Thursday, November 8, 2012

My beginnings......

Most people that don't know me assume that I grew up spinning, knitting, felting, weaving, etc.  These crafts though are something I had to discover on my own.  I do and did have many aunts, cousins and great aunts who did spin, knit, crochet, tat or embroider so it is something that is in my blood.  

I come from a culture where you learned to make and preserved what you used or needed, but my mom wasn't much into it.  She tried, but beings it wasn't something she was brought up with she wasn't comfortable with it.  I can remember my aunts coming over and teaching mom how to make soap, can and with some baking, but it wasn't mom's thing.  Me on the other hand loved it all.  I wanted to learn it all.  I can still remember the first time I baked cookies.  I was six years old and my sister and I got them done just in time to take them out to the field to dad who was out there working.  We pulled them out of the oven and popped them into a container with a slice of bread.  We had seen all our aunts have bread in their cookie jars to keep the cookies moist and hadn't given it a second thought as to whether the cookies fresh from the oven needed it or not.  ;o)  From that point I wanted to learn everything I could.  I did most of the cooking around the house as I got older and enjoyed working in the large gardens and also in the field on the tractors.  We also had cattle and other livestock and even though I did complain sometimes I enjoyed being out with the animals.

You are probabley wondering right now what any of this has to do with where I am today.  Well it has everything to do with it.  I am a very back to the basics kind of person so once I got out on my own I grabbed every book I could find on knitting, crocheting, embroidery, spinning, dyeing, herbs, soapmaking, aromatherapy, candlemaking, herbal medicine, gardening and the like.  

I enjoy all the crafts I do and am always wanting to learn more and teach others what I know.  One of the best ways I have found to teach others about my crafts is to demonstrate them at shows and festivals.  It is always fun to watch adults and children alike as their eyes light up and the wheels begin to turn in their minds about what I am doing.  I bring my tools along with me and show them how I go from start to finish on my spinning.  So many people have no idea what it takes to spin a yarn.  I show them the raw wools I start with and the tools I used to prep the various yarns they see.  Sometimes they appreciate the process and purchase something and other times they just look and comment on how they don't have the time for such foolishness.  My crafts might not be commonplace anymore, but I don't seem them as foolishness at all, but as a way for me to stay in touch with my ancestors and their culture.  

I hope I was able to give you a little picture of where I come from and why I love what I do so much and also why I love to share it with others.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Spinning workshop.

So excited!  This weekend we are sponsoring a spinning workshop.  Jacey Boggs will be coming up to North Dakota for two days to hold a spinning workshop on her awesome art yarn techniques.  I have watched her videos and practiced her yarns, but being able to see it in person is an exciting thought.  I will do my best to get pictures.



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Time for Demos....

It is the season of demonstrations again.  Seems like they pick up in the fall again.  I really enjoy doing the demonstrations because it gives me a chance to share something I enjoy with others. 
The first one for the fall will be at the Central North Dakota Steam Threshers Reunion.  They have the school children come through to look at all the different displays.   I get to be in the Potters Pavilion where everyone goes through.  The school children always seem to love watching the spinning and I send them home with a little piece of yarn to remember the day.  I usually spiff up my old traditional wheel for this event, but I don't feel like dealing with an aching back and hip the next day.  I plan on take a bit of raw wool and then some scoured so I can demonstrate how to prep the wool for spinning in front of the children.

The pictures below are from my demonstration that was held on Saturday during the Legacy of the Arts Festival.  I was set up just off the art display and was demonstrating spinning and fiber prep as well as talking about the different wools.

Drum carding wool for batts.  I also demonstrated dizzing off the drum carder to make roving.

Here I had my combs and hackle set up to demonstrate hand combing to make combed top.  I combed fiber and then also did fiber blending on the hackle.

My wheel and chair set up to spin.

The lay of my booth area.  It was a good day.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fall in the air....

Well it looks as though fall is in the air.  The temps have cooled and the birds have started gathering for their fall migrations.  Most exciting though are the colors that have begun on the trees.  I am always so inspired by the colors that they produce.  It really calls for a dye day to bring the inspirations to life on the wool.  We have all sorts of colors to enjoy.  The yellows of the cottonwoods and aspens, purples of the Amur maples and chokecherries, reds from the flame maples and dogwoods, strong flashing silvers of the silver maples.  The colors are spectacular.  Now to decide if it warrants dyed top and roving or inspirational batts.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I spent the past week taking an inventory of my raw fiber and was amazed I had forgotten about some.  I found some lovely locks that will make some incredible long lock yarn.  I think as soon as I have this weekend under my belt I will dye some up for the shop.  Then it is also time to set up my combs again and work on some more combed top.  Love spinning hand combed top.  The stuff nearly spins itself.  So many things to do and so little time to do them in.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Themed batts.

Working on themed batts this week.  

For the past few years I have been doing batts with a theme.  The first was different wildflowers of North Dakota and then we had beautiful bird batts.  Right now I am doing hummingbird batts after the little beauties found around North America. 

I have the littles thinking of other ideas to use for some future themed batts as well.  They are super creative littles so they will come up with some great ideas I am sure.

I will try and see if I can't get some pictures added to this post later this week.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Felting ideas.

The littles and I have been playing around with the idea of making felt covered journals.  I wonder how many out there still journal.  We do here, but beings things have gone to computer I wonder.  

Working on felted flowers as well for hair adornments beings it is fun to go a little wild.  LOL

I decided to include some pictures of some of the pieces of felt we have finished.  I used my Autumns Breeze Falkland top to create each of these.  You can get cool effects depending on how you lay the fibers for felting.

This piece of felt will grow up to be a small felted purse for my eldest daughter.

This one looks like it wants to become a cover for a journal.

This one as well wants to become a journal cover.