Friday, July 13, 2007

I have had much flack from friends for being lazy about updating my blog so, all of you naggers, I hope this will satisfy you! Since returning from a very successful and fun Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, OR, I had to take time to chill out and regroup: knitting, spinning, sipping wine, and looking at the birdies in my backyard. I finally kicked it into gear this week and had my friend, Karen, over for a dye sesh on Monday. Margie also stopped by for her Black Sheep stuff, consisting of a kid mohair fleece and 2 1/2 pounds of kid mohair locks. And since Monday, I've been dyeing sock yarn, since Kat (La Petite Knitterie) is getting ready to launch her online store with my handpainted sock yarn.

Getting back to the Oregon trip -- BSG was absolutely so much fun. I shared a vendor booth with Sandy Sitzman (Woolgatherings of Banks, OR). In addition to our handpainted fibers and yarns, we also had the beautiful hand-dyed rovings and yarns of Lynne Vogel, who wasn't able to make it. She was truly missed, but we did have a copy of her new Twisted Sisters Knit Sweater Book available in our booth for customers to peruse.

The book is so colorful and exciting, I am just chomping at the bit to get a copy. I heard from Lynne this week that the book is now out and apparently is shipping to stores. Thanks to the generous help we received from Rachel, Kate and Linda, our booth did amazingly well at BSG. And, if all goes as I plan, I hope to repeat the experience next June. Here are a few pictures of our booth.

Sandy and I and our crew were biased, of course, but we did think we had pretty awesome booth, and we had tons of positive feedback from customers. And the thing I loved the most was to see how many people are into spinning their own yarn. If BSG is any indication, I don't think the craft of spinning is going to be lost. It is alive and well and we are feeding the "beast".

Another cool thing at BSG was that my sister and brother-in-law, Lynn and Barry, happened to be visiting Eugene that very weekend and surprised me when they showed up to visit the show and our booth. It was such a treat to be able to show them what I actually do and the fruits of this dyeing that I keep talking about. I think they were kind of blown away by BSG and now see what all this fiber frenzy is about. Barry, it seems, was quite taken with the fiber stuff going on and may have caught the sock knitting bug while he was there.

We're Winners! Karen and I both entered some of our handspun items in the fiber arts competition at BSG. Karen took a First Place for a beautiful hat she knit from her handspun cashmere,merino and angora. I got two First Places for handspun skeins: one a natural colored pygora, the other a handpainted blend of merino/silk. I also got a First on a pair of socks I knit with my hand-dyed handspun merino/cashmere yarn and a Second Place for an entrelac hat I knit with handspun using a pattern designed by Lynne Vogel.
Portland! After BSG, Karen and I headed up to Portland, where we spent a couple of days exploring the Pearl Arts District, riding the trolley, visiting several yarns stores, Powells Books, eating Vietnamese at Silk, and, of course, we had to get coffee and pastries at the Pearl Bakery, a must. One of our favorite yarn stores was the Dublin Bay Yarn Co. which carries some very nice yarns from Ireland that you won't find elsewhere. Here are some pictures of the Pearl District and a little park where we sat and knit for a spell.

On Tuesday, the 26th, we headed just south of downtown Portland to Multnomah Village and to Northwest Wools, another one of our favorite Portland yarn/fiber shops. Linda Berning, owner of NWWools, was hosting a Twisted Sisters book signing party. The turnout was great, many people came with their TS Sock Books in hand, there was lots of signing going on, and much of the handpainted sock yarn Linda bought from me was sold. YeeHaa! And many of the sweaters from the new TS Knit Sweater book were on display.

After the book signing, Karen and I began our trek south towards home, spending the night in Cottage Grove, just south of Eugene. The next day, we ended up doing a marathon driving trip and (17 hours later) arrived home in the wee hours of Thursday morning, totally beat up but happy to be home. I think we were both muttering to ourselves by that time, "I think we're too old to do that again." The Grapevine at midnight, when you're dead tired, is . . . well . . . I won't go there.
So, in addition to updating this chatty little blog, I also managed to post some fibers for sale this morning on my Capistrano Fiber Arts blog. As of this writing, I've already sold one of the rovings and had another inquiry. Amazing!

Oh, finally, here's a skein of yarn I spun from one of Sandy's "superwash" merino/tencel rovings. I was just steadfast in my steering clear of superwash merino, for no good reason in particular, but I have to admit I really enjoyed spinning Sandy's roving, especially because the colors were so lovely. Okay, okay, Sandy, I'm a convert. So, I did it! I'm back in blogger land.


Jerry said...

Welcome back to blogland. Hey are you in Revelry yet? Check it out if you can. (spiral stitch has an account, we are each others friend's list) The whole fiber blog world is bubbling with excitement. I loaded your fiber into the database there and have had a few inquiries on what and where to buy it. They have groups specifically for people who hand dye and hand spin to sell. Weaving and all the crafts. Your peeps :) Glad to see you home safe and sound. Even happier to see you had a good show! Congrats on the ribons.
Would love to come over and dye with you one day.

Sandy said...

yay, Lori! great update and you covered it all so well. love the photos. so glad your yarn and fibers are selling so well... but then, why wouldn't they?? your work is so gorgeous!