The Fiber Side of Village Books

Monday, July 18, 2011

When I teach...

When I teach art, I like to set up learning stations around a room - usually focusing somewhat on what I'm most interested in at the time.  Adults & children can choose their spot and work at their own pace with my (sometimes not so gentle) encouragement.

In this way, over the course of my so-called career, I've taught students of every age, from 2 years old right up to 80.  We have such a great time!

So - what does this have to do with knitting or knitters?  Well, right alongside the intensive still life drawing lesson and the colorful imaginary lands is a young man trying out some yarn and needles.  Or a young woman learning to spin.  Or a handful of happy needle felters, poking away.  (I'm leading them all down "the slippery slope" of fiber!)

This past week at Searsport Shores, I was invited to teach in precisely this way.  I was given a lovely cabin and a studio and complete freedom.  Here are some pictures:

She's drawing (see next photo)
So are Norma & Jessica  

FINISHED!  2 hours)

Everybody was encouraged to join in.

Water-based markers are great for true enthusiasts!
This, by the way, is a picture of the Fairy Swimming Pool.

Lori chose to draw the garlic scapes - a real challenge.
Needle felting was so popular we ran out of materials!

And out in the yard, my favorite blacksmith was also attracting a crowd...

Jeff forged these handles for the cabin.

And more knitting & spinning...

Finally, I actually made some art - or at least started to...

Faith & Hope, version one
5 ft x 3 ft, charcoal & pencil

Thursday, July 7, 2011

My Life with Kritters: Wickety Splits Learns to Spin & other July Doings

Here is Wickety Splits, foundling kitten, getting her morning spinning lesson.  My, but it was hard not to grab that twisty fluff!  (Knitting was even tougher!)      

Knit-wise, I'm trying my hand at designing a lace scarf, combining traditional gull & scalloped-edge patterns.  The yarn is Hempathy by Elsbeth Lavold.  Size 5 needles. The drape is lovely.

The pattern is just difficult enough to be engaging.

Both ends will feature the scalloped edge.

The gardens are lovely today & Village Books is open to the Maine air!

From July 10-16 I'll be a Visiting Artist at Searsport Shores Resort & Camp Grounds, in Searsport, Maine.  Drop by for a drawing lesson or to spin or knit each morning 10-12.  Jeff will be forging nearby too!

Next up: Spinning CVM. YUMMY!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

What's Next? Acadia Fiber Fair!

Saturday, May 21
visit our vendor booth!
Acadia Fiber Faire
Southwest Harbor, Maine

I sell used knitting, spinning, dyeing, weaving (etc etc) books!
My yarn company, Random Roving, also sells roving, batts, & yarn all sourced from Maine farms.  
Come check us out in Southwest Harbor!

If you can't make it to Acadia Fiber Faire, you can also visit  Village Books 
at 18 Waldoboro Rd, Washington, ME on weekends 10-5 pm.

Armchair travelling? Go to our website! 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

DPN'S!!! And lighter stuff

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I know, I know, you want pictures. Believe me when I say YOU DON'T.  Knitting has become an ugly thing, full of slippery sticks, twisty fingers, gnarly words & distinctly bad manners.

The books never tell you not to try to cast on with a crocheted afghan on your lap.

Meanwhile, happier events are taking place at the spinning wheel.  AND I just bought a used Louet Jr. drum carder.  Yay! My own doffer!  I'm wielding it like a pro.

SHETLAND!  Lovely, lovely, romantic, soft Shetland.  I'm processing it and spinning it myself, small batches at a time.  All from Maine farms.  The natural color of this gorgeous stuff just won't show up in my pictures!
A milky tan.  A cup of cream someone passed a coffee bean over.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My First Spin-In


I've mostly been on the vendor side of things at events like the Newport Spin-In, but I decided to give myself a "busman's holiday" and join the spinners instead.  What a great day!
The variety of wheels alone is astonishing. The quiet conversation & occasional peals of laughter are
accompanied by the hum & click of dozens upon dozens of these lovely, simple tools.  There is nothing quite like a roomful of spinners.
   Kathy Goldner of Knitting Out Loud fame learns how to spin.
  Debbie Bergman of Purple Fleece is her able teacher.
  The amazing wheel was handmade by 
  Kathy's husband, Scott Moore.

  My two favorite spinning buddies,
  Cindy and Toni, travelled 
  with me up to Newport - about an hour's drive for us.
  Cindy is shown here with her venerable & trusty Louet.
  Toni's getting ready to spin.
We all bought some beautiful fiber (even though we'd vowed not to, as usual), including a bunch from Friends' Folly Farm in Monmouth. They always have the most gorgeous colors!

 It was kind of crowded, but in a good way.

Some finished yarn, spun by yours truly - corriedale & mohair, blended and dyed to a lovely, frosty blue called "January".

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Classic Conundrum

WANT to write. NOTHING to write about.

My poetry mentor, Erich Hintze, always encouraged me to include important content in the title and continue the poem with no thought break between the title and the body of the poem.

There you go, Erich.

Today is a wordy day with no anchoring topic.  Music & words are filling my head so loudly while I spin & knit that I can't listen to my good husband when he talks to me.

When this happens, I catch myself talking internally to SOMEONE, as if I'm writing a letter.  Maybe I'm just doing some lazy (ie: not actually writing it down) journalling.  I invent tag lines to blogs and articles that I'll never write.

Let's see there's:

Hit the Tiresome Button!: What NOT to post on FACEBOOK or RAVELRY

How Making Stuff Keeps Me From Going to Jail

Short Bus Luddites

What Would Lorelei Do?-Advice for Mothers with Brainy Daughters 

Stop Talking!

Etc, etc.  

I guess these are mostly rants.  Anyway, these things (and many more) are rampaging through my brain today.  Soundtrack: Sting Live in Berlin. Audible only to me.

Pictured below is the sweetest girl I know.  She knows just what to say when this mood is upon me!

Dixie Marie

Monday, January 3, 2011

Let's Get Going!

I love the holidays. Definitely.  But I'm soooooo ready to get back to work again. Pondering colors like mad. Looking and looking at the world, flipping through my books, watching the light change...Which color next?

Here's the beautiful violet color I achieved last dye session.  I carded the mohair with some Romney - isn't it delicious?

While I was sighing & longing over one of my British interior design books, I hit on the idea of trying to get that most serene of all colors, Duck Egg Blue, frequently featured in historic British homes.

The slightly greyed-out Coopworth I was working with helped me get REALLY close. On pure white roving I got aqua, a whole different mood.  Duck Egg is a slightly "dirty" color and the packet labeled Robin's Egg Blue just didn't cut it on its own, so I added a teeny bit of plain yellow.

I need some more baskets, obviously!

Random Roving Yarns!

New Year's Goal: a full stock of my own yarn in my shop ( by the time I re-open in April.  Stay tuned....