Friday, December 19, 2008

Busy Day

It was a snowy day. Snow started about 5 AM and by 2ish it was over and we had over 10 inches of snow. during parts of the storm we were getting about 2 inches an hour. So there is a reprieve for most of tomorrow and then tomorrow night we will have more snow overnight - they're calling for another 4 inches or so.

I took advantage of the snow day...and forgot to work on school stuff with Maggie. but let me show you what I did.
Jody was looking for a person to block her shawl and somehow she found me from a reference and I can't remember how it went now. Anyway, she made the Wing O' the Moth Shawl by Anne Hansen. It's a pattern I bought the moment it was available and I've never knit it.. She knit it from some Briar Rose yarn (if I ma remembering correctly) - of which I am also a huge fan. So there it is all pinned out and lovely. I really do like it and want to run and start knitting it right away...but I can't.

So the ends need to be woven in and then I will put it in the mail for her on Monday and hope it makes in time for Jody to wear on Christmas day.
So after I had that shawl pinned out I got right to work and washed 14 ounces of Cormo and 10 ounces of black Merino. Both will be available on the website ready for the flicking and the spinning. I so love washing the wools. Lining up all of those locks just so and watching them get all beautifully clean. I just love it. And with all the complaining I do about Merino I am mostly griping about the mill prep stuff. Spinning wool from the lock that you've flicked yourself is just wonderful.
And, at this hour the Merino is on its last soak and I moved on to the new spindles. There are several cranky people letting me know I have been slacking in the online shop department so I took some photos today of the new Grafton spindles I just got and they are all there now.
It was a busy day and so busy that I never took even one photo of the huge snow.

So that was my snowy day. How was yours?

Brittney will be home for a couple of weeks starting tomorrow. She's all graduated and degreed and now all that's left is to get a job;-)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

And Another Thing....

So I'm still running out of daylight every day. Don't know how to make the days last longer.
This post will be lots of pictures. Again it's been too long between posts so there will be no apparent theme....
Oh, but did you all see this? I'm pretty excited about it:-)
Can't do anything about it but lookee what came in the mail yesterday. That there is 3 chocolate bars and a hand spun, hand knit scarf from my friend Elsiedeluxe. It is a beautiful scarf. Warm and lovely. The chocolate all had to be tasted. So I did that today. Pear with dark chocolate, Orange with dark chocolate and really really dark chocolate. All delicious. I didn't bring them home with me because I am on yet another weight loss program. This time I will lose the weight and I will learn how to keep it off. Determination. But the chocolate will be tasted periodically.
I got some new Polwarth top in a beigey whitish color and moorit. love. Also some new sparkley stuff there on the floor for the blending.
The Tsock Tsarina made me this little cutie from leftovers of her first handspun. She sits on my desk though she does like to hop off once in a while.
And a scarf that I think is beautiful. Woven with Louet Gems Merino yarn in a log cabin design. There's a class coming up at the shop for this design. It will cover lots of basic weaving techniques and at the end of two days you get to take home this beauteous scarf!
Oh and Briar Rose BFL is here. This is a crap picture of it but there are better ones in the webstore. I am so impressed with Chris Roosien's dyeing abilities. The stuff spins beautifully and you get those Briar Rose colors Chris has become famous for.
We took a quick trip to Pennsylvania to see my parents and Grnadmother last week. As usually my parents' house looks fantastic. This is the suspended tree in the stairwell.My mom has a handmade Santa collection and this is one of my favorites.
Of course there were the little hams. I have aobut 20 picturesof them posing in front of all the trees.
Before the trip there was that Abby class and as usual there was trashing of the shop. It was a huge mess that I was in no state to deal with right away. But the classes were great as always. I learned some new things aobut blends and had a load of fun with all the participants and the sleepover was CROWDED! But so fun.

Those are just soem cute things I have in the shop right now and I am having a hard time not taking them all home with me.
I gotta go to bed and I will do my best to get back on a more regular blogging schedule. Promise.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Thing Is...

It's been really busy since SOAR. I feel like hiding in my room for a couple of days. But there are those kids and the shop and more stuff and other things and well can't take a break just yet.
I've been really busy at the shop getting ready for this coming Saturday. It's my annual anniversary party and there's lots to do. I know that this is going to be one of those jumbly posts since I haven't updated in a while and there's lots to talk about and not enough time.

The tree is up. Isn't it cute?
Under the tree are the door prizes for Saturday. A spindle sampler kit which has a Spinsanity Spindle and a good variety of wools to try out. There's also a color sampler good for spinners or felters. It has a bit of every solid color Corriedale I have in the shop. Also there's a Spindlicity Calendar and there will be 3 gift certificates.

Rita who owns Yarn Hollow is bringing me some new dyed stuff tomorrow and I think she also mentioned something about donating a door prize!

