Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy Autumn Equinox

Yes you can balance an egg on the equinox here's the proof!

World Wide Spin in Public day

In honor of World Wide Spin In Public day our guild of gypsy pirates decided to open our encampment to visitors at the Ojai Pirate Faire...
Here are some pictures!

Unfortunately I didn't feel very well over the weekend so I wasn't as fun as I think I should have been...but I got a good bit of spinning down!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Eclectic Ensemble

Last night my student troupe Tandava & I danced at Donavon's Studio Iqaat for the Eclectic Ensemble that DJ Amar puts on from time to time. It was super fun and I'm proud of the girls, they danced their hearts can watch this video! We start around 30:00 but you should watch the whole show cause it's pretty darned good! Olu, Wild Routes, Nautch Conspiracy, Michealla Manning & more. Some of the dancers are also former students and ALL are friends! yay!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ventura County fair August 2010

I must say that this was the coolest summer in my memory! Since I'm not a fan of hot weather it was great for me, but when it got hot it got super hot and temperatures went up to 104* ugh! Ok summer in Southern California should be hot that is normal probably averaging in the 80's with some heat waves that go up into the 90's and maybe one heat wave going up into the 100's. But going from the 60's to over 100 in one day is just wrong! Does anyone doubt global climate change any more?

One of the usual summer activities I enjoy taking part in is the Ventura County Fair, the last few years I've been too busy dancing to take the time to enter anything. But I've made an effor to be more involved in my local guild and felt encouraged to dig through my stuff for something I've made in the last year to enter. It was a challenge because mostly I give stuff away to family or friends or I wear it and it looks all sad and worn but here is what I put in the show...

This one was hard to photograph, it's such a dark purple. Anyway it's a singles yarn I spun from Wensleydale top. It's very shiny and pretty as yarn, I knitted up a sample of it and it doesn't look good as knitted fabric. I don't really know what to do with it because it looks so nice as yarn...I was thinking of maybe weaving with it and using some really thin yarn for the weft so that you can still see the structure of the yarn. If you have an idea. Any suggestions are welcome!

This is some yarn I spun from a Romney fleece I bought from Sky Lines Farms and dyed with indigo. I have a lot more to spin, it will become a blanket. I hope I finish it soon, it's already cold again!

After reading Jacey Bogg's article in the last Spin Off & my new favorite book The Intentional Spinner by Judith Mackenzie McCuin I decided to try to make a boucle yarn with some naturally grey mohair & some mohair that I dyed black.
It won me a 1st place!

Last I entered a handwoven shawl, it's pretty simple actually just tabby. It has a mixed warp of mohair, rayon, & silk. Which also took a blue ribbon!

Next year I'm going to try to be more intentional in my entries. I'll actually save some of the things I make during the year for the purpose of fair entry.

My guild also has several other activities at the faire, a sheep to shawl event, a booth (that won a blue ribbon), a spinning contest. I was able to attend the sheep to shawl but I didn't get any pictures because I forgot my camera : ( it was fun though, several spinners get together and spin away getting the yarn ready to be woven by a weaver into a shawl which is then auctioned off for charity.

Also while I was there I bought 2 fleeces even though I swore I would not, they were just to good to pass up.
One is a Romney (I needed more for my blanket anyway). Isn't it pretty?

The other is a Corriedale (I've already washed this one)...also very pretty!

I failed to mention that the singles yarn I made in the dark purple was also because I was inspired by the Intentional Spinner, I really wanted to make a good thick single. This book is so fabulous I think all spinners should have it in their library. Go out and buy it!
A better shot of the purple single...I took it out back and put it on the Tiki bar

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Why I haven't posted on the Blog

Maybe this is just an excuse but here goes! I've been having a lot of pain in my wrist and I really want to be using my wrist for knitting, spinning, weaving etc. and I've found that the computer makes it really really bad. So that's that...but here I am again with one small update!

Here is some yarn I spun that will be going into a poncho for Riley...I hope there's enough or I'll be dyeing and spinning more!

Froggy colors!

with Anu Garg

What's common among a disc jockey, a spider, a PR agent, and a cricket bowler? They all spin. But this week we are talking about a different kind of spinning, the original kind: the spinning of yarn.

Before modern textile mills, and before specialization, people used to spin yarn and weave cloth at home. Even though a typical home doesn't have raw flax and wool any more, that era has left its imprint on the language.

By looking at these terms in the English language we can tell who used to do the spinning, and what was thought about people related to the job. This week we'll see five words relating to spinning that are now mostly used figuratively.


Of or relating to women.
1. A staff for holding flax, wool, etc. for spinning.
2. Women considered collectively.
3. A woman's work or domain.

From Old English dis- (bunch of flax) + staef (stick).

A distaff is a staff with a cleft for holding wool, flax, etc. from which thread is drawn while being spun by hand. In olden times, spinning was considered a woman's work, so distaff figuratively referred to women. Distaff side (also spindle side) refers to the female side of a family. The corresponding male equivalent of the term is spear side (also sword side).