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Minnesota, United States

31.8.15

Spinnin' cotton

My dear friend, Joanne, gifted me some of her precious denim cotton roving, white cotton and cotton denim together.  My :^( Urchin hat that I lost while in Shetland needs to be replaced. I really loved it because it was handspun, cotton, I could wear it almost any time of year and it went with everything.  I remember well spinning that cotton, too.  It was my first and a real bugger, but so pretty--it was all denim and the most wonderful blue!  Cotton staple is short and it takes a bit of practice to get it going in a nice single.  While living in Texas I spun cotton and cotton blends often, but moving to Minnesota changed that.  Recycled cotton denim roving is impossible to find because the denim of today contains spandex.  I have found a bit used as an add-in and I bought some when I was last in Texas.  It will be used in something special.  The yarn in the photo is from that wonderful shop (now gone) called Woolenworks.  I have been using bits and bobs of those early skeins of handspun for all sorts of projects lately--the woven table runner, which I gave to Ben yesterday.  
Anyway, the first skein is finished and I have a bit more to spin on Hortense.  She is the perfect little wheel for spinning cotton.  
A happy photo when I finished the hat.

A well-traveled chapeau.  "Cock your hat--angles are attitudes," as Frank Sinatra said.

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23.8.15

A wooly hot day

Saturday, August 15 was hot and steamy, but not so much that we could not celebrate wool.  The Faribault Woolen Mill celebrated their 150th anniversary.  Alexander Faribault, a fur-trader/entrepreneur founded the town in 1852.  The city is situated at the confluence of the Cannon and Straight Rivers and is the county seat of Rice County, Minnesota.  Faribault is approximately 50 miles south of the Twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

We arrived early and walked around before the activities began.

I was really excited to see Jennifer and Tom's design, a sleeping bag,  for the Target competition/silent auction.

The Target designers' work for the competition/silent auction.

These little sheep were so cute!

I really liked the sauna hats!

Jim liked the beer caddy.

Jennifer and the sleeping bag.  It was beautifully designed and sewn.  It was good to see her!
There was even a teepee and camp chair in red and black buffalo plaid--very Minnesotan!
The outdoor shop next to the mill had a great display for the Pak-A-Robes, a 1970s Ford Bronco.

Jim was doing some shopping!

Pak-A-Robe colors 
The woolen blanket sign adorned the bridge over the river toward the park.

There was a running of the sheep event, which was pretty funny.  The sheep stayed in a group and at the end created a sheep-nado.


The sheep were well-organized...I cannot say the same for the humans!


At the end with nowhere to go, the sheep regrouped into an S-twist sheep-nado.


The lively sheepdog whipped the flock into shape.

It looked a bit like a scene from the movie, Babe.

Jennifer and I were particularly fond of the little Jacob sheep.

Doreen, of Goldfish Love and a spinning buddy, was having a fine time spinning up some arty yarns with the kids in the Textile Center's tent.
A blanket made from recycled wool and acrylic.
(To make the blanket washable and strengthen the fibers.)    

Jim surprised me with this scarf in scarlet and gray.

In honor of the anniversary, a past favorite, Pack-A-Robe was brought back.  The woolen mill had the zippered cases made by Duluth Pack.

The American flag in all her woolly glory!
With all the wonderful woven woolly cloth in my mind, I thought I would take the opportunity to try out the variable dent reed I picked up from Mary at Anoka Fiber Works.  Before I warped the loom with handspun yarn, I finished a small piece with the leftover Malabrigo Finito warp using some mohair handspun for the weft, which is some of my really early spinning circa 1997.

A little piece just the right size for a lamp. 

I saw the apron secured to the heddle in the Schacht Cricket video.

I am thankful for the videos on the Schacht website for warping the loom!

Time to use some of the old bits and bobs of handspun yarns--let's warp this baby!
I have been cleaning and organizing my yarn and the fiber in my work room.  It is a time-consuming process, but I can now see everything in the cubbyholes.  Eliminating the dreaded tubs is a plus, as I cannot stand to deal with the room they take up.  We found some collapsible crates that I can use for the unseen fibers I stored in extra pillowcases.  A work in progress...

The Jacob yarn is washed, the twist is set.  I need to calculate the yardage and then finalize the sweater design.

19.8.15

Wednesday's projects done and undone

Between all the summer activities there have been plenty of projects to start and to finish.
Cruiser Mittens worked in one of Rowan's new yarns, Hemp Tweed.  I love this yarn!
It has nice drape , color and texture.  

The Mitten Advent Calendar continues.  I will have to be sure to take a photo of 1-9  when I go  to the shop later today.  

The Celtic Rowan Pillow is on the needles--lots of twists and turns with bobbles here and there.  This is the edging.  It was my first time short-rowing a corner with cabling.  This one is worked in James Brett Aztec, a blend of acrylic and alpaca.

The latest pattern from Sally Melville is the Universal Vest, my project is called the Univest.  I love that it is worked in garter stitch and has elements like the Einstein Coat from her book, The Knit Stitch.  the yarn is Rowan Pure Wool Worsted in Hawthorn, a dark blue-green heather with turquoise and red visible in the yarn.  
 The second of the Christmas presents from Jim was a rafting trip on the Kettle River, located in east central Minnesota.  The water was down a bit, so we were in two-person inflatable kayaks.  It was so much fun.  Jim only went in the drink once.  I was extra careful because of my eye, so I managed to stay glued into the kayak.  The scenery was beautiful with interesting rock formations all along the route.  The rapids on the river are rated from II-IV.  We did them all!  It was helpful to have the guides in front and behind the groups to point out the best route through the rapids.  Paddle, paddle, paddle!


Taking a break.

A large perfect hole in the rock with a view.



14.8.15

Adventure

Adventure is defined as a noun in the dictionary as:  1. an exciting or very unusual experience.  2. participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises: the spirit of adventure.  3. a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome.  4. a commercial or financial speculation of any kind; venture.  5.  Obsolete. a. peril; danger; risk.  b. chance; fortune; luck.

31.07.15 I love adventures whether small or large.  Today marks 39 years of marriage to my dear husband, Jim.  We grew up together as children in Ohio and started dating in college.  After four months we were engaged and then four months later we married.  I remember it well and would not change a thing!  We had a nice day and capped it off with friends at the baseball game.  
Somewhere in Germany, 1980s.





Earlier in July I spent two weeks at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico for NAYLE.  I was one of the Assistant Course Directors.  The first week was staff development and then the second week the participants arrived.  It is always fun to experience Scouting at Philmont because of the people you meet from all over the country.  


My tent is to the far right.  Once I set it up, I found shade under a Pinion pine and napped.  

Stormy skies at Pinion Flats.  Urraca Mesa is to the right.



Staff going through the modules before participants arrive.

Pack line--my pack is in the front.  


Trekking back to Rayado Ridge.

Ohio was well-represented at week 2 NAYLE.

Stopping on the way up the mountain to take the arbitrary point photo.

I had my head down on the last leg of the climb because I did not want to see how much more I had to boulder to get to the top.  I noticed the marker and cheered--I made it!

One of the staffers brought a toothbrush up the Tooth of Time.


The sunflowers were in bloom at the base of the mountain.

Staff and participants getting to know each other.

Doorway to the gardens at the Villa.

A nice view of the Tooth of Time from the Villa.

Opening campfire songfest.

Every day the staff had a fun scene on the white board.

We had visitors at Rayado Ridge one day.

The stallion was beautiful--I kept my distance.  



This is an ongoing project in progress started in June--the Mitten Garland Advent Calendar by Kat Lewinsky of Just Crafty Enough.

I am fond of #5 and #7.