Monday, November 14, 2011

Bienvenidos a Madrd!

Saturday to Sunday What a long day it has been. Leaving  for SFO at 6 am, the fight to JFK was absolutely packed, as was the flight to Madrid.  Shari had no problem finding me at JFK. We upgraded our seats to economy plus, a great move. They reclined nicely and had a lot of leg room. Made for a nice relaxing trip. I was able to sleep most of the trip. We should be in Madrid in 1/2 hour. I am looking forward to wash up and change my underwear........ Made it to Madrid and our Hotel, the Hotel Preciados near Plaza Calleo. We had full day. After freshening up we hit the streets. First we got used the local ATM for some cash and starte walking to find the El Raestro flea market, not knowing quite where we were going. tried to ask directions on the streed but no one could understand us, so with help of our map we meandered and finally found ourselves Plaza Mayor, went to the TI office for some tourist info and to find our way to El Raestro. Just a few blocks out of the gates of the Plaza we found the market. The streets were packed, the sight and the sounds of the crowd were amazing, it had an energy all it's own.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Looking  Forward. As I clean up my outside dye kitchen for the  winter my thoughts are turning to my wild adventure I am about to embark on with one of  my sisters.  We are going to Spain and I hope to blog about my trip here.  Let's see how it goes....
Keep on spinning in the free world!
Now that the weather is cold and rainy, I thought it would be a good time for a quick pictoral review of summer

spinning at the farm

Tour de Fleece-->

Trip to the Yarnival and Camp Pluckyfluff
Looking back.....summer was great, plenty of bbq's,  time with friends, spinning, swimming, dyeing and shows.  Now fall has really set in and winter is around the corner.  Many of us have experienced the first snow of the season so I thought it would be a good time to take a look back at the fiber photos of summer.  From Spinning at the Farm, the Oakland Fiber Fest, the Yarnival, Lambtown and plenty of fun in between.

How much stuff can we fit in a car?  Answer - 4 people, 5 wheels, 5 fleeces, a drumcarder, 4 overnight bags, a cooler and more!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Judy and I were at the last show of the season yesterday, the Yolo Mill In.  We decided to put the Twisted Sunshine booth outside because it promised to be a nice day (regrets to our friends on the East Coast who had their first snow storm of the year!).  We didn't bargain for the wind, which started blowing strong mid day.  I really thought Judy was going to blow away with the tent!  She didn't and we rearranged the booth to make it a little more wind resistant. After a couple of hours the wind died down.

It was a fun day and I got a little sunburnt.  There were sheep shearing demonstrations, hands on projects and a tour of the mill.  I strongly recommend that, if you are local, you attend next years event.  It is always the last weekend in October and is a great family event.  There is a BBQ and the best tamales in all the land!  The tamale I brought home for my DH barely came thru the door and he finished it.

I especially like the story behind the mill, the explanations on how the fleeces are scoured and them made into batts, roving, yarn, etc.  Of course there were the beautiful fibers of Twisted Sunshine for purchase as well as those from many other vendors.  Bad me - no photos.

Our good friend Kristina with her dh Saketh and daughter Geetha joined us for a fun day in the sun.  Judy knit 3 hats and I continued my crazy lock spinning - photos to follow.

I will be going with one of my sisters for a two week trip to Spain in November.  I hope to blog the trip here as well as my exploring of some yarn shops.  Does anyone know of great yarn shops or fiber farms in Madrid, Andalusia or the Barcelona area?  Please message me with your suggestions.  Adios for now!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Twisted Sunshine: fiber fun in the summertime

Twisted Sunshine: fiber fun in the summertime: "Fun in the sun at the Oakland Fiber and Textile Festival. Great weather and friends, who could ask for anything more! Photo essay of the b..."

fiber fun in the summertime

Fun in the sun at the Oakland Fiber and Textile Festival. Great weather and friends, who could ask for anything more!  Photo essay of the booth
50/50 Merino Silk roving for fantastic spinning and fine felting

View of the booth interior, rovings and batts for spinning and felting.  Above and below right, locks, fire star and silk rods for art yarns

...and Debbi's crazy spun yarns

commercial spun and hand dyed yarns (left) below is more silk merino rovings and silk bfl rovings

never enough yarn!

