Saturday, May 29, 2010

Getting a Little Warped

Learning about warp and weft, clearing the shed, and weaving loose ends.... It's all very relaxing and somehow, focusing for the self. This is a closeup of my own handspun yarn (Romney sheep wool and Bamboo silk blend) on the loom, as I attempt a looser weave. I hope to make 3 or 4 triangles, stitch them together, and have a large shawl.

A quick project - store-bought boucle yarn in fun colors for an accent piece or kid's scarf.


Between the ideas sparked at the fiber fair and my own adventures in spinning yarn, I guess it was inevitable that I would take an interest in weaving. With some scrap lumber, 250 panel nails, and a little help from David, I had a new triangular loom!

This weaving is done in a continuous strand, starting at one corner, and weaving both sides simultaneously to meet in the middle.

The finished piece is 3 feet across, and with a little fringe, ready to pop off the loom.

Wonderfully soft and warm, it's a perfect scarf, shoulder drape, or child-size shawl! Not bad for my first attempt!

Fiber Fair Souvenir

Of course, every great day deserves a souvenir. The Marshfield Fiber Fair memento for me was......

Ollie! He's a one-year-old dwarf angora bunny - a Jersey Woolie. Very sweet, and super soft, I've already harvested a small bag of fur just brushing him daily! Now, if I can just work up the nerve to shear him!

One of the highlights of the Marshfield Fiber Fair was the demonstration of sheep shearing. Sheep wranglers use electric clippers and a lot of muscle to get these girls ready for summer.

Now then, for a willing participant...

A firm grip and quick flip puts the ewe in position.

Even sheep run out of patience, so work fast!

And it's back to the pen - a newer, cooler ewe.

The complete fleece, ready to be skirted and scoured, then prepped for spinning!

Marshfield Fiber Fair 2010

The month of May is harvest time - for fiber-lovers, that is! Sheep need to be sheared before the heat of summer sets in, and a host of other creatures look to shed their winter coats. What a perfect time for an outdoor fair, like this one in Marshfield, Missouri, celebrating all things Fiber!

Vendors set up beneath the pavilions, offering bins and baskets of raw, cleaned, and prepared fibers. Sheep's wool, llama, alpaca, angora, mohair, and even silk, were among the choices. Several booths had various breeds of rabbits for sale, for those who want to try their hand at harvesting angora fur.

Many area groups, such as the Lacemaking Guild from Springfield, were on hand to give demonstrations of their art.

There were speed spinning competitions, a fashion show, workshops, animal exhibits, food, and lots of ideas on display - I even took first place in the speed crochet contest!

This man had a number of large angora rabbits - like Big Boy here.

All in all, it was a great fair. Though small, it's definitely worth the trip!

Weighing the ORPtions

Part of keeping our Chicken Journal is weighing the hens periodically to chart their growth. Here, Kendra weighs a Buff Orpington, then a White Silkie (who barely clears one pound). The girls don't seem to mind visiting indoors, as long as we keep them away from the cooking pot!