Wednesday, February 24

Follow the Fiber - The dyer

I am lucky enough to have incredibly  talented (as well as fun) fiber friends.  Two of them are practically neighbors (well they live Upstate ;)  Cal of Hodge Podge Farm and Cris of Into the Whirled.   We are all members of our local spinning guild & at a long ago meeting realized we all had Etsy shops - a threeway friendship was born.  We are often discussing techniques & supplies, sharing success, lots of laughs & sometimes frustrations.

Over beers or maybe it was coffee and idea was hatched...

Since we all specialize in a different but, related part of the fiber arts what if via bloggin we followed a humble 4oz of top through each of our fingers.
Well Cris is the Dyer so her piece needs to be first.  Read all about her process & see what I got to work with next here 

^ That's a little preview.  Even though I usually dye my own top I loved reading about her process, it is completely different than mine!  It is a luxury for me to just get to spin - no mixing colors or waiting for the wool to dry.  
Well, I've got the lovely top she prepared in my hands now and a perfect snow day to spin in front of the fireplaceAnd I better get spinning too, beacause once I'm finished it's off to Cal for her to crochet some marvelous creation with!

Thursday, February 18

For the love of Socks

I am one of those people that is ALWAYS cold.  I don't know, I must have been a cat or a lizard in a past life...
For that reason (and a few others) I love hand knit socks!  Really.  It sounds so funny but once you have hand knit socks on your feet no others really compare.  Luckily my mom is a prolific sock knitter.  So I have a few great pairs that I didn't even have to graft a single stitch of.

I guess I have been thinking lots about socks lately.  I am teaching a sock workshop in Rhinebeck, NY which is super fun.  I love watching people acquire new skills & surprise themselves with what they are capable of.

These are the socks my class will be making
Done in worsted weight yarn & #7 needles I think they are a very conquerable sock for newbies to double points or heel turnings.

They are made with my own hand painted superwash Merino and I have a hard time taking them off. 

I've also been dyeing some of the most squishy sock yarn - I'm calling it Splendor because it is a blend of 80% Merino wool 10% Cashmere & 10% Nylon and quite heavenly to knit & wear.   

Alright, stop distracting me...I have socks to knit!

Monday, February 8

What you leave behind

While I spin I often watch the History Channel or National Geographic and the other day I saw part of a show on "bog mummies".  Apparently the conditions in bogs (cold & alkali) are the perfect set up for mummification...
Anyway, the part that snapped me out of the somewhat dreamy state I'm usually in while spinning was that one mummy still had his stockings on.  Knitted stockings!  I have tried to search out an image to share but alas, no luck.  Maybe it's better, it was a slightly gruesome sight.  It got me thinking though, about handmade things and their durability versus the modern trend of forced obsolete-ness.
My favorite class in college was a costume history class where we got to go into the archives of the Costume Institute at the Met & look at, talk about & sketch; up close w/ no glass separating us from the Charles James' and Vivienne Westwood's, the teeny waisted 18th c dress or the Toledo art pieces.
What will this era leave behind?  Will we be known only by our plastic water bottles and disposable diapers? That bookshelf whether it's from Ikea or West Elm certainly won't be around in 100 years, in fact we're lucky if it makes it through the next move.

That sounds so dark, sorry!  Here's some pictures of beautifully made  stuff that I suspect will be around for a long time:

Wood Clinic Sewing Machine - I bought one for my niece (because I wanted one)
and it is as amazing in real life
Across the Grain Spalted Hickory Jewelry Box - forget turning ballerinas this is a jewelry box worthy of your treasures
Lora C Designs - or maybe it's Lorac? made this amazing quilt.  I am a huge sucker for quilts, ever since seeing the Gee's Bend exhibition at Moma I can't get enough.  Especially the modern look not so fussy style ala Denyse Schimdt