Tuesday, June 30, 2009

tour planning

joan spent the first day of her vacation spinning with me. we enjoyed a warm, sunny day working on the new techniques i learned. it was great to be able to show someone, that made it stick in my brain (and fingers). my big accomplishment was a 'new to me' drafting technique to improve the consistency of my yarn. i think i got it.
so the tour. i registered at the website for this years event and i've been contemplating what my challenge should be. i want to continue working on my technique and also get through some of the stash now that the festival season is looming. i've got a few ideas..... just need to pick one!

Monday, June 22, 2009

teaching an old dog a new trick

i have never had a formal spinning class. i didn't even know how to spin when i bought my wheel. i was fortunate to have the skill of several patient spinners (and you tube) to get me going. shortly after i started, i took a class with celia quinn to spin over 75 different fibers. i did it poorly. when an opportunity arose to take a 'hone your handspinning skills' workshop, i jumped on it. held at WEBS in massachusetts, our instructor was barbara perry of foxfire fibers. she has a new dying book in print, vendors at the large festivals, and blogs about her farm. the class exceeded my expectations. she was knowledgeable and able to share all the information in a clear, learn-able way. the time flew by, so much so that i never even took a picture.
this is the bag of fiber she provided for us to spin with. these are the bags of yarn that cc and i drove home with after our shopping adventure.
i'd quickly take another class from her. now i'm off to practice.

Friday, June 19, 2009


this photo does not do it justice, here is my latest ..... the swirl shawl done in my handspun. the fiber was from nistock farms a lamb's wool/ silk blend. i spun it v e r y fine, almost lace weight, then plied. that is the top of our hot tub. a perfect repository for a blocking project. it basked in the sun and breeze, not disturbed by dog, kids or partner.

so that left me to finish some spinning. this is 8 ounces of fiber from the shepards market. it was very concentrated with vm, making it less that lovely to spin.... but the finished product? lovely.i needed all my bobbins empty for my spinning class this weekend. i'm taking my first every spinning class @ webs taught by barbara parry aka sheepgal. i'll give all details when i return.
of course i was distracted by time in the patch, strawberry patch that is!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

skirting a fleece

having acquired the fleeces from my volunteering adventure, i knew they had to be 'skirted'. this is the process of sorting the usable fiber from the crap. and sometimes that is a literal translation. so amy, thefibergoddess, offered to instruct me. i arrived at her barn to find her already involved in her own fleeces. we started by weighing the fleece, then emptying it onto the table.
we then unrolled it and arranged it to mimic the placement on the sheep. she showed me the head/neck region, legs, hind end, and belly wool. it was ginormous.
we then moved around the fleece, discarding the wool that was unusable and leaving the rest. we're wearing disposable gloves and yucky clothes as this is a 'dirty job'. i'm glad my fleeces were free and i had no emotional attachment to them because it's easy to start second guessing yourself. amy does even more sorting of hers for needle felting, batt making, and other assorted uses. my sheep had not been covered so the fleeces had hay, burdock's, grim throughout. amy let me help sort one of hers and the difference was incredible. her sheep are coated and the fleeces were much cleaner and her shearer does wonderful work as well. i asked so many questions that i'm certain her ears were ringing after.
the longer i'm in this the more i find to learn. luckily i've made great friends to guide me through!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

porch swing

one of my special pleasures is sitting on my porch swing. living in a small village, it's really a slice of americana to listen to the street sounds and passersby. the weather has just become inviting enough to indulge this, and friday...... a treat arrived in the mail. this issue reminds me why i subscribe. it was full of great articles, achievable patterns and truly interesting stuff. to i knit alittle, read alittle, enjoyed alot!
the weekend was all about the new garden. i've never professed to have even the slightest skill in growing plants. my dear partner has found his nitch in all sorts of landscaping endeavors. he loves to plan, shop and put it all together. so when amy, thefibergoddess, remarked that she was selling hosta i was on it. i kept purchasing her stock (much to her dismay) and left her wondering what i was going to do with 34 assorted hosta. behold, the new garden.the plan is to continue it to the back yard, but for now we have plants, a bench, a walking path and aching backs!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

fiber thief

this precious little angel .......
took my new fiber and went to her 'naughty spot' and began shredding the roving.
she came scampering out and i knew something was up. so further investigation lead me to this. just because it was resting on the floor, completely in her path is no excuse for naughty choices!