Yes, I was playing with fire recently. The local children’s museum is a hand on rural plantation house. At one point in its history it was owned by one of the early governors of the state of Maryland – Thomas Johnson.
Antique flax hackles
I love Rose Hill because it is hands on and still has many of the workings of the old plantation. I love the gardens and like to wander thorough them in the fall. And my local fiber guild meets there during the winter. I am some how finding myself being “volunteered” to help out there more and more. Of course knowing people who are on the board may have something to do with it.
This past weekend was the spring family days festival and that was why I ended up there Sunday morning to spend some time spinning with my friend Leslie. Leslie is the spinning teacher at the museum and was there to demonstrate spinning. So I brought my wheel to spin with her for awhile. And what is funny is that I was the one the kids wanted to watch spinning and wanting to learn from. So I ended up teaching a ten year old boy how to spin. And he was able to spin a nice thin yarn too. His little sister needed a bit more help though.
Waiting for the chimney to get hot
But more interesting to me was that there was a gentleman there who preps flax for spinning. He was also planting over half an acre of flax on the far field of the plantation to use for the museum. And funny how I was looking to buy some prepped flax to try my hand at spinning flax and he was looking for spinners to spin flax. So I will be hearing from him come fall when he was fresh flax ready to spin. The spun flax will than be woven into cloth.
But I had the most fun over in the blacksmith’s shop. Yep playing with fire again is fun. Normally viewers to the blacksmith shop are kept behind a rail for safety purposes. But I was behind the rail with the camera. And of course, it turns out I kind of know the volunteer blacksmith since we know many of the same people. And I learned quite a bit about black smithing of course.
Unfortunately I couldn’t spend all day at the museum since I wanted to go to spin in plus I had to deliver a wheel. At spin in I was finally able to overcome the mental block on spinning locks and figured out which skein of already spun yarn was worthy of entering into competition at MDS&W. I have to spin like crazy tonight to finish the bobbin that I started Sunday of Leicester Longwool. Photos of that will be coming soon.
This past weekend was busy. I stopped by the children’s museum first thing Saturday to pick up some fleeces for Kate of Dragonfly Fiber from my friend Leslie. Yes, I am the local neighborhood fleece delivery person! I headed out to Baltimore next to work a shift for Andrea of Spinster Fibers during the side walk sale. The weather this past weekend was HOT and I lucked out by picking the first shift. I stayed in the shade and the weather wasn’t quite as hot as it got later in the afternoon.
After my shift was over, I stopped at the Red Canoe. I bought a lovely spinach cheddar muffin to munch on and a new book written by a Baltimore author. Since I normally go to Spinster for the Saturday night stitch and bitch, I have never been into the Red Canoe since they are closed by the time I get there. I will have to go down to Spinster earlier now since I love the cute little books store.
I headed up to the York, Pennsylvania area afterwards to pick up a wheel for Lauren. She just bought a used Lendrum to play with but she is not planning on keeping it too long. I will end up buying it from her later on. I like the York area and the countryside was lovely. I found a nice little farm stand and picked up some fresh asparagus and spinach which I shared with Lauren on Sunday.
Heading home, I drove through West York and found a cute little shop that I will definitely be heading back to check out. It was a used/consignment store and had all sorts of interesting things in the huge front windows. But they had already closed for the day. When I hit Hanover, I decided that I needed a caffeine fix and headed over to the mall area. But as I passed the Utz place, I realized that the factory store was still open. And a certain friend will be town next weekend and has a slight addiction to Utz crab chips. And apparently the crab chips are only available in this area. And being the good friend, I had to stop and pick her up plenty of her favorite chip.And would you believe that this was the only time all day that I remembered that I had my camera with me?
The Utz factory store in Hanover PA
Spring here in Maryland has been wet. We have been having thunderstorms the past few days. The sunset Tuesday night was specular as viewed through my living room window looking west. I had to grab the camera and shoot through my window. Yes, I shot photos through the glass. My windows are the original windows in a house built in 1925. The storm windows are newish but you can still seethe waves in the glass in some windows. I like shooting through the glass sometimes for the special effects added.
(Click it large for the best viewing)
And my day 21 yarn is another yarn that was spun from a FatCatKnit roving. I love her stuff. I have spun her stuff in colors that I normally wdon’t like and love the end results. This is yarn 12 for the month. I have three more to go to hit my personal goal of 15 new yarns this month. I am thinking I will hit it.
