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Minnesota, United States

22.1.17

Flexiblity

I like the word flexible.  As an adjective it is defined as capable of bending easily without breaking, the able to be respond to altered circumstances or conditions, and ready and able to change so as to adapt to different circumstances.  As with most things in life it's good to be flexible.  On Friday, Jim decided we would go to 45th Parallel Distillery for the five o'clock tour rather than the later tour.  It was nice (just the two of us) and afterward we stopped at Culver's in New Richmond, Wisconsin to get something to eat before going home. On Saturday, I took a class to learn about making flexible felt.  Having wet-felted before, I knew the process using wool, water, soap, and agitation to mat and felt the fibers together.  The fabric I made is lightweight and beautiful.  The process was much faster than when I made the sheep rug last year in Linda's class.  She is  Bekaz Felt Works at Anoka Fiber Works and has done extensive work to ensure student success with her tried and true felting techniques.  I opted not to add a surface treatment as in my sample because the goal was to just make the fabric.  The next time I'll be sure to plan a multi-directional design.  After I got home, we went to Minneapolis to go to the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert.  They put on a good show!  We were fortunate to be in a suite with some of Jim's work colleagues.  A concert with good seats and good eats!  It pays to be flexible with one's schedule and when making fabric.

Humpty Dumpty was sporting a jaunty red, white, and blue cap.

This still is called Carl, Jr.

The barrels are made in Missouri.

Grinding stones make great tabletops.

Deb brought Mandy the bunny for a visit.  She was quite the puffball.

A power tool, pool noodle, and rolling pin are great for felting.

With the felting complete, it was time to stretch and smooth into shape.

The finished fabric blocking along with my sample.  The fabric is lightweight and just beautiful.  




17.1.17

Goings on

There's always something going on at Anoka fiber Works.  I've been busy knitting swatches for classes and winding warp for my next weaving project.  Tomorrow is the Short Row Class.  I have five different short row techniques to teach.  It gives the students plenty of options from which to choose.  

A sample needle felted painting I made for Teresa's upcoming class.  I'd photoshopped the original photo to use as wallpaper for my phone or iPad.  

Bunny on the run!

Deb's bunny kept us company one recent Saturday.


11.1.17

Progress

Holiday is over and I hit the ground running, or sliding.  It's 3-degrees F and snowy this morning.  Winter showed up!  Grey Wolf development has started and for the next five months, we will be developing the team for our week in June.

I'm making progress on Ben's sweater, the fronts are looking good.  The two pounds of Jacob wool are almost finished.  I began the natural black the other day and even found a bit more of the gray to spin.  The Icelandic birch spindle is one of my favorite tools.


The fronts of the cotton top are coming along a bit slower.  I took out two of the contrast yarn stripes and will continue to use the dark brown between the contrasting stripes.  The texture in addition to the color gives the fabric a more cohesive look.

The textured brown cotton is the star of this project.  

28.12.16

Unwrapping and Wrapping Up

Christmas 2016 was a nice, quiet holiday.  Jim and I visited Holidazzle in Loring Park.  Holidazzle used to be a Christmas parade and has since been revamped into a Christmas market featuring local Ben came on Christmas eve to wrap gifts.  Crazy weather made it a good day to hunker down and enjoy family time.  We waited until Christmas morning to open gifts and enjoyed reminiscing about Christmases past and how our family traditions began.  Jim was very happy with the mittens and the pajama pants I made for him.  I cannot believe I was able to finish those projects!  Ben's sweater is coming along, I started the fronts together.  It's been some time since I made an intarsia sweater.  The process is like a mullet hairdo - business in the front, and party (or mayhem with the yarn tails) in the back.  Good thing I have plenty of bobbins to wrangle the yarn.

I'm pleased with the color choices for this project.

Jim and I went to the mall after Holidazzle and stopped in the bookstore to check out the magazines.  Imagine that!  

Some of the brown sugar cut out cookies.  Ben chose the cookie cutters this year.  Ampelmann, forest critters, puppy dog, and pine trees.  The toffee bits were a tasty addition to the hedgehogs and moose this year.
The Holidazzle lights were beautiful!




Our little tree decorated with memories.  (Humm, it's dropped a few needles.)

One of Jim's mittens before fulling...

...and the happy recipient.

Ben making butter with the churn Jim got for us.  It was delicious!
We took time on Christmas Eve to drive around and look at the lights.
"Droid to the World"

Looking ahead to 2017...time, it can be a friend or a foe.  There are 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 365 days a year (with the exception of leap year) and yet the minutes, hours, and days go by so quickly!  In spite of my time passing too quickly, I managed to produce not only fiber works, teaching classes, and painting with limited vision until March 2016 when Dr. Conrad restored my sight with a new lens implant in my left eye.  The next few months were spent planning and training for the 12-day Philmont trek in August.  Naturally, a month before we were to leave I bashed my foot on the corner of the cedar chest (that has been in the same spot for 17 years).  I ended up buying new boots because of the swelling and pain.  My third and fourth toes became buddies taped together for a few months.  We hiked 75 miles in the New Mexico mountains.  It was beautiful.  I missed my other hiking boots and it was a happy day in October when I tried them on and they were once again comfortable!  I wish I could say the same for my hands.  It's a good thing I switch out my hand work often.  Between knitting, spinning, weaving, painting, sewing, and baking my grip is not quite as strong and there is a bit of pain in the joints (sad face).  Limiting my keyboard time on the computer also helps, although it is necessary whether I like it or not.  

Now that I'm exclusively at Anoka Fiber Works, my time is my own, meaning I'm in control of what I make, classes I schedule, and the number of students I have in class.  Just over a year ago on December 5, our little group started a weave-along that turned into finished vests, a weekly weaving group, floor looms for Mary and myself, a published article, and me becoming a vendor at AFW.  I'll be moving to a space along the wall before the year is over.  Collectively we continue to build community through our common love of all things fiber.