The Yarn Hollow stuff is beautiful and I love the fact that she uses all wool from Michigan farmers in her dyeing. I can't wait to see it. She's dropping it off tomorrow morning on her way to Thanksgiving with her family.

I have one of the Wolf Pups decorated with a color gamp warp. It's lovely. The happy part is that whoever buys this loom will get to take the project with them. It always happens. I very rarely get to finish a project before some lucky weaver comes and relieves me of the lovely colors.
This pile o' stuff is all the yarn in the shop and almost all of it is marked down. It is more organized than this now thanks to Maddiwood Michelle's help.
The marked down stuff includes Blue Heron, Briar Rose, Skacel Merino and British Mohair. It's all lovely and I really want to keep some of it. Maybe I'll just keep one....or two.
This is a picture of the Peruvian stuff I brought back from SOAR for sale. It is all hand spun and woven on backstrap looms. The stuff is gorgeous. Every cent of the money from this goes to the Center for Traditional Textiles in Cusco.
K. Here's a new carder. it's from Louet and will be available for delivery around March. You all know that I am a huge fan of Strauch carders. Well, this one knocked my socks off. Just look at the size of that drum compared to the Ashford carder behind it. Huge batts I tell ya. It's also compact and stores easily. I'm hoping to have an hour or two to play with it some more next week. I may get the Maggie to make a couple of batts and give her input.
And these sweet little cookies were made by Faina Letoutchia. They are molded cookies and take several days to make. I have some packages of these that will be for sale this weekend and throughout next week. They truly are beautiful.
K. so I only talked about shop stuff. There's lots more to say but I'm out of time. I promise another update before the end of the weekend. And then Abby will be here to teach us about spindles and drum carders. I'm very excited about the class and about all of the people who will be here...including a new friend...Lisa Grossman. The Tsock Tsarina herself. Can't wait to spend some time with that girl and ask her to help me get over my sock knitting phobias.
O.K. I'm off.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dead Tired...with a cold

So I'm home. Got home last night. I was gone for 12 days and I am feeling it.

SOAR was good and tiring. I fell like I never stopped moving the whole week. I was up at 6AM every morning and was never to bed earlier than midnight - even after Maggie got there.

My workshop (3 day) class was with Sara Lamb. We were learning silk knotted pile. I do not consider myself a weaver. Most of the weaving I have done up until a week ago was on a loom with pedals and shafts and stuff. I have enjoyed rigid heddle weaving a little more but it still doesn't move my heart. Plus I always end up thinking about spinnign while I am weaving. So, with all of that I didn't have much hope to fall in love but wanted to learn the technique. Boy was I wrong.

The looms that most of the class used were the new Cricket Loom from Schacht. It worked beautifully for this method and most students opted to take the loom home with them because of the ease of use. I, on the other hand, always have to take the hard road and asked if I could work ont he copper pipe loom instead. I was curious about the warping and was interested in the looms construction. I wasn't sorry i went that route. Now I can use the rigid heddle loom as well as an even simpler loom for this weaving.

The photo above shows my warped loom and Sarah getting ready to show Janel and I how to make the heddles. (Janel went with the copper loom too).
In the evenings there was time to talk to other participants and also mentors. Nilda Callanaupa Alvarez was there teaching Andean Spinning techniques. She is a lovely and wonderful person. The picture above is not her. It is her friend Aquilina. I was fascinated by her. This is one of the times I was so sad that I only speak English. This woman has the most beautiful smile and she is also one of the most skilled people I have ever seen in motion. The way she handle the spindle was mesmerising and then I got to watch her weave. On a back strap loom. Pick up patterns. Using only her fingers and a couple of sticks and a bone from an Alpaca. Amazing.
Sunday Abby set me up to learn this weaving on a warp only one inch wide. I think I made an inch of progress in 3 hours. It's hard to do but I still want to do it. (Abby will be teaching a back strap class at my shop in July)
So in between my fascination with all things Andean and Sarah Lamb turning me into a weaver, there were whistling lessons with Marcy.
Then back to serious with a lecture from Abby.
This was one of her slides. Ain't she cute?
After her talk, Aquilina spun on a wheel for the first time.
And every night there was a party somewhere. Janel is posing with her yarn here. There was also a Pinball Challenge. Abby kicked all our pants. She's multitalented.
Denny had this backstrap loom. She brought it with her and Abby and Nilda set it up for weaving.
A surprise for many there - but not me - was that Abby knew the pattern and set to weaving on the loom.
After 3 days of Workshop classes we all had a show and tell on Wednesday evening. Each class brings their projects and sets them up so the other classes can see. There is a lot more instruction and questions answered by the participants. This is what Abby's class set up. (Does this feel like the Abby Franquemont fan club yet? I think I'm the prez.)
Here's my project.

