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Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Hexi puff Kind of day

What is a hexipuff you ask?

A hexipuff is a tiny project that only takes a few minutes to make.  It's a component of a much larger project called the Beekeeper's Quilt by tiny owl knits.

I got the pattern as a gift, and I'm really excited about working it up.  It takes hundreds of tiny hexipuffs to make a good sized couch throw.  This is a good pattern for the in between times.  Since I have a bunch of running around and waiting to do today, this is the perfect project to take along.  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Wisconsin Spin In

So I promised you guys a long post about the spin in.  I managed to get out there all three days and I had an absolutely wonderful time. My only real criticism is the times posted on the website did not always match times posted in the program book.

I got out there on Friday afternoon about 2:30, only to discover that the show floor didn't open until 4:00 PM.  So I ran to target, and got some lunch at McDonald's, and got back just after four. I didn't stay very long on Friday, because I hadn't  signed up for any Friday classes.  I did get a chance to preview most of the vendors on Friday.  The local Spindle and Dyepot  guild had a table, as did the Green Bay knitting guild,  the local knitting guild was teaching classes on the balcony all afternoon,  and in fact they were there all weekend, the local branch of the alpaca association were there, and many many vendors and farms.

On Friday I made contact with the Spindle and Dyepot folks, and met Peter from Spry Whimsy  who introduced me to Spinolutions spinning wheels.  Their wheels work on a pendulum type system, and the action as a little different from what I'm used to but I'm in love.  They're an American made wheel, made from beech plywood, and there are four models.  I'm in love with a Hopper, which is their smallest travel wheel.

The other person I met on Friday was Durp. He was just five days old.

Saturday my friend Teresa came with me, and we arrived around Noon.  I signed up for and took Andrea Mielke's  Alpaca Fiber: Hands On Class.  While the class wasn't exactly what I thought it was going to be, I learned so much that day.  I had hoped there would be more information on grading an alpaca fleece, not really grading but how to choose one depending on which were planning to use it for, and it was more of a fiber prep and use class.  After spinning for 20 years though, I finally figured out the difference between woolen and worsted yarn, and how to make them! Not only did we prep fiber, and I got to use combs for the first time, but we did some spinning, and both a wet felt project, and a needle felt project There was an awful lot packed into the 3 hour class.

That evening Teresa and I were both signed up for the fiber and yarn sampling event.  They served us supper, which was a cold box lunch, and then we got to play with some of the Fairy Yarnmother's hand dyed fibers and yarns.  Susan Forbes is the Fairy Yarnmother, and that lady has so much talent!  The flowers she made for us to work with were lovely.  We got to play with some silk, and with various wools and wool blends, including some wool blended with bamboo which was just amazing to spin.  I'm going to end up with a lovely yarn from those.

 4/24/13: ETA-I was right Lovely yarn from this!

Sunday morning CK and Kelly came with me to the spin in.  Kelly was looking for a drop spindle of her own.  She ended up purchasing one from Spry Whimsy whose spindles are locally made by a man  who makes tops so he understands spin and balance.  She also purchased a lovely wool roving in a green and olive color way. C Kay got some needles, and a blue and teal roving that reminded me of Lake Michigan.

 the one in the front is mine
 Hannah. our 4H-r
 My Sunday morning class was with Susan Forbes!  I took her sock blank painting class.  I had so much fun!  I can't wait to see how these knit up.  We talked about color theory, chose a selection of colors, and went to work.  Even with just seven colors to work with, the variety of patterns and designs we came up with were amazing. We had a mother and daughter pair in the class.  Hannah was in her teens and belongs to her local 4H group.  She and her family had eight llamas!


After we each finished our sock blank Susan  came through and touched them up with a little bit of black dye and turned them from lovely to amazing works of art .
Susan touching up a sock blank

 I think this one may be my favorite. Kristy made it.

 Packing up dye to take home
My blank as balls
my Blank as a skein

All in all it was an amazing weekend.  I have only two regrets:
  1. that I didn't have about $5000 to spend 
  2. that I ever thought it was a good idea to take my ceramic mug onto a concrete show floor.  I dropped it Saturday night and it shattered. 

    That was the only down spot in the entire weekend.  If your local or even semi local you absolutely need a plan to come next year!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Upcoming classes!

I'm so excited about the classes I have coming up, that I'm taking not teaching for once! I'm going to the Wisconsin Spin In in two weeks, and I'll be participating in the fiber sampling, and taking a dyeing class. 
I'm also taking a series of classes on canning my own jams, jellies, and pickles! Lots of pictures coming up

In the meantime the next few days are going to be  computer free. 

See you Monday!