Hey lovely people! It has been a very long time since I have written. I have been on the move (quite literally). What better way to get everyone caught up to speed than to write a blog post?
On the Move
I have never imagined I would do as much traveling as I am and will be doing in the near future. That alone has been bittersweet. New adventures are exciting but being away from my family is not easy at all. I am grateful for the opportunity to do what I really enjoy. My most recent trip was Chicago to Portland, Oregon very early in the morning on July 4th. From Portland, I headed an hour and a half south to a tiny, tiny town just outside of Albany.
July 5th was the day that I led a team in a Sheep to Shawl competition in Oregon at Black Sheep Gathering. Here’s a quick backstory: Our team, Darkside Shearing, is tiny representation of a large group of fiber artists who support sheep farms. Included in that support is a very talented shearer, Jake Valentine, who often records live auctions and shearing sessions and is the owner of Darkside Shearing. During the live (and silent) auctions, fiber artists have the opportunity to purchase fleece freshly shorn. (The group can be found on Facebook.)
From the group, six of us were placed on a team together to compete. Some team members were from Oregon. Another team member had to fly from the Midwest (Missouri) to participate. Although we had spent a lot of time preparing and discussing plans online, it was the first time I would meet both Jake and my teammates in person. Everyone was so incredibly kind and also very talented.
We managed to take 2nd place and had a score of 93/100. Sara Buse was our weaver. The loom is warped before the competition began. Our warp has commercial and handspun yarn. For the weft, we worked from a clean Romney fleece and prepped it by flicking it open, carding, and adding bits of dyed silk in batts and spun a 2-ply dk weight. I love the result. We gave the shawl as a gift to Jake’s wife, Lois. I can go on and on about the wonderful experience, but I may end up writing a book instead of a blog post. I have more pictures and details about the event on my Facebook page and Instagram (Heavenly Knitchet). Here’s a closeup of our shawl:
I have more events to share with you. I will be teaching at Stitches Midwest (Schaumburg, IL), Stitches Salt Lake City (Utah), and recently given the opportunity to vend and teach at Vogue Knitting Live (Columbus, OH) in November. Not only am I teaching spinning classes at VKL, but I am offering a knitting class and also a lecture titled: “Why Spin?”
But first up is Stitches Midwest, which is right around the corner—first weekend of August! Yay, I can’t wait! Here’s a direct link and overview of each class I am offering:
I will also have spinning demos in the Playground area during the event. I hope to see you all there.
My hap center is almost all done. I knitted a good amount of it while on vacation last month (more details about the fleece to hap project in the previous blog post):
My other WIPs are yarns in progress for Tour de Fleece. Last year, I did a tour of my 11 spinning wheels. My herd has grown to 15, but I have some of the newer additions being repaired/restored at the moment. (My double flyer is out for repair and I cannot wait for it to return to me).
My goal for this year’s Tour de Fleece is Strategic Spins. I have a team that is spinning together on Facebook. Our team is Team HK: Beauty and the Fleece in the HK Crafter’s Lounge group. I am also on Spin Off’s team. Below is the current spin, which is an art yarn I am spinning from a batt I made a couple of days ago. I am spinning this on my Lendrum DT using the vintage super jumbo bobbin.
What projects have you found yourself working on at this time of the year? For my fellow spinners and TdF participants, what are your spinning plans and challenges for Tour de Fleece this year?