Wednesday, August 25, 2010

meet MARZEL!

rhodie and i met marzel at the thanksgiving craft fair we did in mendocino last year. we were fortunate to see her again at the summer craft fair as she had a booth as well. she is one amazing woman. she makes these incredible recycled bags out of used pet, bird, feed and grain bags. a true 'reuser' marzel is. the name of her business is Cleverheart Designs. she is so cool that if you give her 10 clean(no mold-ick!) bags she will give you a made bag for free! that's a great exchange. i brought her bags to the fair that i have been saving. here's the bag i got for FREE!

my new catch-all knitting bag! YES! gotta love little birdies. here's her booth at the fair:

MARZEL is a woman of many talents. i don't know her very well but these things i do know about her. she is a knitter of socks, a writer, a teller of stories, a seamstress, an animal lover, earth lover and she has good taste in wine:) plus she has an awesome name!
so if you's like to get your very own Cleverheart Bag here's her contact info: facebook -you can contact her there! at the top of her page just push the "info" tab.

i just have to show you my very first bag: perfect for knitting and spinning stuff!

isn't that the best? note the wool roving sticking out of the top. i also have a ginormous(pronounced with the long I sound) papa bear size-that is just crammed full of fiber at the moment:)

please go check out her facebook page- you'll be glad you did. tell her "wooly" sent ya!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

summer mendocino art fair

last weekend "washboard woolies" (rhodi and i) ventured to mendocino again for an art and craft fair. i cannot tell you how much i needed to get away from the heat and sun. this time of year i'm so sick of everyday sunshine i could scream!!! the weather was perfect: drizzle, fog, mist, clouds but we actually did see the sun peak out every once in awhile-the locals went gaga for it.

the cost of mendocino summer lodging can be pretty pricey we opted to save some money by camping. being that the state parks have been booked solid all summer long-we found a gem of a place to camp. right by caspar beach. only $25 a night. we had a groovy site:

there's rhodi heating up some tea water for us. a 5 minute walk from our tent and wa-la:

nice, eh? we didn't have time to rent surf boards or kayaks that they had available. there was even a bluegrass jam at night. we really lucked out.

i insisted rhodi bring the iron bed frame she found in a dump in Louisiana-i think it added the perfect touch.

a perfect place to hang rowan's kid sized fingerless mittens.

too cute!!!! it was a bizarre sale. we thought we'd sell mainly knitted items. but low and behold-we hardly sold any of it- the popular items this fair were the hand dyed rovings(felters came out of the wood work i tell ya!) and our yarns. wow! we were surprised.

this wine rack was loaded with rovings when we started and we came home with just a few. rhodie dyed silk scarves and did some nuno felting too. they are the crinkly scarves. there is actually wool felted into the silk. here's a closer look:

last fall all my baby sweaters sold out. this summer, not one sold. at least i have more craft fairs coming up. so i'm not too bummed.

here's some of my hand dyed sock and shawl yarn.

the flowers were a nice touch too!

i did trade a pair of fingerless mittens for this pin. i want to make the perfect "woolydaisy" hat to stick it on. this woman had some amazing metal sculpture.

i love the town of mendocino.(actually i love all the coastal towns around here!) we were fortunate to be there on the second saturday of the month. all the art galleries are open late. not only do you get to view great art but have tasty treats as well. did you know the movie "summer of '42" was filmed there? the mendocino art center had the still photographs from the movie-it was great!! i really enjoyed the" studio odd hours" gallery too! it's been forever since i've had the time to just wander around and look at art.

i just love the old water towers in the coastal towns. i actually found one for rent and thought it would make a fabulous fiber studio. of course it would be quite the commute:) when i tried to show it to rhodi later i could not find it anywhere. the town is not very big. very strange. but we did find one for sale.

yes, i could live here. and drive a cool truck like this:

no problem!

Friday, August 6, 2010

the process

i've dyed some beautiful rovings that spun up just okay looking-nothing to write home about. i remember thinking that i wanted to dye a really ugly roving and see how the finished project would turn out. i will show you this process. i chose a bright fuscia(in honor of cyndi lauper 's 80's hair dye) and a rust. i dyed or rather painted the merino roving. the wool turned out like this:

my water is very high in iron so the rust color had a lavender bleed to it. interesting. i spun it on "bozenna" my Polish spinning wheel. i think she liked it! then plied it on "henri" my wheel from Holland.

next i wound it into a skein:

then i let it sit in a bag in my studio(closet) for months on end....maturing, ripening-or maybe till i totally forgot about it and came across it while looking for the perfect retro apron to match my outfit that was shoved into the closet(studio) at amazing speed-avalanche prevention.

i decided something "baby" would be the perfect item for this skein. i needed to wind my skein into a ball for the knitting process. i use my umbrella swift for this job. it's a wooden devise you attach to your table that aids you in effortlessly winding your skein into a ball.

or not. argh! see previous post for more photos of this escapade. then, i got to spend the rest of my morning untangling this mess. deep breathing did help with this; along with a long colorful string of specially chosen cuss words. but finally...i did achieve "ball" status.

then i parouzed ravelry and found the perfect pattern- got my knitting mojo on, added some cute buttons from meadow farm and wa-laa! the project is complete. okay i lied-rowan parouzed ravelry for me this time!

okay-so i lied again, the buttons aren't really sewn on yet. but you get the point anyway, right? maybe i need to dye more ugly rovings:)

as they say it's not the destination but the journey.