Jacey Boggs taught a 2-day workshop for my guild last weekend. Now I know why she’s the rock star of fiber!  Both in style and technical know-how, this chick rocks it out of the park.

To make people feel comfortable, she wore a sweater at the beginning of class.  Then she explained to the mostly middle-aged crowd that she had tattoos and “did we mind” if she took off her sweater.  Yep, her arms are pretty covered, but the magic of her spinning instruction quickly overshadowed her body art.

Jacey offers instruction on a multiple of cool art yarns.  These aren’t just thrown together willy-nilly.  She has figured out the technical approach to making art yarns that can be controlled and duplicated with any fiber you choose. She also talked about what you can do with the yarns and feels they are particularly appropriate for accents to knitting and weaving projects.

Coils, fauxcle, corespinning, wrapping, attaching foreign objects, you name it, we tried it.  The group was so enthusiastic which made it particularly fun.

We were enchanted with Jacey’s winning personality and her straightforward approach to teaching us all her secrets.  She was a gem of an instructor.  We learned so much.

I would recommend a workshop by Jacey any day.  But book her now.  She is so popular, she is scheduling up to 2 years in advance.  By the way, I interviewed her for an episode of WeaveCast.  I am still editing the audio but when it’s ready to post, Syne Mitchell will be sure to put the word out.

My husband and I took a trip to the city of Ann Arbor a few weeks ago for our anniversary. In addition to taking a tasting tour of some great restaurants, we enjoyed walking the streets to get a feel for the local culture.  When we came upon a small city park, I was surprised to find trees decorated with knitted items.

Then it hit me that I had heard about this kind of display before in other cities, but just hadn’t seen it up close.  According to the tags on the scarves, it was the work of the “yarnabomber.”

I think this group exists to decorate public spaces but I couldn’t find much about it on the internet.  Their work sure beats graffiti!

Every tree in the park had some type of lovely knitted creation wrapped around it.  Cheers to the yarnabomber; may they decorate many more cities with beautiful fiber.

As summer comes to an end, I find that I am often pulled away from my spinning and weaving to tend to the ebb and flow of the garden.  After all, this is what we’ve been waiting for; the harvest after all this work is upon us. Tomatoes must get picked, eggplant cut from the vine. 

It’s been a very productive year for my tomatoes, eggplant and beans. 

When the harvest comes into full swing from the middle of August until halfway through September, I spend more time with my cookbooks to see all the ways I can use this wonderful bounty.

But all is not lost on the fiber front.  Many of these wonderful vegetables deserve a slow cook.  Once they are in the pot simmering away, I can usually grab a few minutes at the spinning wheel trying to make some headway on a pile of roving.

Life requires balance.  We need time for our food, rest and fiber…oh and work too:)

Every year, both of the guilds I belong to host summer dye days.  The Medina Guild features natural dyes and protein fibers and the Cleveland West Weavers focuses on cellulose fibers and fiber reactive dyes.

Last weekend, I went to the Cleveland event at the home of one of the members in Oberlin.  The day was quite hot and humid with a little rain sprinkled in, but otherwise was a wonderful day.  This is the closing meeting of the year so we always discuss next year’s study/challenge and we bring in finished projects.

Here are just a few of the lovely projects our members brought in the meeting.

One of our members, Mary Louise, likes to weave pipe cleaners into her cloth so she can turn it into a vase with wire structure.  Ruth made the tea towels on the right and Sara experimented with our study subject Summer and Winter on the left. 

After the meeting and a potluck lunch, we moved outside to dye our fiber or fabric. Betsy, our hostess, worked with Elizabeth to mix all the dyes.

The table was full of many colors suitable to an array of design possibilities.   Annie chose some great colors which were admired by Betsy.

The day was quite a success.  I brought a length of fabric woven with 5 different shibori patterns.  I dyed the fabric flat and then brought home some other dye to use after the threads are pulled.  I’ll explain it all with pictures in another post. 

Let’s just say I’ve found another exciting new way to approach my fiber passion.  Dyeing is a fun way to design projects.

I was enchanted while in church yesterday.  I would love to say it was the pastor’s sermon, but alas it was the hymn after his message.  I think the greatest theology can be found in old hymns. This is the second verse in the hymn “Let Streams of Living Justice.”  If you’re a fiber lover, you will be so pleased.

For healing of the nations,

for peace that will not end,

for love that makes us lovers,

God grant us grace to mend.  

Weave our varied gifts together;

knit our lives as they are spun;

on your loom of time enroll us

 till our thread of life is run.  

O great weaver of our fabric,

bind church and world in one;

dye our texture with your radiance,

light our colors with your sun.

The Olympics are in full swing and so is my fiber spinning project.  After much thought, I decided to spin a mildly bulky singles yarn to use in a knitting to felting  project.  Slippers come to mind.

In an earlier post, I showed the fiber off the drumcarder.  That fiber is coming together as a nicely colored yarn and looks particularly nice in motion on my Louet S-10 DT.

One of the features I like most about my Louet spinning wheel is the large bobbin capacity.  These bobbins hold so much yarn that you rarely have to change them out. 

Before I drumcarded the fiber, I tried spinning the roving straight after dyeing it.  The bobbin on the left shows how defined the colors are, however, the roving was so matted from the dye, it was difficult to draft and strained my wrists.  Drumcarding opened up the fibers for easier drafting, while blending the colors into an attractive mix.  I have much more fiber to spin, but a nightly turn at the wheel should complete the project by the time of the Olympics closing ceremony.