Saturday, November 16, 2013

Inspiration and Weavings

 I started tying the warp for this scarf in March. I got fed up with it since it got really tangled and then I had visitors come, so I had to move it to my bedroom. This fall I saw some weavings that really got me going, so I decided to finish this scarf. I ruthlessly cut off the rest of the warp and tied it on. I used the portions I cut off in the weft along with three of my signature yarns - thick and thin, a single and a coiled yarn. I used the yarns randomly, so one side has a lot more of the felted poofs. I love how it turned out.
 On my way to Stitches East, I stopped off at Pam Blasko's for the night. One of her weavings was wildly random. I saw how I could do what she did in wire with beads. I am still hunting for the wire. Above is the yarn that I spun the day I got home.
 A view of one end of the shawl on the loom.
 On a mannequin (ends are not finished, but will be tomorrow.)
 I went to the Maryland Alpaca Fiber and fleece show today. Bought some art yarns for color inspiration, but had to go visit my own babies, so they would not feel neglected. This guy's name is Maryland (slight confusion for six months over his sex) and he is 18 months old. Just the right age to become an "it." I will keep him as a fiber animal. I love his fleece. He is hanging with the Shetland and Merino rams right now and is still being a good boy.
 Marc put his ducks on the grass this afternoon. The chickens are curious.
Interns are wonderful beings. I have two now and their focuses are totally different. One like all the fibery stuff. Since it is too cold to do much in the bank barn, my other intern has been encouraging me to list more yarns on etsy. If you see one that you like, don't wait to buy it. I do a lot of shows and what I list are my favorites and usually the first to sell. The red black and blue is a freeform yarn and one of two that I currently have left. Spun it right before Stitches East. It is a popular color combination. The novelties and beads are very different from the last batch. No two alike is my motto!

I will be in booth 79, Building 6 at the Sugarloaf Gaithersburg show this weekend. I might have a few passes left for it and the Chantilly one in December. If you are interested, email me at I will mail till I run out. Be sure to let me know which one you want.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Settled into Farm Life

 Yesterday I took a lovely drive to Halifax, PA, to pick up my roving from Gurdy Run. 32 bags and all lovelier than it left the farm! A few of the bags had already made it upstairs before this photo. I have been taking fiber that was washed and dyed in Tucson. The washing months here are too short for me to keep up. I am also spending a fair amount of time shearing, so I needed a way to spin faster. Most of the fiber is a blend of really nice (in some cases kid/lamb) fiber. I am selling starting at $7.50 an ounce. Discounts are available for quantities over a pound. The more you buy - the more I discount. I will be bringing some to Stitches East, but the bulk will go in my attic for me to spin.
 Marc went with me to the mill the first time and was fascinated with the ducks running all over the place. I brought him home four Muscovy ducklings in a beer box. It was a gift for him and better than beer. He laughed. They are currently in my wash room. They do not have real feathers yet. We plan to let them free range when they are old enough. Might have to clip their wings the first year to make sure that they stay.
 If you ever visited the shop in Tucson, you might have met Charcoal, the resident studio cat. She spent the first year here in Maryland under my clothes in the closet, only coming out to eat or take care of other necessary business. In early spring, she ventured out and has been living in the mud room, when she is not roaming my red bank barn catching mice. She now follows me around, but does not venture into the sheep and goat areas. We have three kittens wandering those areas.
 The Shetland sheep are on our original pasture. We are going to move them to the hayfield which is being fenced in right now. Having someone cut hay is expensive and we are at the mercy of the farmer. We are last on his cutting list, so the hay was never cut at the optimal time. For pasture rotation and less parasite issues, the expense of fencing will pay for itself.
I am always surprised that this pine tree is surviving, since its roots are in the pond. The cattails in the foreground were not as numerous this year. The beaver cleaned out a lot of the pond while building his lodge and trying to keep his dam going. I am hoping that he will come back this year.

I head out next Wednesday for Stitches East. My shop is open tomorrow, but will probably remain closed till after the Gaithersburg show which is the weekend before Thanksgiving. Happy knitting, spinning, felting, weaving and crocheting!