Monday, July 4, 2011

day 2 time trials

Day 2 of the Tour de Fleece and I am hosting the time trials stage.  Despite the heat,  spun miles of yarn today.  We were supposed to be out by the pool for a spin and swim but the kids took over the pool and we staying in the a/c.  I was able to finish crazy coils.  The Hopper started getting difficult towards the end but I finished.

Merino/ Alpaca silk naturally dyed roving
Team Twisted is still open for anyone to join, just post your work at and you are automatically on the team.  Right now you have a good chance at winning a price from chosen by Mr. Random number generator.  Two prizes posted thus far are:

come  and join the team for a chance to win a price and get a 15% discount in the shop.
yummy purples dark bfl/ silk blend
See you on the road!

And some spinning from time trials / day 2
P7030209 P7030208

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Graduation and fiber

One of RISD's newest alumni
Back from Graduation, daughter number 2 is a proud member of the 128th graduating class of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).  RISD is known for the arts and design, critical thinking and developing one's self as an individual and this is clearly shown during the commencement ceremonies.  The encourage the graduates to make their cap and/or gown their own, if they chose to wear them.  Even Pomp and Circumstance played by a live band was jazzed up and lead to some dancing by both the students and the faculty.  Some of the gowns were made into shirts, jackets and all sorts of interesting creations.  A big hit was the 4 landscape architect graduate students who were dressed as different types of moss.  Afterwards was a party in the park with music, drink and food.  It gave us a chance to mingle and meet other parents and our daughter's friends.
Shari and Alison waiting for graduation to begin.

Alison and Becca mugging for the camera after graduation
Becca and two pieces at her senior show
Like the completely neurotic mother that I am, I had to be at the graduation before the doors opened so I could get good seats.  Recovering from surgery I had a ortho boot on my foot and a cane.  As we waiting nice and orderly in line for the doors to open, the crowd began to grow.  Wouldn't you know it that once the doors opened, people started rushing in.  With the late comers trying to get to the front of the line.  It really pisses me off when people do this.  Why do they thing they deserve to be first?  Well I will stop venting, it was a beautiful day.  Both my lovely daughters, my husband and my wonderful sister Shari were there to join ion the festivities.

So how does fiber fit in with graduation?  One morning I took time out to visit Robin Meeks at Bally Duff Farm  where she raises lovely Lincoln sheep both white and colored.  One of my favorite parts of traveling is being able to meet sheep farmers and bring a little bit of their sheep home with me.  I bought two fleeces, one white and one colored.  Once I am done unpacking I will share photos.

We are well into fiber festival season and the Tour de Fleece will be starting in a couple of weeks.  If you want to join in the festivities, please consider joining Team Twisted

Keep on spinning in the free world

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Slater Mill

Last week I was in Rhode Island to attend my daughter's gallery show at the Rhode Island School of Design.  I had always wanted to check out Slater Mill, the birthplace of the textile Industrial Revolution in the USA. husband agreed to the outing and off we went to Pawtucket.  We took the tour of the 3 buildings that comprise the mill site and  really enjoyed learning about this piece of American history.  We started off in the house, amazed that over 2 people had lived here at one time.  Of course my favorite parts were the loom from the 1880's and the spinning area in the basement.

hackles used for flax that was grown on site
The spinning wheel was used to spin the flax grown on site and used to clothe the family.  The loom was also used to make the fabric used for the family's clothing.  The basement room contained the "kitchen" as well as a Great Wheel, another wheel from the 1800's as well as a skein winder.  The machinery shop was powered by a water wheel.  The textile mill was used to produce cotton fabric. Moses Brown was an abolitionist and did not use slave labor, instead child labor was used in the mill.  Here are some photos taken during my visit.  If you are interested in learning more about Slater Mill, I suggest you go to their website, or if you are in the area, take a tour of the mill

The machine shop was powered by a water wheel and was used to produce and repair machinery as well as to create wood bobbins
a cording machine

A cotton gin

Shuttle had a brass tip and was known to have impaled workers if it became loose from the loom.