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The Fiber Event at Greencastle 2017

First fiber festival of the year is in the books, as well as a three new classes!

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I taught three classes, all new.  Of the three, I think the knitted wire bracelet with beads was my favorite.  Both students finished their bracelets in class.

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I also taught a class on making stitch markers and another on beginner cables. It is so fun to teach something that results in an items the students can take home.  The same classes will be offered June 2 and 3 at Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival.  Class fee is $40 if you sign up by May 15th and you can see class descriptions here.

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After the classes on Friday I went to dinner with some friends where hijinx ensued.  One friend had dropped a skein while winding it (sans skeinwinder) and a mess bloomed.  While we waited for our meal we tried to help her untangle across the table.  No beverages were harmed in the process.

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Since I taught all day Friday and then Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon was my first chance to *really* get shopping.  Made some purchases from some long-time favorites, and some new.

The Yarn and Fiber:

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Working left to right (then the bottom)

  • The green yarn is 8oz of DK weight alpaca/merino/silk from Briar Rose Fibers
  • The blue/purple fiber batt from Stillwater Farm is a blend of merino, english angora and firestar
  • The rainbow yarn is the colorway Mr. Roy G. Biv on the Twist and Shout Base (DK weight) from BaH Yarns
  • The red yarn is the colorway Heart’s Blood on the Slightly Silky (merino/silk fingering weight) from Copper Centaur Studios
  • The fiber at the bottom is 100% nylon from Hello Purl

Notions and Accessories:

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  • The canvas and fiber is a mini rug hooking kit from Breezy Manor (aka Donna Jo Copeland aka where I got Winston).  I’ve always been intrigued but a large project is a little overwhelming.  So I got the little kit.  It will have a bunny on it and Donna Jo gave me some white fiber so I can make a white bunny like Winston.
  • The two “pouches” in the upper left of the photo are yarn keepers.  You put your yarn ball in (the bottom opens up square) and close the snap.  I’m hoping it’ll protect my yarn when it invariably hits the floor.  These two are from The Felted Garden (on Etsy as thefeltedgarden).
  • The soap is from Simple Soapworks and I buy some every year.  I love the oatmeal in the soap because it really does exfoliate.  This year I got two scents – lavender rosemary and oatmeal.
  • The pouch in the lower left is a yarn keep from a different booth.  I like this one a lot because the fabric is heavier and it has a d ring on the side.  It has strings to cinch close but I might replace those with the little plastic stoppers you squeeze.  These are made by DC Bags and she will be be opening a shop May 1 on Etsy.  She also has a lot of nice wedge project bags.
  • The white stick on the left side it a goat milk lotion bar in the lavender scent.  The maker is Gentle Meadow Goat Farm but it was sold by Midwest Fiber.  They had a lot of nice alpaca yarns and fibers as well.
  • The tubes on the top are handmade lip balms from Ballyhoo Fiber Emporium.  I got chocolate cherry and strawberry vanilla although there were many more options.  This vendor also has a podcast which I’m going to give a try very soon.
  • The odd looking contraption on the right is a ball holder.  You put the base of the V up the center off your yarn cake and the ring on your wrist/forearm so you can carry your yarn.  Usually I can clip a project bag to a belt loop but that doesn’t work for my skirt.  Hopefully this will! I bought it from Mother of Purl, although the website listed is www.barnhart-studios.com.
  • Last but not listed I found a stemless wine glass from knitbaahpurl, sold via a different vendor’s booth.  I got the one that says “Three Sheeps to the Wind” (which I have on a t-shirt already) and may order another that says “Sheep Faced.”

That’s all folks!

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2017 Classes – The Fiber Event

Celtic cables

Its that time of year again!  Registration is open for The Fiber Event and I will be teaching three new classes.  I’m so excited for this opportunity.  In addition, I will be teaching these classes at Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival in Franklin, Indiana, and hopefully that registration will be open in a few weeks.

The Fiber Event is April 14 and 15 in Greencastle, Indiana, which is about an hour west of Indianapolis.  A ton of vendors and a lot of great classes.  Registration fee is $40 for each three-hour class and now you can sign up on their website here.  You will see that there are a fixed number of spots available for each class so sign up now if you’re interested!

The Fiber Event Schedule

Friday, April 14, 9:00am-12:00pm – Beaded Wire Bracelet

Friday, April 14, 1:00pm-4:00pm – Stitch Markers

Saturday, April 15, 9:00am-12:00pm – Knitting Cables 101

If you can’t make it to the class or would like a specialized focus please see my page here for private lessons.

 

Classes:

Beaded Wire Bracelet

Beaded Wire Bracelet - Two Strand

Create a custom bracelet from wire and beads that you, and your friends, will love. See different styles and options, then jump right into your own bracelet. You will leave the class with a completed bracelet and the tools and skills to create more!

