Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Weekend That Keeps Giving

Joy is the best word to describe The Gathering. Every two years we gather with other fiber enthusiasts and indulge ourselves in pure fiber and workshops to our heart's desire.

The workshops are numerous and all of us wish we could take every one of them. I very much enjoyed my workshops with Myrna Stahman and Abby Franquemont. I learned something new from both. Visit Abby's blog and here's a link to Mryna Stahman's Seaman's Scarf pattern. Visit my blog for more details.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Spinning Podcast

I have discovered a wonderful podcast about spinning. The name is Yarnspinners Tales and can be downloaded directly into a file on your computer for your listening pleasure whenever you wish. You can also download the pod cast to an iPod and take it with you. There is also an accompanying blog.The host has a very soft soothing voice well suited to this medium. I find her very relaxing to listen to.

In some episodes the host will talk about different techniques including how to comb, card, wash and prepare fleece. There are dyeing episodes and a couple on cotton preparation.

Every month, she tries to have a “spin in” episode. In these episodes, you will learn about different sheep breeds, including their history of origin, how they became available in the United States and what part of the country they are most common to. She goes on to give information on the micron count, staple length, how they respond to combing and carding, and several other things. If you enjoy the technical side of spinning I think you will like this part of her pod cast the most.

It’s not necessary to start with the first episode. Sometimes there are stories about her life and the farm, or readings from a literary works from the 1800s. You do hear the spinning wheel in the background as she talks, which makes you feel right at home as you spin on yours, or move your needles along.

I also especially enjoy the open song “Spinning Wheel” by Clare Dowling, and the “Baa Baa Black Sheep” song by Wren Ross. Usually there is some other music as well.

I hope you check this enjoyable recording out when you have a moment. Debbie R.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival

Here in the north country, the leaves are starting to turn. It is a sure sign that fall is right around the corner and with it the first of the fall fairs. The Vermont Sheep & Wool festival is next weekend, Sept 6-7th, 2008. For anyone wishing to attend, it is once again being held at the Champlain Valley Expo, in Essex Junction, just outside of Burlington. There is a $1.00 off coupon on the website.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Shawl for Gilbert Stuart Homestead

It has been a while since we all worked on the shawl for Gilbert Stuart Homestead. Richard completed the piece which was unfinished when we packed up after demonstrating at the Homestead. Iris Westcott kindly drove Richard and me to present it to the museum director. We have suggested that it be auctioned off at their next fundraiser. This donation of the shawl was made in the name of the Guild.
The piece was woven from a commercial wool warp and a suffolk hoggett fleece that Richard and I received from Peckham Farm, URI. Guild members combed and spun the weft yarn and Richard wove it in a huck-lace pattern.
Thanks to all who participated and it is great to help this beautiful historic site as a group.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

June Meeting and CVM Fleece

Yesterday's meeting was wonderful. Thanks to all of you who worked so hard to put it together. And a big thank you to the members who gathered up and skirted all of that fleece. What a huge job! And in the heat, too.

I'm posting some information on how to wash fleece and about CVM sheep.
Click here for information on the CVM breed. After reading this, I can easily see why they are named California Variagated Mutant.

Here's a little bit of information on the fleece quoted directly form the CVM site:
Fleece: CVM color patterns vary widely, especially in the darkness of body wool. Unlike many sheep, the CVM will not fade with age, but rather darkens from birth to their first year. With the wide variety of color patterns, including dark grey, black, brown, moorit and spotted, not excluding the barred face badger pattern typical to the original CVM's a breed description has been difficult. Fleece should be bright, uniform and dense, of high yielding, long staple, fine wool. Sheep will average about 8lbs of wool yearly with spinning counts from 60-62's quality. 12 month staple length averages 3-6 inches. Wool should have a well defined crimp from base to tip, be pliable to the touch and free from kemp or objectionable fibers.

Now, for the washing. I do my fleece in the machine. These directions are from a site on alpacas, but I do the same for all my wool fleece. Because I'm in a hurry this morning, I will give you the link. It goes through all the steps and tells you how to wash small batches using a salad spinner or larger ones in your washing machine. Click here.

I hope someone else will write a post about the weaving demonstration. It certainly caught my attention. I think I have found a great way to use up some of my wool.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

RI Sheep and Wool Festival 2008

Much fun was had by all at the second annual R.I. Sheep and Wool Festival at Coggeshall Farm in Bristol, R.I. this year on May 17th. The RISG participated in a Sheep to Shawl demonstration as well as other in other areas.

June's meeting is this Saturday at the Coventry Historical Society. Directions are here. Hope to see you all there for the meeting where you can view a tapestry demonstration by Janet Austin.

Here are some tapestry links:
American Tapestry Alliance
All Fiber Arts

Monday, March 3, 2008

Traditional Way of Processing Wool

I first saw this video on Riverrim's blog .This video of fiber processing and spinning in rural Serbia is delightful.I enjoyed watching the women's spinning technique.Make sure you enlarge the video so you can see the bird in the house.....Cindy

Sunday, March 2, 2008

January and February Guild Meetings

A hearty thank you goes out to our January and February guild meeting hosts.

January's meeting was hosted by David and Richard. Richard demonstrated spinning and fiber preparation.Beth wore her singing attire. She made all of her clothing including her wonderful shawl!

February's Guild Meeting was hosted by Jennifer. It was a special afternoon complete with spinning and food and a view of falling snow......not to mention Jennifer's new lambs.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Holiday Spin In

What a delightful time was had by all at the holiday guild party last month. Many members helped to create such a festive atmosphere. Sandy C set up and decorated a lovely tree for us. David W serenaded us with holiday music with his guitar playing. Many others brought delicious goodies for our traditional buffet.

We also participated in a handmade ornament exchange which provided excitement. Here are some pictures that Judy J took of our afternoon.