Monday, April 16, 2007


Greencastle was, of course, wonderful. Hazel is the BIG news (see post below), and there was much, much more. Robins, Cherry blossoms, Red-winged blackbirds, Prom dresses, Kildeer, Tulips, Greencastle.... Spring is sprung! (Well, sort of. The sleet amd high winds didn't help.) Despite the nasty weather, it was exhilarating to finally see the first show of the season in our area.

I spent like a drunken sailor. I only go to two shows all year, this Fiber Event at Greencastle, and the Michigan Fiber Festival in August. I need to get all the fiber I'll spin in a year, pretty much, and besides, I hear it's healthy to be on a high fiber diet!

First of all, I was enabled by two good friends, Vicki and Michelle. I was lucky enough to get a ride down with Vicki and her DH Phil on Friday, and then ride back with Michelle on Saturday. Since Greencastle is perhaps 3-1/2 hours from my house, I was happy indeed for the rides and for the company.
I did mention Hazel, didn't I? Here's a pic of Michelle and the Jaegers at the Jensen booth.

And here's what other wonderful stuff I found: A kilo of painted "Pansies" Polworth from Susan Markle's Trading Post Fibers booth;

Also from Susan, two painted skeins of Targhee (top two balls), some Fleece Artist BFL roving, and a lovely painted Merino from a lovely person whose booth I've forgotten. (Hmmmm. detect a color rut here? )

An entire Corriedale-Romney cross fleece (6.9 pounds - now there's some spinning!) which I've split with Michelle - this is from the lovely Lola at our friend Charlotte's Prairie Winds Farm near home;

And these two balls of lovely baby alpaca. I bought one ball last year, (spun, foreground), and wanted 16 more ounces for a sweater. Well, I stopped by Nancy Haas's booth - and she had exactly that amount left. SCORE!

There were other buys, too, with more photos for another day: a luscious small white alpaca fleece ("Apollo") from my Union sister Julie Stephens at Thunder Bolt Farm; a baby Shetland fleece I'm splitting with Vicki, some baby Shetland, a hank of Border Leicester roving, and a buttery Corriedale-silk blend that Vicki and I each bought (she has the whole batch at the moment)... all to share later.

Oh - and did I happen to mention Hazel? She is all settled in with her sisters, Inez (my trusty Lendrum in the middle), and little Amelie in the back, the tiny Cabriolet.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Meet Hazel.

Please allow me to introduce you to Hazel. She is posing here with my friend Michelle (middle) and Mr. and Mrs. Jaeger, the Jensen dealers. Hazel is my gorgeous new Jensen D-30 production wheel. She us the big sister to Inez, my Lendrum (who is feeling a tad jealous right now).

I fell in love with Hazel on Friday at the
Fiber Event in Greencastle, Indiana. She is all elegant cherry wood, and she spins with an effortless grace heretofore unknown to me. Hazel is a "mirror image" wheel (right flyer for us Southpaws). Her distaff is charming (and keeps roving out of the inquisitive paws of Oliver).
I had been longing for a production wheel for some time, and after I spun on this wheel, I couldn't get her out of my mind. When I talked it over with my DH on Friday night, and he told me, "go for it!" I weakly suggested to Michelle that she should talk me out of it. Instead, Michelle informed me that Hazel would certainly fit in the back seat of her car - and backed it up by rising at the crack of dawn to drive me back to Greencastle to buy her.
Though the weather was brutal - snow, sleet and wind - we had fun shopping for another three hours, then, loading Hazel into the back seat of Michelle's auto (where she fit nicely), we headed for home.
Tomorrow: all the other wonderful things from the Fiber Event.

Friday, April 13, 2007

New Baby

Happy Friday 13!

Here's the news: I am the proud keeper of this marvelous wee wheel. My friend Janet King, who took this picture, put it up for sale at our local group's web site (the Frog Pond) a couple of weeks ago. I thought it was a wonderful buy, but there are several new spinners in our lovely group who don't have wheels. I wanted to make sure they got first dibs before I glommed on to this beauty.

Aubrey had her eye on it, but in the end she chose a beautiful hand-painted Ashford wheel. You should have seen Aubrey spinning on the wheel she wound up buying. It looked as if she had been spinning on it all her life.

This little baby is tiny, and more portable even than my folding Lendrum (certainly a lot lighter!). The wheel is a mere 15 inches in diameter, and it only measures 28 inches to the top of the flyer. Janet thinks it might have been made for a child. Though petite, I don't think this is a beginner wheel, mainly because the treadle is steep. I seem to have taken to it well though, even with my tall frame (child at heart?!).

Now off to play and to name the little tyke....

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

In like a lion...

I know, I know, it's March that is supposed to come in like like a lion, and here it is April! This is what it looked like outside my door this morning. Perhaps we should revise those old weather axioms...
I spent the morning at Kiva. If you haven't heard of it yet, Kiva is a non-profit organization which lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world. It has been featured on PBS and in the New York Times, along with other media coverage. For as little as 25 bucks, you too can become a "world bank" for those in need. The loan rate of return of your money is very high - pretty much 100% - though I would consider that if my investment wound up being a donation, it would still be a good deed indeed. Can't you just imagine what the result would be if every person who was able to loan a few bucks - did?
On the hand front,
Still unable to knit, and typing is slow. I have some spinning news to share tomorrow. Stay tuned!