Tempe Yarn and Fiber had their Local Artists’ Trunk Show this last Saturday and I’m very happy to say I was part of it. I did so well. My ornaments were a huge success and I felt really good about that.
But then there are all of these artists all around who have stuff way more amazing than I do (I was next to Ken Ledbetter again, of KCL Woods, and his greatness quite frankly makes me feel rather small.) and I find myself eyeing their tables the entire time I’m manning mine, thinking of just what I’m going to treat myself with when I leave.
Because you know that I’m treating myself when I leave. You can’t leave these things without dropping some cash.
Ken wants more of the toppers I make. We did a trade against the future topper order he’ll make and I got this gorgeous weaving shuttle, which I already used to finish the scarf I was weaving at the time. That’s my little Cricket loom. I was weaving all of my Malabrigo sock yarn scraps into a scarf.
On this scarf, I got to learn about how to tie a weaver’s knot when one of your warp threads breaks. For non-weavers, warp threads are the ones that run vertically along the length of the weaving, as opposed to the weft that you weave back and forth with. The weft is on the weaving shuttle in the above picture. (Think “weft right and left” and you probably won’t forget again, even if you won’t always remember just what the heck that rhyme was about.)
It wasn’t fun at the time, but after quite a lot of freaking out, I had to calmly tell myself, “There has to be a way to fix this. I can’t be the first person this has happened to.” And then I got onto Google, which directed me to YouTube, which magnificently showed me how to fix the problem. And then it made me laugh as it always does when I use ultra modern technology to solve my ancient craft problems.
At my dangerous show on Saturday, I also got blindsided by some totally cool yarn from Sonoran Desert Natural Dyed Fibers… This is their sock yarn, dyed from black beans, which is too cool for words to even describe. Not only do I love black beans for eating, I apparently love them as a yarn color. It’s kind of a grayish green. The green doesn’t show up enough in the pictures. This yarn is becoming the Tribute Socks and they’re for me! Of all of the local artists I’ve seen doing fiber stuff in Arizona, I have to say that these people are doing a most authentically Arizona thing with their craft. They gather local plants for their dyes, creating an art that is truly locally sourced. Also, pomegranate yarn is kind of darkish blue. Who could have guessed that? It’s so cool that I have to buy one of those next, but after I grabbed this yarn, I wasn’t buying anything else, so I haven’t done it quite yet.
This was a major first for me. I had never purchased so much fiber at once before. The closest I ever came was when my friend Nancy over at TYF (the genius behind Dyelicious fibers and yarns) brought me into the back of the store to show off the fiber she had just dyed. It was her first batch. I bought three four ounce braids, unlabeled, and one of them wasn’t even dry yet.
This time, I feel like I’ve hit the big time. I bought fiber (did I mention… one POUND?), a beautiful 50/50 wool and alpaca blend, and this time the wool has a face and a name: Goldie the pretty sheep, pictured below on this ball that is at least a foot across, maybe more, since that’s actually how big I think the seat of the stool is in that picture.
The boys were pretending to be cats coughing up the biggest hair ball of all time with this thing as we were loading up the car. When we got home, everything was piled onto the dining room table and I tucked in for a beautiful night of play time.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… Jewelry and clay are my arts. I express myself in those mediums and really enjoy doing so. They’re also my business. But the fiber stuff is my Zen. There is seriously nothing more relaxing to me than pointlessly making some squishy thing for someone I love. It fulfills something deep inside. It’s something as intrinsically primal as it gets–that desire to protect, care for, and love a person even when I’m not with them. I can’t be with my kids all day at school, but I can sure as heck guarantee they’ll be warm.
For, you know, the two weeks of the year it’s actually cold enough out here to bust out any of the squishies for my luvluvs.
P.S. The fiber practically spins itself, it’s so beautiful.
P.P.S. In between typing sessions on this post, I was putting and pulling batches of these into and out of the oven. They might win the award for best cookies ever. We’ve got a chocolate and a peanut allergy in this house, so I am always on the lookout for fabulous recipes and this one definitely is a keeper. I substitute Barney Butter, a certified peanut-free almond butter that I get over at Whole Foods. It’s the closest nut butter to peanut butter I’ve found (not grainy at all!) and while it obviously doesn’t taste exactly like peanut butter, it tastes so similar that you won’t ever miss it, especially if you mix it up with a ton of two kinds of sugar, butter, white flour, and white chocolate chips. ^_~