NETA’s SPA event and what I saw there.

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Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 26-02-2011

This weekend is the New England Textile Arts Network’s annual event – called SPA by those who attend.  I’d never been before but my friend Tina convinced me it’d be worth the drive.  I want to vend at it next year, so I figured it would be a good idea to scope it out.  This morning dawned beautiful and sunny (if cold), so my husband and I got in the car and headed South.

Tina with a bag of spoils

I’m definitely feeling the weight of my stash these days, so I wasn’t going to buy any fiber or yarn.  The only things I really needed were sock blockers and a new bottle of spinning wheel oil because I broke the tip off my current bottle.  My main reason for going was because honestly?

I miss my people.

The bag I want from Three Bags Full – OWLS!

Fiber people are the coolest bunch around.  They get me.  Here in Brownville people do not get knitting, or how I could possibly make it my business, or even what the difference is between fiber and yarn.  And that’s fine – but it does make me miss those of like minds.  Especially sellers.  The fiber sellers I’ve met and vended shows with are a quirky, delightful bunch of smart, savvy women.  I haven’t seen any other sellers since Fiber Maine-ia in October, so it’s been a while.  It was beyond awesome seeing these women again.  What was even MORE awesome was that they REMEMBERED me.  Sometimes I still feel like the new kid, like the wannabe.  It’s natural I guess for someone with an industrial-size inferiority complex.  I’m working on it.  Today I felt honestly like the new kid that had been accepted by the cool kids and got to sit at their table.  I was giddy when Josette from Enchanted Knoll Farm promised to raise hell with me at Fiber Frolic this year.  SQUEE!  And Heather from Sereknity remembered my shop, too!  So awesome.  Both encouraged me to apply at more shows this year, saying that they would be awesome and I should totally do it.

Me with a skein of Sereknity's Linen/silk blend!

That’s another thing I love about the fiber community – we all support each other and make room for each other at events.  They GET it that there’s room in this industry for more than just themselves and are beyond willing to help and support newer vendors.  I LOVE THEM FOR THAT.  Kathy from Knitting Out Loud audio books who is quite possibly the world’s most amazing listener (she always makes me feel like I am saying the most interesting thing *ever*) is always recommending shows she thinks I’d do well at and making me laugh.  Her good friend Karen who was with her today makes me laugh, too – I’m looking forward to vending alongside them this year again.

Kathy shows off her newest audiobook

The place was filled with cool displays!

It turned out that no one at the NETA event had sock blockers or spinning wheel oil for sale so my wonderful husband agreed to take me to Halcyon Yarn in Bath where I was sure I could get both.  I’d met Tina in the vendor room and she informed me that they had them in stock that morning (she’d been earlier).  Paul had promised me back at Christmas that I could spend $25 on fiber or yarn that I wanted, so I made good on that promise today.  I bought Icelandic combed top and Yak down.  I’ve never spun either and am really interested in trying them both.  I was UBER excited about the Yak do

wn and danced a little in the shop while the lady was bagging it up.  It looked like it had a little veggie matter in it, but that is so not a big deal.  I mean it’s YAK DOWN.  I couldn’t resist playing with it in the car, though, and that’s when I found the downside to Yak fiber – Yaks apparently have dandruff.  It’s not VM in the fiber – it’s SKIN CELLS.  Blugh.  I kind of want to throw up.  I’m going to spin it, of course, but I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to make a next-to-skin garment from it.  Blugh.

This is where I had a falling down. :)

I will definitely be back of NETA’s SPA – I had a terrific day hanging out with my people and can’t WAIT for show season to start.

The Winner (in case you missed it)

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Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 22-02-2011

… is announced in my podcast “The Fiberista Files” episode 24.  Enjoy!

The Great Spindle Giveaway

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Posted by admin | Posted in HH, spinning, TFF | Posted on 19-02-2011

Here at Highland Handmades we’ve been experimenting with our spindles.  For a long time we’ve wanted to use hand-turned hooks, which are far superior to cup hooks in both appearance and function.  It’s taken us most of the winter, but we finally have hooks we’re proud of.   As Paul was varnishing new beginner spindles tonight he turned to me and said, “I want to give away a new spindle.  Go tell all your friends.”

Well okay then!

This is a birdseye maple spindle with a maple shaft.  The hook is hand-turned and is made of galvanized steel.  The spindle hasn’t been finished yet (we’re doing that this weekend) but will be finished in clear polyurethane to protect the wood and your fiber.  It is a heavier spindle, perfect for beginners – it weighs 69 grams or 2 and 3/8 ounces (pre finish weight; actual weight will be a bit heavier).  It’s also perfect for plying, since the spindle spins for what seems like forever.  The shaft under the whorl is 7.25″ for a total length of just under 9″ (not counting hook).  Plenty of room for your cop to nestle!  For your convenience there’s also a notch in the whorl to keep your single in place as you spin.   The whorl is from wood locally and ethically harvested from the North Maine Woods and is hand-picked for beauty and strength.

Want it?

Here’s what you need to do: Leave a comment on this post telling me that you’d like it.  Tomorrow (Feb 2oth) at noon EST I will pick a random winner and announce it on the podcast.  That person will get the spindle!  How easy is that?  CAVEAT: We’d really like to hear how you like it.  If you promise to do a review on your blog, podcast, or other internet site we’ll give you an extra entry into the drawing (this is on the honor system, since you’ll clearly have the spindle before you write the review).  Just make sure you let us know where you post the review so we can direct traffic to it.

Good luck everyone!