Thursday, January 25, 2007

Martha, my dear

Miss Martha is the resident spinner & dyer at the Folk School, and a kindred spirit. She keeps sheep & angora rabbits and dyes with plants & natural dyes and she cards & spins wool and knits lovely things. I am very pleased to have one of her creations - I've been wearing it all the time since I bought it on Saturday morning on my way home from the Folk School.

This tam (mine!) has handspun wool/angora in natural colors and yarn dyed with indigo and with cochineal.

Our lovely model today is Hedgie, knitted & felted from the Fiber Trends pattern. He looks pretty good in the tam, yes? I just felted a purple one for Ruby, but it still needs to be finished - eyes, nose and a short seam sewn up.

Secret Spinners!

I came home late last night - it is a long drive from Richmond to my house - and I found a small package waiting for me, all the way from New Zealand! Pretty exciting stuff, here.

It was from my Secret Spinner Pal and contained the first of two promised skeins of handspun yarn, as well as a card on cool handmade paper and a bonus of Sweeties! Miss Ruby & I had a laugh over the name - Pineapple Lumps - but it's a great combination, chocolate & pineapple.

Lovely yarn, pal! Thanks so much! Now I get to figure out what to knit it up into...
This also served as a reminder - I need to mail a package off to my secret spinner in Alberta, Canada. I have a small skein of border leicester all ready to go.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Another great week

at the John C Campbell Folk School!

This is just a quick post to let you know that I am back home, and that we had a very successful class. Pictured above, holding samples of their work, are the students - some old friends and some new friends. Back row, L to R: Thom, Kay, Chris & Richard; front row: Lynn, Kate & me!

Thanks to Richard for the photos.

I stopped at a new yarn store in Staunton, Virginia on my way south to teach a cable knitting class. If you are driving on I81 in Virginia sometime, stop by and check out On the Lamb. I left some Fleece Artist yarn there for Joe to sell along with all the other goodies in the shop. And I visited my friends Martha & Pam's fiber shop near the Folk School - The Yarn Circle. I am now the proud owner of one of Martha's handspun, handknit tams. I promise a photo of this once I get my camera back from being repaired...

There was a little personal fiber time in my Folk School week - I did finish my first Jaywalker sock and started the second, and wove off the cotton towel warp on my Baby Wolf so I could wind on the warp for the workshop I am taking this coming weekend - The Big Twill with Bonnie Inouye.

I have a busy week before me, catching up at work and at home after being gone last week. I'll be going to the ArtWorks conference in Richmond on Wednesday, too. I am hoping for some good knitting time there.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

18th century Floor Coverings

I will be teaching a weaving class at the John C Campbell Folk School from January 14th through the 20th on old rug styles. The link for the description is:

It's a very interesting weaving class, and although this is listed as an advanced class, I often have a brand new weaver or two in my classes and that would be fine for this class as well.

There are 3 students signed up right now, with a good promise of a fourth, but as this is a round-robin style class with 6 different rug warps, it would be great to have a few more students.

We are going to weave samples of Swedish drall, Venetian carpeting, Jerga from the American southwest, Shaker rag rugs, boundweave and all wool overshot from Canada. There is a brown & blue sample of the overshot in the photo below of Cath Dodds - it's on the end of the table and is brown & blue.

For those of you who have never been to the Folk School, it's a wonderful place to spend a week immersed in craft and community, and the food is great. I've been teaching there for ten year and I try to go once or twice a year. I'll be back again in September to teach a modular knitting class.

Drop me a line if you are interested and have any questions!

More First Night photos

Some more First Night pictures - The first two are of the Grand Illumination. We end our First Nights by having people gather at a central point in the town, often the old courthouse. We pass out candles and we all wait together for the courthouse clock to chime in the new year. And then we sing together - we sing Auld Lang's Syne and You Are My Sunshine and Goodnight Irene, and sometimes more old familiar songs. It's a wonderful way to end one year and see in the start of another.
But I must say, very few people seemed to know the words to Auld Lang's Syne this year. Tsk, tsk.
The third photo is of my friend Cath Dodds who has demonstrated weaving and spinning at First Night Leesburg for many years.

First Night Leesburg

We had a great time performing at First Night Leesburg on 12/31.

Sine Nomine sang two sets and I sang one solo set in the sanctuary of the St. James Episcopal Church in Leesburg.

I have sung in a number of the churches in Leesburg, and they all have lovely acoustics for music, but singing in St. James is like playing a very, very good instrument.

It was such a pleasure.
Above you can see some of my audience, listening with rapt attention (!) - that's our Hannah sitting to the left in the piano scarf. And then me, talking between songs. Our Ruby took the photies. I'll put a few more in a separate post.

And two days later I came down with a nasty cold. The only good thing to say about that is that I'm glad it came on after First Night.