Spinning


I just wrapped up a two-week knitting hiatus, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have fun with fiber in the interim, in fact you could say I was rather productive:

I spindle spun 6 oz of fiber, which included my hand-dyed fiber from last year’s dying workshop, and half a braid I picked up at this year’s Fiber Frolic.

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I also pulled out a kit I purchased at Fiber Frolic 2011 and made a pair of needle-felted gnomes (though there is some debate as to whether the male gnome is holding a shovel or a spear -the intention was shovel).

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I also did a major piece of sewing, but I’ll save that for another post.

For now, it’s back to working on my long-neglected cookie-monster cardigan.

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Last week I shipped off a hefty bit deadline knitting, breathed a big sigh of relief and decided to take a mini-break from knitting for the past week. In the interim, I’ve been doing a fair bit of spinning, just in time to enable a fresh batch of fiber purchases at the 2012 Maine Fiber Frolic.

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While I didn’t come home with a full fleece (though Lynn did!), I did pick up two hand-dyed 4 oz braids and sweater kit I regretted not picking up last year.

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In addition to checking out the vendors, we chatted with the lady running the great wheel demo and snorgled (or got nibbled on by) some furry creatures.

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After we got our fill of fiber, and just as the rain starting falling, we headed into Gardiner and stopped for desert and tea at the A-1 Diner.

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Friends, fiber, and food – what more could a girl ask for??

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So I may have made negative progress on my Taos sweater this weekend, but I did finish spinning all my yarn for my sheep heid hat! I’m not 100% in love with the dark brown color, mostly because it and the black are the only dyed fibers and I feel like it sticks out like a sore thumb.

That said, I have a huge knitting backlog of projects to get through, so I probably won’t get to knitting the hat itself for a while, so there’s nothing to stop me from spinning up something else if I come across something I like.

 

Lamb

It’s been two years since my last visit to Fiber Frolic. I’ve been spinning for nearly two years! I fell for needlefelting! Both of which open my Fiber Frolicking world!

Baby Bunting Cardigan at Dirty Water Dyeworks

While there were tons of beautiful yarns I didn’t pick any up this year (though it was all I could do not to buy this Sweet Bunting Cardigan kit on display at Dirty Water Dyeworks, but since I don’t know any babies or soon to arrive babies to knit for I held off).

Aimee and the baby lamb

similarly, I think it was all Aimee could do to not walk off with this 4 week old lamb.

Purple Fleece braidsAfter having been to a number of fiber festivals, it was nice to see some great stuff from vendors I hadn’t seen before,like this roving from Purple Fleece, which I didn’t pick up and this menrino/tencel braid from  Highland Handmades that I did.

Highland Handmades

I must have been in a whimsical mood on Saturday, because my other two purchases where these charming needlefelting kits Off the Beaded Path (I’ve already started one) and the frog and bead stitch markers from Enchanted Knoll Farms

Needlefelting kit

Fortunately I still  had some funds left over for the superb fair food (gyros and sweet potatoes fries – yes please!!)

Lunch

After lunch there were more friends and fleeces to snorgle

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Look who we spotted!!

And look who we found in the rabbit barns!!

Show Fleeces

Can I say for the record, these fleeces were lovely and make me want to move up to a wheel so I could justify the poundage?? Fiber frolic is such an enabling event, for reals. Good thing I have Tour de Fleece coming up soon, so I can get back into some serious spinning!!
Baby lamb and its adoptive family

(PS -for another take on this trip, in which my right shoulder makes a cameo- visit Aimee at 52 weeks, 52 hats)

Bristol

On Saturday, my knitting group made the short drive up to Freeport for the annual NETA SPA Knit and Spin retreat.

We grabbed our spot in front of the lobby fire for the second (third?) year in a row and spent the day shopping, knitting, and spinning. With a brief break for barbecue.

I spent all my time spindle-spinning and I made significant process toward my 2011 Knitolution to spin 4 oz. and knit a shawl/shawl-lette. I only have about .5 oz of spinning left to do.

Lucia

Karen

Maggie

Aimee

Ordering at Bucks

Lynn

Maria(This shirt should come with an asterisk -
*unless you’re buying cashmere. Which I didn’t, but someone else did!)

Pumpkin 2010

Mr. Cleaver and I had a pretty low-key Halloween evening, which largely consisted of eating Chinese take-out and handing out candy.

I spent most of Sunday afternoon at Maggie’s celebrating what I shall now dub “Spin-o-ween.” At Rhinebeck,  a number of our group picked up spindles and Maggie needed to get started on making the yarn for her 2010 knitolution (yep – I’m making up new words left and right here). So we gathered together with our roving and our pie – a treat indeed!

Pretty in Pastel :)

Newbie Spindlers

Piecing

When you're spinning...

Sheep Puppet

I’m leaving for a business/fun trip to Chicago today, but before I left I wanted to jot down a few words on my trip to Rhinebeck.

Rhinebeck Flair

As group of seven of us left bright and early Friday morning, divided into, as the running gag was all weekend – an old people and a young people car – henceforth referred to as OPs and YPs.

The YPs car before:

Car Before

We left early so we could make a detour to Northhampton, MA to visit WEBS: “America’s Yarn Store.” Yes, we stopped to buy yarn, before we spent a weekend at a sheep & wool festival, buying yarn.

The Gang Outside Webs

WEBS is huge.

Webs is Amazing

We even spotted a Great American Afghan (Karen’s nemesis) live and in the wool.

Great American Afghan!

