This past weekend involved a trip to not one but two sheep farms in the rain, a trip to Clover Hill, and a trip to the DC area to meet with Woolarina and Karida of Neighborhood Fibers. And no not all on the same day!
Saturday was a rainy misty sort of day but it didn’t stop me from heading out to a farm to purchase a fleece or two. I have fallen in love with the Leicester Longwools and wanted to purchase a fleece to clean and spin as my entry for the MDS&W skein contest. I am eligible to enter as a novice spinner and as a novice spinner spun Maryland wool. And it turns out the farm is not that far from me and is owned by one the Festival Chairman of MDS&W Gwen Handler! Her farm is Hill Farm and she has her own booth at the show. I got a sneak peek at what she is dying for the show and the colors are lovely. I came home with a black lamb fleece and a white adult fleece. I have washed up a good portion of the lamb fleece and it is lovely. I have also washed up some of the white fleece but the rest will be going out for processing.
The day was finished up with a quick trip over to Clover Hill to pick up some bobbins from Jolene and pet the new rovings in the store. She now carries lovely batts from Grafton Fibers. And there will be more new stuff in the booth at MDS&W.
I ended the day up at my Friend Leslie’s farm. I wanted her to look at the new fleeces and to let me know if there was anything special I needed to do before washing them. And of course, it is always a great treat to go up to the farm because of the lambs. The lambs are growing fast and still very adventurous
Sunday, I met with Woolarina to go over the bits and pieces from the most recent Yarn Party and write down what we wanted to change for the next Yarn Party. Yes there will be a third Yarn Party but we have not decided on anything more at this point. It will be nice to take a few months off before starting to plan again.
I took Metro downtown DC to meet up with Karida. I am spinning some lovely pink merino/silk up for her into what is going to be a lovely 3 ply yarn. This yarn is actually going to be the yoke of a sweater for her. She is paying me in roving which is a good deal. We met at the wonderful chocolate shop where she works on weekends. It is called ACKC and I was treated to a lovely blackberry and mango smoothie by Karida. Lovely shop worth the walk from the Metro station too. And yes, I did come home with some chocolate which I am limiting myself to one piece per day.
I have been a busy little bee and sitting at my wheel creating new yarns. And there is currently another sock yarn on the bobbin and a silk blend waiting to be spun up next. And I have been steadily working on a WIP that has sitting for a few months too.
Spring is here which means I will be getting back out and shooting some of my favorite subjects – flowers!!!!
The weather today is much needed rain. But it makes everything look dreary. But my daffodils are almost ready to open. For some reason mine are always the last to open in the neighborhood but that is okay with me.
The daffidols are almost ready to pop
Last Tuesday night, I was smart and did not attempt to spin right after having my finger glues back together. But I did go back to playing with the drum carder. I waited until Wednesday to try spinning. It was slow spinning with a finger held together with glue. And yes, a bandage was placed over the injured part to keep it from attracting the fibery goodies that follow spinners.
I finally plyed the yarn last night. This is a roving that I had to have when I saw the name. I mean Fire Breathing Dragon??? My dragon obsession is almost up there with my sea turtle obsession. Yarn Chef now has a separate shop over on Etsy for her rovings.
I Tweeted right after I finished plying it last night wondering who among my yarnie friends would want it. And the very talented art yarn spinner of ColorBomb Creations aka the lovely Velma tweeted back really fast. She was wanting to see photos of the new yarn so she could drool over them. So V, here is the one decent shot I managed to take this morning after the dragon came out of the bath. I promise to take a better shot after it is dry.
New yarn spun after the finger incident
And since I couldn’t sleep after that, I decided to spin another yarn. I had made myself an art batt on the new drum carder recently and spun it up last night. It is a little of this, a bit of that, a bit of oh that looks pretty, and look shiny!!! The perfect way to make an art batt. It kind of wanted to be spun up as a lumpy bumpy yarn. I wound it off last night too and am leaving it as a single. Not quite what I expected but I like it.
Art yarn spun from a batt I made.
It also needs a better head shot after it is dry. Hopefully this evening. It is supposed to rain later tonight so I will try to get some shots before it rains. And I should say that both of these yarns are heading out west to the wilds of northern California. And there might be a few other things headed in the box to keep them company too. V is always sending me stuff so turn about is fair game!!
One of my batts in progress
My new spinning toy is a drum carder. I was hoping to pick one up at the auction at Maryland Sheep and Wool this year but managed to find one through pure accident. And the price was right so I took a chance. And the wonderful Gryphon
actually picked it up for me and brought to the Yarn Party for me.
I have been playing with it since Tuesday night. And for the non spinners out there, drum carders carry warnings that say to keep your fingers away from certain parts. They are there for a reason. Of course, I didn’t manage to injury myself on the parts that carry the warning. I managed to skewer my finger on the batt picker instead. I did go to the closest urgent care even though the bleeding did slow down with pressure. My tetanus shot was about 5 years old and it is better safe than sorry. But trying to explain how I skewered my finger was another story.
Batt made from natural dyed Maine Island
But one shot and some super glue to the finger later, I came home to have a nice of wine and play with the drum carder some more. No one ever warned me that the drum carder is addictive. I have been making batts for a week now. And some have even been shared and spun up.
And now that I have learned a few tricks from Kate of Dragonfly Fiber and the wonderful geekkitty, there will be lots of batt making in the planning. And the spinning wheel addiction is in full force. So many spinners are happy with just one or maybe two wheels. I am already looking for wheels two and three with an eye to maybe adding a fourth or even filth wheel. Maybe it is because I am around other spinners who seem to think that everyone should have at least two or three wheels? I mean there are good crowds and bad crowds among even spinners. But I like my spin group and their “bad” influences!!
