Friday, December 19, 2014


Just a quick check in. I am so excited that my Watson spinning wheel has been completed and that Andrew Watson will be shipping it right after the first of the year.  I have been patiently waiting for four years and after looking at the pictures he sent me this week, it has been worth every single minute of the wait.  Andrew is an amazing spinning wheel maker and craftsman.  There's only one word for his work:  awesome.  So now I have this itch of anticipation and can hardly wait for the time when a big crate is delivered to my door.  Here are a few pictures.  Can I possibly contain myself for the next couple of weeks???

The wheel is American black walnut and the accent woods are Purple Heart and Blackwood.  I am sure the pictures don't do it justice and it will be even more beautiful in person.  Thank you, Andrew.  

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Torrance Weaving and Fiber Fest This Weekend

The Torrance Weaving and Fiber Fest is this weekend and I have been dyeing like mad to get ready.  This event is put on by the Southern California Handweavers' Guild. My friend Margie and I will be in the Capistrano Fiber Arts booth. We will have an array of hand painted rovings, other fibery goodness, handspun yarn and some hand felted and hand knit garments. And, yes, I will have bags of my luscious "Pastiche" fiber mixture.

The festival is this Sunday, November 2nd, from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Torrance Cultural Center. This is the best local fiber show and well worth the drive. For information:  Hope to see lots of fiber enthusiasts there.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Artistic License Fair This Weekend

Looking forward to the Artistic License Fair this weekend -- Friday and Saturday, October 24th and 25th, at Estancia Park in Costa Mesa.  Just working on some last minute items for my booth.   Here's a little peek at some of my felted pieces which have hand stitching on them.  

I'll also have lots of my handspun yarn and pieces knit and crocheted from my handspun yarns.  The Fair is from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day.  Hope to see a lot of new, as well as old, friends there.  Stop by and see me in Booth #1.  (Check out the Artistic License Fair Facebook page.)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Artistic License Fair is approaching

The postcards for the Artistic License Fair have gone out.  That means the fair is fast approaching.  It is Friday and Saturday, October 24th and 25th, at Estancia Park in Costa Mesa, a lovely outdoor setting.  Here's a picture of this year's postcard featuring my dear friend Michelle Hoffee's "Living and Dyeing" booth.   You can visit her web page and see her one-of-a-kind superbly and artistically crafted garments:

Visit the AL website to see the names of all participating artists

I am busy filling my bins with lots of my beautiful handcrafted wares, including lots and lots of handspun yarns, spun from my hand painted fibers and those of my other indy fiber artist friends.  I aim to have a very colorful booth.  Hope to see lots of friends and  lots of new faces.

More Mountain Spinning

Last night, I plied more of the yarn that I spun while on my vacation up in Lassen Volcanic National Park.  This two-ply skein weighs 4.8 oz. and has 338 yards.  One ply is my hand painted roving called "Fernleaf" and is a blend of Blueface Leicester and Silk (75%/25%).  The other ply is another Inglenook Fibers batt called "Cosmos". 

That's all for now.  I have to get back to dyeing.  I am working very hard to restore my inventory of spinning fibers for my two Fall shows coming up.  In the 90+ heat, this has presented quite a challenge.  I hear it's to be cooler today.  Oh joy! 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Mountain Spinning

Last week, my husband and I ventured up to Lassen Volcanic National Park where we stayed in the camping cabins at Lake Manzanita within the park.  We had a very relaxing time and spent many hours walking and hiking.  Early morning and late afternoons were spent reading or spinning.

One of the perks of driving somewhere on vacation is that you can take things with you that you can't take on a plane.  So . . . my spinning wheel drove up with us in the back seat.  What an idyllic setting, sitting on the porch of the cabin, spinning and looking at the trees and lake.
I managed to spin four bobbins of fiber on the trip and when I came home, I have so far plied two of the bobbins.  One ply was my hand painted roving of Blueface Leicester and Tussah Silk (a 75%/25% blend) called "Indian Paintbrush" and the other ply was one of the luscious Inglenook batts called "Looking forward to Autumn" -- how apropos. This was one of my most favorite Inglenook creations.  

This is a nice big skein of 450 yards, weighing 6.1 oz.

Now, back to more hand painting of fibers and getting ready for Artistic License (Friday and Saturday - Oct. 24th and 25th) and the Torrance fiber festival (Sunday - Nov. 2nd.)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Log Cabin Scarf

I debated on what to do with my handspun log cabin squares and finally chose to knit them together with garter stitch rows into a long scarf.  I am very pleased with the outcome.

After knitting the squares together, I knit several garter rows up the sides and did a picot bind off along the side edge. 

Next, I finished off the edges with knitted I-cord fringes.
 A little closer up view.
I really love the log cabin squares that allow you to use up a lot of the little balls of yarn that are left over from other projects.  I have already assembled some yarns for my next log cabin project and will try to combine some natural colored handspun yarns along with some colored ones.

