Monday, September 29, 2008

Valley Fiber Arts Spinning Retreat, oh my....

I returned from the 20th annual Valley Spinning Retreat today :) Mecchia (my Norwegian wheel) and I didn't return alone either. Mecchia will never have to be traumatised by car travel again! She got a nasty scratch on the drive out to the retreat :(

My new to me Shacht Matchless DT, with a bazillion bobbins, every size whorl avail. and a tensioned kate! yippee!
new to me matchless

I am not sure why they uploaded to a file saying spinning_july08, but I don't care... sky was a glorious blue (wish I had had my camera, bah!), leaves were golden yellow & falling, moose were snacking and crunching through the woods during my middle of the night trek to the restrooms, and there was frost on the windows and ice on the puddles this morning... it was no July... and all about late September :)

I left town on Friday so fast I am sure there was a report of a minivan leaving the city with molten rubber left in it's tracks! I landed out at the retreat at 8pm, signed in and moved my stuffers to my bunk in a cabin. Then I headed downstairs to stake out a spot for my HUGE wheel. argh. I love my Mecchia wheel but it is *not* a traveling, space conscious partner for group spins. This year I went about and tried different wheels, got in other folks' space to gawk at what they were spinning and I indulged in luxury fiber. See my goodies?

Abby and Henry sniffin it all out!
sniffin the goods pt II

Ma! This smells goooooooood :)
sniffin the goods

I have merino/angora and a carded batt of silk/merino in a purple blend that I won in the gift exchange. I purchased some mongolian cashmere/angora/merino blend (my new favorite fiber!), some baby camel, some dyed silk roving, some white silk hanks for dying, and some handpainted coridale roving. I also puchased a boatload of merino top for a felting project for my students. That starts this week :)

Stay tuned for details on that one.

This is my latest knitting.... another Sampler Shawl as previously mentioned. It is with the silk blend noro sock yarn.
silk noro sampler shawl

And this is sock number 1 of 2 on handspun woolen thrummed socks for a friend. I plan to dye them orange/gold/reds when I am done and then sole them in leather.
thrums for linda

thrummed sox for linda

All tuckered out, wanna spin more, must get sleep.... yawn.

ps make peace, spin fleece

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Omgoodness! The time flies! It is not that there's nothing to talk about, just that I am dead to the world from exhaustion before I hit the blogger. Lots of felting, and knitting.... actually let's go in order of what's happened in chrono-order.

July and August brought lots (and lots and lots more) lazuring. Yeah, go google lazure. It is basically a watercolor painting on an interior wall. My lazure partner Susan and I with occasionally help from some much appreciated & loved teens lazured 5 school classrooms, one Assembly Hall, a Foyer to the school and a small conference room.

I should weigh about 60 pounds after that workout and corresponding sweaty exhaustion! Following that I got a near pneumonia-hideous chest cold, missed 2 days of school. Oh yes, moved into new classroom, begun classes, started school and *then* got sick and missed said 2 days.... which should have been 7. I was out in bed 3 weekends in a row trying to recover from that.

Now I am currently (even as of this very minute) working on items to donate to our school auction. Which is quite a gala event, catered din-din, silent auction, live auction, vino and lots of amazing items.

With my gr. 4/5 class I am helping put together a sheperds set. Each student makes a woolen sheep, we'll add a sheperd, pony, sheep dog, wolf, and a pasture mat.

With my gr.7/8 we are building an ottoman and are felting a cover for the cushion. Planning tonal greens for that one. Getting the fiber this weekend for the color, we just laid out the base over the foam blocks today.

With my girlfriend.... we are making an Arctic Playmat set. Part art, part play set. We just laid out the mat which is about 3x4 feet yesterday. And I am actually fulling it right now (am obviously resting). It is winter on one side, summer on the other. Winter is white, with blues on the ocean. Summer is browns with greens for the tundra and I will needle felt some blue berries on that, and there is a blue(s) stream that flows to the ocean which is blues.

I have made a beluga whale, walrus, seal, musk ox (am making now). My girlfriend is making the Inuit-Yupik (Eskimo) family. I will be felting the igloo this week and then will add a fox, polar bear(s), whaling boat, some salmon and maybe more if time allows.

With the Auction Committee (of which I am on) we are going to do a group composite study of Van Gough's Starry Night.

I am knitting another sampler shawl from Folk Shawls. I have handspun, thrummed slipper sox on the needles for a co-worker.

I have a line up of 6 winter kuspuks! This is one that I made last year.

This is what Spring looks like on the beach in Homer Alaska! brrr This is late May.

With all the bear maulings in the city this year, this is my one moment of total insanity. Hiking at Kincaid park down to the beach.
elke on a bear trail at kincaid

The best part of being right here, right now? I am leaving in less than 48 hours for the Fall Spinning Retreat! 2 days, on a lake, in the woods, with nothing to do but nap, spin, buy-fondle-trade-oogle fiber! Eating chocolate might happen too. :)