Saturday, October 29, 2011

We came, We Saw, We Wove

First, upon arriving at The Spinning Loft I was confronted by the Wall O' Fleece:
michigan 2011 018

Actually, that's one of two walls, and excess:
extra fleeces

But we overcame. Rather we overlooked, because this weekend, we were weaving:
michigan warps

That is a pile o' painted warps, ready to turn into piles o' fabric:



(Valerie has a great shot of weaving the fabric on her loom here).

Painted warps in cotton, useful fabrics, and fun to weave: as the warp advances new colors/new sections show up. Here is the front of Wayne's loom, as the fabric is being woven:

And here is what's coming up next:

I totally stole this photo from Valerie (without permission, thank you Valerie in advance!) of Wayne's finished fabric as it came off the loom:
wayne's fabric valerie

He also painted some warps for other fabrics:
(photo also stolen, this time from Wayne himself via Ravelry). (I'm a criminal, yes, but at least I confess quickly.)

Lots of other fun things happened, including holding babies!

This is Beth's grand-daughter Candice. You can see I got handed the baby the minute I walked in the door: jacket and scarf still on...

And speaking of Marin's new shoes:
Marin new shoes
snappy, eh?!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Well Traveled

I'm in Howell Michigan, at the Spinning Loft, a spinners dream shop: there are wheels, and spindles, of course, but there is a wall (actually two full walls) of fleeces. Almost any breed you can name, multiples of some breeds. Lots of options. All there. In one place. You can buy as much or as little of any breed you wish: in fact Beth, the owner, makes up sample packs, just perfect for trying out All The Longwools, for instance, or All the Down Wools.

Beth also has dyed fibers, from local and distant dyers, and despite being a dyer myself, I have been known, in the past, to succumb.
12 days of spinning fiber

I bought this fiber the last time I was here, in January. I spun it on spindles, in April while I was in Denver visiting the grandchild (have you heard? I'm someone's grandmother! I know! News!):

spindle yarn april

The yarn sat for a while, resting, waiting, but also enticing me as I passed it in my studio. I mentally tried out patterns for it: hand warmers, a scarf, or shawl, a woven fabric; lots of options.

I started knitting this only recently, knowing I would be traveling. I wanted a simple project, nothing taxing, no pattern if possible, because traveling? I could easily lose a pattern, so it had to be in my head (I occasionally lose my head, but, so far, I have always managed to find it again).

I liked The Age of Brass and Steam (Ravelry link), but it's a little too orderly for me. I liked this version especially, with a bit more color, well used: the pattern changes where the color changes, nicely done.

But I also liked this shawl, and I liked that the directions are more a recipe than a pattern. What I like most about this shawl though is the garter stitch border which can be incorporated into anything, including my scarf.

So I started knitting:
howell 2011 043

So far so good. The yarn changes color nicely, I get to change stitch patterns at will, and throw in a garter stitch section, or a yarn-over section. I have a few other colors to work in, and plenty of yarn to make a sizeable scarf or small shawl. Easy to knit on planes, in airports, or hotel rooms, a pick-up-and-put-down kind of project, it's been traveling with me, and has traveled a lot before me: The fiber is dyed by Abstract Fibers in Portland, to me via The Spinning Loft in Michigan. It traveled back with me to California, then to Denver still as fiber, and back to California as yarn. The yarn has already been to New Hampshire, and now is back again in Howell for the weekend. Back and forth, back and forth, somewhat like the rhythmic activity of spinning and knitting, and life actually, but I'll stop there before I go all philosophical and zen.

Instead I'll just go all grandma and leave you with this:
Marin October 2011
a happy little girl :).