into gold

When I was a girl I loved the story of Rumpelstiltskin. You know the one, where the dwarf, Rumpelstiltskin, agrees to help the miller's daughter spin straw into gold but for a price. She has to give up her first born child for the spun gold. When Rumpelstiltskin comes to claim her first born, the miller's daughter is now the queen and offers her entire fortune to save her child. Rumpelstiltskin agrees to relinquish his claim if she can guess his real name. The queen eventually does guess his name and Rumpelstiltskin jumps up and down and sinks himself into the ground in a rage. Well, I didn't jump up and down in a rage but neither did I spin straw into gold. Instead, using a Spindolyn and some Romney wool roving, I spun wool into some seriously lumpy bumpy yarn. Still, it's yarn I made so that makes me happy. I've been spinning everyday since then. What started all this? Well, Shannon Okey's Spin to Knit , a gift from my sister, started it! Funny, I recall that another gift from my sister, Stitch n Bitch, got me started knitting. I'm sensing a theme here!!! So, here's what my yarn looks like. Recently, I bought a majacraft Suzie and I love it. More spinning pictures will come. Right now, I'm busy spinning! I've also finished a good many projects that I haven't blogged about since I went on vacation. Instead of backtracking, I'll just update you on what I've finished and what is on my needles so far. Just finished, the Simple Knitted Bodice--smokin'!!! I love it! I used Tilli Tomas yarn which was very pretty but I have to say I found more knots that I think acceptable for a yarn of that cost. Would I use the yarn again? Probably so. I believe you have to give a second chance to see if the knots were an anomaly. I also finished Lady Eleanor from Scarf Style. I used Noro Silk Garden. I love Noro yarn!!!! I also just finished Wicked with Rowan Cashsoft Aran. It was a quick knit and just what I needed to satisfy my need to finish a project quickly. My other new love is jewelry making. I have several designs I'm working on both in jewelry and in knitting. I'm not a particularly fast knitter so you will likely see the jewelry before you see the knitting! Till then, here is some yarn spun on my spindolyn and a pic of lady eleanor while she was in progress. I've also included a pic of some lorna's laces sock yarn that I hand dyed with a tie dye tshirt kit I got on sale for $4. I love to do my own dyeing! It's pretty gratifying knowing you have something that was made just by you! Till later, Alicia

Oh yeah,
On my needles/hook/bead board:
Somewhat Cowl
Tube Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks
Cherry Blossom Top (my own design)
two crochet afghans
Prissy Powder Room Towel
Zebra jasper and coral earrings and necklace

Monday, January 01, 2007

Finland is lovely!

Here are some pictures from our trip to Finland. The boys and I had such a great time! It was so good to see my sister again! Finland was so much more than I'd expected it to be. It was so very beautiful. Like a winter wonderland. It reminded me of how I see Narnia in my mind when I read the book. The snow was like sugar powder. We did so much while we were there that it would take days to describe it all so I'll just hit the highlights. We went to Santa's Village and perused around while the kids slid down the ice slide. I even joined in the fun and slid down too! Later, we went snowmobiling. That was a first for me and I pulled the kids behind me in a sledge. It made me so nervous to drive that thing towing them behind because it was so dark outside! We were on a trail and it had lots of bumps and turns so I drove slowly just to be cautious. I totally want a snowmobile! At the reindeer farm, Kai (my oldest son) got to try his hand at snowmobiling on a mini snowmobile. He loved it! We got pulled in a sled by reindeer and they are much faster than I thought. Did you know they run faster than horses? I got to walk a reindeer as well. They are really lovely animals and their history with the Sami people is very interesting. The Sami are the only indigenous peoples of Europe and learning about them was fascinating. I was so inspired by their dress and customs for many designs. We also got to go to the husky ranch and get pulled by a team of sled dogs. Now they are fast!!! It was just like in the movies! The dogs were jumping and barking desperate to get going to pull the sled. You could see that they enjoyed what they did. We did and saw so many things that were so once in a lifetime. The only thing I didn't see was the Northern Lights because it was never clear or cold enough to do that. I know that I'm surely missing some big bits and pieces of our experience but there really was just so much. Thanks to my sister for inviting us! If you get the chance to go to Finland, I highly recommend Rovaniemi and Safartica tours. You should plan some time outside of the tours too because the tours really are full day affairs. It was a great time and I'd definitely do it again! Here's some photos from our time there.