Bring to class: Your creativity!

Materials fee is $13, payable directly to me at the start of class, and covers wire, metal needles, beads, jump rings, clasps and handout.

 

Make Your Own Stitch Markers

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Explore ways to make your own custom stitch markers for knitting or crochet. We will make three different types of stitch markers using flexible beading wire, headpins and a variety of beads. You will leave the class with at least a dozen stitch markers and the skills to create many more!

Bring to class: Your creativity!

Materials fee is $10, payable directly to me at the start of class, and covers flexible wire, headpins, eyepins, jump rings, beads, crimps, round nose pliers and handouts.

Knitting Cables 101

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Learn to knit cables like a pro! We will cover yarn and needle selection, cabling to the front and back, and reading charts. Put your new knowledge to practice in class to master techniques, learn how to fix cabling mistakes and start a cabled headband.

Bring to class: Worsted weight yarn and appropriately sized needles (approximately US 6-8)

Materials fee of $5 covers pattern, cable needle, stitch markers and handouts.

 

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The Fiber Event at Greencastle 2016

First fiber festival of the year is in the books, as well as a couple new classes!

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I had five students across three classes.  All very lovely and smart and engaging which makes for a wonderful experience.   I switched the raw fleece activity to allowing students to look at the samples in the bags to identify, rather than just feeling.  Still pretty challenging.  The beading class may be my current favorite.  It is so fun to not only teach a skill but to see the opportunities it opens up for modding existing non-bead patterns.  And I didn’t drop a single bead on the floor. And, I had everything I needed! The same classes will be offered June 3 and 4 at Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival.  Class fee is $35 if you sign up by May 15th and you can see class descriptions here.

I taught all day Friday and then Saturday morning so Saturday afternoon was my first chance to *really* get shopping.  There were a lot of changes to vendors this year and with my old favorite gone (miss you Fiber Optic) I focused on discovering new to me dyers.

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My only Friday afternoon stop was at Bur Oak Studio for these flattened knitting needle bracelets.  I’d seen them online but given my itsy-bitsy wrists I needed some help with resizing.  Jen helped me adjust the size of the bracelets and I bought three.  Fun to wear and I love “upcycling.”

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I kept to buying only one bag, which was hard.  This Harry Potter print of this bag by Supernatural Yarns captured my attention (she has more bags on her linked Etsy site). The funny part of this was who I bought it from.  I saw the name of the vendor, Hillcreek Yarn Shoppe, and recognized the name, but knew I didn’t know it from prior years at the event.  I knew it wasn’t local to me either.  Then it dawned on me – it’s one of the local yarn shops back in Columbia, Missouri where I used to live. Doh! I talked with the owners, who recently bought the shop back from a prior owner and am excited to see the changes.  They had some hand dyed yarns from Missouri/Kansas based indies, as well as other fiber tools.  I’m going back home to Missouri in June so I’m hoping to stop by there.

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One of my first booths to visit on Saturday was Copper Centaur Studios, which is where I bought the yarn last year for my newly released Grace Fryer Shawl.  I was excited to show Lucy the shawl and after they took pictures of the shawl actually displayed it for the rest of the afternoon, which was lovely.  I knew from last year they carried fine thread and was able to pick some up to use for plying with beads in my spinning.  The thread is on the black cones in the top picture.

Moving on to yarn.  IceMelon’s Stash is a new to me indie dyer from Michigan.  You can check out her Etsy site here. I bought two different sock yarns, one of which I plan to use for a cowl.  That one is the colorway Darkle (blues, purples and gray) on the Oculus Sock base, a merino/cashmere/nylon base. The second one, which I think I might use for socks, is Vellamo, bright blues and greens, on her Alrisha base, merino/nylon/stellina. Yes ya’ll, I bought sparkle yarn.

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Not so new to me because they’ve been at Stitches before was Leading Men Fiber Arts.  Squishy stuff, ya’ll, and a lot of different colors.  I bought one skein which they are custom dyeing for me so it can be on a fingering weight merino base.  The color is OMG Squee and is pretty much the whole rainbow.  I also got the below skein of laceweight in the colorway Eternal Kiss.  It’s an 80/20 silk blend that feels amazing.

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Lastly, I bought some lace weight from A Good Yarn, which is a local dyer just south of Indianapolis.  I actually won the purple skein at the event’s get together Friday night and wanted to get some more in a complimentary color.  While she’s not new to me as a dyer this is a new base and is a lovely 80/20 merino/silk blend.  Apparently I had a thing for laceweight merino/silk blends – must be the weather.

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That’s all folks!

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March 2016 Odds’n’Ends (Including Classes)

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Classes at The Fiber Event in Greencastle, Indiana (April) Classes are listed on the website here and registrations are open online.  New this year – you can sign up online.  I’ve been working on some fun swatches for the two knitting classes and some lovely, scrumptious merino for the raw fleeces classes. April 15-16 in Greencastle, Indiana, which is about an hour west of Indianapolis.

