Saturday, August 31, 2013

fair day

the friday before labor day has become my traditional day to volunteer to demonstrate spinning at the NYS fair. i love it! linda, and her groups of helpers, have transformed the wool center into a wonderful spot to see all things related to wool.... dyeing, spinning, knitting, weaving, wood turning ( drop spindles ) and gather up information about events about wool.
folks wander through, stop and sit on the benches and ask questions as we get to spin away. i took three projects with me and completed two. for me that is an excellent record! i plied some singles that have been waiting for awhile now, and spun a sample skein for amythefibergoddess. i've fallen into the transportation job for some of her fibers, and i often take advantage offer to take it for a test spin.
this is some of her borderlester wool, dye in three colors.... bright green, turquoise blue and teal. i wasn't sure if the teal was going to knock my socks off until i got going.......
yes indeed, that is one stunning roving! she'll have a huge bag at the 2013 finger lakes fiber festival (i promise to deliver it ;) check out all the fiber fun at  click the festival link!

when my time was done, we wandered about the fair finding all my favorites. the butter sculpture, quarter milk, the sand sculpture....
that's supposed to be a sheep.... but looks a bit maniacal to me! and of course the dollar potato...
Yum! nothing says fair fun like that!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

different lines

i was craving garter stitch early this summer. mindless, practical garter stitch. i was frantically trying to finish sister's birthday shawl and dealing with a zillion things, i wanted simplicity.... beauty.... garter stitch.
color affection was all that, so i checked out the other patterns by veera valimaki and was captivated by different lines amythefibergoddess needed a sample for her yarn, so it was meant.
my love affair continued until the last 6 inches. it was painful to knit those rows. i'd knit, measure, knit, measure and never get far. i put it down, distracted by those face-clothes. suddenly i had to read a recommended book, week the hosta garden, rediscover bike riding.
then yesterday, i made it. six inches. i even added a few more rows, just to prove it.
i stuck with it, casting it all off at once.
it is wicked cool!!! unlike any other wrap i've done, it hugs your shoulders and just screams....
" i am not an old lady shawl "

sadly...... it leaves my hands and will be on display at the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival on September 21&22 in Hemlock, NY. check out all the info at

Friday, August 23, 2013

moon set

sitting on the deck at sunrise, spinning.  bliss!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Still at it

i scheduled another 'dye-day' with amythefibergoddess and yesterday we played. i should clarify here that i consider it playing..... and i'm lucky to have someone to play with!
we started in her wool shed, looking at the yarn we had done last week.
wozza, are they beautiful!! the dyeing is only a fraction of the preparation. she sorts the yarn by content ( superwash merino, bfl, corriedale ) and by type ( sock, fingering, worsted ) and ...stay with me here...... then skeins by yardage for each. she decides what colorways are best suited for each and also considers what the knitter might be making with each type of yarn. confusing? you bet! Each skein is washed after dyeing, water is spun out and after it is dry, re skeined for sale. now add in what colorways to handpaint and the complementary colors......
usually i'm just standing there nodding adding in my moral support, but i'm starting to get the hang of it. there are so many variables to think about, the hardest is what the customer is going to want and like.
she had yarn soaking when i arrived and we got going. we had several interruptions, but made progress.
i still struggle seeing the end product as we are working. she has a fantastic sense of how the yarn will take the dye, how the colors will change as they are set.... i was bumming that my skeins were just not meeting the standard..... until we got to the end....

 that's why she is the fibergoddess and i'm still the hired help ;)

Sunday, August 11, 2013


succumbed to the thought of a new knitting project. something simple, yet intricate, lovely.....engaging. i am so close to the end of 'right lines', the sample knit i'm doing for stone edge fibers. so close. and yet, it is a struggle to finish those last few inches.

when i started this, i needed the thoughtless repitition of garter stitch. something that was easy to take along and not have to think too much about. it really fit the bill, but now? now i need just a taste of something heavier, being cautious not to get sucked into something toooo involved. a quick knit. so when i read the yarn harlot's blog about her latest project, there it was.
i've never knit a washcloth, it's never even crossed my mind. i've been gifted with a dishcloth and it's my favorite one to use, but i've never considered making one. it didn't take long to get a ball of cotton yarn and cast on.

just a quick little something and then i'll be back to the garter stitch. i may even force myself to do two rows of wrap then treat myself to some dishcloth. the best part is that i needed a little something more for my sisters' birthday gift. i'm thinking this and a bar of handmade soap will be perfect!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

another dye day

it seems that i  passed the apprentice dyer test and was asked back to stone edge fibers for another day of playing with color. that's my term for it, amythefibergoddess tells me that we are working our butts off!

last week she was deep into the jewel tones. these are the skeins that we handpainted. there were a few that needed a touch -up as the dye didn't saturate to her liking. today i got some tips on preventing that from happening.
the plan was to work on the colors of autumn... reds, oranges, greens, browns ... it was a challenge seeing this out the door and dripping in the humidity of august. planning ahead, amy had lots of wool soaking and i could jump in with the basic set up tasks. it really did make it go so much faster. every dye reacts differently with each type of wool and wool preparation. i also learned to not be so stingy with the dye brush!
i lost count of the number of 'fiber-sausages' we rolled up. i'll be doing these in my sleep! this time i made sure the i laid out enough plastic wrap, kept the table wiped clean, and squeeze out that excess water. amy had to scamper out for a kid-run, and left me alone with roving, dye and permission to give it a go. sadly that was still in the oven when i left. but i did get to see these done.....


all of this will be in her booth and The FingerLakes Fiber Festival in September.
and i got invited back!! 


Thursday, August 1, 2013

that and this

summer is zipping by, so yesterday we decided to grab some fun! it was warm, sunny and calm so i was able to do that.....
to take a day to do this......

i eagerly volunteered to be a laborer for amythefibergoddess. in fact, i didn't really volunteer i just invited myself over to help. with her first fall show looming in the not-so-distant future, it was time to get down to serious work.
every dyer that i've been fortunate enough to see in action has their own unique process that works for them. i was humbled that she trusted me with her product and processing savvy.
as you can see, we were set up together and she guided me with the application of the color. at first, i was following her exactly, then i lost my sequence and went out on my own ;)

there are so many tricks and pitfalls with the process. each piece takes the dyes differently and the saturation leads to different colors....... the combinations are endless.
today we were working with blues, greens and purples. let me just add that saying the words -blue-green-purple is misleading. it is staggering the number of blues-greens-and purples there are. we were able to complete many skeins of yarn and several pots of roving.....
after five hours, i'm still eager to continue.... so i wrangled and invitation for next week!