Thursday, June 22, 2006

Classes Here and There

Rosemary Dunaif, creator of this great felted rug and rug hooking diva, is going to teach these techniques at the Woolbearers this fall. She used our dyed and carded wool and laminated it to muslin. Called nuno felting, this technique is commonly used by modern felters to create garments by felting light layers of wool to woven silk. Rosemary secured the wool to the muslin with a felting tool before she wet felted it, which I thought was a great idea. I call her piece 'Celestial Olives', which we think is pretty funny.

Back to TNNA.....I took an eight hour class with Chris Bylsma learning tips to make her Crayon Box Jacket. It is a nifty little garment which makes fine use of short lengths of yarn and all those great novelty yarns. The next day, I had the pleasure of learning to crochet with Melissa Leapman. She is a doll. It was great, fast moving class. I left after three hours knowing how to crochet!

Myra took classes with Cat Bordhi learning toe up socks, Celtic cables with Melissa Leapman, and cut flowers with Nicki Epstein and said they were all great teachers. So much to learn, so little time. Speaking of time, I noticed again today as I was spending more hours than one should beaming a horrible warp unto my student's loom, that I no longer weave for myself. If I didn't teach it, I would never get near a loom. Must make more time for that. Forget weaving or knitting anything for myself. I'd get too warm anyway.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

This past week brought Woolbearers new yarn and new customers. Myra and I went to TNNA, The National Needlearts Association, (I think), trade show in Indianapolis. In a word, it was overwhelming. We went last year but it seems as though there were more vendors this year. We saw so much beautiful yarn and some gorgeous patterns, needles and bags. And we bought lots of yarn. More than lots. I forgot everything we bought. I'll do a list;

1. Merlin, a lovely and soft wool and linen blend by Louet. We got all ten tweed colors.
2. Wool Bam Boo by Classic Elite. A very beautiful blend that drapes like a dream. And patterns galore. One I can't wait to knit is a just gorgeous fitted, cabled sweater by Kathy Zimmerman. I'm having a love affair with the patterns from Classic Elite and her's are right there among the top ten favorites of mine.
3. More yarn by Classic Elite that I can't remember the name of.
4. Lots of books.
5. Mongolian Camel, lace weight and worsted weight.
6. Circular Solutions...very nice needle organizers.
7. Louet spinning wheels; new design, less than six pound portable wheels that are a joy to spin.
8. Nashua yarn and books.
9. Rowan books.

I know there are more yarns but for the life of me, I can't remember what. Before we left for TNNA, we got our order of Farmhouse Yarn, very nice wool and silk blend, naturally dyed yarns to die for, and Hand Jive Knits naturally dyed yarns that are heavenly. We also got our Fiber Company order. These yarns have to be seen to be appreciated. They are wool and alpaca blends naturally dyed, that have an overlay of silk spun around the yarn that is naturally dyed a different color. Just beautiful. I am looking for the perfect pattern for those yarns.

After I came down from my natural high from TNNA, the work we are faced with to prepare for the Knit and Crochet Show in King of Prussia, PA came back into focus. I have never seen so much hand dyed yarn. There are piles of it drying all over Myra's house, my house, the store and the studio. The piles of color are so beautiful. It is very exciting to be part of this process. Just the inventory process alone is daunting. This is also a chance to develop new, lovely colorways. One of the things that make Myra and I unique is that we do our own colorways. Myra is better at this than I am, so occasionally I'll get her to give me a colorway to do. Japanese Garden is an example of this and it is becoming one of my favorites. In light weight yarns I do it paler, and in heavy yarns, like the New Zealand Felted Woolshire, I do concentrated and bright. Fun!

Ok, enough of this. Tomorrow I will write about the really great classes we took with some wonderful teachers like Melissa Leapman and Cat Bordhi. Hopefully, once we find our equilibrium, I'll write more than I have in the past. Please comment, too. I love to read what you have to say.