Monday, September 29, 2008

Come stroll with me

The Finger Lakes Fiber Festival is held the third weekend of September every year at the Fairgrounds in Hemlock, NY.   A small group of dedicated spinners from the Genesee Valley Handspinners Guild take on this enormous task and carry it off beautifully.  Thanks to each and every one of you who makes this so comfortable for us.

The Festival, which has about 80 vendors,  is laid out all over the Fairgrounds in 4 barns plus individual canopied booths, leaving lots of room for strolling, looking, chatting and especially for carrying away large bags of score.

We are located in Barn A which is guarded by, of course, a Llama.

Across from us and a bit down is Phillery's booth.  She has fibers, yarns, books and 

sweet pygoras.

Then if we saunter out and over we get to the smaller metal barn where music plays most of the day. They even strolled into our barn on Sunday afternoon.

This woman looks as if she just won the lottery.  I think she either just found out she won a prize or else scored a great bit of fiber.

Just outside this metal barn are demos.  Basketry was fascinating.

Then by walking over and up the hill a bit is the largest booth (20' x 30') at the fair--  Winderwood Farm -- run by my adopted brother Bob and his partner Patrick.  That's Bob on the right in the jazzy pants.

At any time you can jump aboard the free wagon ride just for the fun of it or to get you to another section of the fair.

We are getting off across from the larger metal barn where the prize winning yarn and FO's were on display.

This is my favorite picture.  Makes me think of  a nudist camp where you can wear anything or nothing and no one minds.

See ya next year at the Fair.

Thanks to Carol for taking all these shots while I was busy in our booth.

Friday, September 26, 2008

It's that kind of a day

I took the Autumn Test. A very short easy one so I know it does not really say who I am but on a day like this with temps in the 50's and light rain, a bit of a diversion is always welcome.

You are a dynamic, vibrant person.
You aren't afraid to pursue your passions.
so far so good.

When you are happiest, you are calm.

You appreciate tradition and family.
not really me
You enjoy feeling cozy.

You prefer change to come slowly. You need a long transition period when your life changes.
I do prefer time to get used to changes.

You find hard work to be the most comforting thing in the world. You like the feeling of accomplishing something.

Your ideal day is active and full. You like to keep busy with your favorite things, 
yes, very true
and you appreciate a routine.
well only in theory.  I have lots of trouble sticking to one.

Want to take this little test for yourself.   Go here

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sorry Silver

This sweet little girl did not want to come home with me.

Look at her ears. I held her for 15 minutes but they only came back up when her Mom spoke to her. All the others were already spoken for. Another time for sure.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Thursday and Friday

from the shop

to the car

and magically into a booth

with assistance from Jim, Carol and Cathy.
I am catching up on rest so more about the actual Fair another day.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Debuting at Hemlock

A Star is Worn Faroese Shawl
designed by me and knit in record time by Ruth A. using Anshan's Biscotti SW Merino/Tencel and Bark Panda yarn.
modeled by Theresa

Garter Stitch Shoulder Faroese Shawl--
designed by Cathy C and knit by Cathy C using Black Cherry Panda yarn.
modeled by Michelle

Doily Beret
designed by HeartStrings for Spinning Bunny Panda yarn.
How cool is that?
modeled by a dresser

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Getting Ready

I assume you want to know just why I have not been blogging much in the last few weeks. I have been meaning to blog but preparations for Hemlock and the incredible orders from the Mystery Shawl have just left me with no extra time.

Mystery Shawl 10 opened on July 31 for membership and yarn orders. I predicted maybe 60-70 orders and was prepared with enough undyed yarn on cones for that plus a bit more.  Undyed yarn has since been reordered three times, twice asking for expedited shipping. AND I am about to order again! At this point 123 orders have arrived from all over the US and the world. Flabbergasted is my reaction to the amount of orders but I am so very much pleased as well. Impressed too that so many people like my dyeing.

The special skeins are 1100 yards each of a blend of superwash merino, bamboo and nylon dyed in a choice of three tonal colors that are not yet on my website (but will be next week). I have learned that skeins of that size take forever to dry. Also only 2 fit in each pot with three in a pinch. That means 10-12 skeins per dye session get done. Not bad at all if one does not have a major fiber festival to prepare for. However periodically I came down from the high and remembered that I do. So some days have consisted of two sessions which take up lots of time in skeining, filling pots, adding dyes, soaking skeins, cooking skeins, cooling skeins, rinsing skeins and then starting all over again. Plus there are, delightfully, regular orders to prepare and get out. I also like to eat, sleep, take breaks, walk with the dog and cat and talk to Jim. Oh and I have been writing two patterns and helping with two others. Thinking about this too much leaves me breathless.

So here is a photo blog showing you a bit of what has been going on.
Skeins of undyed yarn mainly skeined by Cathy C. Muchas gracias mi amiga.

Pots of dyed yarn.  That's Paintbox on the right and Denim on the left.

Pots of dyed shawl yarn--on the right is a new color - Fern with a dark glimpse of Black Cherry on the left.

Yarn and fiber drying in the LR as it is too damp and rainy to dry outside

Drying fiber again in the LR after it was rescued from the drizzle outside. sigh

Skeins of dyed and dried sock yarn waiting for reskeining which was and is being done mostly by Jim. My HERO!

Bagged stuff waiting for more stuff so it can eventually be ready to load for Hemlock

More bags of fiber

There should be a pic here of the table loaded with Mystery Shawl orders waiting to go out but I kept forgetting to take those shots.

AND the ubiquitous calendar that kept it all going throughout the past 6 weeks.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Working with the Supercarder is making magic. Of course it needs careful usage but once you know what to do and have practiced a bunch you can make some fantastic batts.

First--give over an entire section of your living room and purchase a shop vac for decorative addition.  

2--Measure out some fiber.  Next spread out a bit more to choose just how the fibers are going to be carded.

3-- Stand square in front of the carder at the No Fingers end and turn it on.

4-- Separate out some fiber and let it feed into the rollers.

5-- Watch those fingers!!!

6-- Make nice to the biggest drum.

7-- Now that the carder  knows what it is being fed it will be rather hungry.  Keep feeding a little at a time.

8-- It's mouth will be continually open like a baby bird.  Keep feeding.

more more more

Don't forget to make nice occasionally.  ( in the background is a basket of preweighed fibers waiting their turn.)

Lookin' good huh?  (angelina is on the right.)  Done feeding?  Shut it off.

OK now for the big time!  
9--CAREFULLY break the circle remembering to be nice to the machine.

and 10--lift the batt as a whole piece off the large drum.  Sometimes the drum is still greedy so being especially nice will encourage it to release the entire batt.

11--fold and admire.

12-- band, admire

13-15--clean (drums, under drums, table top, under the table.  Bits of fluff get everywhere).

Major magic time.  Pixies are slowly being added to the Pixie Batt webpage.  So far we have some nice alpaca/bfl ones ready to go.