Sunday, October 31, 2010

SOAR 2010 Last Day

Crisp this morning, frost on the grass. As the sun shone, the frost receded:

Delavan last day

Good byes were said, there was some bowing at the feet of the dye master:

sarahw and deb

shuttles drove off with loads of people, and then we were left to eat our lunches and stroll the grounds.

Until next time......

Friday, October 29, 2010

SOAR Day Five

mist on the water
We woke up this morning to very cold, which gave us mist on the lake: beautiful!

Today was spinning silk:
silk spinning 1

silk spinning 2

silk spinning 3

These guys are better than me already. I'm so totally out of a job......

Thursday, October 28, 2010

SOAR Day Four

The market opened today:

SOAR Market

Margaret Stove's brand new (and excellent!) lace book, purchased from Lambspun. Several of the other vendors had them: 100 fresh-off-the-boat copies arrived at SOAR for Margaret's book signing tomorrow evening!

My new spindle is from Spindlewood, and is spinning up some silk as we speak!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

SOAR Day Three

Delavan October 27th

Clear , cold and windy, but beautiful weather today, the last day of the workshops. Lots of nice work done in our silk ribbons class:
Barbara's band

judy's band

angela's band

John and I had a personal battle of the kindle-covers, and damn! I think he won. Mine is just cotton fabric:
kindle cover

But John's is tablet woven bands:
John's Kindle cover

Nothing like a good challenge: next year John, mine will be knotted pile. Yours??


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

SOAR 2010 Day Two

Delavan tree

We had weather today: thunder and lightening, rain, wind, snow (!) and sun.

Delavan tree again

Windy now, and getting colder by the minute, a chance for all those hand-knits to be put to good use.

Delavan tree dark

Warm inside, in more ways than two! :).

Monday, October 25, 2010

SOAR 2010 Day One

SOAR silk 2010
silk packets: passed out.

Marin hat Judy Craig
Wonderful gift received for grand-daughter Marin: a handpsun silk and cashmere hat from Judy!

end of Day 1
End of the day, whew!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

SOAR Begins


First night: Lake Lawn Resort, Delavan Wisconsin.
Introductions, dinner, spin-in, bed.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Wild Blue Yonder

Off again, this time to SOAR in Wisconsin. Leaving was the usual last minute crazy, with packing supplies:

Weaving off the last of the sample projects:


And sewing up a pumpkin costume for a certain baby:

marin pumpkin

We are in Wisconsin now, seeing the sights Of Madison. Last night was a sunset boat ride across Lake Mendota, dinner at a lakeside restaurant, then a boatride back, with a stop for ice cream at UW.

Today: farmer's market, last minute shopping for SOAR goodies, and packing the car to head off tomorrow for the start of the week.

Obligatory cute baby picture:
marin facebook

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lucky, Lucky, Lucky

A few years ago I bought some cashmere-silk-wool blend fiber to spin from Morgaine at Carolina Homespun. Morgaine carries lots of fibers, tools and yarns from small fiber producers, dyers and tool makers: she really walks the walk in supporting the people who support the makers (me!) with their products. My fiber was dyed by Jennifer at Spirit Trail Fiberworks. Jen lives in Virginia, and vends her fiber at East Coast fiber festivals and online. In my normal range of travel, I would not get to any place to see and feel her fibers before I buy, but thanks to Morgaine, I can, did and bought:

purple cashmere yarn

I spun this for, I thought, a knitted shawl. I spin tight, relative to most knitters, because I am primarily a spinner for weaving. I can relax the twist, but the yarn does not look right to me, so I generally spin and ply a little tighter than most for knitting, which is lucky in this case....

I went to lecture at my local guild a few months after the buying-spinning of the cashmere silk above. The presenter was felter Carin Engen, who used to be local to this area but now lives in way more Northern California on the Coast. Carin had lovely hand-dyed fiber to sell, and I succumbed to some merino silk in colors of a rose garden, the middle skein here:

shawl yarns sept 2009

When I was spinning the roses, I noticed how nice they looked with the cashmere silk already spun, which generated the idea for a woven shawl, instead of a knitted one. The third skein in that photo above is some tussah-merino, spun in its natural color and later dyed to add a balancing color to the woven fabric. By the time these were all spun and plied/dyed, whatever, I had spun a bit of pygora-silk blend in a fabulous copper color from Terry at Rainbow Yarns, so I added that to the mix:

yarn for cashmere fabric

You can also see the tussah-merino in its dyed state: the deep wine red.

I set up the warp for this shawl, and at the last minute, I added some yarns spun from batts that Abby sent me, two colors, one a pale gold and another a medium dusty rose. Both of these, while two ply yarns, I had spun anticipating knitting, not weaving. Once again, my tendency to tight twist allowed me to switch, but not without some trepidation.

So now I have several skeins spun at different times, containing different fiber blends, although most have silk in them as a unifying fiber, and most of the other fibers were soft and resilient. They were likely to behave similarly, if not identically, in the finished fabric. Therein lies the rub. Sample? Hah! Hold breath, warp, weave:
cashmere-wool before washing

Here is the finished fabric, off the loom, fringe twisted, but not yet washed. Washing may, in fact will, encourage any incompatibilities to show up. The fabric could be wonderful, curious, interesting or a failure. Think uncontrolled seersucker...toss in washer, agitate, full to desired depth, fluff and dry.

My friend Eva modeled it for me:

Eva with shawl

Eva with shawl2

Phew! I was lucky! It worked, worked beautifully, not so much due to skill but grace.

Eva and I, along with 30 of our very best knitting friends, were also lucky enough to be at Lake Tahoe for a knitting retreat last week, where these photos were taken. My LYS, Meadowfarm Yarn Studio, hosts this retreat every Fall in a beautiful private Lodge right on the Lake. This was my first time attending, and I hope not the last:
knitting retreat

dorm wing

And the third Lucky from the post title above? I've been to visit this munchkin again:
marin september 28

For those of you who are weavers or are interested in weaving properly, not by luck or grace like me, you should be reading my friend Sharon Alderman's new blog:. Sharon has years and years of experience with lots of yarns, fibers and weave structures, awards and publications, a fabulous book on weave structures, and is gracious to boot. She walks the walk in the weaving world, and I am pleased and proud ( and lucky!) to call her my friend.