Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Highland Games 2009

Our local spinners' guild, Spindrifters, participates each year in the Highland Games in Mount Vernon, Washington. We do a fleece-to-shawl demonstration. Using a fleece that previously was sheared off a sheep, skirted (nasty bits around the edges removed), and washed, we pick and card the fiber and then spin it into yarn, which is then used as weft in weaving a shawl.

This year, our Fearless Leader chose a white Romney fleece. We decided to do a plain weave shawl on a Baby Wolf loom, which is very portable. We got donations of handspun yarn from several of our members to use for warp, and generally mentioned “blue” as a suggested color & “worsted weight” for thickness of yarn. Of course, those were general guidelines and we ended up with a great assortment of yarns which made for a very interesting warp.

The pickers & carders set to work, and then the spinners took the prepared fiber and spun yarn for the weft. The shawl was woven mostly by one weaver so that the beat was consistent and the shawl turned out gorgeous! It will be raffled off at our next spin-in, and I hope I win it. :-)

Of course there are lots of other things to see at the games. There are sports which actually make sense to me – hurling a small bale of hay over a high bar, and carrying a 265 pound keg as far as possible (many of the competitors got over 200 feet)! Then there were the sheep-herding dogs who competed, and lots of bagpipe bands & guys in kilts. A fun day was had by all, despite the rather chilly weather and rain.

On another note. . .


I have been knitting the Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn Clark, which can be found here: http://www.evelynclarkdesigns.com/pdf/Swallowtail.pdf
and I have to say it's a lovely knit, a wonderful pattern, and I'm enjoying working with the 2 ply yarn which I spun from a friend's llama combings.

The problem was that I misunderestimated the yardage required & came up just a bit short. I don't know why it is that any time I think I may be running out of yarn for a project, I knit faster. It seems that maybe I'll have enough if I finish sooner. It's kind of like driving faster to a gas station when I think I'm going to run out of gas. Somehow, I've always been able to finish or get there just in the nick of time. Not this time. I came to the end of the ball while ¼ of the way through the cast-off edge. So, yes, I could technically have gone back to the beginning of the row & just done a regular cast-off with the existing loops, but that wouldn't have given me the elastic edge that I suspect will be important when I need to block the shawl.

So it's back to the bag of fiber (fortunately there was some left) & the spinning wheel. I think I have spun enough, now, to finish. It's drying & I'll let you know soon.

Oh - and my other blog is at: http://www.spinnerseden.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

New Blog - Spinner's Eden!

Just thought I'd let you know that we have changed the name of our farm from "Aquarian Hamster Farm" to "Spinner's Eden". Please go to the new blog to see why!

In the meantime, I will probably keep posting here, too. So just thought I'd let you know that


This is Nora Gaughan's Asymmetrical Cardigan, but I changed the scarf portion from a cabled motif to leaves that I found in one of Barbara Walker's books. I'm very happy with it (although the sleeves are longer than I'd hoped), and I've gotten lots of compliments on it!

Now, go check the new blog! Thanks!