White Fleece Drying

 

Classes at Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival in Franklin, Indiana (June) Classes are listed on the website here and registrations are open online.  Same classes as The Fiber Event but different days – details on the classes tab of my website. June 3-4 in Franklin, Indiana.

 

Upcoming Design I finished knitting the sample and wrote the pattern.  The pattern is currently being test knit and tech edited, both of which should be done in a couple weeks.  The Grace Fryer shawl is a lace shawlette that uses one skein of fingering weight yarn. Here’s a sneak peek!

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Blog Post Ideas? Do you have any suggestions for future blog post topics?  I’m looking for some ideas for the late spring and summer months.  What do you want to read about? Upcoming topics include a comparison of lace knitting needles, processing a merino fleece and hopefully some more finished objects.

 

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2016 Classes – The Fiber Event in Greencastle, Indiana

Gray Alpaca Raw Fleece

Its that time of year again!  Registration is open for The Fiber Event and I will be teaching two knitting classes and one fiber class.  I’m so excited for this opportunity.

The Fiber Event is April 15 and 16 in Greencastle, Indiana, which is about an hour west of Indianapolis.  A ton of vendors and a lot of great classes.  Registration fee is $40 for each three-hour class and now you can sign up on their website here.  You will see that there are a fixed number of spots available for each class so sign up now if you’re interested!

Schedule

Friday, April 15, 9:00am-12:00pm – Lace Knitting 101

Friday, April 15, 1:00pm-4:00pm – Raw Fleeces Identify and Demystify

Saturday, April 16, 9:00am-12:00pm – Bead Knitting Rockstar

If you can’t make it to the class or would like a specialized focus please see my page here for private lessons.

 

Classes at The Fiber Event:

Raw Fleeces – Identify and Demystify

SoakingSo you want to buy your first raw fleece, but which one should you choose? Then what do you do with it? In this class you will discover what to consider when buying a fleece and what options are available for cleaning your fleece. We will examine wool, alpaca (suri and huacaya), angora and mohair to learn what constitutes a great raw fleece and what to watch out for. Then, participate in a discussion about skirting, washing and flicking for different types of fiber while we clean small samples from start to finish. Students will leave with a fiber selection and cleaning guide, as well as two washed samples.

Materials fee is $13, payable directly to me at the start of class, and covers all samples, handouts and the cleaning guide.

 

Lace Knitting 101

UntitledLearn to knit lace like a pro! This class will cover yarn and needle selection, basic increases and decreases, chart reading, shawl construction and lifelines. After practicing with small swatches we’ll start a lace shawl you can continue knitting on at home. Learn tips and tricks that will take lace from scary to addictive.

Sneak peak: The shawl will be my brand new, and not yet released, Grace Fryer shawl.

Bring to class: 32 inch circular needle in a size US 6., at least 400 yards of fingering or sock weight yarn for shawl, extra samples of fingering or sock weight yarn for swatching (I will have some but you are welcome to bring your own).

Materials fee is $12, payable directly to me at the start of class, and covers shawl pattern, highlighter tape, stitch markers and handouts.

Bead Knitting Rockstar

UntitledLearn to add beads to your knitwear for texture and bling. You can choose small subtle beads for a shimmer or contrasting beads for a pop of color. This class will cover how to choose the right beads, two methods for adding beads to your knits (pre-stringing or as you go) and how to place beads for a desired effect.

Bring to class: Fingering or sock weight yarn(you are welcome to bring multiple samples), 16 or 24 inch circular needle in a size appropriate for your yarn.

Materials fee is $13, payable directly to me at the start of class, and covers beads, crochet hook, big-eye beading needle and handouts.

 

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The Fiber Event at Greencastle 2015

First fiber festival of the year is in the books, as well as my first class!
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I had four people signed up for my class and three show.  I don’t want to give out in spoilers but I learned a few things.  Identifying fibers is challenging, I dislike yelling over heaters and I need to allow more time for the activity.  But, I had everything I needed!

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Shopping commenced right after teaching and lunch, of course.  I did most of my shopping Friday afternoon and ran into a lot of friends.What did I buy? Gray angora, undyed merino, undyed silk (all for blending), dyed black alpaca/silk from Spotted Circus and dyed alpaca from Fiber Optic and a card-it up kit from Hello Purl.

By the time I got home Friday I was *worn out*.  My family arrived that evening and Saturday morning I took them to the fiber festival – their first ever.  Chris was delighted to learn he could just about everything and his favorite question quickly became “what kind animal is this?”.  You’ve got to admit he has good taste – camel and silk.

My parents bought me this cute knitting tote from The Felted Garden.

