Wednesday, July 24, 2013

tour's end

well, i met my goal. i did spin every day. some days i did a lot, others..... not so much. when i look at my finished products, there really isn't much. i completed plying some singles, i have the bobbin i started while i was doing the demo at the garden. i did finish this....
4 ounces of swmerino and silk from susan's spinning had been in my stash for several years, and it was delightful to spin. i felt that my spinning had improved tremendously since i bought this and i'm glad i waited. i think i've got about 400 yds of a lace weight yarn ( yes, i'm thinking shawl )
i also dug out my directions for fractal spinning and started this...
my practice fiber from amythefibergoddess. i've got one bobbin done....
and i've started the next. the practice came to good use for our meeting on saturday. she had quite a group line up to try this type of dying.
the weather just couldn't hold so we ended up a soggy. not the best way to end our farm visit.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

getting ready

for the last several years, our july guild meeting has been held on a members farm. the first two years we visited 'high-bid farm' and last year amy was coerced offered to have us at 'stone edge fibers'.  since it went so well, we are headed back again this year. in january (ish) when the guild board was thinking about programing, it was decided that we needed an outdoor venue to have another dyeing program. so naturally it followed, that if we were headed to a farm in july, and amy does such amazing dyeing, and her set up is really conducive to teaching..... why not? ( i'm sure she doesn't have the same recollection of the discussions..... but hey, it's my blog ;)
with the date fast approaching, she decided that we needed to have a practice run to make sure this would all work, and since it was probably my idea ( although i still am hazy on this fact ) i needed to lend a hand.
so monday, in this oppressive heat wave, i went over to be a student.
she has it! so here how it works...... folks have to bring two-ounces of fiber. amy will get it soaking and when she has enough folks ready, they will get set up at a table with pre-mixed dyes in bottles and the roving on plastic wrap. her biggest worry was that the bottles would leak, but they passed our test. the roving can be set-up in a variety of ways.... she laid hers in two straight  rows and i squiggled mine. dye is then applied, again there are lots of ways to do this.

she'll then sprinkle on the magic dust ( really it's just citric acid, but magic dust sounds way cooler )
we roll them up and pop them into the steamer.
at this point, she is planning to have them in bags with each person's name on them. after they steam, they get put in the sink to cool, then rinsed.
out they go to dry, and you've got some dyed roving. she is even letting me have our practice ones.
and because i was dopey over-prepared, i took along some roving. what was i thinking, of course she had stuff for us to practice on. since i had it along,  we she dyed it for the next knit-a-long.......

Saturday, July 13, 2013

spinning in the garden

my spinning every day tour challenge took an interesting twist yesterday. my sister asked me if i would consider spinning ( and talking about spinning ) for a program she was in. hmmmmm, spinning and talking about spinning..... two of my favorite things! i said yes without even getting the details! so friday evening i was part of a program at sonnenburg gardens in canandaigua. they have live music and evening strolling on the grounds on friday's in the summer.

in addition. last night there was a program about beatrix potter. best known for her children's books, she was also a landowner and sheep breeder. my task was to demonstrate spinning and answer questions. i packed up my ashford wheel, baskets of washed wool, dyed wool and batts to spin and some fiber prep tools. i added a few of my shawls that i had knit with handspun and hanks of yarn. 
i was set up in the japenese gardens and truly had the best seat in the house yard.
i had a wonderful time chatting with lots of folks as they strolled by. the program was delightful and really fun. after, i had even more folks stop and fondle wool and yarn. at one point i glanced up to see the wonderful lady who taught me to spin and helped get me started on my fibery path! talk about coming full circle!
i was surprised by all the interest folks had. kids ( young and old ) enjoyed touching the wool, deciding which was the softest ( it was the purple wool ) wondering how i got the sheep to stand still while i painted it ( thought i was going to wet my pants when the little dude asked my that so very sincerely). i was an enchanting evening! it had been years since i was last at sonnenburg. i had forgotten what a wonderful place was right here in my backyard.
the best part?????
finding a new spinner!


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

wool washing

i spent sunday washing my beautiful fleece that i got in maryland. ruthie is a romney sheep that resides in california on mendenhal farms. her wool is lush and lovely ..... and mine ;)
i picked her up on friday and really got a chance to see just how lucky i was when i started washing. i took my time, making sure each lock was clean and rinsed.... did i mention that i had 5 lbs of wool? i was getting a smidge fatigued at the end of the process, but so very happy with the result.... until i brought it home. i'm lucky to be able to do all my wool stuff at my mom's house and then walk it to my home. as i was coming across the back yard, my husband asked what had happened to the wool. since he seemed truly concerned, t stopped and looked over my shoulder thinking that i had dropped some. he asked me again, what did you do to that..... bleach it? seriously? then i saw what he meant....
this is the wool in the sink.....
and here it is washed
the pictures don't do justice to the beauty of  ruthie. now she just has to dry (kind of hard with this humidity)

i'm still knitting away on the wrap for amythefibergoddess and loving every stitch. this pattern really is singing my song!


Sunday, July 7, 2013


i'm very happy with my tour goal. i've been spinning every day, some days more than others. my fiber is a superwash merino/tencel blend. i've been contemplating how much my spinning has changed but the enjoyment has remained the same.
and it's not alllll about the spinning, it's about the fiber! friday a bunch of us got together at sandy's to play in the wool. we looked at fleeces, washed and dyed fleeces and even got a skirting lesson.
i was in a green mood. i had a partial grey fleece that we determined i had purchased from robin nistock several years ago. it was washed and stored, but in moving/cleaning the garage all the info about the fleece was lost. never the less, it is stunning. the wool is soft and oh so touchable. 
after lunch......
it was back to work! at first i was not open to adding other colors to my palette, but sandy convinced me to think outside my box and i got this....
since i've been all over the ombre, i dyed a batch with that in mind. i started with canary, then avocado then evergreen. i have been able to keep it intact and my plan is to spin it from the locks. the final batch i dyed in violet, burgundy and plums. that turned out quite nice. i packed it up wet, and it's been drying outside. today i've been at it again, washing my maryland fleece. i'll put those pics up tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

tour defleece

i was undecided about attempting the tour this year. last year i admitted defeat half-way through. i hated letting go of my 'can-do' style of living, and i'm not ready to go down that road again. i've been rattling it around in my brain, checking out different ravelry groups even casually asking spinning friends if they were participating. the date neared and i had to make a decision.
i'm in. my goals are very basic...... spin every day. no matter how much ( or how little ) i accomplish, i will sit at a wheel and spin. i've got two different fibers started on my two wheels. both from the stash that have been rattling around for far toooooo long.
so far so good.... and i'm spinning more each day. i purposely chose very different fiber for a reason. i wanted to spin the pretty merino/tencel very fine and make it a two ply yarn. the blue roving is just for spinning fun. no specific purpose, just to make room in the storage area for more.