Monday, December 27, 2010

Incredibly Snowy December 27th

Have finished a few knitting projects with new tools (size 17 and 19 needles!) and chunky llama hand spun. Hoping to see some sheep in the snow this week for photographing. Lots of thoughts for the New Year. A pensive time.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Some favorites shot last year

Have I posted these already? Good grief, can't remember anything anymore. No matter, I like them alot and am getting good feedback on them, too.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Belated Thanksgiving weekend report

After Thanksgiving, we drove with dogs to NYC to meet up with Zoe and brought two projects along to make a serious dent into, hopefully. And, perhaps stealing off to a fabulous yarn shop or two. Not sure what exists in NYC anymore, as I now feel as if I almost never lived here for eight years. So much has changed, and that includes me. I am inspired to find some new discoveries while taking care of business here. Doing more knitting lately has been very comforting.

We managed MoMA, Guggenheim, two great meals (Spanish tapas and Becco for Bastianich delights), and I finally got to the magical Japanese yarn store Habu. Dogs did well with two canine parks and good training opps. Ink48 hotel was superb as usual.


Spent nice days with mom visiting and knitting together, as we watched/listened to silly movies and made a few holiday dishes side by side. They include the following captured in photos:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Gift for a special friend

Carmel is our friend in Montreal. She had baby Finnegan in September. I was finishing up my handspun llama yarn knitted teddy bear and thought that he should go to little Finn. Here he is just before shipping off to Quebec Province, a big trip to reach a little person.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

No pics from Sheep to Shawl, but plenty of excitement about The Gathering

I was too busy staying warm and instructing folks on wheel and drop spinning to get the camera out! But, it was fun to talk to the public and meet some interesting new enthusiasts. The others claim attendance was up from previous years, and all presenters had good feedback to share. Dave Niles and his wife Jen came by; Jen edits and Dave made a nice little newsy video for the Telegram & Gazette.

Tomorrow I'm off to Wilmington VT for the 2010 The Gathering, a 3-day handspinners conference. Oh, joy! Betsy and Chris will meet me there. I'm signed up for Natural Dying, Needle Felting, and Spinning with Mohair. A sauna, heated outdoor pool, and other creature comforts await us. Bet the food is good there, too! Hands on fiber for three days in a row . . . can hardly contain myself.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tomorrow is Sheep to Shawl, Llama to Pajama in Worcester

Packing my bags for tomorrow's participation with Guild members at SSLP 2010. Where has the month gone? Find myself repeating such expressions lately. Got some good dye days in with marigold, carrot tops and different metal pots. Broke a part of my wheel (a first!) and had to send to Louet for a $7 replacement. Whew! Arrived in time for the weekend. Have been knitting more and will post one recently completed project. Moving on to some glorious roving that's been long awaiting my hand.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Worcester's Own Green Hill Park Farm

Who knew? Well, for many, many years Worcester has had the privilege of hosting a small farm complete with ovines, equines, and . . . swines, as well as poultry, both domestic and wild. Plus, a hothouse, vegetable and fruit gardens all devoutly tended to by Harry Carr for the City of Worcester. Green Hill Park Farm, located in Green Hill Park in Worcester, has FREE admission and I encourage all to visit the farm and see the flora and fauna, and the lovely view from atop the very Green Hill.

The Farm will be the host of the upcoming Sheep to Shawl, Llama to Pajama 2010, slated for Saturday, October 23rd, 12 noon to 4PM. An education celebration of the animals that share their fiber for to make our clothing, the event is a hands-on experience for all ages. Participants include fiber related businesses, nonprofits, and farms from around Worcester County. It's a local, grassroots project spearheaded by Saori Worcester Freestyle Weaving Studio.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sheep to Shawl, Llama to Pajama 2010

Save the date for Sheep to Shawl, Llama to Pajama 2010, a free festival on Saturday, October 23, 2010, 12 noon to 4PM, rain or shine at Green Hill Park Farm in Worcester. Watch a llama get a haircut, learn to weave, meet some sheep, try spinning, and knit some stitches! Enjoy games, music, giveaways, and more. Learn about fiber farms, fiber artists, and fiber businesses found throughout Central MA. For all ages and wheelchair accessible, this fun outdoor fest is sponsored by the City of Worcester and VSA Massachusetts, and made possible by a grant from the Greater Worcester Community Foundation. For more info, visit the event facebook page or call (508) 757-4646.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ode to The Common Ground

Finally, I experienced The Common Ground Fair in Unity ME. It was exquisite. Friday was a good day to go, with a smaller crowd allowing for space to see and experience it all. Best of all, I made the trip with Sara and for two hours up and back we chatted, kvetched, laughed, and shared. That's precious one-on-one time. Long though the journey was, it is most highly recommended. Just consider the photographs. . .

