Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Handspun Freeform Yarns

My sister says that dragonflies are in. This one of two skeins based on this colorway. This one has the dragonflies. Lots of texture, beads and other novelties.

This skein is the same as the one above, shown from the opposite side, so you can see the color variation.

I am heading to Sacramento next Tuesday, so I have to do lots of spinning. I sold enough yarn at the wool festival to be happy and inspired to create more!

Tucson Wool Festival 2011

I thought I would share this link from a visitor who came to the wool festival. You can get another take on the day! She captured a lot of my remarks and some lovely animal photos.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tucson Wool Festival Wrap Up

The Wool Festival was a blast this year. Besides there being a lot more people, I was really happy to see that more children came this year. Thanksgiving (the alpaca) was on her best behavior. She is pushy and a spitter. I was amazed to see her cush and let kids pet and rest on her. One of the visitors used my camera to catch scenes from the festival. There were several good shots with visitors. If anyone sees himself in a photo and wants it removed, please let me know. I did want to share. This is Mr. Right with an unshorn doe. I have added Great Pyrenees to the herd to protect against coyote attacks. His sister, Miss Left, is pictured later. They are three month old puppies and won't be real work dogs for at least a year. They have settled in with the kid goats. The doe is in a post below minus hair.

The young Merino ram is still friendly this year. I hope he will be next year, when he is older and the real testosterone has kicked in!

I end every tour talking about angora rabbits. They are the least expensive fiber animal to buy, but their fiber is the most valuable per ounce.

Carole Beakey was one of the new vendors this year. She makes lovely ceramic yarn bowls. She came to me for lessons and found that her true passion is pottery.

Jaculine Harrier Coss is an interior designer and includes pillows among her products. These are all embellished with wool and kid mohair. Each one is superbly planned and unique. Stunning!

These are the older does. I took the photo this morning after the last batch of goats were sheared. 18 of them went to the Arizona State Fair. The doe on the left front won Grand Champion. Her mother, Sweet, is to her right. Sweet is also the mother of the kid who won Reserve Champion. He was beat out by a yearling buck. My buck that won Grand Champion at Del Mar died shortly after his return from a rattlesnake bite, so I did not have a yearling buck to show.

My colored goats were somewhat felted due to monsoon rains. We have a plan to prevent that next year - so they will be champions also. They did very well, but have never done as well as my whites.

The doe above is pitiful looking with out her fleece, but a lot happier.

This is Miss Left. She was worn out this morning after playing in the water. I have had to use smaller buckets for the drinking water since the Great Pyrenees play in the larger water containers. None of the animals want to drink from that!

My State Fair ribbons. Not as impressive as the Del Mar ones, but still worth keeping!

The winner of the Southwestern bag is Sally Vega. She has been called. If I do not hear from her by Saturday, I will draw another name. The proceeds of the raffle - $88 will be donated to the Casa Maria Kitchen of Tucson.

The email drawing winners have been notified and they have made arrangements to pick their prizes up.

The vendors, volunteers and demonstrators were complimented repeatedly on their friendliness and willing to share. I want to thank them again - a wool festival requires a lot of people to be successful. I can't do it all by myself. I also want to thank all of my volunteers - there were enough of them this year that I am afraid to list them and omit someone by mistake. They know who they are! Thanks!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New designs

Kind of cool to win for something that I love to do. Comes with a free booth next year - so you can plan on me being in booth 25 next year.

I spun two freeform yarns. My supply has been seriously reduced by recent shows. These are my favorite yarns, because they make me think. You can't just throw the items in and have them work as a whole.

I have finished the pattern for my dress. It includes a few closeup pictures inside, since words do not adequately convey the assembly. Publishing the pattern means that I have to spin yarn for it although commercial yarns that have elasticity can be used. I am doing a shade of red right now. The side panels will be spun in a shade of natural chocolate Rambouillet. The original dress - which I am keeping - since it fits weighs 8 ounces. The variation in texture makes it. It is one size fits all since the changes in direction of the knitting allow the dress to stretch in all directions.

This is my 500th post. A major milestone?

Look for an article in the Tucson Business Magazine on November 4, 2011. I am being featured as a businesswoman. The photographer is coming to the Wool Festival. Hope to see a lot of you here.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Best of Show at Patagonia Fall Arts Festival

This is my booth down at Patagonia. My wheel is not shown, but it is in the right front corner. I am very excited. I will post a photo of my ribbon and plaque tomorrow - I won best of show. I was told that I won because of my gorgeous art and craftsmanship, my customer service, and willingness to demonstrate my craft and educate. I like to show off at all of my shows, as I mentioned in my last blog. I have started using my wheel rather than the drop spindle, because I have lots of upcoming shows (those animals eat a lot and more as it gets colder!) and I have to have a good mix of yarn to sell. The wheel is definitely a lot more attention gathering than the drop spindle.

I still dream about moving to Patagonia. It is a lovely town and the festival has one of the nicest locations that I have been too. I get to choose my booth spot for next year - I am keeping the same one. I get to look out at the mountains as I spin or chat with customers and dream. If you are looking for a fun outing - come down and visit tomorrow. I will find you a chair!

I finished this dress on Thursday - I say this loosely, because I have already decided to crochet a maple leaf to go in the split of the skirt. It looked a lot shorter when I wore it today (this photo was taken yesterday with a different outfit), since I had so many layers on. The panels are all knit in different directions which means the dress/vest will stretch in multiple directions and is truly a one size fits all.

I came up with the idea in Chicago and am happy to have finished it in a timely manner. I hope to finish a sweater jacket next - but, I could get distracted with a new idea!

Forgot to mention that I was featured as the cover story in last Sunday's paper. The goats were featured on the front page of the Home Section and they did a lovely spread on me in the middle. I have the link - not sure that it will work after tomorrow, but if you missed it, I can send