turning straw into gold

Or at the very least, turning white fiber into colorful fiber. It feels like I’ve been spinning more in the past three weeks than I have all year. Totaled up, I got 10 new skeins done. Some have already found new homes, but I’m going to keep at it this week because I’m not quite done yet.

Untitled
This past weekend I went to Pittsburgh for Indie Knit & Spin and it was a fantastic day. When the right people are there, ready to shop, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable, it just doesn’t get any better. I sold the Country Craftsman spinning wheel, so now my living room is a bit more spacious (just in time for Christmas!). The totes and bags I just filled with fiber are already empty again, so I see plenty of dyeing in my future, although that can wait until January!

Indie Knit & Spin
Even though I am done for the year with fiber festivals, I have one more event to attend. I am participating in a local art/craft show this weekend. Many of the other vendors are friends from my days in college, so it will be nice to be “back home” this holiday season. For this event I will need primarily finished goods, but I’m going to bring yarn and a bit of fiber to help fill in the space. I’ve been trying to get as much knitting done as possible, but I always wait until the last minute. And where I should have 50 pairs of fingerless mitts done, I only have 12. My goal is 15, so this week I will be doing a lot of frantic knitting, some felting, a bit of carding, and some spinning.

amccard
After all the hubbub dies down, I swear I’m going to start crocheting more. I bought those two books from Knit Picks and I just haven’t had the time to really sit down and work with them. My December and January are clear right now, so I’m looking forward to taking a breather, washing my fleeces, conducting some experiments, and learning a few new things. Sadly, when you are in production mode, you don’t always have the time to explore. But if you don’t, then your work can get dull. It’s a delicate balance.

Indie Knit & Spinnin’

That’s right, friends. We’re already making plans for this year’s Indie Knit & Spin in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We’ve expanded significantly since our first show in 2011. This year we are moving upstairs to accommodate more vendors. It’s going to be a crazy awesome time, so mark your calendars. You won’t want to miss it! You can get the details on the blog or join the Facebook page to get the latest updates.

Wilkins School Community Center in Regent Square
7604 Charleston Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15218

Saturday November 16th, 2013
11 am to 5 pm

8x8 booth

first show of the year

We’re already getting back into the swing of things here. I can’t believe my “catch up” month is over already! I didn’t get the bathroom painted and I didn’t get nearly enough yarn spun. But I did spend a week dyeing, a week making batts, and several days prepping for a big shop update. Of course, it’s never enough.

My first event of the year is something totally new. It’s basically an abbreviated version of Indie Knit & Spin. There will be five vendors in all, so you should have plenty of time to visit and browse. We are encouraging our fans and customers to bring finished projects made from our fiber and yarn. You never know, an impromptu fashion show may break out!

Indie Knit & Spin Boutique

Sunday February 10th, 2012
@ Cosymakes Studio
1406 South Negley Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA
Hours: 12 pm to 5 pm

Vendors:
Burgh Baby Gear
cosymakes studio
Fibernymph Dye Works
SpaceCadet Creations
and me!

looking ahead

January is a going to be a busy month of preparing for what is to come. One event has been moved and one has been added, so things will be a little different this year. The Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival moved from February into March, so I will not be going to the Women’s Fiber Fest hosted by the Alliance YWCA. But if you are desperate for fiber in February, do not fear! I’ll be in Pittsburgh anyway for a new event hosted by Cosette Cornelius-Bates. For those of you in Ohio, you will find me in April at A Knitter’s Fantasy again along with Ana Brito Skalos of Wren & Rita. So make sure you put these events on your calendar, check out their websites, and get registered for any classes you make want to take. They will be here before you (or I) know it!

FEBRUARY 10

Indie Knit & Spin Boutique
@ Cosymakes Studio
1406 South Negley
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
Open 12 pm to 5 pm

MARCH 15-17

Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival
@ Four Points Sheraton
910 Sheraton Drive
Mars, PA 16046

APRIL 06

A Knitter’s Fantasy
@ Cheney High School
731 South Hazelwood Avenue
Youngstown, Ohio

Open 8 am to 4:30 pm

booth photos

We had a blast at Indie Knit & Spin last weekend. It was sort of a feeding frenzy, especially the batts. They were the hot item in my booth this year. We were able to expand from the 6 foot table to an 8×8 booth, so I had more room. However, since I brought new items and had new displays, it was a stressful morning trying to get everything to fit. In the end I’m happy with the result, though I forgot to take a picture until halfway through the day. It was fuller at the start.

