Thursday, April 23, 2009

YPF: Sheep Yarn Shop Company

This is spinning up better than I thought it would. It's lustrous and I'm able to draft it easily. The only problem seems to be that the spindle I'm using isn't heavy enough. I have another, but I need to re-attach the hook at the top. I plan to buy another at Maryland Sheep and Wool next weekend. Are you going?




I attended a reception at the Italian Embassy a few weeks ago. The architect drew inspiration for this stunning building's design from the landscape of Washington and the austere lines of old Tuscan villas.

Italian Embassy

The interior is thoroughly modern.


Italian Embassy


Ambassador Giovanni Castellaneta made a few remarks and took questions.

Italian Embassy

He was asked if he blamed the US for the financial crisis as do many Europeans. He said that he sees the current financial crisis a trade imbalance issue. Clever answer.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Chado Ralph Rucci Documentary

Neiman Marcus sponsored the screening of an excellent and inspiring documentary, Ralph Rucci: a Designer and his House, tonight at the Corcoran Art Museum. Rucci, whose design house is called Chado Ralph Rucci, is currently the only American designer invited to design couture in Paris.

"Chado" is apparently a meticulous Japanese tea ceremony, and while most of Rucci's current designs do not appear to be Japanese-inspired, meticulous is certainly a great description as well artistic, singular, and simply beautiful. The hour-long documentary takes the viewer through the execution of designs from sketch through to its final stages. Obviously an hour-long film cannot show the details of every step - a single hand-sewn piece can take as long as 1000 hours! But the film is beautifully edited, showing Rucci sketching, tight shots of hand sewing, beading, pinning to mannequins, fitting the models, and finally the models strutting the garments down the runway. It was also interesting to hear Rucci's staff discuss how he designs and describe his point of view. Unfortunately, being more visual than auditory, I missed too much of the commentary. I was too caught up in the design of the collections, the colors he used, the artistry of the painter that he is and that he applies to design, and his design environment. I was left with the impression that there is a sort of Eastern, Zen quality in the way he corales and uses energy in the development of a collection. I must see the movie again so that I can listen more closely.

The photos above are from, where you can view his collections. The beauty is in the details of the garments, which photos frequently cannot capture or as Rucci said, are impossible to see two rows away from the catwalk.

The filmmaker, David Boatman, introduced the film and took questions afterward.

Martha Stewart, produced and narrated the film. Rucci was on her show late last year; you can see that episode here. Sundance Studios has three-year rights to the movie and occasionally airs it. You can see a clip here. After the three years are up it will go to disc.

There was a large audience there; nearly a full house.

Ralph Rucci Documentary

Ralph Rucci Documentary

Ralph Rucci Documentary

Corcoran Art Museum

Waiting for Neiman Marcus goodie bags.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Book Signing Party for Karida Collin's "Pints and Purls"

After some afternoon knitting, Blogless Debbie and I went to a book signing party for Karida Collins and Libby Bruce's new book Pints and Purls yesterday at A Tangled Skein. The party was fun and food good, and the crowd and staff welcoming as usual.

I didn't meet Libby, but Karida was there with books and yarn.

Karida and co.

Karida's Yarn

Cici and Chelette were there too.

Chelette and CiCi

I didn't get a photo, but Cici has a very serious SLR camera I now covet. Just when I've become accustomed to taking photos with my slim touch screen phone. It's a Samsung Omnia and its camera has 5 megapixels that takes photos almost as good as my Canon PowerShot digital.

Isn't this a good idea? Just sell your yarn out of the shipping boxes when you have overstock!

ATS Sale Boxes

I couldn't resist some roving and yarn.

Karida's dyes and sells her yarn and roving under the name Neighborhood Fiber Co.

Neighborhood Fiber Co. Penthouse Silk Lace

Penthouse Silk Lace, 100 percent silk, 1100 yds.

Neighborhood Fiber Co. Merino Silk Roving

Merino Silk Roving, 80 percent merino, 20 percent silk, 4 oz.

I couldn't resist the turquoise and brown in this roving from Sheep Spin.

Sheep Yarn Shop Company

4oz. 100 percent merino wool

I don't know how the Sheep Spin will spin. In my very limited experience, Corriedale has been the easiest for me to spin consistently and evenly. The Sheep Spin doesn't pre-draft easily, i.e. it has more resistance than other roving I've spun. Is that actually the benefit of pre-drafting? So that I don't have to pull too hard while I'm spinning? It doesn't have much sheen, so I'm curious about how it will look knit up. Priscilla plies some of her yarn with Habu stainless steel; learning that has sparked my imagination! So if this looks too dull after spinning, I can ply it with something that will pick it up a bit. (My apologies to more experienced spinners out there - I haven't learned the lingo yet.) Anyway, color drove my purchasing choices as usual.

Must remember to ask Anne, my spinning teacher, how to measure how many yards I've spun and plied.

Debbie Cook

Blogless Debbie


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