More natural dyed wool in a batt
There has been some knitting and some frogging. But not much since it is kind of hard to knit when your index finger hurts. But I have drug out a WIP that has been on the needles awhile to work on so hopefully photos of it soon.
A recarded Loop batt to blend a bit more
I think I have finally recovered from this year’s Yarn Party. Of course, there has been no knitting going on lately because of Yarn Party. If I saw you at Yarn Party and even spoke to you, don’t be surprised if I don’t necessarily remember it. It was crowded and my mind was gong in quite a few directions all at once.
Even though we tried to give our vendors half an hour to shop before we opened the doors, we should probably allow them an hour next time. At least the organizers need an hour to shop!!
Carissa of Treadle to the Metal
I did manage to shop some. I can honestly say that I did not buy any yarn!!! I do not need any more yarn. Fiber on the other hand….. That stash is growing. But while the fiber stash takes up a large amount of space because of volume, the fiber does turn into beautiful lovely hand spun yarns.
Yarn from Cosy Makes
Because my computer and I are still not getting along that well, I still have tons of photos to edit from the Yarn Party. And I need to still to take photos of my new additions to the fiber stash and my new toy. I have a new fiber toy but I am not ready to tell you what it is. And those of you who know what it is, please keep quiet.
I did have stuff for sale at the Yarn Party photography wise and yarn wise. I had several hand spuns for sale with my friend Leslie and actually sold two skeins of red Wenselydale. I traded a skein of hand spun with Karida of Neighborhood Fiber for some silk lace weight. And I am going ot meet her next week to trade another skein of my hand spun for some of her rovings or yarn. A few of our lovely volunteers, including Corrine aka Gingy on Rav, Lauren, and Jess, managed to walk away with some of my hand spuns as thank yous for helping out. Wait!! Jess was an organizer and Lauren is technically my spinning teacher. But I guess that says something about her teaching skills that she wants some of my hand spuns.
Homespun Yarn Party 2009
I donated most of my hand spuns to the wonderful Gryphon of the Sanguine Gryphon to sell in her shop for her Heifer International project. So look for them there after she gets a chance to photograph them.
The 2nd annual Homespun Yarn Party is this Sunday, March 15, 2009. We have been able to extend the hours to noon to 5 pm. If you are any where in the mid-Atlantic region please come out and support us. Tons of indie dyers, a soap person, a bag person, many more and more important – me!!! I am selling some of my handspuns and my note cards with my friend Leslie‘s stuff. Well actually she will be selling my stuff. I will have note cards, prints, and patterns for sale with Leslie’s stuff. P and I have been working on a few patterns and we will be premiering the latest two at the Yarn Party.
The patterns will be found either at the table for CedarWool or with Dragonfly Fiber.. We are recommending either Kate’s lovely yarns or Gryphon‘s lovely yarns for our designs. We both prefer indie dyed yarns.
And I will be selling a variety of note card styles, key chains, buttons, and prints for which the proceeds help keep Yarn Party free. The Yarn Party is free but we have expenses to cover such as renting the room, advertising, and such that have to be covered. So I will be selling these items plus maybe a few other items from some of the other organizers to help us cover our costs.
And I will have what will be the first in a limited run of art prints for sale there matted and framed. My buddy also known as dreadlocks sheep has been printed on metallic fine art photo paper and will be matted and framed tonight. This is a chance to get #1 in a series limited to 10 of this print. (If there is a demand, I will let the run go to 15 but no more than that.) This is my big ticket item for Yarn party and I would love to be able to sell it there. So come and check everything out.
aka Dredlock Sheep
One of my friend’s sheep has this little bitty problem. She always finds the grass on the other side of the fence is better than what is in front of her. I saw this ewe in action Saturday afternoon. The feeder right in front of her was full and everyone else was happy with eating from the feeder. But not this one! She was sticking her head through the openings in the fence to eat the hay on the ground near the bale.
And sticking her head through the fence for that greener grass results in a very drastic syndrome called fence neck!!! You can see just how ill she is from her photo. You really need to click on the photo to view it large to see just how ill she is.
The dreaded fence neck syndrome strikes again.....
Honestly, she just looks bad. The syndrome doesn’t hurt her other than a cold neck during the winter. She is just a silly goose. And the fencing will be redone hopefully this summer so she can’t stick her head through it. Although I am sure she will try to find a way.
Lambing season has already finished here in Maryland for the most part. And they sure are cute. Leslie’s farm has both white and black lambs depending on the breed. But the black ones are so hard to shot. But the white ones like the camera and posed. So enjoy the cuteness.
A young lamb who knows nothing but cuteness
Between my computer needing to be cleaned up and the fact that the Homespun Yarn Party is coming up really fast, posting may be erratic for the next week or so. So to entertain everyone, I will be posting some photos of a visit I made to a friend’s farm on Saturday. I went up to pick up what I thought would be just a few fleeces but I ended up with more than a few. The back of my truck is loaded with raw fleeces at the moment. But luckily, I have plenty of friends who are willing to help me out by sharing. I still need to meet up with Lauren who is going to help me sort out the fleeces and figure out which ones we will be cleaning and which ones will be sent out to be cleaned. She doesn’t have a clue as to how many I really have.
The hay bale is a cozy spot to hide and stay warm out of the wind.