003I bought my mom this bracelet as an early Mother’s day gift from Bur Oak Studio.
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Greencastle Fiber Show Prep

It’s the night before and I’m packed up and ready to go. PS – I’m posting this straight from the iPhone app so I apologize if it looks funny.

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Everything for my class is packed up and now in the back of my car. I’m reasonably certain I haven’t forgotten anything.

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Most important – samples for my students. I know I’ll have at least four students plus possibly any late people who want to sign up. I’ve got enough kits for 12, which should be more than plenty. Any I don’t use will be saved for the June class. There is some awesome 17 micron merino in those sample kits. So awesome I bought some for me!

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Snacks and Dew for the day. I have oatmeal and tea for breakfast but will need the caffeine to keep it up. And I’m hoping with the snacks to not have to buy lunch there.

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And last but not least, my shopping bag and purse.  Phew! Now, wake up by 6:15. Although, bed by 10:30 on the night before – pretty amazing!

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2015 Fiber Classes – Greencastle and Hoosier Hills

Gray Alpaca Raw FleeceI promised a post about the classes I’m slated to teach this year and here it is! I’m teaching the same class twice – once in mid-April and once in early June.  As of today, that’s as far out as I have anything scheduled.  If you’re interested in taking this class or something on a different topic in a private setting please see my “Classes” tab above.

As a little preview I will say I’ve been getting my hands on some different fibers for us to examine, including mohair and some alpaca with short cuts, and I have a fun activity planned at the beginning of class to test your fiber ID knowledge.  I think this will be a ton of fun and very educational if you’re interested in buying fleeces.

Class Description:

Raw Fleeces – Identify and Demystify

So you want to buy your first raw fleece, but which one should you choose? Then what do you do with it? In this class you will discover what to consider when buying a fleece and what options are available for cleaning your fleece. We will examine wool, alpaca (suri and huacaya), angora and mohair to learn what constitutes a great raw fleece and what to watch out for. Then, participate in a discussion about skirting, washing and flicking for different types of fiber while we clean small samples from start to finish. Students will leave with a fiber selection and cleaning guide, as well as one or two washed samples.

  • April 17 (Friday) 9am-12pm at The Fiber Event in Greencastle, Indiana.  $35 plus $12 materials fee.  Click here to sign up. Greencastle is about a little over an hour west of Indianapolis.
  • June 6 1-4pm at Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival in Franklin, Indiana.  $30 plus $12 materials fee.  Click here to sign up. Franklin is about 30 miles south of Indianapolis.

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The Fiber Event at Greencastle 2014

After two posts of providing suggestions on attending a fiber festival I’m ready to put them to work.  As I mentioned, I went to The Fiber Event in Greencastle, Indiana (at the Putnam County Fairgrounds) over the weekend.   Great shopping and awesome classes.  And a three day old Shetland lamb.

Shetland Lamb

I took two classes –  one Friday morning (with my friend Rachel) and another Saturday afternoon (with my friend Patty).  The Friday class was with Melissa of Hello Purl on fiber blending. We went through blending different fibers on a drum carder, blending board and a hackle and then spent the remainder of the time playing with the tools.  I learned a lot of tips for the drum carder and there were a lot of different fibers to play with (wool, angelina, faux cashmere, silk thrums, silk noil, bamboo and more).  The Saturday class was on color blending and we made a color wheel out of dyed fibers.  Then we identified the colors in the pictures we brought and discussed how to represent them in our fiber.  I had two photos and plan to create batts based on both. The following are my sample class batts.

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My shopping list included black alpaca, merino or cormo fiber, undyed silk top, Fiber Optic *anything* and any soaps/lotions/jewelry.  I stayed within my budget and found most of what I was looking for.

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So here’s what I got:

  • Three alpaca fleeces – a black one and two small ones (gray and fawn)
  • The remainder of a small Cormo/Border fleece.  Only a pound and a half – more for Patty and I to play with and figure out the best way to get clean.
  • Some Cormo roving for blending and 4oz of cormo/angora roving to go with 4oz I already have.
  • Natural alpaca roving, undyed merino, purple merino and black merino all from Ohio Valley Natural Fibers.
  • 4oz of anogra to practice blending with the alpaca.
  • Two bars of natural soap.
  • A Card It Up kit from Hello Purl.  Plenty of different fibers in coordinating colors.
  • Flickr brush for opening tips, especially on suri alpaca.
  • Small amounts of bamboo, angelina and silk for blending on the drum carder.
  • A Fiber Optic paintbox gradient and a skein of black for a Spectra shawl.
  • Three skeins of Fiber Optic Foot Notes for a Color Affection

Everything is entered in Ravelry, put away with the rest of the stash and ready to be used.  The fleeces are hanging out in the garage for a while until I can get them washed.  I had a great time both days and am glad I took both classes. Next fiber event (maybe) is Hoosier Hills in early June!

 

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