Saturday, October 27, 2012

Wool On the Hudson

I hauled Dancing Leaf Farm up to Rhinebeck, NY last weekend. 
Rhinebeck, or the Duchess County Sheep & Wool Festival, is the second largest wool fest in the country. (Maryland is numero uno). 

The fairgrounds were in full autumn color.

Saturday morning dawned bright and beautiful, after raining hard most of the day on Friday.

The crowds of fiber fanatics came early and stayed late, enjoying all forms of wooly goodness.

Dancing leaf Farm was set up for business.

The yarn was in its place, ready to be fondled, handled and hopefully bought.

'Biggie' spilled out of vintage suitcases.

Amelia was on her perch, looking fetching.

Natalie, my right arm woman, is getting the iPad ready. 

I have all sorts of customers drop in, some long time friends and some new faces. This lovely woman came by last year (adorned in bright pink) and I regretted not getting a photo of her awesome-ness.

Take a look at her amazing makeup. I love people pushing the style limits and this woman pulled it off.

I didn't catch her name but I remember her as Miss Marguerite Magnifico.

Sunday I was able to get away from the booth for a little walkabout. One of my favorite booths is go- Monkey Designs with her colorful designs. 

Bags, aprons, all made with whimsical fabric. 

You may come for hand dyed yarn, but you can also find buckets of color.

Even the sheep can find things they want and need.

What would a fair be without outrageous shakes?!

If you needed a colorful lucet, there were many to choose from.

Or advice about your spinning wheel from Man-in-Kilt. Santa was getting his orders in early.

I always like the orderly layers of wool fabric, dyed in old fashioned colors.

Because it was a bit cool, everyone was wearing their hand knit wearables. This 'Vortex' shawl caught my eye with its rainbow of colors. I hear it's not too hard to knit, so this one may be in my future. 

I listened to Peruvian music wafting through the air, watched little kiddos eating caramel apples rolled in sprinkles, saw thousands of people smiling and taking in all the luscious fiber, food, and fun. Natalie and I packed it all up and were on the road by 6:00. Record time! Until next year Rhinebeck... Ciao!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Am I Ca-razy!!!!?

 I've done 3 away shows, a studio tour here and now I'm packing' it up again to drive to Rhinebeck on Friday. My other business, Chirp, has a barn sale this weekend but Krista is taking care of that one. We set up the booth today and I have to say, it looks pretty ok. Yippe for the fall season! I really do like this time of year and I'm totally energized. I dyed about 68 pounds of yarn in the last 3 days and it's lucky I have a new long fence to hang it all on. After a bit of rain (really bad for drying yarn), it's been breezy and sunny. A little preview of what I'll be taking to New York...

My super skeiner, Claire is also a great knitter and has knit this wonderful poncho. 

 It's knit with Salsa & Fuzzy stranded together.

 Perfect for the fall weather.

 Another helper/knitter Anne, has designed 'Riptide', a 3/4 length sleeve cardigan with a little ruffled edging and two tiny pockets.

 Knit with Hustle yarn (a Polwarth wool and silk blend).

Anne said she wanted to knit with blues so I obliged with a new color way, 'Riptide' of course! It's a blend of 3 different blues, Denim, Royal and Sky blues.

 Along with dyeing heaps of yarn and fiber, I felted, felted, felted yesterday. I had to make another autumn scarf because my last one was stolen, along with a nice blue shawl. Phooey! I hate that.

So I'll be wearing this one this weekend. 

 The Carnival shawl is one of my favorite ones to make.

 I throw lots of color and texture on, and felt away.

 I have lots of kits assembled so you can make your own lovely scarf.

I'll be packing up these little cuties too. My hand dyed felt brooches go with all my yarns. 
So, I'm nearly ready to pack up the trailer and hit the road. Natalie and I will be heading out early Friday morning. Last year was my first year at Rhinebeck so now I know what I'm getting in to. I know that I could use another person to help out Saturday. So if any of you are going to the festival and would like to work at my booth on Saturday, let me know ( 

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Working With Wool, Part 2

Back to the Creative Felt Gathering Workshop. One of the days we made mittens and the fascinators. These mitts are made with prefect as the main part and I added a silk chiffon ruffle and a silk hankie around the cuffs. 

They started out big enough to fit the Jolly Green Giant in winter but after working them for a bit, they shrunk down to fit my hands. I got to try them out last weekend at an outdoor fiber fest and they kept my hands pretty toasty.

Bev used the weaving technique for hers.

Other embellishments.

You can see how much things shrink by comparing these two cuffs.

Our final day was hat making. Hellivi Huse had brought dozens of samples to show us for us to get ideas. They are called changeable hats, meaning you can change up the styles, putting twists or turns on the side or top or back. To make them fit properly when dried, Hellivi worked it on Bev's head, shaping it as it was barely wet.

This hat, called the tea pot because of how it looks laid out...

turned into this!

This is another example.

A bright pink flower hat.

Paige is working away on her fascinator.

And the wash women, Zita and Grace...

rolling away on the pebbled concrete, a perfect felting surface.

Jone was our fearless leader, the one who organized this entire event. She has a large personality and is just a joy to be around.

Amira Mudfaery taught us to use our imagination to create an unusual piece. She was a free spirit and we spent many days together as she was able to take the other teachers'  classes with us. She and I bonded while dancing under the stars in the circle of the crosses.  

She wore faery type clothing every day, layers of felted and cut wool.

Some of the women in her class really pushed it with resists and form.
This is going to be a purse.

On one of the evenings, we all gathered around the pond to set our candles adrift. Jone had made these out of coffee filters dipped in hot wax. We put a tea candle in them and they floated just fine. We made a wish as we placed our candles on the water. The idea was for them to make their way across the pond, bobbing along. But the slight breeze brought them right back to the shoreline. 

We created lamps with Pam Macgregor. This looks more like an udder, but it really will be a lamp. 
We blew up a ballon, covered with long staple wool and bits of silk, leaves, sticks or whatever. The clothespins are for making creases and folds. The pool noodle is used for keeping the top formed and to hang it on the clothesline until it's dry.

We coated them with a watered down glue to stiffen them. Pam even gave us all a base for the felted lamp to sit on and the light works too. Mine still needs a bit of work so I don't have a finished piece yet.

Here are all our wonderful teachers. What a bundle of talent!

and here the seven of us from the Virginia/Maryland area in our finished hats. This was my first away felt workshop and I had the best time. To be with 30 creative women, pushing their craft to new limits, was so inspiring. Now I just need to find the time to felt, felt, felt.