Monday, March 10, 2008

The Show-Me State

So - who knew that Missouri is actually a hot-bed of fiber activity? Fiber of the wooly sheep kind, not the bran muffin kind ;-D

I just spent a pretty wonderful weekend in Jefferson City, Missouri, attending the 2008 Fiber Retreat, sponsored by the University of Missouri Extension. It was so great to see so many of the members of the Southwest Fiber Folks guild again - If you read this blog regularly, you'll remember that I attended a workshop with Anne Field, that they sponsored last November.

What did I learn? Take a look: I learned Continuous Strand Weaving from Carol Leigh, Entrelac Knitting from Tamara Lasely, and from Judith McKenzie McCuin, I learned to spin what she calls "wolf fiber," which she explained is how she kept the wolf from the door for many years.

And yes, I did sort of just toss in there that I got to take a class from Judith McKenzie McCuin! Everything I have heard about her is true - I think that if she was teaching "Reading the Phone Book 101" it would still have been an amazing class.

Thankfully, however, the class I got to take was called "Wild Texture." She was also the keynote speaker for the event, and who knew that Bison could be a riveting topic? (I'm not kidding - she's a fabulous speaker.) So, twice now, I have traveled to Missouri for the opportunity to study with world-class spinners (luckily I only have to drive an hour to study with PatsyZ :-) ). I don't know what they're doing in Missouri, but clearly, they're doing it very, very well.

Take a look at that woven triangle in the photo. It looks far more intricate than it was - Lamb's Pride has a new variegated style of yarn - variegated in the same color family - so the only real color change in that sample was black, which is visible in two stripes near the center.

I also took a Felting class - and check out these mittens that I felted!! I'm very excited about them and will decorate them once they are completely dry. I learned the difference between "fulling" and "felting." They are sitting on wooden spoons in this photo, and they are currently drying laying across the hanging vegetable baskets in the kitchen - you know what they say, necessity is the mother of invention :-D

And what did I buy? HolyMotherofGod . . . OK, you have you remember that I've been spinning and knitting from my respective stashes since November 2007 (well, pretty much anyway - I confess to having bought yarn a couple of times from The Loopy Ewe, which, quite frankly, I blame totally on Linda, the Chicken Lady because she's the one who told me about them in the first place ;-)). And, that this was one of two "scheduled" dispensations until August when Stitches Midwest will be in town.

So, OK, clearly I got a little carried away . . . but really, the vendors they had at the retreat had such great stuff!! In that photo are the two continuous strand looms I got (and their easel), some new Opal sock yarn and a skein of Austerman, too. There is some wonderful sock yarn and stunning roving (names like Thai Lantern and Scantness) from JWrayco. So pretty. Wonderful merino top in champagne, mushroom and multiple shades of green. Some hand died mohair locks (some more Wolf Yarn in my future I'm thinking!), and a beautiful boucle yarn that I picked up from Carol Leigh's booth. It's "Potpourri," by Oak Creek Studio. It's 40% silk, 40% mohair and 20% wool, and the color is Antique Roses - you can see a skein of it there on the left in the photo. You can't see the Misty Woods lotion bars that I got, but they are way nice. And finally, that cute little lamb bag was my final purchase of the day :-)

You're probably wondering where the photos are from the retreat . . . here is the best one

It's Helen Swartz, one of the organizers of the event, holding a brand new baby goat. I inadvertently called it a baby lamb (and was soundly and loudly corrected by virtually everyone in the room ;-D), proving once again what a city girl I really am. It was only on day two of its life, but already had a healthy pair of lungs.

Let me leave you with a close up :-)


Kris said...

How awesome! Looks like you had a blast...can't wait to hear about your new spinning techniques.

Linda said... I want a baby goat, too! It looks so cute and cuddly, and goats can be so friendly and sweet. A, you are on quite the fiber arts kick these days, arent you? I can't believe you bought LOOMS!!! Next thing up: a floor loom. I'll give it a year and we'll see.

A :-) said...

Linda, you forget that I actually HAD a portable floor loom that was GIVEN to me many years ago . . . and I never used it . . . I ended up boxing it up and selling it rather cheaply to someone on the West Coast . . . :::::kicking myself now::::: You know, a floor loom would fit nicely in your basement . . . maybe you'll be the weaver ;-)

Yarnsnob said...

Damn! I don't feel so bad about going to the Knitting Workshop sale anymore. Naughty Yummyness!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Wow, when you fall of the fiber wagon, you REALLY fall hard! I didn't realize you allowed yourself these binges. What a bad example you are! I have been thinking lately that I really should abandon my plans to shop at Black Sheep Gathering in June given all the fiber I have around here to spin, not to mention the purchased yarn in the stash. I don't think I've hit SABLE yet (know that one?) because I have good genes and plan to live a loooong life, but it's bad enough. Maybe I'll see how much I can use from both my spinning and knitting stash before then....

A :-) said...

Yes, Yes, I'm naughty - I admit it. And yes, Michelle, I fell off the wagon going at high speed, I'm afraid :-D Truly a poor example. But geez, I got such great stuff, and it's all from indie dyers and small businesswomen, so I am justifying a number a purchases under those two flags.

One of the perks of living alone is not having to find immediate places for every purchase. They are currently ensconced in the living room ;-D

SABLE? Enlighten me please :-)

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

SABLE: Stash Above and Beyond Life Expectancy. Be on your guard! Ha!