Thursday, September 24, 2009


Tomorrow (Sept 25, 2009) and again on Sunday, Sept 27 I'll be spinning in the demo booth at the TACA Craft Fair in Nashville, TN. I've been looking forward to this for a while now. I'll have a basket of beautiful handpainted fiber to spin and some needles to knit some of the active twist yarn. I'll be glad to autograph books if you bring them. If you haven't been to this fair, it's the largest in the state, put on twice a year, in Sept and May. Tennessee Arts and Crafts Association juries this show for the finest in beautiful craftsmanship in many media. It's in Centennial Park, easy to find on West End Blvd, a straight shot from I-40 (Broadway exit) or from I 440 (West End exit). On Saturday Pam Harris will be the spinning demonstrator (see post below). I'm not vending at this fair, just demonstrating, but I will be vending in Sewanee this further.

Saturday, Sept 26 you'll find me in my booth at the Sewanee Arts and Crafts Association Fall Crafts Fair on the soccer practice field behind Cravens and Quintard Halls on the campus of
the University of the South in Sewanee, TN (see map). I'll have plenty of stunningly beautiful Superfluity Kits and mohair silk boucle from TWF, my LV ltd Au Naturel naturally dyed sock yarns, a wide array of LV ltd handspun yarns. PLUS you'll find my original patterns as pattern support. Handspinners will delight at the gorgeous handpainted fibers. There will be a few beautiful handknits available for sale as well, including the jacket and scarf pictured above and these ultra soft mitts (patterns and yarns are available in multiple colorways for these items as well). This fair will happen rain or shine, so please come check us out!

Next week I'll start posting more LV ltd handspun yarns on handspuncentral.etsy.
I've been saving up a collection for the Sewanee Craft Fair so there should still be a nice selection. LV ltd has a fabulous new spinner in the ranks. If you came to Hands On Color at Dubose, you met Daria. She has been spinning some really beautiful yarns lately. My favorite skein (you can see it at the Sewanee Craft Fair) is stunningly low key. How is that possible? She spun this two ply sock weight skein long draw from City Nights merino/bamboo fiber from TWF. The colors blended so beautifully. Up close you can see them all, but from a distance it looks like a savvy, earthy neutral with a little sheen. Stunning. There is enough in this skein to knit Spiralling Leaves Fingerless Gloves or Tiny Triangle Fingerless Gloves, or a narrow scarf. So keep checking back for more.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pam, Two Pencils and Some Bailing Twine

I met Pam Harris when she took my Hands on Color class at Shakerag Workshops in 2005. At that time she didn't even know how to spin, but she came to the workshop with unbridled enthusiasm and absolutely no fear. As she put it to the group, "I ain't skeert!" That first evening of class after all the intros were over, my Yoda Sandy Sitzman and I taught Pam how to spin on a honkin' CD spindle and her world changed forever. Although her first yarn was super bulky thick and thin, the knitter in her immediately set a goal for herself to "spin skinny" and now, 4 years later, she has spun miles of yarn, a lot of it the coveted, skinny yarn.

Her enthusiasm for spinning and knitting follows her wherever she goes. Even if she is completely worn out from her day job as cook at St. Andrews Sewanee School, all you have to do is mention fibery things and she's johnnyonthespot. Last week a colleague at work wanted to learn to knit, so Pam found two pencils and some bailing twine in the kitchen and taught her how on the spot, told her what to buy to practice further, and her pupil went home that evening with newly purchased supplies and knit several inches of a scarf. Watch out folks, soon she'll be teaching the staff to spin with a potato on a skewer and dinner will have to wait!

Since I've been gearing up for the Sewanee Fall Craft Fair behind Cravens Hall, Saturday September 26, I've been seeing a lot of Pam lately. She is going to have plenty of her beautiful handspuns available in my booth that day, but she will be in person at the TACA Craft Fair at Centennial Park in Nashville that Saturday in the demo booth (I'll be there Friday and Sunday), spinning and talking to the public. This is a treat not to be missed if you are in the Nashville area.

You can also find her yarns at the new Etsy store, Handspuncentral, including the one pictured here, "Candyland". These are real knitting yarns, not "art yarns", but they certainly can transform an ordinary knitting pattern into a work of art. Use them in a Mason Dixon Log Cabin Throw (Ann Shayne is a big fan of Pam's spinning!) or my Tiny Triangle Fingerless Gloves, or just knit a scarf. The yarn speaks for itself.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Huntsville Fiber Guild: Class at the Flying Monkey

This past weekend I had the pleasure of meeting with the Huntsville Fiber Guild for a great class at the Flying Monkey Theater in Huntsville, AL on Saturday and Sunday. This was a very talented and adventurous group, with visitors from Orlando, Asheville, and Tuscaloosa. We spun active singles and knit and crocheted the most beautiful motifs with these yarns. Some were so subtle, light as a feather, some were wildly colorful. Beth B took her bobbin home on Saturday evening and crocheted this awesome composition with the samples that remained on that bobbin. As you can probably see, she started in the center with TWF Mother of Pearl and followed the colors as they came off the bobbin, changing her direction accordingly. When she ran out of Mother of Pearl, the yarn changed to a combination drafted single (looks like First Bloom and Fall Apple
Redux...Beth correct me if I"m wrong. The neutrals of this combo make for a deep, glowing background to the composition.
Vicki, our "unapologetic crocheter", had a fine time with active singles in this little ripple piece.

You can tell by the big picture that a good time was had by all. We'll have to do this again soon. Awesome work!!!!

Harrisville Spin Dye Knit

Finally sitting down to blog. Gad the time slips away. I never got around to blogging how amazing my Harrisville spin/dye/knit class was this year way back in August. Joe in the loom shop made an outside station for the dye microwaves and we had no problems in the dye class this year. All the intense fumes were outside and everyone was in the loveliest zen because of it. On Friday morning everyone spread out all their handdyes on the floor of the classroom and the beauty of the display had me verklept and begging for tissues. Yes, we'll do this again next year. To thank Joe and all the workers in the loom shop who went out of their way to make this successful, we presented a blueberry coffee cake in a box signed by the class. We all went in as a class to present it to Joe and he blushed to the roots. Thanks everybody!!!

Holly's felted scarf (above left) was a roving that she washed a little too exuberantly and it was a little too felted to spin, so she meticulously laid it out on bubble wrap, added a little cross hatching and felted it into a scarf. Beth was able to get the clear summer pastel tints she loves (upper right) and Marilla crocheted this cellphone bag (spun from a Fall Apple Redux roving) in the time it took us to have our closing talk on Friday.
That weekend I went up to McDowell to the artists open house. They had strung tons of yarn on tent poles, a work in progress, so I added my two cents with Harrisville yarn. Mine is actually knitted in place, crude as it is. Yep...I had to kitchener to do this..with my fingers no less.