Sunday, October 26, 2008

Spinning at the Fall Festival


Last time I blogged I left off where I had *just* gone to do a bit of demonstrating with my sister at a local fall festival. For about four hours I spun, carded, and crocheted a shawl for myself-- something that I would have probably done at home on any average weekend, fall festival or not. It was our very first time doing a demonstration on our own, without the spinner's guild, but I feel we came well-prepared. Amazingly enough our booth was placed next to the basket weaving booth, set up by the woman who did the hand-spinning demonstration last year, who also happened to be a member of the spinner's guild as well.

And if that wasn't quite a coincidence itself, she also recognized our drum carder. Turns out she was the very first owner, and she had given it to Sharon, who then gave it to my family.


Other than spinning, carding, and crocheting, I had tons of fun chatting with demonstrators at the other booths and doing a bit of shopping. My sister and I both purchased really great face jugs from these kids who made them at the local high school. I was AMAZED that they hadn't sold out, because they were really great pieces and the price they were selling them at was a steal. Seriously, I would have bought everything if I had the money. But I only bought one; it has these two screaming faces on the very top, and the mouths are actually the eyes for the main face on the jug. Very Halloween. I definitely need to share pics of it some time....

Enough talking; here's a bunch of pictures!

Here's Mary at her Ashford traditional spinning wheel.

Here's moi. My louet isn't quite traditional.

Here is our little setup.

Here were Gae's basket weavings. Definitely putting kudzu to good use!

This was Paula, the butter-churning lady. She sewed her whole outfit.

Making apple cider with a cider press...

Here were some hand-made dulcimers.

By no means the gist of it, but my camera was low on memory...

Anyway, hopefully I'll get back to blogging again soon, because I've been doing some spindling with some alpaca I bought over at the John C. Campbell Folk School's fall festival and I've been meaning to blab about how that's all coming out. So until then...

-The Bloated Ewe
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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Natural Dyeing Escapade: The End Result

Well, since the last post not only have I had an overwhelmingly large amount of school work to do, but it also happens to be "Fall Festival" season, which usually keeps my weekends busy--the only time I have to write.

Fall festivals also mean more fiber crap to buy, which also means more stuff to write and rave about...but for now I'm simply going to focus on what I left off on-- that yarn I naturally dyed a couple of weeks back!

On the left is a skein of yarn I spun from Aggie's wool, in it's natural creamy white. To the right are two similar skeins, naturally dyed with alkanet root chips and with alum as a mordant.

While dyeing it I kept worrying that I under-guesstimated the amount of alum and cream of tartar that I mordanted the wool in, so I mixed up some more and poured it into the dye vat. I also let the yarn sit in the dye vat for a couple of days-- not so much to be sure that the dye took, but just because I wasn't able to finish dyeing during the weekend and got busy with school and work.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the colours; it's like a light lavender-grey.

I took one of my alkanet-dyed skeins along with a lot more fiber-related things on a demonstration I did with my sister over at Smithgall Woods for their "Fall Celebration". Yep, another topic that I'd LOVE to write about right now, but I feel that it deserve a post all of its own, along with all the pictures I took.

So for now all you get is a picture of my alkanet skein along with some more handspun yarns I had on display.

More to come soon.

-The Bloated Ewe Read more!