Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Mannings

Wow... what a great day.

Guess I don't need to tell you which one is me. If you know anything about me from reading my blog, you'll know I'm the one in tie dye! Thanks for going with me Lea! I had a blast.... I'll post animal pictures later, but unfortunately I left my brain at home and didn't take pictures of the spinning bee or any of the demos as a matter of fact. :-/. Thanks Tanya for filling that void!

My first impression was that the store is unbelieveable... truly a fiber candy shop to the nth degree! Outside the demo area was a bit small but we were in no way cramped. The weather was perfect..sunny but lots of shade under the big trees and a nice breeze to boot!

We got there just before 10AM. Took a quick walk through just the front of the store. Then came outside. There were 3 sheep (Romneys) waiting to be shorn which took place during the day at well spaced intervals. First stop natural dying with Juanita Breidenbaugh, what a fount of information this woman is! Her first batch of the day used alum and cream of tartar as the mordant (pre soaked wool) into baths of dye... Lea you need to help me out here.... The second time we visited the dyes, that wool had come out of the pots and new wool was in that had mordants of iron, cream of tartar and a bit of alum. These wools had a much deeper, warmer color as the end result. Juanita had notebooks full of samples that showed the same fiber treated with different mordants but dyed with the same dye. So interesting... I know it's beyond me now, but it's opened a myriad of possibilities.

There was an area for flax processing - preparation and spinning by Eric Weit and Leigh Spencer. Here's Leigh spinning off flax into linen off the distaff. So interesting although I know it would be quite some time before I'd spin flax. The presenters were wearing linen clothing of course!

Then to the RIgid Heddle Weaving with Kathy Heindel. She and one of her students made it look so easy. I didn't stay here long for fear I'd find a new hobby!

We went back to the car to get our wheels because the next area was fiber preparation, with Sally Jenkins, and of course after it's prepared you need to spin! Sally is the nicest, most helpful woman who hails from Maryland. She had lotss of dyed fiber pieces and a drum carder (along with many sets of hand cards, a set of combs, a dog flicker - well it's not really a flicker but that's what you can use it for) and a picker. We were permitted to take her pretty fiber and play with color combos on the drum carder to then spin at our wheels (or drop spindles....there were plenty of those there as well) I now have a cute little skein of some pretty fiber and some more to spin, but more on that later

While we were spinning the sheep shearing started so I popped over to watch Michele Riley shear her sheep. She's so fascinating (and speedy) to watch, has such control over her sheep and is so informative about what to look for in finding a nice fleece and what to avoid when choosing a fleece. Plus her fresh raw fleeces were priced very reasonably.

Some before and after shots of this sheep. He's hard to see but it's the sheep in the far left of the pic, still in his wooly coat.

This pic on the right in his nakedness. Reminds me of the sheep in Wallace and Gromit's movie A Close Shave!

The store, the store is unbelieveable... truly you have to see this place to believe it. Everything a fiber person could want is there. I showed tremendous restraint however, even though there was one raw fleece that was SHOUTING my name (a BFL, border leicester cross) I walked away with a flicker which will be great for the targhee I'm working with right now AND the rambos to come, and a small Kromski niddy noddy. I taught myself to Navajo Ply tonight after I watched Lea do it this afternoon. It's really easy and am so glad that I can do it now. You'll see pictures of that on my new niddy noddy later.

I'll add pictures to this post tmrw but I'm so tired right now I really need to go to bed. The kids will be up at 6 for sure cuz DH wore them out today between the playground in the morning, grocery shopping and the pool in the afternoon. Boy I love that man!

I leave you with some pictures of the camelids. LLamas and alpacas... Aren't they cute!


Diane said...

Glad you had fun. I wanted to go, but had no one to take care of my mother. I am taking a spinning class there in July, can't wait. Thanks for sharing!!
Diane in PA

Lea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lea said...

Don't mind me... I couldn't edit, so I deleted and readded. I remembered the yellow dye.

You are so much better than me -- of course I still haven't blogged on this yet. I'm still about 2 weeks behind. I had such a great time too! But I was pooped enough last night that I just vegged with some mindless knitting and Jon Stewart last night.

So cool that you also got to work on the navajo ply. Did you get to try using the flicker or the combed wool last night or today?

Oh, and the dyes that I remember. The red-orange one was Madder. The yellow was Osage (in this case, sawdust). But she pretty much said that most of the stuff that we would grow in a garden would get a yellow or a yellow-green out of it as well. I'm tempted to grow some marigolds now! And then the red was cochineal, which is a bug.

Hopefully I should be able to update my blog tomorrow, since I'm going to be out most of today too. Can't wait to see the picture, though. I especially loved the Llama's. Those beautiful big brown eyes! :-D

g-girl said...

well, it sounds like you had an awesome time with Lea and it sounds like you both gained so much from going to the Mannings! Cool! :)