Monday, June 30, 2014

Fibre week - Wrap up

Wow!  Has it ever been a whirl wind since my last post! I had planned to post every day this year, but between evening functions and class work and that fancy kind of social networking where you talk to people  face to face....  Fibre Week has flown by, and was so incredibly interesting and mildly exhausting.  Tuesday was dye day, and we were using acid dyes. So many pretty colours, just from the three primaries!  Then we learned to spin flax. Yes! Flax!  My husband was shocked to learn that people spin flax... I'm kind of surprised he was surprised. And Bison, and Camel and Cashmere, ohmy!  We did a bit on designer yarns too. Overall class was fabulous. I did indeed miss the weekend classes, but that sure didn't stop me from spending a whole lot of money at the Merchant Mall!

Fibre Week 2014 became incredibly humbling for me, because there were copies of the Summer 2014 issue of PLY magazine, theme: Twist, circling about.  How does this relate?  Well, I have an article printed in there!!! (It's been so hard to keep that secret until the issue was printed!)  And I can't count the amount of congratulations I got.  It feels so crazy to have my name in a highly read and respected magazine.

Now that I'm home, it's time to get onto my homework. I've gotten the extension for Level 3, but all I've got to do is the final project.  I've changed my mind on this, and am going to spin and knit my own socks.  I'll be using this as my Tour de Fleece project. The Tour begins on the 5th of July and ends on the 27th.  It's absolutely do able. The time line is set to spin and dye by the 17th, and then knit up a pair of knee high socks by the 27th.  I can totally do it!

Happiest spinning to everyone!

~Kara

Monday, June 23, 2014

Fibre Week -Day 2

It's the first day for classes!  I'm really excited to get started.  I did hit the market yesterday, and got myself an epically amazing Russian spindle from Ancient Fibre Arts.  I was spindle whispered by Caroline herself. This is the beauty, and it spins so true.

Fibre week haul - Russian spindle

She's coco bolo and walnut. The bowl I bought to spin her in is african black wood, it's heavy and perfect for sitting cross legged on the floor, which is how I generally spin on a supported spindle.

I'm in the classroom right now, and there's more visiting then typing, so I'm going to leave it at this! Time for the fun to start!

~Kara

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Fibre Week 2014 - Day 1

I arrived at Olds College last night.  It was a very long drive, with the first half of the time raining cats and dogs.   I had a stop in at The Fat Ewe Bed and Breakfast farm, and picked up a few raw fleeces.  Eileen and I had a coffee and a cookie (or two ;) ) and a good visit.  This is one of my favourite stops on my way to Olds every year. This year was a bit sad, because of the rain, as she generally gives me a tour of the farm, giving me a chance to see all the animals. I enjoyed it none the less.  Once I got closer to Edmonton the clouds broke up and I could see the sky.  It really is blue!! (side note, It's been raining back home for the better portion of the past two weeks, and it's been a while since I've seen the sun.)

Olds College

Once I got here, I found my way to my town house.  I really enjoy staying in these housing units.  They are a shared home so I'll have roomies, but they've not arrived yet. It was very quiet, but oh so nice to just unwind.
The Townhouses

This morning I got a sleep in, and it was a rather lazy morning as well.  I didn't leave the condo until 10!  There's not much going on today, other then the Merchant Mall, so I'm finding this extremely slow pace odd but wonderful.  I'm definitely not used to silence and down time.  Once I did get rolling however, I went for an invigorating walk.  The sky is still blue!  Because the college has a horticulture program the grounds are absolutely gorgeous. Flowers are blooming, bees are buzzing and it couldn't be a more gorgeous day.

Land Sciences Building

The Merchant Mall opens up in about 10 minutes, so I'm going to wrap this up, and spend some money! This year is full of new fibres like bison, camel, cashmere, and linen, and I know I'll be needing those. I definitely don't have those to hand!

Hope your day is as wonderful as mine is shaping up!

~Kara

Saturday, June 14, 2014

And Breath.....

Yesterday, I had my "1 week until Fibre Week" freak out. Maybe, just maybe, the full moon and Friday the 13th had something to do with it.  Maybe I panicked for no reason.  I know in the logical part of my mind that everything will fall into place. And if it doesn't, it's not the end of the world. But now that it's over and I've slept off the cortisol my body produced in it's flight or fight mode (which was totally fight, okay, maybe I was ready to hide in a hole. That's likely more flight then fight...) I'm ready to tackle my tasks.  Some of them a bit begrudgingly, but I'll tackle them none the less.

Last week I was working on the 15 TPI skien.  I did one skein, and enough of it was 15 TPI and it was something I would have turned in, but it was only nearly 9 yards, and that's pushing it in terms of measurement.  So I re did it, and ended up with this one, which is 14 TPI... So I'll have to do it again.  But I'm pretty proud of this one.  It's incredibly fine, at 60WPI.  Proof that I can definitly make embroidery threads. And it's definitly not for not, because I can sample with it, and make the adjustments necessary (or not) to get the just right thread type for my final project.


Untitled

Of course, after spinning something like that (~25 yards in 2hours) one needs an "instant gratification spin" or "palate cleanser yarn".  Fancy Kitty Ravelry group is having a drawing for a blending board, and the entry is a 4 oz blended and spun yarn in a summer theme, with an inspiration picture.
 This is the finished yarn:


 Which was based on this image:

Image found on internet somewhere photo the-simpsons-summer-pool-party-simpsons-characters-11824646-1680-1050_zps20cb012f.jpg

Which was obviously chosen by my kiddos! It was fun having little helpers. I hope we win!

But, back at it with me. The kids are up and looking for food.  And I will continue to breath, and know that all will be okay, no matter what happens in the next week.

~Kara

Monday, June 9, 2014

Cleaning the kitty

For level 4 of the Master Spinners program, we need to come prepared with a presentation.  I LOVE my drum carder, and I've learned a lot about blending fibres since opening my Etsy shop.  Drum carders are briefly covered in level 2, so I can do my presentation on them! Hurray!  This should be a piece of cake.
I went to get everything ready for this presentation, you know, clean my space to take pictures, get out the fibre and scale, find the camera, all that good stuff.  And of course, clean the carder.... Wow. was it ever a mess! One of the kids (the Zoo, to be exact) grabbed a handful of pulled sari silk and put it onto the carder, straight up.  The kids each had a turn with the carder, and of course, they aren't careful about where the fibre goes, so it got wrapped around the posts. It took me 2 hours to take it apart and put it back together! those pins were in there so tight, it was really difficult to get them out! But I did, with a little muscle from the husband, and she's shiny and clean now! It's wonderful.
One of those many things I felt I needed to take on is now over until the fall, leaving me with free time tonight!! It's an amazing feeling to not have anywhere to be on a Monday night.  I'm going to head on into my fluff room, with my newly cleaned carder, and work on my presentation as soon as I hit post!  Definitly looking forward to being ready for Fibre Week 2014! Less then 2 weeks now!!

~Kara