Next month:
January 2011

Jingle Bells, originally uploaded by Goldfish Love Fibers.

After spending the weekend camped out at the Black Forest Inn, I came home with a stack of new yarns. Live music, a glass of gluhwein, and a big pile of jingle bells and whole mess of fiber make for a delightful weekend.


A bunch of odds and ends got carded up into a pastel, Seuss-like batt. And a leftover ball of Wensleydale top became a long self-striping single, probably destined for a quick shawl. And my grey Primrose roving had gotten a bit felted and needed some attention, but with some time on the hand cards managed to end up as a rich rustic single.

Plied BFL/Silk

The real treat was getting to spin to live music. The variation between acts, even from one song to the next gets recorded in the yarn. A little record of the otherwise lost live performance as the background changes the rhythms of the treadle and the draft and the uptake. At home I can control it, and set up a playlist as a spinner's metronome to keep things more consistent, but there is a little charm in knowing these few yarns will stand as a silent recording of their own.

If man could fly like a bird.... I wish this sort of magical flying machine had been the one to work out. I love the old look of the photo, capturing a modern glass and steel looking frame. The dark skeleton underneath the transparent feathers.

This photo inspired a spinning challenge, probably a year ago now. I scoured stores trying to find materials that would capture my favorite details, finally finding inspiration in a set of printed transparency sheets. A few prototype skeins later, I got my yarn-based ornithopter together and framed.

Ornithopter 1: George R. White

The story behind the yarn has been rattling around the last few days, since I brought this piece along with me to a market this weekend. Usually I get a good fiber-loving crowd, interested in the stories behind the sheep and the fleeces, trivia about the construction of the yarn, that sort of thing. Yesterday though, some of these framed pieces took a lot of attention, mostly in the "I've never seen anything like that" way.

It is weird, yarn is so overwhelmingly functional in most cases, that playing with the idea of yarn as a finished, sculptural piece on it's own is quite strange. I certainly didn't come up with the concept, but when I settle in to make my favorite pieces now, they do have some kind of story, something they are meant to be beyond a craft supply to use en route to another object.

I still don't really know how to tell those stories, and maybe it doesn't matter, and it is enough to know it is there and that I can pet it and look at it. I am off to the Christmas Market again for the day, if you are in town and looking for some last minute gift shopping and a glass of gluhwein.

Mitten Prototype, originally uploaded by Goldfish Love Fibers.

Snow is piling up here in Minnesota, which means it's lock yourself inside and play with wool weather in the Twin Cities. The new handspun mitten prototype went out to play and admire the giant drift.

Miss Kitty

The weather predicting cat is finding this much less enjoyable, and has taken to following me around with a look of terror that the apocalypse is upon us all. This also involves trying to hide by crouching between my ankles and hugging my feet, preferably when trying to ascend the stairs.

The USPS also deserves some sort of heroism award, because this pretty little thing showed up this morning:

Blue Appaloosa Navajo Churro Fleece

A Navajo churro fleece, carried to the door by our intrepid postal carrier, who was waiting for backup to arrive. Snow may have stopped his truck cold, smack dab in the middle of the road, but the wool made it through safely.

Mary-Maude Roving Green
Originally uploaded by Goldfish Love Fibers

I am pretty much giddy about getting this wool all dyed up and spinnable. Mary Maude was a lovely cormo x BFL x some other stuff lamb fleece I picked up this spring and had processed. The fiber came back gleaming white, and spins up to an impossibly fine lacy yarn.

The small mill roving, however, tends to drift apart into nothing when wet, so dying it was a bit of a mess. It turns out it will hold together, with gentle handling, if I hand crochet a big chain, then hand crochet that one again before plopping it in the kettle.

Targhee-Llama Roving Green

I have been throwing pretty much everything roving in the dyepot since.