Sunday, April 24, 2011

going down memory lane

amythefibergoddess and i were chatting over coffee this week, when she showed me some pictures of her recent discovery. it seems she found a great wheel and skein winder that a neighbor had stored that belonged to his mother. following her death, he put them away thinking that maybe, someday, his kids might have an interest in wooly adventures and want grandma's things. time moves on and those beloved items start becoming a chore to move around, dust around and just have taking up your space. so he was looking to see if amy wanted them and how much they might be worth. i'm listening to the story and as she tells me his name, i complete it. stunned, her first question is how do i know him? well, our parents were great friends and we grew up together. this was a time when families would get together on a saturday evening, make a meal, play cards and have long conversations. kids would play outside, play games and not disturb the folks. there were no tv's, videos, dvd's and barely music. usually it was us playing the piano or guitar and singing like loons! i was at his wedding, his folks were at mine, and i was there at the grave site when his dad died. his mom followed a few years later, shortly after my eldest was born. over the years my folks would hear from him or stop in to visit, but i hadn't seen him in over a decade. egad, does that sound old! amy stood there and gave me his number, telling me that i was meant to have this wheel. she would just put it in storage and really? the fiber goddess was giving us a sign.

i gave him a call, and went over to see the items. we visited for two hours, just like i remember our folks doing. we met on a price, and i promised that they would stay with me for as long as i was around.

i know each and every time i wind a skein or spin on the wheel, carol will be with me.

Friday, April 22, 2011


at our last guild meeting we were able to dye our handspun yarn. i have been eagerly awaiting this program..... even though i have the best dyers in the world for my friends, it was a piece of magic that i needed to own. i have patiently spun my two-ounce skeins, wound them each very loosely into yarn patties, and soaked them overnight.

we drained the excess water out of the yarn, then filled our microwavable containers with about an inch of water and added 2 tablespoons of vinegar,then the dye choices. kool-aid in a variety of color/flavors yielded a softer color, easter egg tablets were vibrant. i did both. (of course :) i used kool-aid in orange first, setting my yarn patty into the color bath. then they were rotated through the microwave, heating to just below boiling to prevent felting. when cool, you repeated the liquid adding another color. i went with a watermelon/strawberry. my second yarn patty you see here in vibrant yellow and orange. wowser! these colors are amazing!

i have no idea what i could possibly create from these yarns, but just looking at them makes me happy.... and sometimes that's enough!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

spinning companion

i usually find myself alone with my fiber in the evenings. everyone heads off to bed, or maybe to watch some tv, and i'm left sitting in my parlor with my wheel. it seems my littlest has decided that she likes to have this special time together. this is what my spinning has been like for the last several days. little miss etta rae has grown so huge that she can't fit around the wheel anymore. she really tries to do her best, but her body is just growing so fast and so big. and really, it is so hard to stand all this adorable.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

stella maris

last weekend was the spinning retreat held at camp stella maris. now, when i say 'camp' it brings to mind cabins, sleeping bags, outdoor fires. that's not what's happening here. located on a smaller lake, the wegman lodge (yes, i did mean that wegman) is luxurious with a lovely fire place, huge windows and decks, comfy beds and bathrooms.

we gathered on friday afternoon and the fibery adventures began. some folks spin, some knit, read about knitting and spinning, it's a very relaxed atmosphere. there were a multitude of projects ...

the time was unstructured with only two workshops offered, one in decoupage the other needle felting. i took the opportunity to pester a master knitter into teaching me continental knitting. i learned both knit and purl stitches and sadly hounded her all weekend to monitor my progress and correct my mistakes. she was such a good sport and i am definitely feeling confident in the process. good news is that my elbow allowed me to power spin all weekend, bad news is that it is still sensitive to knitting. must be the constant positioning, but i am trying to slowly ease back into it.

with all this yarn i'm contemplating entering it into the fiber festival spinners basket. i have a project in mind that this would be awesome for.