Have Ewe Any Wool?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Shenandoah Fall Fiber Festival

What a perfect weekend!   Both days were absolutely fantastic!  We all had a lot of fun at our booth.   I demo’d both days for the guild.   On Saturday, I demo’d spinning….and on Sunday, I spent a bit of time weaving. We had lots of folks come through and try their hand at both spinning and weaving.   Again, just like at Bluemont, Deb had her inkle loom setup for the kids could weave bookmarks. 







I saw MANY of my buddies that I haven’t seen for a long time – Kathleen, Kelly, Elizabeth…..lots of friends from other guilds and lots of my friends from the Dulles knitting group.   I can definitely say that a fabulous time was had by all!

My purchases were quite varied this year.  I got some nalbinding needles from the Spanish Peacock, some awesome roving from several vendors….including my friend Kim - “The Sock Lady”.  Of COURSE I purchased some roving AND yarn from my friend Kate of Roclans. Oh…I found some fabulous natural dyes and tons of undyed silk caps and cocoons as well.  



My friend Keith was selling lots of her naturally dyed yarn.  Her demo is one of my favorites at the festival.




keith2Her focus was on natural dyeing.   She puts many of the “natural items” in old stockings so the little bits of seed pods, etc. don’t get into the yarn she’s dyeing.   Below, she has some walnuts in the stocking that’s in the pot on the left and some sumac in the stockings on the right….waiting for their chance to be submerged into a dye pot.









Check out all the lovely skeins she’s dyed.   I just love seeing all the freshly dyed skeins lined up and on display – it’s just beautiful.










Over half way through day 2 of the festival  and Keith was still smiling….probably laughing because of the funny pose Sue insisted on for this photo!!!



shenandoah_fingerless_gloves Just before the festival, I finished some fingerless gloves that I’d designed using some beaded and non-beaded yarn…as well as a bit of black and silver glitz around the edges.   I got to show them off for a short time at the festival as they were being mailed out early the next week to my swap partner.   (I hope she likes them!!!!)

My favorite part of the whole day was when a very enthusiastic young man that I’d taught to weave earlier in the day came running up to me and stopped with a huge grin on his face.   I asked if this means he’s bought a loom, and he said, “No….not yet.   We’re going home now and I just wanted to thank you for teaching me how to weave.   I had a lot of fun”.   I totally melted into a puddle at those words.  The pure joy on that young man’s face was priceless!  This is WHY I love working at these festivals….sharing knowledge and introducing a whole new generation of budding young fiberists to the wonderful world of wool, spinning, knitting, and weaving. 

Sadly, the weekend is now over and we all have to return to our “normal” lives……


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bluemont Festival

On Sunday, I helped out with the Blue Ridge Spinners and Weavers booth in Bluemont.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day!   Perfect for an outdoor festival.   I love all the crafters that are at the festival….and of course, the apple dumplings served by the Methodist Church.  (We’d  had a bit of excitement earlier……when things has been setup on Friday Night and the tent all zipped up, a bit of a windstorm had come through and uprooted all the tents!!!!   The tent tops were found in a nearby field!  The Saturday group had the “fun” of re-checking all the goods, finding alternate tents, and gathering the somewhat battered and broken tents that were strewn across the field!)

Our booth had lots of our creations for sale –  woven towels, scarves, bookmarks, baby blankets and rugs – you name it!  There were also many items -  hats, scarves, mittens, shawls/shawlettes.   And of course, some lovely hand spun yarn – both in wool and alpaca.  I thought that these felted sheep were the cutest things!  


bluemont_beth_teaching As always, one of the best things that happens at these festivals is the sharing of our skills with the public – especially the children.   Everyone had a great time learning to weave or spin.   Deb even had the inkle loom setup so the kids could weave bookmarks that she’d later mail to them once they were cut from the loom.


Oh…and I almost forgot!   There were a few cute animals being shown off as well….like these cute alpacas.



After a lovely day at the festival, I returned home just in time to walk the dog.   The clouds and the sky were spectacular!  The subtle changes made to the the intensity of the color as well as the general hue of the clouds as the sun begins to set are just gorgeous!   They’re both soothing and comforting….washing the day away and enveloping me in a fresh evening.










Saturday, September 15, 2012

Foothills Spinners and Weavers

We had a great meeting for “Spin in Public Day”!   We learned how to spin using alternative methods – a twig with a branch notch at the top can be rolled on your leg as you draft the fiber.  It uses pretty much the same techniques that you would use with a Navajo spindle.

Another rather rustic method we learned was how to spin with a rock.   This predates both the spinning wheel and the drop spindle.      Basically, you find a small rock, lay a stick on top….wrap a bit of wool around it and use the stick to “secure” the fiber (much like is down with the hook or notch on a drop spindle) and then spin the rock and use it like a drop spindle while you draft.   Once you’re spun enough to wrap, you simply wrap the wool around the rock.   I know….photos would help, but I forgot to take them!

I did however get a brief movie of using the Charka.    This tool is especially useful when spinning cotton.  Sharon’s Charka is lovely….it’s a Bosworth.   What a gorgeous “wheel”!

Another member had one of the sock looms “fully loaded” with a sock.   I’ve seen these in the shops….and just had to have one myself, but I had no idea if they really worked or not.  It was amazing!   You really CAN make a sock using a loom!


I spent the remainder of the day rug hooking at the Reston Library – one of the local guilds was having an impromptu “hook-in”.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Natural Beauty


I’ve finally broken down and subscribed to yet another magazine….”Create and Decorate”.   It has lots of lovely projects – and always a rug hooking project or two.   I’ve tried to only buy it occasionally when there was something really compelling, but JoAnn Fabrics doesn’t seem to carry it all the time – so, I was forced to subscribe.   On the positive side, the “net outlay” of cash is about even for me based on the few I’d purchased…and the bonus is that I’m getting a few more magazines per year for the same price. 

Contributing to my “need” for the magazine were the many projects that others in my rug hooking guild have worked on and brought for show-and-tell.   Jen had made this pumpkin from a pattern in one of the latest editions of “Create and Decorate”.  I think “Jack” is adorable!



Monday’s evening sky was quite beautiful….producing orange tones as well as pinks and purples as the sun slowly slipped beneath the horizon.


IMG_4088 IMG_4089 






My favorite rose bush seems to have produced the “last rose of summer”…..shown in its full glory below.