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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Donna Druchunas, Fiber Femmes Guest Blogger

Blog readers are in for a treat...Saturday, November 11, 2006 Donna Druchunas will be a guest blogger at Fiber Femmes.

Donna, author of The Knitted Rug, 21 Fantastic Designs has a new book.

Arctic Lace: Knitted projects and stories inspired by Alaska's Native knitters is now available and features fifteen beautiful projects and photographs. Donna writes of her visit to Alaska in search of one of the world's most luxurious fibers, qiviut, fiber from the musk ox. She also writes of The Oomingmak Knitter’s Co-op, the Yup’ik and Inupiat People, the Musk Ox Farm and designing your own patterns.

Her article ties in with her blog which you'll want to visit...the sooner the better!

Make a note to return tomorrow and read Donna's guest article

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Julia Roberts & Knitting & Crochet News

The buzz in recent news articles says actress Julia Roberts has signed as both star and producer for the film, "The Friday Night Knitting Club". Her production company, Red Om will tell the Kate Jacobs story of a single mother who raises a teenage daughter while running a Manhattan knitting shop.

"New School Knitting: The Influence of Elizabeth Zimmerman and Schoolhouse Press" and other knitters of renown will be at the U. of Wisconsin-Madison School of Human Ecology's Gallery of Design. Molly Greenfield's exhibit also chronicles women's history, the women's movement as well as the history and design of knitting in the USA.

In Canada this month, a biotech enzyme fiber process has been developed by Naturally Advanced Technologies. NAT provides sustainable, environmentally friendly fibers and fabrics and has developed CRAILAR and will launch it in 2007. CRAILAR was developed as an alternative fiber to fiberglass and cotton and is designed "to unlock the economic potential of industrial hemp".

United Kingdom fiber news - Rachael Matthews has a new book, Garden of Eden, with design items including candle stick holder w/candle, fruit, tea cup, saucer and spoon...all made in wool yarn.

The Wool Clip is located in Caldbeck, UK and is a group of 15 women including farmers, spinners, dyers, knitters, crocheters and other fiber artists.

In Hassocks, a new shop has opened: Catchpenny's Wool and Gift Shop and offers classes; among them "the Happy Hassocks Hookers workshops - sounds like Fiber Femmes FUN!

Do you have knitting, crochet, dyeing, spinning, weaving or other fiber arts news articles? Let us know and we'll share the news.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Fiber Femmes, SAFF and autumn fun

Fiber Femmes November/December 2006 issue is now on-line with interesting articles, fabulous photos, great reviews and loads of fun!

SAFF has come and gone. Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair is the only fiber festival in the southeastern region of the USA and it's the last one in October. SAFF has grown quite a bit since the Winston-Salem, NC days and it now boasts a fine collection of vendors as well as some excellent contests and a great place for folks to show their animals. It's small enough so one can easily get around to visit every vendor and, if one hasn't dawdled too much, another trip can be made before day's end. Even so, more than 5,000 people visited this year and plans for 2007 are already in the making.

Carolyn Blalock and SAFF volunteers deserve accolades for a job, most exceptionally, well done!

Fiber Femmes sponsored the Skein Competition this year and there were many lovely skeins of hand spun yarn on display.

The Southeastern Felter's Guild had a booth and several people demonstrated wet and needle felting. Some members had wonderful felted items for sale and display. Cynthia Mollenkopf had felted Santa's britches...very cute!

Leslie, of G
reenberry House, Chris of Wooly Buns, and Linda of Goin' Up Cripple Creek and I had a delightful visit at SAFF and are already planning for our 2007 meet-up. Next year, we'd like to rent a house and have a huge p.j. party; that would be icing on the cake! I was reminded of elementary school when we would "show and tell" but this time the "show and tell" were fiber purchases and we each were winners.

Leslie, on right, and Chris at the *beginning* of SAFF...this taken just a short while after they arrived! Those gals looked TOO tired but it had been an exhausting drive from Meadows of
Dan. They reported it rained buckets all the way but it was a safe drive and that's a blessing.

I visited with the gang from Columbia, SC and while they knitted, I plopped. I was exhausted from teaching "How To Increase Farm Income" so I just enjoyed their company and caught up with their lives. Millie, knitter extraordinaire, took a "spirit woodworking" class and started carving a walking stick. The best news...Nancy is recovering from cancer and looks great!

It's finally getting cooler at Thistle Cove Farm and I'm getting caught up on winter prep chores.
Linda and I are getting together to do some natural dyeing. I've got walnuts, Osage Orange sawdust and fruit, fungi and I need to get some sumac fruit. Linda is my apprentice for the Virginia Folklife Program; I'm teaching Traditional Fiber Arts, and we've several visits planned over the course of a year.

Life is always good on the farm and each season brings a joy of its own. Life is cyclical and revolves around the seasons and the animals. The sheep are growing some mighty fine fleeces and I'm looking forward to making felted chair pads from some of the 2006 clip. I'm doing some charity knitting - Red Scarf project comes to mind - and enjoying the time allotted to me.

Mom called last night and Mrs. C. passed away. She was a lovely woman, 94 years old, and every time I saw her she had thankfulness in her heart and praise on her lips. She was always looking forward to "going Home" but enjoyed her earthly days as well. I saw her two Sunday's ago and she told me of God's goodness in her life and exhorted me to "keep the faith". I'm sure that today there was shouting and rejoicing in Heaven the likes of which haven't been seen for a while. She was a blessing in my life and my life was richer for having known her.

Two things are brought to mind when I think of her...she gave me her iron frame double bed many years ago. I had told Aunt Bonnie I wanted to sleep in an iron frame bed so Aunt Bonnie checked around. Mrs. C. had an iron frame bed, that she and her husband had bought as their marriage bed in the late 1920's. Just as soon as they could afford a "nice wooden bedroom suite" the iron frame bed was put in the shed and stayed there many decades. When Mrs. C. heard I wanted an iron frame bed, she graciously gave me her bed. I've slept in that bed for about twenty years and always thought of Mrs. C. just after snuggling in and just before sleep.

The other thing I think of was what she told me at church one Sunday. She had gotten sick and had to go live in Maryland for a short while...just until she recovered and could return home. She lived at home until a few days ago when she became ill and had to go to hospital. She was praising God for getting sick and having to go to Maryland. She said, "Why, I never would have gone to Maryland on my own so God sent me there. He knew those people in that home needed to hear about Him so he sent me. Isn't that wonderful?!"

What a lesson...always be ready and always be thankful. Mrs. C., you and Aunt Bonnie and Uncle Clarence and Grandfather Lipscomb save a seat for me. Sooner or later, I'll be coming on home.