Fun in Groups, Games for Spinners

Fun in Groups, Games for Spinners

2014, SWAY Art Yarn Guild Florida, Festival time! It was my first foray to the United States and I couldn’t have had a better place to land 🙂 What a fantastic group! I came prepared, I had my workshop program and a handful of challenge cards to kick off with some fibery fun and games. Literally…. games 🙂 These were cards I had created previously, but had not had the opportunity to try out with such a large group, I believe there were 70 people attending that year! And now I am going to try them out with an even LARGER group – everyone reading this post in fact! Well ok not exactly, because many of them require you to be in the same room, BUT hows this for an idea, please feel free to download and print these cards, take them with you to your next guild meeting, or spin group meeting, or any spin day with any size group. There are a total of 14 challenge cards. Share them around and see what you can make with them 🙂 They are just for fun, to get you doing something different or unusual, and to work together with others! We are often such solitary creatures aren’t we, in our spinning.. Its great to branch out every once in a while and be a party animal instead, I double dare you! If you use them, please mention me and Fiberygoodness as the originators, and you know what, I would love it if you would come back and share your experiences with the cards, either here on our my facebook page! If your group creates some magic with them please do let me know, this is a little like releasing my baby birds into the wild, its great to know where they end up!   So without further ado – click the image to get the entire download! Have FUN!...

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A new Round of S3 Spin Course Enrolments

A new Round of S3 Spin Course Enrolments

This is always an exciting time for me, opening enrolments on one of our FiberyGoodness Spin courses! We run enrolments on the S3 Sketch Spin Scribe course every few months, and each time its wonderful to welcome new FiberyGoodness spinners into our community of like-minded fiber nuts 🙂 I especially like being able to offer the S3 course, because it is entirely self paced, people can pick it up and purely and simply enjoy being part of it, can take their time to immerse themselves in the spinning, and the inspirational stories, places, and times in each module. I like the structure that allows students to feel free to get as in-depth as they want to, with no deadline pressure or ‘getting behind’. We are all busy, but it is wonderful to have a treat waiting for us during those moments we have saved to indulge in our beloved fiber arts. If you are wondering if the S3 course might be for you, here is a bit more about it! We started off with the idea of creating a step by step ‘technique’ based spinning course, because our original (and continuing) Mothership course ‘Journey to the Golden Fleece’ is a very open, flowing, creativity driven program,  we felt it important to also offer an alternative direction for those who prefer a more straightforward and classical tuition style. However, Arlene and I do struggle to create anything that doesn’t also totally capture our imaginations! So we gave our S3 course its own personality 🙂 This course is story driven, based on my ideas about connections and continuity, ties that bind. Each module progresses the student towards more complex and creative yarn designs and techniques, backed by an ongoing series of short stories and encased in an historic time period or artistic movement. We are exploring the legacy of spinners and creatives that have come before us, and through this creating our own heirloom for future generations! The final project in the course is the creation of the heirloom journal, a record that maybe one day will be be held, treasured and shared by future generations of spinners to come. The course will guide you in the creation of the journal, it can lead you to be the record keeper, adding in samples of fiber, sheep breed information, spin techniques and yarn samples, and your observations of the process. Or you could decide to be the philosopher, write your own fiber journey story in the journal, keep all your inspiration images, colour ideas, and story prompts contained inside the pages. And then the grand finale, the course comes with these amazing Bamboo covers that Majacraft has created for us to our specifications, ready...

