Thursday, 28 June 2018

Back home and spinning again

I am back home after a wonderful trip to the US. My travels included - Interweave Knit Fest in Loveland, Colorado; John C Campbell Folk School, NC; Maryland Sheep & Wool; a visit with Judith MacKenzie; visits to guilds in Denver and Boulder, CO; and Shuttles, Spindles and Skiens, Boulder, CO; and lastly the Marshfield School of Weaving, Vermont.

I was travelling with my friend Martha Owen and we had such a great trip, meeting lots of old friends and making new ones, and visiting parts of the US that at least I had not been before.

But now I am back home and back to much needed spinning. My stock of yarn was very low after Edinburgh Yarn Fest so now it is back to the grind stone for me.

I have spun some since I got back....

.... and there is more fleece waiting to be processed.

But here are a few photos of my adventures ... well, a lot actually.

Bella, hanging out in the shade in North Carolina

Class at John C Campbell Folk School

Some of the results of the FI class at John C Campbell Folk School

Sheep waiting to be sheared and all the lambs taking a rest.

Martha taking a rest before starting shearing

watching the shearer

Natural dyed colours ready for carding and blending
at Maryland Sheep & Wool spinning class

Everyone working hard in the Fair Isle class at Maryland Sheep & Wool
A busy John C Campbell Folk School stand

Beautiful blues on the Pacific coast

The Rockies - just like the movies!

The natural dye class
at Shuttles, Spindles & Skeins
in Boulder.
The results from the dye class 
.....  all ready for blending and carding

..... and the rolags ready for spinning

leaving Boulder,  heading south to Santa Fe
the plateau goes on forever!

stunning mountains, and yes, there was hail in those clouds

and that stunning landscape just goes on and on.
Santa Fe, and I did buy jewellery.
Stunning views on the drive up to Mesa Verde

Cliff house at Mesa Verde - absolutely stunning.

The Grand Canyon
..... an incredible place
... atmospheric as the sun starts to set
... changing colours as the sun sinks in the west.

Stunning results from the dye class at the Marshfield School of Weaving

We took the carding outside in beautiful Vermont sunshine,
 - but we did stay in the shade.

The last class. Great results in the samples with the first colour choices,
but with a few changes the next knitted samples were even better.
Very proud of everyone in this class.

Then Martha and I headed back to the airport to get our separate planes home
- me to Shetland and Martha to North Carolina.

Till next time.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

A Shawl for a Christmas baby

Where has the winter gone! Well, when you are busy time does fly by!

My winter has been full of - SPINNING, trying to replenish stock ready for shows and visitors. 

One big event in our family did fill up Christmas time, a new baby, and he needed a handspun, handknitted shawl from his granny. He has 4 siblings each with their own baby shawl so no question, he needed his shawl as well. 

With 4 other shawls in the family I needed a different colour combination for this one. So the thinking hat was on, trying to decide what colour to dye for the border, or maybe the main colour? A search for the fleece inspired the design, it came from the fleece - a soft grey 'fleckit' fleece - just perfect for a simple grey shaded border. Not my usual colouring for the border, but a bit special as it is spun from one fleece.

A picture of the fleece just did not happen, I was in too much of a hurry to spin the yarn - I had a deadline, babys arrive whether the shawl is ready or not. But a photo of this fleckit fleece would just have looked like a grey fleece. Separating the fleece for different shades of grey was a little tricky, and you never know how successful you have been until the spinning is done and the yarn is washed and the hanks are dry. That done, it was a relief to have 5 shades of grey! and knitting could start.

The shawl was finished when the new little baby boy was a week old, so he used his older brothers shawl till his was ready.

The new shawl added to the family collection, each with a very different coloured design. Hope they like them when they grow up and might need a shawl for their own family.

All 5 shawls stacked up. 

The newest at the bottom, then 2 for the big sisters, an indigo blue for one brother, a multi coloured shawl for brother number 2.

In the top shawl I used small amounts of leftover yarn from each of the other shawls. Love that one.

And here is the newest shawl, a perfect shimmer of light greys.

... and a little boy, starting to grow up, wrapped in his shawl.

... comfy, cosy and warm, all wrapped up and asleep. Hands tucked in so he doesnt scratch his face, but always room to move inside a knitted wool shawl.