Have Ewe Any Wool?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Canning Tomatoes and some Blues

What a fabulous weekend! 

I attended another canning workshop in Lovettesville.   This month's focus was on tomatoes:  making tomato sauce, making salsa, and making tomato jam.  This session, just like the last one, was taught by canner extraordinaire, Stephanie!!

Here, you can see the "snacks" that we got to try as well - some Tomato Jam, Bourbon Fig Jam, some pickles, and some fruit butters.  

Due to time constraints, the Tomato Sauce was pre-prepared.   We all worked together to finish both the Salsa and Tomato Jam.   I even got to take home some goodies!   The short jar is 4 oz. of Tomato Jam (boy is that good!).   Then, from left to right - Tomato Sauce and 3 jars of Salsa. 

There may be another workshop in September....I've got my fingers crossed!

We ended the week at Whole Foods listening to a favorite two-man band - Swamp Candy.   The weather was beautiful and the music was awesome!   They play at the Fairfax Whole Foods frequently, so keep an eye on the schedule....they may be back sooner than you think!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lancaster Spinners and Weavers Retreat

This year's retreat was at a different venue - the Holiday Inn in Morgantown, PA.  It was a fun filled relaxing weekend.   The rooms were great!   There were lots of food choices in the surrounding town as well as in the hotel itself, but I decided to eat at the motel...more time for spinning and knitting!   The food was OK...and if you weren't hungry, you could choose appetizers......or if very hungry, a full meal - a nice variety of options and prices.   Both nights I had leftovers that covered me for lunch the next day.   The breakfast buffet was very nice....a nice variety of food - and my personal favorite, the omelette station.   (I did feel a bit sorry for the chef both days as I love jalepenos....and had double portions in my omelette.)

Lots of chatting, spinning, and knitting - lots of old friends and some new ones as well.   Cyndy was there...I hadn't seen her for eons(right).    I roomed with my friend Audrey - what a fun time we had!   We stayed up way too late and chatted away like a couple of teenagers!   

The room was big and had plenty of lighting.   There was shopping all around the perimeter....which was great.   Nothing like awesome fibers to entice and inspire or unique hand crafted necklaces and decorated boxes...

I loved the Bauer Family Farm booth.....Linda, along with one of her friends offered lots of interesting fibers....AND a fiber club.   (Of course, I joined!   The fibers are fabulous!)   PLUS.....one of her friends tubes up beads to complement the colors of the wool.

Oh, yeah....I fell off the wagon big time and purchased several braids of luscious color....as well as the coordinating beads!


Of course, I purchase from each vendor....so many interesting things!  Roving and cashmere!

I believe this is my most unusual purchase...a 3-D paper necklace hand crafted by Elizabeth.   I love it!

In addition to the shopping, we had some demos....on how to do things,  how NOT to do things, and how it "takes a village" to make one small skein of art yarn!   LOL!

How to make rolags - loading up the blending board.....then rolling the fiber onto the dowels...and finally, the rolags.

How NOT to use an electronic spinner...There was lots of giggling ...sometimes, electronic spinners just don't behave....and it tries to take up ALL your precious roving at once.  Audrey and the rest of us got quite a giggle out of this! 

Believe it or not, but sometimes, it takes a village....just to make some "art yarn"......



I started and finished spinning some gorgeous Alpaca.....I love the contrast of the very light green, aqua bits, and very dark. 


...and started on my first batch of the Fiber Club Yarn....

And I even found time to work a bit more on my socks!

Many thanks to Ann who did a fabulous job organizing!   She's the best!    Oh....and check out the lovely sweater she's wearing!   It MUST make it!   It's absolutely stunning.   It's from Vogue 2010...or thereabouts.   I must find that pattern!!!!

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Garden Goodies

I have really been enjoying my garden this year....as well as the local CSA from Potomac Vegetable Farm.   Every few days now, I'm getting a basket of goodies from my garden....just like this.   Pesticide free....chemical free.....just marigolds as a natural pest deterrent.   What I don't grow, I get from PVF, the Purcellville Farmer's Market or the Lovettsville Farm Market.

Another thing I tried was making Cinnamon Ornaments using a dough made of just applesauce, cinnamon, and a tiny bit of glue.    You roll out the dough and cut out shapes using cookie cutters.  They're then baked for a short while in the oven....and then set out to dry for several days.  

Once they were dry, I painted them with glitter paint and added some stick-on "rhinestones".   They smell wonderful!   I think I'll make more of these for Christmas.