I want to share with you a story that makes me happy everytime I think of it. It shows how the wonderful people in our fiber community work together, and create beautiful things.
Let me start with my local yarn shop, Joseph's Coat, in Missoula, Montana. The owner, Janet Sullivan, has supported my little indy dye business from the very beginning. I am so grateful for her help and support. In her honor, the image on my Retail Shops webpage is from her shop, and I reposting it here. My yarns are hanging at the front of on the right.
In September, 2015, I got a lovely email from Candis C., saying: "I’m a Montanan who moved to San Diego years ago, but I always feel as though I’ve come home when I return to Montana to visit. On a recent visit, I discovered your yarn in Joseph’s Coat in Missoula. I actually made two separate trips to Missoula to buy more yarn because I fell in love with your colors based on local landscapes and the incredible feel of the fibers you use. I only bought seven of the colors and now I’m regretting that I didn’t get one of each – I like them that much."
As if that were not wonderful enough, she went on to say: "We had our annual Yarn Crawl in San Diego this past weekend and I talked up your yarn to one of the shop owners who will probably be contacting you. I would like so much to have your yarns available locally. The shop is Yarning for You in San Marcos." A few days later, I got a call from Lynn K. from Yarning for You, saying that they wanted to carry my yarn, and that they would like to feature me as Indy Dyer of the Month in their shop! To say I was thrilled, would be an understatement.
Recently, I have been dismayed to hear people claiming that shearing is cruel. These people, I assume with the best intentions, want us to stop using wool to spare sheep this supposedly cruel process. A certain animal rights organization has posted photos on Facebook showing a grotesquely mangled lamb, which they claim is the result of shearing. My blog post here shows how we shear sheep, and I think it is quite typical of shearing on small farms.
My friends Sharon and Will (River Run Weaving) asked our spinning group to help with the shearing of their small flock (12) of sheep on April 14. Leroy was the shearer. He has been shearing for many years, and he does a fine job of it.
In which there is a Fiber Festival, a birthday, car trouble, and a happy ending!
What a great trip to the Log Cabin Spin In, Post Falls, Idaho, this past weekend! My friend Laura M. went with me, and we sure are a smooth team putting up and taking down the booth, as well as helping all the friendly folks who stop by the booth. Below is my booth, all set up, with new banners, all the yarn in place, lights on, waiting for the show to open. I loved seeing so many old friends and meeting new people. Thanks to all who stopped by!
The Log Cabin Spin In, held at the end of March in Post Falls, Idaho, is one of my favorite fiber events. This was my 4th year as a vendor, and it was every bit as much fun as I had anticipated. My friends Laura M. and Margie N. went with me, and we spent much of the time laughing. The Log Cabin Spinning Guild has been hosting this event for 24 years, and their organization and experience made for a smooth, problem free, and welcoming experience for vendors and participants alike.
There were so many busy spinners that it was hard to move through the crowd.
I was a vendor at Trailing of the Sheep Festival in Sun Valley, Idaho this past weekend, and what a glorious weekend it was! The festival commemorates the sheep herding life in the region, in particular, bringing the sheep from summer to winter pastures. Here are some highlights.
The fall colors and scenery were spectacular. Here are maple leaves in the town of Ketchum, ID, where the sheep trailing parade was held.
It's wildfire season in western Montana (and most of the western US). We were camping in the Lolo National Forest, near Lolo Pass (fibery aside - hence the name of my Lolo Shawl pattern) last Saturday night and enjoyed being safe and cozy while a thunder storms passed over us. On our way home on Sunday at around 11am, we saw several small fires started by lightning strikes from that storm. Firefighters were already on the scene with helicopters dropping water.
In my last post (The Dyeing Process, Part 1), I showed how I dyed the yarn and fiber and wrapped it for steaming. The photos below show the next steps.
Here is the yarn (brown) and spinning fiber (green) after it has steamed, then left to cool overnight. It is now ready to unwrap and rinse.
Here is a guided tour of how I dye yarn and fiber.
The yarns and fibers are ready to dye. Each has a plastic tie color coded by yarn/fiber base (blue is Lambent). Combed tops are in mesh bags to protect them during soaking. Zane is there because otherwise this might be a kind of boring picture, and since he is my shadow, he is always there.