Monday, January 29, 2007

So many beads,so little time.

Well, we have been shopping the bead and gem shows like crazy. There is stuff all over the city and we have been tramping around in search of treasure. The variety and sheer volume of product is overwhelming and it gives me ideas of how to incorporate more beads and things into my designs. We have had fun although our feet and our shoulders (heavy bags) have been suffering a little bit. We did take a break from beads today and visited the Biosphere which was pretty interesting. It was a beautiful day with lots of sunshine and temps in the low 70ies. Off to more bead shows tomorrow and Wednesday. Then it's back to snowy Chicago on Friday.

Saturday, January 27, 2007


OK, we are in Arizona ready to go off and look for bargains at the annual Gem and Fossil show. There are a bewildering array of vendors and we will be lucky to see 1/10th of it today. Mom and Dad are being great hosts as usual. They, me, and our guests are having great fun getting to know each other and unwinding from our busy lives. The sun is out, the gems are sparkly and we are off in seach of treasure!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Short Draw

We learned short draw techniques tonight in my advanced spinning class. Or rather, I refined them because I had done some short draw spinning before, purely by accident. It's a great way to spin short fibers and also to spin worsted. If you are wanting to spin a lusterous fiber, it will keep a lot of its luster when you spin it worsted (not fuzzy). We are supposed to spin yak in our last class but I will be in Tucson, Arizona at the Gem and Fossil show. We leave this Friday (1 more day) and I can't wait. I am going with friends and visiting my parents there, so what could be better? All that and semi-precious beads! We will be in heaven for sure since Mom and Dad have a hot tub. Not to mention lots of sun.

Off to get some sleep and figure out what to pack. The hand spindle goes for sure!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


OK, I know it's really boring to have a blog and not write anything on it. Let's see, things I am doing lately.... I have felt the pull to start quilting again so I am working on finishing some of my works in progress. I have also been working to finish my bead and lace sweater that I have been working on for 8 months or so now. I hand spun periwinkle merino with a bit of white angora blended in and have been making a sweater I saw in the Knitters magazine. I will post a photo soon.

I got some gorgeous dark brown llama back from the mill which I am spinning fine and I plan to design an Orenburg lace shawl for a pattern and knit it into that. The yarn is so silky and soft. I never knew llama was so beautiful. I love alpaca, but this de-haired llama is amazing. It also makes a strong and soft felt because the staple length is so long. As my Canadian friend Leslie says "you could lasso a moose with that stuff!" LOL I love that.

Speaking of Leslie, she gave me a shoebox just crammed full of 4" long white angora bunny fur from one of her best German angora rabbits for Christmas. It is amazing stuff also. I never tire of taking off the box top and just feeling it's softness and warmth. Wow, that's orgasmic. I am agonizing over what to make with 4" long angora. It has to be amazing, whatever it is. What to blend, what to knit or weave? Decisions, decisions. But first, I finish some of the things I'm doing. I am also in process on a felted vest with knitted sleeves. Again the fiber is compliments of my amazing felting diva friend from Canada. She makes amazing fiber blends and colors and yarns. She doesn't have an online shop yet but she needs to get one, for sure.

I started an advanced spinning class in January and have learned some things already. I can't wait for the next two classes. I also joined the spin-list on yahoo and have already met some very nice people. It seems to be a kinder, gentler environment than some of the other lists I've been on. So check it out. More later!