One of my big worries was about spinning all of that silk and then cutting it into small bits. But look at the results. And it feel just lovely to touch. This will be a spindle bag. I have some more spinning and plenty of weaving to do to finish this project.

I am also set up to make a card woven strap for the bag...if I can remember how.
Nilda's class. They were all so happy and proud.

Sarah Anderson's Wrap and Roll Class. It was cool yarn and lots of good effects but some of it I wondered how to use it.
My friend Denny took little Maggie swimming every night - because of love.
Micheal Cook did a couple of great demonstrations of silk reeling. sorry this is so dark but the hotel lighting wasn't fab.
Maggie Casey taught us about how to spin big and lofty yarns. It was a wonderful class and even though I've been practicing this she gave us some tips that helped even more.
Maggie enjoyed the gallery very much. She had a scarf and two skeins in it but also loved all of the shawls a lot.
Here is Aquilina at her loom signing books like a celebrity.
Nuff Said.

Here's Maggie in her favorite class. Painting a silk skein that she may even knit! Although the way she's been working on the Cricket Loom today she may want to weave it.
Maggie also made a new friend. Her name is Quilla and she is Abby's niece. Maggie taught her to spin on a spindle and also a wheel they found in the Schacht booth.
This is the spindle that Maggie saved up for and you can see why. She does love it though and has been spinning on it almost everyday.
Abby teaching us about how to ply on our spindles REALLY FAST!
I did not win this auction. It went for $200. This is what the bidding sheets of the silent auction looked like. The silent auction benefits the SOAR scholarship fund. Last year I got a pair of lace baby booties hand spun and knit by Margaret Stove herself. This year I got a Gute Fleece and some silk dyed by Sarah Lamb. Maggie got a little tiny spinning wheel that is also a pencil sharpener. The auction raised over $4700 for next year's scholarship recipients. That doesn't include the cash donations made during registration! Maybe next year there will be enough money for more than 5 people. Let's hope.
There was a bag of silk coccoons and other silky stuff donated by Micheal Cook. Jeannine was guarding them with her guard dog teeth. She even resorted to barking and growling at me.
But this is how she looked when the auction ended. Pure Joy!
Sunday morning there was a lovely talk by Nilda and I was even more inspired to help the Andean weavers and knitters and spinners as well as teach as many as I can to spin and weave and knit so that our textile traditions can be saved.
This was not even close to all that happened this past week. It is just a glimpse because I can't even tell all that happened. I'm still processing it myself. Fantastic and Fabulous is all the more I can say.
Later this week I will try to get photos together of the highlights of my aquisitions. Spindles and fiber galor.

Monday, October 06, 2008

And So It Begins

So, I have not taken one picture. I have been a bit overwhelmed and...well, today I promise I will get my camera out of the bag.

Maggie and I left on Thursday and drove from our house in Michigan to my parents house in Linfield, PA. On Friday we took my Grammy out for ice cream and then two of my friends who I haven't seen in over 20 years came and stayed. This past weekend was our 25th hich school class reunion. I was there by coincidence since I was just traveling through so Maggie could stay at my mom's for a few days until it is time for her to come up to SOAR.

I did get to go to the reunion for one hour. I had to leave then to pick up Janel and her friend Theresa at the Philadelphia airport. (Janel has a lot of websites. She's a busy girl.)

We set out on Sunday morning for the Poconos, and after a brief accidental visit to New Jersey we arrived safe and sound.

There are so many people and it's just crazy and busy and overwhelming and fantastic and so far it's only been one night.

Today the workshop classes start. I'm in a class with Sarah Lamb and we will be doing cut pile weaving with silk that we spin. Scary and exciting all at the same time. I did get to eat dinner with Sarah last night. She's fab. Denny was there too and fuuuuuuuunnnnn! More about Denny later.

Anyhoo, I gotta go get ready for the day. Breakfast is at 7!

Monday, September 22, 2008

It's finished...

I've been having a hard time lately. Did you know that kids can kill you? Well, I'm fighting to stay alive and I fight by spinning and knitting. Calms my nerves. So there's a little closeup of the edging with the beautiful Sworavski crystals I found that look fantastic on it.
This is the shawl I began spinning at the beginning of the summer. Four different batt blends from Abby all in one shawl. The fibers are all different and the textres change from the neck of the shawl to the edging. But I love it.
These colors are more accurate, believe it or not. I love this shawl and shall be wearing it a lot. Now to decide whether to wear it at SOAR or put it in the gallery. Plus, can anybody help me name it? I want to add it to my Ravelry projects but it doesn't have name.

I also want to post here in case anyone has missed the notices or the website that the Shop will be closed on Saturday October 4th. Also, any webstore orders placed while I am at SOAR (between October 1st and 13th) will be shipped on the week of October 14th.

Also, keep your eyes open for the returning and improved Spindlicity on Ocotber 1st at