And if the main store wasn’t big enough, there’s a warehouse.

Webs warehouse

We, as a group, found a thing or two… I ended up with a sweater’s worth of Williamstown for my 2010 knitalution (to design and knit a full-sized sweater).

Webs haul

That night we landed at our hotel, ordered in some Chinese food (that came with a complimentary bottle of Grapette Soda), and read aloud from the Amish romance Novel, The Parting.

Saturday morning, we made sure we were at the gate at opening:

Line to Enter

Our first stop was the Evergreen Farms booth for an angora. Maggie had recently lost her bunny Cocoa Bean and was debating whether she was ready for a new one. Petunia convinced her she was.

Maggie & Petunia

After a quick stop at She Shoots Sheep Rhinebeck Style photoshoot (I think  Maggie, Bristol and myself were models  #9, #8, and #7, respectively. I’ll post a link when the slideshow is up), we headed out for the vendors.

Vendor Tents

After the first two barns I had checked off my three must-haves from my shopping list: 1750 yards fingering weight yarn in a natural grey for a Pas de Valse sweater from Snowshoe Farm Alpacas,  semi-solid sock yarn from Persimmon Tree Farm, and an eye-catching spinning fiber from Gnomespun Yarn Fiber Arts. Fortunately for my wallet I slowed my pace and bit and my final two pruchases of the day, buttons for my knitalution sweater from Jennie the Potter and a BFL/Silk braid of roving from Gale’s Art waited until after lunch.

Ravelry MeetUp

After lunch, we headed to the Ravelry lunch meet up and got to meet Sarah, Casey and Mary Heather.

Mary Heather

We also made dead center behind the banner in the official meet-up photo, which hasn’t been posted yet.
Ravelry Lunch Meet Up

We spent a bunch of time with some folks who raised Soay sheep, an primitive sheep breed . I didn’t note the farm unfortunately.

American Soay

By 3ish – we were tuckered out and stopped for a apple cider doughtnut break, before leaping back into the fray.

Karen & Doughtnut

We left the fairgrounds at 4:45. We left the parking lot an hour and a half later. (Noting for future trips, leave early!!)

After a break back at the hotel, the OPs went out to dinner and the YPs went to the Ravelry party in RedHook. We arrived too late for the goodie bags and cupcakes, but did get a chance to hop in the photobooth and chat with some lovely folks.

Ravelry Party

On Sunday, we packed up the cars (don’t worry, we didn’t really store the bunny in the back), had breakfast at a local diner and headed back for a few last hours at the fair.
Car After

We caught a sheep shearing (the sheep’s not a fan)
Shearing

and picked up a few more items. I snagged another sock yarn, this time from Sliver Moon Farm, and fought off Maggie for some into the whirled roving. I have received much mocking from my knitting group for my color pallette/phases and how my knitting often matches my outfit. I have been firmly ensconced in a blue and yellow phase (my Manu and a pattern I’m releasing at month’s end is a good example), but it seems pretty clear that my next phase is definitely leaning green.

My Rhinebeck Haul

All in all, the trip was fantastic and totally worth the drive and slightly sketchy hotel. We’re aiming for a return trip in 2012. If you’re planning a Rhinebeck trip, I’d make the following suggestions:

  • Book your hotel early. We did it about 3 months in advance and everything good had been booked by then.
  • Break up your days and catch some events. We wish we had seen some more of the events or taken a class. It all gets a bit over whelming, just doing vendor after vendor.
  • If you’re doing both days, leave early on the first day. The traffic out of the parking lot was awful day one.
  • Talk to as many strangers as you can. Every person I talked to (usually started by one of us complimenting the other’s knit-wear) was super nice and friendly and you have an automatic topic of conversation. I wish I had takend the time to chat more.

Now off to Chicago! Be back Sunday.

After checking in with the Tour de Fleece police tonight, it was ruled that yesterday was my last day of le Tour – so here’s a round up of everything I worked on since the 3rd.

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Rust-Colored Llama from Botanical Shades

  • purchased at Common Ground Fair 2009
  • during the Tour I…. plied it
  • 1.5 oz
  • 120 yds
  • 2-ply

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Purple Llama from Botanical Shades

  • purchased at Common Ground Fair 2009
  • during the Tour I…. spun (about half of the total fiber) and plied
  • 2.1 oz
  • 190 yds
  • 2-ply

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Natural Turquoise from Enchanted Knoll Farms

  • purchased at Common Ground Fair 2009
  • during the Tour I… spun
  • Currently at 1.4oz

I probably won’t spin everyday, but I’m in a good grove and I’m loving the turquoise fiber, so I’ll try to keep this roll going. And at the rate I’m going, I’ll have used up all my fiber by Rhinebeck, so I can pick up a bunch more guilt-free!

Somethings I’ve been up to this weekend:

Blowing the Candle Out

Soaking

Banana Pepper

Brentwood Farms Community Garden

What did you do this weekend?

Tour de Fleece '10 Progress

Every year in the fiber community there’s a little competition/challenge called “Tour de Fleece,” the basic gist of which is to spin every day of the Tour de France.

I hadn’t given it much (read, any) thought, until about a week ago, when Bristol and Maggie snookered me into playing along. I started 3 days late (so ‘ll go for a few extra days at the end of the Tour), but I’ve been going strong with my little spindle, diligently spinning each day.

My starting point (July 3):

Tour de Fleece starting point

Earlier this evening (July 14) :

July 14

It’s a little hard to tell, but the spindle is much fuller — I promise!!

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