Fabric

I have been wanting to buy some nice fabric, and this week I finally made it happen. I was looking for some black silk to make a Wiksten Tank and a Henrietta Maria top (my favourite black top died a month or 2 ago, and I have missed it terribly). I went to Mary Jo’s cloth store in Gastonia, NC – a little over an hour’s drive from where I live. You walk into the store and realize it is more of a fabric warehouse, and where do you begin?

Unfortunately the store didn’t have any black silk (apparently they are recovering from prom season), so I resorted to Plan B. I bought a black wool crepe to make the Henrietta Maria in,

wool

And this orange beaded silk for the Wiksten tank.

silk

As soon as I saw the silk, my heart belonged to it. I tried to leave it behind, but it wouldn’t let me go.

both

I have now washed the wool crepe in preparation for cutting and sewing. Has anyone made the Henrietta Maria? The pattern calls for 8″ of positive ease, and that just seems too much to me. I think I’ll make the top a few sizes smaller for 3-4″ of positive ease.

Here you see my lovely cat assisting me in cutting an altered pattern piece for the Wiksten Tank. I love the pattern, but my shoulders are just a wee bit wider than most, so I’m adding a bit of width.

cat

Isn’t he sweet?

Spindle Spinning

This morning I pulled out a project I started…quite a while ago. Before I bought my spinning wheel. In June I bought 4 oz of Corriedale roving from Three Waters Farm in the colourway “Before Flowers.”

before-flowers

I spun this up on my spindle, then started some ecru Southdown roving from Beesybee to ply with it.

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The idea was that the natural white of the Southdown would tone down the gorgeous colours of the Corriedale so that if the colours pooled when I knit it up I wouldn’t hate it (I love variegated yarns in the skein, but pooling makes me cringe). Then I bought my spinning wheel and promptly forgot about my spindle. When I pulled it out this morning I wasn’t sure if I had enough Southdown spun or not. So I took a page out of Abby Franquemont’s book and wound the white and coloured yarns into a ball together to be ready for plying.

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I don’t have enough Southdown spun (drat), but I’ve wound the rest of the Corriedale into a ball so it’s nice and tidy. As I was winding it I came to a place where the singles went from a light fingering weight to a worsted weight. What in the world?

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I think this was where I switched from the park and draft method to drafting as I go. It’s crazy how changing your technique changes your yarn!

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SAFF

SAFF: Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair, AKA heaven

On Sunday I walked into the main vendor building and nearly fell over with excitement! So. Much. Yarn! My dear husband came with me and I relied on him much of the day to keep me walking in a straight line. I wore my wedding shawl and received so many compliments! Miss Babs even liked it (oh, did I mention that I met Miss Babs?!!!)! My main problems were how to keep from crashing into everything (since I wasn’t looking where I was walking) and how to decide what to buy. Seriously. With a whole fairground full of yarn, roving, and tools what do you spend your money on? Here’s what I came up with.

yarn-bowl

A handmade yarn bowl from The Whispering Woodturner. I’ve been wanting one of these for forever.

roving

Roving from Hippie Chix Fiber Art. ‘Nuff said. The red and yellow are sari silk, and the grey is carbonized bamboo.

miss-babs

Miss Babs. Need I say more?

wood

A simple shawl pin and a hair stick – both made by hand.

pam

And some rose-coloured wool from Bovidae Farm by commission for a friend.

But SAFF isn’t just about buying yarn and fiber. It’s also about the opportunity to meet the animals (and people) the yarn comes from.

alpaca

Alpaca

Angora bunnnies! So fluffy (I want the big grey one)!

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A very nice lady let me get in the pen with a BABY ALPACA!!! Squeeee! So fluffy!

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Jacob Sheep

shearing

Shearing a goat

And a very kind and informative gentleman from Wellspring Farm talked with my husband and me for quite a while about the possibility of us starting a sheep farm.

The fairgrounds SAFF uses is very close to Asheville, NC. Asheville is a very artsy, hippy town with lots of hole-in-the-wall places to hang out. My husband and I always say we want to go there, so off we went for the rest of the afternoon!

I’m going to SAFF every year from now on!

 

Spinning!

I don’t have enough time to knit. So obviously I need another craft to take up my (already precious) knitting time. I’ve started spinning! And I couldn’t be more pleased. I find spinning to be meditative but challenging, in many of the same ways that knitting is.

I think I’m in love.

The dyed roving is from Three Waters Farm in the colorway Before Flowers. The spindle I’m using with it is made by Schacht.

The rustic spindle is from Sheeps Creations, and I’m spinning an undyed Corriedale wool on it.