Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Catching Up

Wow, I can't believe my last blog was at the beginning of Summer! So much has happened that I don't know where to begin. The most profound learning experience has to be the July trip to the North Georgia mountains with 8 women who raise alpacas. We attended a nuno-felting workshop and I am totally enthralled with the magic of this craft. Layering wisps of natural fiber over lightweight fabric, adding a bit of water and voila' .....uncovering a felted design. Every time I make something this way I'm more than happy with the results. It is a much faster process than weaving, so much so that I can take breaks from weaving to whip up a few nuno felted projects.

In late August Rex and I travelled to Seattle, Friday Harbor and Portland. Ahhhhh, I simply love the Pacific Northwest in the Summer. We found a little five acre parcel on Friday Harbor with a cabin that we are in the process of buying. Wouldn't it be the perfect lifestyle to Winter in Florida and Summer in San Juan Islands? How would I avoid being labeled a snowbird? Does that mean I should also begin eating dinner out early so I could be an earlybird, too? What's up with all the bird analogies? My parrot, Huey likes the idea.

My latest adventure is to sign up for several art festivals to see how the general public responds to my work. You can check the Events Calendar on my website at for the latest updates. I'd love to see familiar faces at any of these events!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Holiday Weekend Fiber Fun!

What a perfect way to spend my holiday weekend....dyeing gorgeous alpaca yarns ...both Suri Silk and Lace Weight skeins drying. I wonder what they will become?

...and weaving away on a black alpaca weft over cotton warp fabric. The alpaca yarn was made from my own suri alpacas...Iridessa and Ode To Joy.

After washing the finished fabric, the alpaca will felt slightly and fill in the see-through areas. It will make a really nice, light-weight, yet warm skirt that should drape beautifully!

Happy Memorial Day!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Inaugural Yarn Tasting Event!

WOW, what great fun we all had! Last Saturday marked the very first yarn tasting event for SuriGirl hand-painted alpaca yarns. Joan Trawick of The Local Needle in MacClenny, Florida was the gracious hostess. One woman's comment from her child prior to attending brought laughter...."great, now they are EATING the stuff!" It was an excellent turnout with ten women showing up to sample three different alpaca yarn weights in nine color schemes. Several women tried more than one yarn and I received 12 comment cards providing valuable feedback for future product improvements.

Thanks to all who attended and knitted up swatches for sample display. The comments received were all positive and the fabulous yarn names that attendee's came up with for the SuriGirl Yarn's 2010 fall line are simply priceless!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

SO MANY LOOMS, so far away

Another great experience out west was my tour of the Oregon College of Art and Craft. The weaving room was so full of looms (28 I believe) that I began to vibrate out of sheer joy. The college is the first in the country (in conjunction with the Portland College of Art) to develop a Masters program in craft! I'm contemplating attending and learned that the continuing adult education program is taught by area practicing artisans. Anticipation is mounting as I dream of learning new techniques!

Cool Weather & Exploration

Rex and I had a blast in Portland, Oregon recently. I can attest to the fact that fiber art is ALIVE AND WELL in the Pacific Northwest. We toured many areas as we consider relocating and really enjoyed the vineyards of the Willamette Valley and the mountains of the Hood River area. I did have the chance to visit a yarn shop...Twisted, and was delighted to find that nearly 3/4th's of their stock is made in their region! I also had occasion to visit a retail store called Fyberworks that started as an outlet for local fiber artists work, but has morphed over ten years to be a unique retail clothing store with most of their eclectic styles created in the US.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Willow's Completed Scarf!

What fun we had felting up Willow's first weaving. Here she is in her "fort" wearing her latest creation! Read our first blog for details about the design.

Friday, March 26, 2010

OH BOY.....New Dye Pots!

Rex found these FIVE 30-quart stainless steel mixing bowls at a great bargain. Now I'm on my way to setting up my dye workshop! We are going to have stainless lids and inserts made so I will be able to steam my hand-painted yarns. Anticipation is a wonderful thing!

Willow's First Project

My heart sank when Willow asked if she could have the scarf I made at a recent workshop taught by Betsy Blumenthal. The very scarf where I hand-dyed the yarn, wove in a collapse weave design and felted. The same scarf that recently won 1st Place at the FABA Alpaca Expo in the Outerwear Category over some very nice sweaters, many other scarves and even an alpaca crocheted bikini! Looking at her hopeful face my only reply was "what if you make your very own scarf? You could select your colors!" I warped her choice yarns...a very soft and fine Italian Merino in bright magenta and a hand-dyed turquoise alpaca. Willow learned the plain weave so quickly that soon she was teaching her friend, Aly how to do it. They were adorable with each pushing separate treadles and taking turns throwing the shuttle. I had never seen duet weaving before! Meanwhile, Rex is having a large stainless steel utility sink installed on the patio, complete with hot and cold water for felting! The scarf is off the loom and ready for felting...although the weatherman says it is finally going to warm up!