Wednesday, October 13, 2010

One Down...One to Go

Started my second pair of thrummed down and one to go.  Thanks to requests from my youngest daughter, I got a little creative with the pattern on these ones.

Hope you like them Honey!!!
Dropped to -4 here last night so better get back to knitting....

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Farm is Spinning

So I have spent the last few weeks hand carding fleece and dusting off my knitting skills to work on thrummed slippers for our little family.  It is very exciting finally finding a creative use for all this gorgeous, soft fleece.  Of course, I haven't made a very big dent in our supply and all this has done is peak my creative curiosity and left me wondering what other projects I can come up with.  Luckily, while searching for ideas online, I came across a little fibre supplier about an hour from our farm, Gemini Fibres.  This supplier is a family owned and operated business.  They run this wonderfully helpful and friendly shop from a separate building situated right on the same property as their home.  The shop is small but their selection is huge and the best part is they offer workshops in spinning, carding, dying fibres and felting!  

Now here on Jada Farms, we have turned this tiny little farmhouse into a cozy and loving home...but the operative word is still T-I-N-Y.  So, as much as I would love to have a loom, that particular creative endeavour is out of the question....for now.  I don't own a spinning wheel, so now what??  Easy!!  I am now the proud owner of my very first spindle and very happy to say it was handmade right here in Ontario.  I purchased this wonderful little tool during my very first workshop at Gemini Fibres, Beginning Spindle Spinning.  One week ago, I spent the day at Gemini Fibres with the most wonderful bunch of ladies, chatting, getting to know each other, sharing experiences and knowledge and of course, spinning.  By the time we broke for lunch I was browsing the shop and making  a huge wish list!  I also found my beautiful handmade spindle.

The design was actually burnt into the whorl of my spindle using a technique called pyography and is made up of a minimum of 300 free-hand strokes.  The yarn pictured with my spindle is my very first spinning creation.  The twist is not even, some is too loose, some is too tight....but I could not be more thrilled!

Probably not enough to make anything but it is mine!!

I was fortunate to spend the day with a group of ladies who were from all over Ontario and had a wide range of experience.  Some were knitters looking for a new challenge, a couple of them were spinners who were looking for a way to make their craft portable and our instructor, Wendy, was a wonderful teacher who can only be described as extraordinary!!  Her teaching style is comfortable, flexible and encouraging.  She shared her story with us and by the time she finished telling us the names of the different parts of our spindles, I felt I had made a friend.

Now only I, the lady with six big bags of raw alpaca fleece at home, would go to a spindle class and come home with two bags of hand-dyed sheep know, so I could practice before I started working with my boys' gorgeous fleece.  And practice I have!

I haven't spent nearly the amount of time I would like to practicing, but my latest single is looking a lot more uniform.  I am sure that by the time I get through spinning all of this royal looking purple roving I will feel a lot more confident.  Of course, I have registered for my next spindle class and I am now faced with the dilemma  of what to do if my spindle is full.  OOPS now what??

I am very glad I decided to take the workshop, I have found a new creative outlet.  One that I love and that makes time stand still.  You definitely can lose yourself while you watch that wonderful little thread appear right before your eyes.  Of course, that is, until I look out my window at our little farm and all the colours it is showing off now that Autumn is here.

Our Backyard
How could you not think, "I wonder how hard hand-dying fleece would be" when you look out your window at this everyday?  Well off to make a call to Gemini to see when the hand-dying workshop is...