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The Yellow Farm

The Yellow Farm

Or should I say, the Yellow Farm turns rainbow! Last weekend I spend an immensely enjoyable time with an amazing group of fiberistas at the Yellow Farm. Virginia is the most wonderful host and not only did she provide us with splendid lodgings and tasty sustenance, she also turned on the perfect spring weather for our dye day. Virginia was also assisted this weekend by Pam Blasko who took wonderful care of us, and they both understood my jetlag and kept the coffees coming 🙂 I only wish there had been more time, I feel like it was such a whirlwind and such brief visits with these lovely friends. But to top it off, there were also LAMBS! Gorgeous little Teeswater lambies 🙂   Despite the distraction of the lambies we did get stuck into some dyeing on Saturday, Virginia had everything we needed there, tables, heating, hot water, and lots of sunshine. We used Country Classic dyes supplied by the lovely Ashley Ann, the colours were delightful and just perfect for this Spring weather.   Of course we were treated to some of Virginias farm grown locks, and I can’t say enough about the quality of the fiber being produced on the Yellow Farm, its a real treat to both dye and spin. We also dyed some yarns and rovings as well as the locks, and we worked on a range of techniques to get some different effects in the different kinds of fibers.     The next day we started spinning up those lovely locks! We tried a range of techniques to bring out the texture in the fibers     Nancy did a beautiful job of her lock spinning   and Hope created some great wearable skeins!   and I made up a new technique to play with the pretty locks, I’m going to call this one Curl:     And my beautiful bestie Arlene created something VERY special with the help of some friends, Carol and Ginny) We will be sharing this at SWAY festival this coming weekend, but here is a sneak peak 🙂 Much thanks to everyone who came along, I really enjoyed spending time with this wonderful group of creative people. It was the best start to my visit to the USA! And now I am looking forward to a Studio day, just me and Arlene and a bunch of fiber and wheels 🙂 Heaven! Next update from Sarasota...

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Woolville New Zealand!

Woolville New Zealand!

Its pretty awesome to be back in New Zealand, and I am loving my little road trips filled with familiar yet unfamiliar views. I’ve been away a long time. I am re-seeing the amazingness that is this country, the big blue skies that go on and on till they reach the majestically misty snow tipped mountains, the open rolling hills and the light that turns them into velvet draped countours dotted with sheep and trees. I have to remind myself to watch the road more than the scenery I am driving into! This weekend has been amazing. I left early Saturday morning on a two hour drive to Woodville (aka ‘Woolville’), the home of Inspire Fibres and the venue of our two day Rainbow Blending workshop. The early morning light was amazing and I have to admit, that, the giant coffee I brought with me, and the amazing scenery, was a great way to wake up and start the day! From that point on the weekend just kept getting better and better 🙂 This is a workshop that I love doing, there is something about the rainbow colours that is infectiously fun! Tracy and I had discussed our base colours which she did an incredible job of dyeing up, we all arrived to these big buckets of lusciousness!   We had combed, carded, and locks to play with in all three primary colours, dyed in a quite specific way to best create the kinds of rainbows we wanted. As usual Tracys selection of these fibres was brilliant and the quality fantastic! And who couldnt love being greeted like this first thing in the morning..   And the fun and vibrancy wasn’t only in the fibres, this was an awesome group of people to spend the weekend with, creative, enthusiastic, relaxed, and I laughed a lot. I would like to thank everyone who came along and made this such a lovely couple of days, I really enjoyed everyones company! Here are some more photos from the weekend, we spent a day on fibre preparation, mixing up colours and making our rainbow batts and roving from the carders, hackles and the combs:   Throughout the weekend I really enjoyed everyones company, its lovely to hear the ‘kiwi’ stories again, like Cecilia’s tale about the possums, the little bits of farm talk, and of course the local information and fibre knowledge! Denise and Amelia were a constant source of laughs and Susan and Tracy looked after us wonderfully the entire weekend! (let me just say this – CHOCOLATE FISH!) Thank you EVERYONE for making this such a great weekend! And I am looking forward to seeing Denise and Cecilia again next Sunday...