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I can't stop time

Where did September go? Today's unseasonably warm temps (very high 80s, with a register of 90 in the Matrix) do not make it feel like wool weather. But, it certainly makes for continuing to work outside; all month I have been experimenting with new natural dye stuffs -- Purple Loosestrife (yes, a purpose for this nasty yet pretty invasive!), sunflower heads, sumac leaves as mordant (they are loaded with tannins), plus more Golden Rod, my own grown Marigold flowers, and the wild yet elegant Queen Anne's Lace picked at Mom's. I love the smells of the cooking botanicals, and plan to do more experimenting with pepper plants and Black Eyed Susans. I have my own copies now of Rita Buchanan's excellent books, plus a copy of Jenny Dean's Natural Dyeing. I feel well educated. My little Madder plant has thrived in the front flower bed near the giant sunflowers, zinnias, and marigolds, and I am not sure what to do about it as the cold weather approaches. Dig it up and pot it? Harvest the roots (the source of the dye) but in doing so, kill the plant?

The lovely days of summer 2010 included relaxing moments with my flowers and vegetables and volunteer plants and other visitors. All good stuff for my soul.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Natural (dyeing) High

I am smitten with this practice of taking wild and cultivated plant matter, cooking it in water, adding a little wool and a little mordant (alum, vinegar, salt), and discovering the hidden rainbow hues from the most unlikely places. New dog Igby wants to taste anything that falls to the floor, so I am quickly whisking up stray fleece and leaves, hoping that I get to them before he does. He's so quiet I often don't know that he's there. For me, it's pure heaven when two dogs are dozing on the studio floor and I am absorbed with my dye pots or sitting down to the spinning wheel. Life truly is good at these precious times.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mother and Igby

We made the introduction this weekend. Igby was a hit. He also displayed a new physiological issue we will be keeping an eye on . . . reverse sneezing. When it occurs, it looks like he is having an asthma attack. Very unsettling. Maybe he's allergic to . . . us?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What a month!

I will let the pictures do the talking. Family and friends in Hillsdale, new dog (Igby), new experiments with washing and dyeing in the studio, and much more still to come.

Here we go. . .

Nino, Elaine and Mom.

Oliver and mom play a board game.

Mom and Adam (does he look like Dad?)

Silhouette of Oliver in the tree house.

The young Indiana Jones?
This is Igby.

The boys are getting along quietly.

Carrot tops are easy and fun to work with.

Testing out different dye bath recipes.

The stash is growing, and growing, and growing. Looks nice in mom's handmade baskets.

Drying calendula flowers.

SO EXCITED! The new picker! Chris and I are sharing it, and the fun of using it.

Self portrait.

Just love this book.

During a break, we played Jeric's favorite game -- Shred the Twig!
Food coloring-dyed mohair freshly picked. Note the before and after samples.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Off to NOFA's Summer Conference

Four of us from the Guild met last night to discuss our presentation -- For the Love of Sheep -- at the annual NOFA Summer Conference in Amherst MA this weekend. On Sunday we'll give 1 1/2 hours of demonstration, discussion and encouragement to anyone interested in working with fiber. Betsy is our workshop leader, as she has had many opportunities to give demonstrations . . . and, she's good at it! This is the largest venue we will have appeared at as a guild. We've got the fiber map, a new business card, and plenty of samples and stories.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Old pics

Found these on my mother's computer from last summer at NOFA Summer Conference in Amherst MA. The sheep workshop had some hands-on opportunities, and I took advantage. REALLY need to look into finding a sheep shearing mentor. I just love being around the beasts.