Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Preparation Underway

Front and back of card

I just wanted to quickly post the "rack cards" I had printed for Oregon Flock and Fiber this weekend. Banner is arriving tomorrow; not a moment too soon!

I am more stoked than ever for this year. As usual, I get the lovely Barbara staying with me and I get to spend 2 days with all my favorite people. See you at the Festival

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Petra, Me and Sailing

The sailing vessel, Sara

Preparing to leave

Someone with a spinnaker sail

That big rotating bridge, moving just for us.

My she's happy we made it!
See, don't I look really really calm? Yeah, this was on the other side of that bridge.

Back at the slip, all relaxed, like.
All the comforts of home

Ah, yes. I believe the wine was poured by this point...

There's a lot of story to this. Oh, I wish I could just tell you all over a cuppa. Seriously funny, amazing, a little scary and yeah, amazing.

I manned the tiller and gave us direction, eventually trying to find the wind, catch the wind and still sail down the river with Petra adjusting the sails and talking non-stop about what was happening. None of it was easy, but somehow it call came back to me. The parts of me that knows about boats and hopping, yes hopping off to safely guide them into slips. I forgot what I knew.

The most amazing and no doubt stressful time for Petra was when we found ourselves on the other side of a massive steel bridge (Hey, let's just keep going to see what we see!). We get up on the bridge and see some other boats hoavering. Hell, let's just move beyond and wait a little down river until they raise that side of the bridge. Oh no! They're raising the bridge and now we're far away and look! They're moving it back again.

We have no radio. We don't know what to do. Petra pulls out the airhorn and I try and look up how many times to signal for "let up the bridge, please!" There's a wee little house actually on the bridge where there's some guy who comes out to see our little 20' Ranger sittin down there blowing our air horn for dear life, going around in circles. Next thing we know there's two speeding trains, racing across the bridge. Well heck, we think. At least there's actually trains. Maybe he really does see us. Maybe that far off signal was, Ok, don't get your panties all in a wad!

Yes, the bridge eventually rotated back to the open position. Mr Man blew his horn in a Howdy Ladies kinda way (seriously, we thought we were gonna have to lift up our shirts any minute because he didn't seem to see us batting our eyelashes) We passed through.

Ummm. I guess she needs a radio for occasions like this.
We did fine. I know I'm gonna be crazy sore tomorrow and that I've gotten myself into "something" there.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

World Wide Spin in Public Day (WWSIP)

This is the way my day started, waiting at the MAX in the drizzle in my socks. Only in the fiber arts community is it cool to wear sandals with socks. And so you'll be asking, Nutkin, knitting in the Paul colorway of Wollmeise.
And so I get there, and Bobbie, above, smiling to the left already has the Journey Wheel ready for it's hand-off back to me. Here she is demonstrating carding technique with what I believe are dog combs.

And above we have Carrisa, showing off some sparkly art yarn to Sara on the right.

Left to right, we have Melinda and Jessica down from Vancouver and Sara's delicate hands doing their thing. Oh, so was that great banjo, mandolin and guitar player right above her.
Here we have our very organized spinning organizer, Sheila January with the Black Sheep Gathering shirt on. We compared notes about spinning guild organizing as well as fiber-related trips to Sweden.And thanks to Tami Hawes for organizing this shindig and landing us these great swag bags!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Finally Did it

As many of you know, my dad had a phase of spinning. It was after he had lost most of his site after some eye surgery. I made some beautiful yarn. His resources for fiber were really limited, but he turned out some great natural colored yarn. I have a couple of sweaters he knit from that yarn and some that I've over-dyed, as you can see in the hank to the left above.

Thing is, I've really gone more to the sleek worsted style of spinning and have had a really hard time replicating the woolen style of spinning that he was so good at. I love the light, airy quality it has. The ply is really angled nicely. The whole package.

Last night I gave it another try. I pulled out some wool/mohair blend that I picked up at black sheep. I set my ratios for a fast spin and I just let 'er rip. As I finished two bobbins of singles in about an hour, I wasn't really quite sure of what I'd come up with. It was only after I plied them that I thought, Holy cr*p! I've done it!

So, here you go. Dad's is on the left and mine is on the right. Oh, happy day.

Now off to finish preparations for the multitude of "end of season" happenings.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

It's in The Stars...

...and in the wind. The words that is, to pluck out and put down.
This is one of those posts where I start with no exact idea, no images and then somehow it coalesces and appears on this page.

I was just visiting with my dear friend Paula tonight who has graced the posts of this blog for years now. She is one of the most singularly talented people I know, and for sure, in fashion. These days we seem to be coming to some of the same conclusions about "just doing it."

Today I taught my friend Laura how to hand sew. No one has ever asked me to do that before. To me it's like knowing how to speak or read or walk. How do you teach that? My brain was at a loss for a moment and then I thought about being maybe 5 or so and how I might have learned. (see picture above in making mode) With anything, hands awkward at first and then it just starts flowing, one stitch after another.

Paula and I talked about the gift of being able to make things no matter what. No matter how awful we feel, how anxious or scared. We just keep making things. She told me a story of staying up nights, mending clothes because she was worried about her Grandmother and it seemed like the thing to do.

We all have stories like that in this community of makers. What I seem to be focusing on more and more these days is the passing down of the gift. I was so lucky to have the parents I had who taught me everything I know about making things. My New England heritage is very much about that simplicity of purpose. You make a dress because you need a dress.

I learned to take my brothers' old oxford cloth shirts with the frayed collars and turn those collars to the un-worn side. You pick out all the tiny stitches of the collar from the band and then you turn it upside down and stitch is all right back in place. I did it because you couldn't find things like that for girls when I was 16.

A purpose filled life is a happy life. You can take the girl out of New England but you can't take the New England out of the girl.
"Dyed in the wool" as we say.
A favorite phrase, still.