Stolen Kisses from FatCatKnits
My youngest nephew's thoughts on hearing more fiber!
A little bit over a month ago, my friend Leslie gifted me with several fleeces. Yes, spinners gifted! They were from her shearing two years ago and she just had not had time to process them. When she said she had fleeces to give me, I figured maybe two or three at the most not the 10 I ended up with. P
and I decided to send some off to be processed into roving. Since I was the one in possession of the fleeces, I got to pick out where they went. We have decided to try a variety of small processors to see who we like and I settled on Spinderellas
in Salt Lake City.
In a little over a month, this is what I got back this week. Three bags full of roving. Well technically top since we had the fibers carded which creates top. Now the brown is all claimed by P. She will be doing quite a bit of spinning I am thinking. Um, P this bag means no buying fibre for you at MDS&W. The white is being purchased off me by the members of my spinning group. I can’t wait to see how Kate and Paula dye this up.
The three bags of roving back fromt he mill
All I seem to do lately is spin. But I have made progress in the fibre stash in the the living room. Yes, I could just clean up the living room instead but it is more fun to spin it up. So far, I have spun almost 3,000 yards of yarn in 11 skeins. All but one skein are two ply yarns. And other than that one art skien, it is all almost a true fingering weight. And I still have fibre to spin up before the end of the month.
Falkland roving from Cosy Knits
One thing about several rainy misty days is that they spiders come out and weave their intricate webs. Spiders are the original weavers and lace makers in the world. We can only dream of ever reaching their level of complexity in design. Every time I see a spider web, I want to try bobbin lace making again.
Yardage for April spun and photographed to date is 1,684 yards and 7 skeins so. There are 3 that need to be photographed and yardage counted.
And as usual look click on the photos to view them large.
I have fallen behind in posting my yarn a day challenge photos. So this week will be all about catching up. I have finished almost 10 yarns already this month. My goal is to get at least 20 done but I will be happy with 15. And yes, I will keep to knit with when this challenge is done.
Some of the yarns are still on the bobbin and need to be plyed. But I am finding it easier to ply on weekends when I can spend more time in front of the wheel.
First up is a special; order for Karida of Neighborhood Fiber. She wants to knit herself a sweater using some of her own roving which I am spinning up for her. She gave me the fiber and I got to pick how it will be spun up. This is bobbin one of three. The finsihed yarn will be a nice three ply for her.
Bobbin 1 of 3 for Karida
I have limited myself to spinning only what is in the living room currently. So this way I am cleaning up the living room. But there seems to be a lot of blues and pinks int he living room.
merino/tencel from Yarn Chef
I was lucky enough to spend some time yesterday at my friend Leslie’s farm watching the sheep shearing. And here are a few photos. I have seen sheep sheared before at MDS&W but those are show sheep who have been washed and prepped for the show ring. Real sheep are dirty girls and like to roll in the mud if they feel like or just because it is there. What is amazing though is how only the outer layers of their fleeces are really dirty. The closer to the skin you go, the cleaner it becomes.
And for a knitter or spinner, these shots are really p0rn since it is fibre on the hoof for us.
Boney hips hide under a nice thick fleece
These photos are for Carrie of My Several Worlds. Carrie is a wonderful talented travel writer, photographer, and all round artist who currently lives in my birth place of Taiwan. She is from the far white north but has traveled all around Asia. Her blog is a must read so far as I am concerned. Even if you have no interest in visiting the Far East, you can admire the wonderful photos she takes over on Flickr. Carrie wanted to see some tulips and my yellow ones opened up on Sunday afternoon. So Carrie, these are for you.
My yarn a day challenge for the weekend was lace weight singles. I had no intention of spinning lace just yet but when I started spinning this lovely sliver it spun up as frog hair to quote the wonderful geekkitty. I just need to ply it to make it a two ply just in case there are any thin spots. Better safe than sorry. I am hoping for at least 350 yards when I am done. I want to knit up the new pattern from Felicia Lo aka Sweet Georgia in the new lace weight.
Lace singles about halfway through
The photo here was taken when I still had about an ounce to spin. It is done and resting. If the sun ever bothers to come out again, I promise a better photo. I couldn’t even get a decent shot of the new yarn in progress.