On another note, I just returned from 5 days in the Lassen Volcanic National Park up in Northern California.  My husband and I stayed in a camping cabin at Manzanita Lake campground within the park.  This is one of my favorite national parks.  

Evening glass off on Lake Manzanita
 A view of Raker Peak from the lake
 A view of Mt. Lassen from the lake
 Me spinning on the porch of our camping cabin -- now that was idyllic!

My next trip is just around the corner.  My friends, Michelle and Janet, will join me for our annual girls' Fall retreat to Santa Fe, Chimayo and Taos, New Mexico.  We will be attending the Taos Wool Festival and will also stay at Casa Escondida in Chimayo for a couple of days before our stay in Taos. I can barely contain my excitement.   

Monday, September 01, 2014

What will these be?

Happy Labor Day!  This means that summer is coming to a close and kids are going back to school, and the beaches and walking trail will not be so crowded.  All of us who live near the beaches, breathe a sigh of relief with the passing of Labor Day -- less people and less traffic.  I have finished six log cabin squares with my left-over balls of handspun yarn and now I have to contemplate what to do with them.  I have an idea that I am going to try today so stay tuned.  

These squares are about 7.5" x 7.5" so they are much bigger than the granny squares I crochet.

And the really nice thing about them is that each edge has live stitches, which means that you can place them on a needle and start knitting and can easily connect them with a technique called the Kitchener stitch.

Now, if only it would cool down.  We are pretty tired of 90+ degree weather.  I am frazzled.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Log Cabin

After successfully making a dent in the pile of granny squares that I have crocheted (by sewing them together to make a baby blanket), I decided that I wanted to try my knitting hand at some bigger squares by using the pattern called Log Cabin.  I have been wanting to try this particular pattern for a long time because it's a great way to use up all those small balls of left over handspun yarn and it's all done in garter stitch and is a kind of "no brainer" knitting that can be done without a tremendous amount of concentration.  I have completed two squares so far and have started a third.  I really love these.  They are much bigger than my granny squares at 7.5" x 7.5" and will be less of a hassle to sew together.

Now I am off to the Sunday farmer's market.  Last week, I discovered a vendor there that has fresh squeezed pomegranate juice, tastes just like the freshly picked fruit.  I must have more!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Summer Workshop at Shakerag

I have had the pleasure of attending the Shakerag summer workshops in Sewanee, Tennessee, many times.  I have taken spinning and dyeing with local fiber artist Lynne Vogel, two workshops with wearable clothing artist Jean Cacicedo, a felting workshop with Scottish artist, Jeanette Sendler, and natural dyeing with Rebecca Burgess from Northern California.  This summer my friend, Margie, and I had a wonderful experience learning about Japanese boro cloth, shibori, stitching, clamp resist dyeing, Japanese tsunobukuro carrying pouch, and indigo dyeing. Our amazing teacher was Yoshiko Wada, author and shibori artist, from Berkeley, CA.  

There were 17 in our workshop and each person brought their unique artistry and creativity to the class and their work.  It was remarkable how the work of each student was so different. 

Some samples of boro cloth from Yoshiko's collection.

One of our indigo dye pots. 

Here are pictures of the work some of the students in our class.  Where I can remember whose work it is, I will give their name.  (I apologize to my classmates when I can't remember who did some of the work in the pictures.)

A couple of my indigo dyed pieces - clamp resist

Tsunobukuro carrying bags

Patricia's meticulously stitched quilt which she bravely plunged
 into the indigo pot with miraculous results

Lovely indigo dyed pieces

My hand stitched vest - work in progress

Appliques of eco printed handmade felt

Pamela's indigo dyed silk pieces and her work stitching pieces from
 a quilt made by her grandmother 

Margie's handstitched boro cloth, indigo dyed yarn and clamp resist pieces

 Jody's fabric book - hand stitched on linen embellished with pieces of 
cloth from old book covers

More lovely indigo dyed pieces

 Chris' eco printed pieces, one over dyed with indigo

Judilee's display of yarns and embellishments on a leaf

Dakota's work -- including a handwoven ethnic bag deconstructed

Claire's quilt -- a work in progress -- started in our natural dye class
with Rebecca Burgess in 2013

I believe this is Judilee's work

Melanie's indigo dyed shibori piece

I think this is Ilse's work

More pictures, but I'm not sure whose it is. Very nice.

What a wonderfully creative time we had at Shakerag this summer. How can you not love it when -- for a week --  you are tucked away in a creative environment, fed the most delicious meals, free to work into the night, take walks, swim in the "Res", have an opportunity to make new friends and see and commune with old friends.  I'm hooked and already looking forward to my summer camp at Shakerag in June 2015.