8x8 booth

8x8 booth

8x8 booth

—————–

Those pictures I thought disappeared from Rich’s phone a few weeks ago have suddenly popped up. So here is an overdue view of my booth from the Autumn Fiber Event in October. It was a roomy 12 x 10. I had so much space I hardly knew what to do with myself. At the back I set up a table for destashing. All of the looms sold and some of the fiber, so it was worth it.

roomy 12x10 booth

roomy 12x10 booth

roomy 12x10 booth

And here is a bonus picture of my bento box lunch from the Morikami Gardens in Delray Beach, Florida. Everything was yummy, except perhaps the sushi. Apparently I am not a fan. It’s the smell. I feel like I’m stuffing my face into an aquarium.

bento box!

indie knit & spin

What: Pittsburgh’s only Indie Fiber Arts Marketplace
Who: Everyone who loves to work with beautiful and unique yarn and fiber. There will be yarn and fiber dyers, spinners, designers, creators, and sewers – and, of course, you and your knitting friends!
Where:
Wilkins School Community Center, 7604 Charleston Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15218
When:
Saturday, November 17th from 10 to 4

Indie Knit and Spin

Who’s going to be there?
Beads by Eileen
Burgh Baby Gear
Cooperative Press
cosymakes studio
Dusty Tree Soap
Fibernymph Dye Works
Fiddlehead Fibers
Great Lakes Hand Dyed
Gwen Erin Natural Fibers
Luxe Fiber Arts
SpaceCadet Creations
Spinning Fates
Splashdoodles
Stormy Blue Pottery
Willow Mist Acres Farm Boutique
Wren & Rita

prepping for Indie Knit & Spin

I glanced at the calendar yesterday and realized there are only about three weeks until Indie Knit & Spin! After the Autumn Fiber Event last weekend and a busy (not with fiber) September, my inventory is rather low. I have high expectations for this upcoming event, so there is a lot to do to get ready.

  • Spinning yarn
  • Carding 30-40 batts
  • Sorting and picking Corriedale/Border Leicester fleece
  • Dyeing
    > Falkland top
    > Shetland roving
    > Cotswold locks
    > Corriedale/Border Leicester locks

And then it’s nothing for three months! Maybe I’ll finally have a chance to paint the bathroom and practice wet felting and get all that custom yarn spun up. It’ll be a good time to hibernate and get stuff done.

Check out our Facebook page and Ravelry group to get more information about the event.

Undyed locks will make their debut at Indie Knit & Spin! Here is the beautiful Corriedale/Border Leicester cross I found at Woolfest. It has lovely wave and a great staple length. After a wash and dry, I’ve been picking through it, separating the locks and pulling out VM. The locks fluff easily, so you could just pull them apart and spin them without further processing necessary.

measuring a lock

hand picking a fleece

Orange

 

2011 Revisited

While everyone else out there in media-land is doing year end countdowns, recaps, reviews, and best-of lists, I thought I’d try that myself. So, what happened this year? I can’t remember off the top of my head, so it’s a good thing I’ve got Flickr to help jog my memory. I’ve gone through all my photos for the year and selected one or two of the most meaningful for each month (so, lots of pictures to follow). How was your year?

JANUARY

blocked shawl
My first shawl. Knit from handspun/dyed BFL. I use this almost every day at work.
birthday cake!
The most amazing birthday cake I have ever put together. It was for Rich.

FEBRUARY

table set-up
Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival.

MARCH

Olive
Olive, our little black cat.
weaving with roving
This is Rambouillet that I hate spinning, so I wove a giant rug.

APRIL

Table set-up
A Knitter's Fantasy, Youngstown, OH.
April & Dad
April & Jeremy's wedding in For Lauderdale, FL.

MAY

new mitts on new hand
The new hand model with Vertical Veins mitts.
Great Lakes Fiber Show
Great Lakes Fiber Show, Wooster, OH.

JUNE

matched set
A matched set knit from Cosy-dyed Falkland.

JULY

wool room
Organizing the wool room.

AUGUST

front gate & sheetwall
Gryphon's Rest camp at Pennsic XL.

SEPTEMBER

helios
Helios, handdyed Corriedale roving.

OCTOBER

me & my table
Fall Festival at the Apple Castle, New Castle, PA.
spinning
Showing off the Wristler.

NOVEMBER

booth at Indie Knit & Spin
Indie Knit & Spin, Pittsburgh, PA.

DECEMBER

gwenerin logo
New logo designed by Erin Flynn.
craft sale booth
SAA Fine Art & Craft Sale, Youngstown, OH.

indie knit & spin

Back from Indie Knit & Spin in Pittsburgh, PA. We had a great, supportive group come through during the day. And of course it was a pleasure spending the day with like-minded people and talking about wool. We’re all jazzed up and planning for next year.

booth at Indie Knit & Spin
Booth at Indie Knit & Spin, Nov. 2011

I took this picture of Olive last weekend while I was photographing my fibers. She always finds the sun spots and she’s always squirming around when I try to take a picture.

sunny cat in motion

sneak preview!

This is just a small sampling of the locks that I dyed a few weeks ago.The breed is Cotswold and I picked up the fleece at the sale while we were at Rhinebeck. I love the way they’ve taken the color and retained their lock structure. These will be available along with 4 pounds of freshly dyed Romney roving at Indie Knit & Spin which is THIS WEEKEND! Waaah!

By the way, have you checked out the blog yet? You should go read up on all the talented vendors and then plan to come to the event. It’s Saturday, Nov. 19 from 11 am to 5 pm in Pittsburgh, PA. Can’t wait to see you there. And you can squeeze the fibers!

locks mosaic