Hand Spun

Hand Spun
Campfire Hat

Monday, February 14, 2011

10th Annual Winter Blues Spin-In

I attended my first ever spin-in yesterday in Garden Valley. It was held at the community center in Crouch, ID. Festivities began at 10am and ran until 3pm. The room was full of spinning wheels, some familiar and some not so familiar brands of wheel, spinners of every skill level and yarns of every preference. Then there were vendors of prepped, hand dyed roving, silk caps and hankies, dyed top, drop spindles, etc. etc. galore! I came away with lots of good memories (and a pound of merino/silk top in two colors). We set up our wheels in a big circle and everyone spun and chatted. This was all new to me but obviously some of these ladies (and gentlemen) were old friends.

The smiling ladies above are Nancy and Peggy. Nancy was the one who actually told me about this event and invited me. She and Peggy have been spinning for YEARS so they took me (newbie fledgling) under their wings and we had a blast. Peggy makes a great chicken salad by the way! :) Lunch was impromptu but people brought food and ate at the tables set up on the stage when they felt the need for snacks.
Half way through the event, we had a white elephant gift exchange.

It was a "dirty Santa" type of thing and I got the COOLEST fiber! Then it got stolen from me at the very last minute by Georgianna! But she tried to be really sweet about it when she stole it from me. Good thing I wasn't emotionally attached to it. I came away with a lot of great fiber I purchased myself including some pretty hand painted roving in "Mountain Meadow" colors that I'm going to ply with some cantaloupe colored silk. I've not spun silk before so it will be very interesting. The roving is Targhee wool so the micron count is lower than on Merino wool but still veeeeeeery soft and lovely! Here's the single I spun while at the Spin-In. It's from the "Mountain Meadow" roving. What looks pink in the picture is actually a nice cantaloupe color that will match the silk's color exactly! I had Rowenna with me yesterday because I was SUPPOSED to spin angora. Once I saw this roving my plans changed drastically. But Rowenna went with the flow and spun everything I put on her. I have to say that I love the sliding flyer hooks on the Majacraft wheels. It's so easy to get an even bobbin. I could never do this on my Ashford Traddy wheel.
Here's a very small sample of what was for sale yesterday. I could have spent a small fortune on fiber yesterday if it had been in my budget and I probably would have! I saw someone do a woolen long-draw up close and personal. I saw a Columbine wheel, a Magnus Drudik wheel (very lovely and very expensive wheel!) and I was surprised at how many Lendrums there were. I counted at least 7 of them in the room. One other spinner had a Majacraft Rose and there were a few Ashford Travelers as well. Lots of variety in both wheels and different types of fiber so it was good to be exposed to all of  that.
I had so much fun that I'm already looking forward to next year's Spin-In and I can't wait to see what this coming summer and fall have to offer in the way of fiber fairs and spinning events!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Crocheting Bandages for the Bandage Brigade!

I was looking on Ravelry.com for some easy patterns and ran across a pattern for crocheted bandages. When I clicked the link out of curiosity, I found an amazing group of people doing amazing work. Here's the link.

I went out last weekend and bought a huge roll of mercerized #10 cotton thread at Hobby Lobby. It only cost me $13.00 for almost 3000 yards of the thread. I started to crochet this week and I almost have one bandage done. They prefer white or ecru #10 mercerized cotton bandages 3-4" wide and 48" long. I think what they're doing is wonderful and although my efforts may not seem like much  I want to help so I'm crocheting as many of these as I can before the end of April . Then I'll mail the lot of them to the D.O.V.E. fund. I've asked my craft group if they want to help too. It seems small, but imagine how many I'll have to send in two months....
Here's the link to the instructions for making bandages. http://leprosybandages.blogspot.com/2008/06/updated-instructions-for-making-leprosy.html

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Homemade concrete

Wanna know what happens when you make homemade lavender soap and accidentally DOUBLE the amount of lye necessary for 18 bars of soap? You get lavender smelling concrete that gets hot enough to melt the dividers in your soap mold tray. I have a headache of monumental proportion as well. Guess lye fumes aren't good for you. Go figure huh? Anyway, once my soap making utensils have been washed I'm going to try his again and hope for better results using the correct amount of lye this time. I ordered new soap molds and the saying about live and learn is very true for today's experiment. *sigh*

Friday, February 4, 2011


When I was in my 20's I ADORED the dark, broody, mysterious bad-boys. I dated so many of them I lost count! None of them lasted long though because I always found a convenient reason to ditch them. Now that I'm in the high end of my 30's and married, I have days where I thank God I never actually married any of those broody types. Somehow I had sense enough to marry a hard working, down-to-earth, generous man who, although he has bad days, doesn't go all broody and silent, doesn't carry more emotional baggage than he can fit into a duffel bag, and appreciates me for who I am. What a blessing it is! Just sayin'....

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bizarre occurence!

My spinning wheels re-named themselves. I'm not sure how it happened. This weekend while spinning, I realized my Kromski's name was "Suzanna" because I kept thinking of her like that. Then yesterday, my Majacraft became "Rowenna". I know this is odd because first, who names inanimate objects and then changes the names, right? Second, who admits to having the objects "speak" to them? Well I can't help it. I think it's a very personal thing. Like men who name their firearms or knives or swords or whatever. These are my tools and I've named them (and then re-named them). :) These names just feel right though and they are going to stick. Suzanna is a lovely, hard working, trustworthy and reliable name. Rowenna is a slightly exotic, beautiful and solid name. Both of these feel right for my wonderful spinning wheels. Am I crazy??