Thursday, January 28, 2010

On the road again!

Just returned home from a short road trip to Northern California and beautiful Placerville to visit a lovely and talented new friend. The area is absolutely glorious and the air was crisp, cold with intermittent light rain. Additionally, in slightly higher elevation on the way to South Lake Tahoe there was snow along the roadside and lots of beautiful pine trees and old oaks.

Two wonderful days were spent spinning and hanging out playing with fiber as well as exploring the countryside nearby. Not too far from Placerville, gold was discovered many years ago in the California Gold Rush. Also checked out a little local yarn and fiber shop called Lofty Lou's. Definitely worth the trip (just remember, it is closed on Tuesday.) Found a great little place to get fabulous coffee called Zia's. Additionally, we took a little trip out to the Boeger Winery and it was a beautiful sight, well tended vineyards, tasting room and a lovely old house built in the 1800s where Lexi Boeger (the oracle of all things contemporary in spinning artistry in my opinion) lives. What a beautiful setting to wake up to in the morning. You definitely feel a connection to the history of the area here.

At the end of the visit, I hated to have to leave but Louie (my husband)was ready to get on the road again. We traveled down highway 49 to Angels Camp and then cut over to Route 99 to make our way home. He had his heart set on stopping for dinner and apple pie at Apple Annie's in Tulare. So, he got his wish and I got a chance to take a photo of the fountain in the courtyard built of car parts as well as a pic of the apple pie a la mode. I must admit that it was as good as I remembered. With his tummy happy we continued on our journey.

Going up the Grapevine, there was fog but the road was open although there was snow along the roadside. Once we descended out of the mountains, things cleared up and it was a straight drive home to Hemet. All and all, a lovely trip although as an old person, I must say I missed my own bed! Needless to say, I slept like a baby, dreaming of yarns yet to create and combinations of fibers to explore!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

TNNA January 2010

Just back from TNNA (The National NeedleArts Association) trade show. The show was much smaller and more low key than in the past. Shop owners were focused in their buying. I noticed a number of new small yarn companies with lovely new products and an increased focus on spinning and felting. I was with Ozark Handspun as a designer representative. One thing I did notice at this show was more art yarn sellers than before which I found interesting.

I will also be doing some new things in the coming year designing for Chameleon Colorworks using sock yarns for crocheting projects. This should be a fun endeavor and a contrast to my work with Ozark Handspun. I am looking forward to this. Another fun thing at the show was seeing people I rarely get a chance to see and also running into two former students who had new product lines (FiberSpheres and Red Barn Yarns.) Wonderful products and delightful women! I wish them every success.

Additionally, on my way to the show, I stopped off to see Michael at SpinOlution and brought a Hopper for David Gentzsch of Ozark Handspun to try out. I took a few photos of the new Hoppers being assembled and you can see the newest incarnation. David loved the wheel and was really surprised at how versatile and sturdy this little wheel was for art yarn spinning.

I have put up a couple of photos from the show and also SpinOlution wheels. I apologize for the quality of the show photos as the lighting was not the best in the convention center.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Just twisted!

It is beginning to feel as though I am going to require a spinning 12-step program soon. Every time, I look at a bag of fibers, I start thinking about what kind of yarn I can create. Lately, coils and beehives are giving me a thrill and I have been making skein after skein. It is actually a lot easier than it looks!

On Sunday, a couple of friends and I got together at the Coffee Bean in Long Beach and hung out, spinning and knitting in public while we enjoyed delicious cups of coffee and green tea. Lovely way to spend a day in great company and accomplished spinning one and half bobbins of yarn. WooHoo!

On January 8th, will be helping Ozark Handspun set up their booth at TNNA at the Long Beach Convention Center (January 9-11th) and am looking forward to seeing all the new yarns and other goodies coming out for next year! It is always a fun occasion and is a chance to connect with people I don't get a chance to see too often.

In the meantime, back to playing with fiber and carding wild art yarn batts and spinning up some fun new things.