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SWAY Art Yarn Festival, Florida 2014

SWAY Art Yarn Festival, Florida 2014

It has been a few weeks now since the wonderful SWAY art yarn guild event held in Sarasota Florida. However I can still feel the warm sun and the welcoming environment that I was lucky enough to be able to enjoy there. This event is an annual one, growing every year, and the organisers, Karen Simpson, Deb Lambert, and Kim Perkins did an amazing job of creating a weekend full of great opportunities! There were some incredible products on sale from the well selected vendors, including the stunning fiber from Kim Perkins of Batts in the Bellfry (who I finally had the great pleasure to meet!), and really cool upcycled clothing, Saori looms and equipment (Kathleen Keenan) and the delightful Mary Egbert of Camaj Fibers who let me come home with some serious handfuls of her amazing Soffsilk product. The people attending this event were also amazing, so friendly and fiber nutty and fun, and what a great experience it was for me to meet everyone, in many cases putting real faces and voices to those I have met online through my Facebook page. We, (I had brought my daughter Ana along for the whole ‘USA’ experience) were welcomed so warmly it was easy to feel quite at home. Here are a few images from the days we spent together.. Above is Amy, who totally nailed the challenge she chose randomly from the challenge cards I made up for the event. Her challenge? Make a plied yarn without a wheel or a spindle. And what a yarn she made! Not only was it a perfectly spun plied yarn, she also went the extra mile and added in those lovely locks too! All done without the aid of any manufactured spinning equipment 🙂 And then there were other yarns created, including this stunning one from Mary (Camaj Fibers) As well as spinning we also did some weaving on the circular looms, supplied by Majacraft especially for this weekend:    I was very sorry to leave, there is something very special about a room full of creative people, the energy is fantastic, ideas and chatter and much laughter.  I think its one of the great pleasures that we have as fiber people, getting together and sharing these events, and I was also struck by the openness and friendliness of my American spinsisters,  I very much hope to be back in the USA again. My thanks to everyone who made it possible, it was an adventure that I will treasure 🙂...

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Workshopping in the USA

Workshopping in the USA

My first post from my first visit to the US about my first US workshop 🙂 I have to say right off that this is going to be one of those gushy ‘everything is amazing’ posts, because it really is amazing! We landed  in Washington DC, and were scooped up by the lovely Arlene, and after all our weekly Skype sessions and our collaboration over the past year on the FiberyGoodness development, it was the best thing ever to be finally sharing the same space and the extra ease that comes with actual proximity rather than virtual. We travelled up to Pam’s farm in Oxford Connecticut, my first US roadtrip, which you can read about soon on the Fiberygoodness blog (complete with Dunkin Donuts and waffles with chipped beef..) Needless to say, it was an epic trip and the warmest of welcomes at Pams LOGHOUSE – yes a real loghouse! Complete with a porch among the treetops (it was like being in a treehouse!) which was decked with Zen making wind chimes and, by Saturday morning, women with wheels and lots of yummy fiber. And the workshop. It was a bit of a squeeze to start with, but after I did some talky stuff and explained our plan for the day, we were able to spread out again. The goal was that everyone would try some multiple plying, taking some risks and playing around with putting singles together in different ways.   The porch was well used, Nicole watched by the (not real) sheep and the table out there used to demo some hackle blending too. Some amazing yarns were created, and one of the highlights was seeing Ashly master the Silk Wrapping Shelob technique and create this beautiful yarn. She added in those amazing golden silk cocoons using the ‘Wrap and Trap’ method that I figured out can work so well with the strong silk fibers, I hadnt thought of adding in actual cocoons so this was an inspiration for me too, they looked all gold and luxury texture in the yarn, really cool! I think that for me, the best best part of the day was meeting so many wonderful people, most of whom I knew already from Facebook, and/or had exchanged messages with, and I’ve been following their photos and yarn adventures. There were some Golden Fleece students there too and I feel like I really made some good friends and connections, and seeing some of the Golden Fleece yarns ‘for real’ was just awesome,  I left with a very special gift from Marti that really touched me, a ‘friendship’ yarn that gives an even greater connection between absent friends when distance parts us. There were...

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