I’ve been Dyeing (dying?)

It’s been awhile – lots has happened in the last few weeks. I got inundated with traffic work, while having to do production dye runs for 3 shows in 30 days. Goodness!

The first show was Fiber Market Day, put on by the High Desert Wool Growers here in Prineville. It’s always the last Saturday in March, and the weather can be quite variable. We’ve had blizzards and rain, and this year we had sun! I had purchased half of a friend’s booth (she was remodeling her house, and didn’t have the energy to do a booth too), so I had a 10 x 15 space. It was pretty cool! I had extra chairs, and people came to sit and hang out – it was very welcoming! This was a very good show!

More of the booth at FMD…

The second show was at the Small Farmer’s Journal Draft Horse and Equipment Auction in Madras. It’s fun to see the horses and the carts/carriages/wagons and all the other associated stuff. People still use horses to work there farms – there’s one in this area with a team of Belgians (like Tang) – they’re just awesome. I shared a booth with Sue, and it was located in the barn (i.e., Wind Tunnel).

We did demos of fiber prep, dyeing, spinning, and on Sunday, I warped the Dorset loom with yarn that we’d dyed in the indigo pot I had, and started a scarf. I’m embarrassed to say that it’s currently buried, so I can’t take a picture, but I tied the skeins in an overhand knot and dyed them. There’s some really cool resist areas. I’m using the same yarn (undyed) and slightly smaller grist as the weft, because it’s very stretchy. I can’t get my usual rhythm because I have to “place” the weft, not whack it. This was a so-so show, but fun.

The last show I went to was the Gathering of the Guilds in Portland. I’m a member of the Portland Handweavers’ Guild (remember the pole?), and had a 10 x 10 booth there. It was an interesting show. They have a centralized check-out, so it’s hard to keep track of what you sell, especially if you have bulk stuff, like I did. I had silk noil, silk cocoons, mohair, silk hankies and silk top, all of which had to be weighed. This made for long days, as I didn’t have a boothmate to cover the weighing job.

I got there Wednesday to help move the Guild equipment in, and set up the bones of my booth then. Thursday, I finished tagging things. Friday, I was there from 8:30 am to 9:15 pm. Saturday, from 9 am to 7:30, and Sunday from 9 am to about 7:30, because I had to load up my stuff, the guild stuff, and then deposit the guild stuff at their storage area. I was whupped. Sorry about photo quality – the big camera’s battery was dead, and I had to use my phone. (The fabric on the table is handwoven – mixed cellulose warp, raw silk weft – I can’t bring myself to cut it).

As I said, it was hard to keep track of what was selling, though I went through silk cocoons like nobody’s business. Who knew?

Yesterday I got my check from PHG. I was astounded. I thought perhaps that I’d sold $4-500 worth of stuff. Nope – it was twice that. Amazing. I don’t think people were used to seeing spinning fiber there, and I sold more of that than yarn.

I’ve also changed out the wheels in my stable. I’ve lusted after Canadian Production Wheels since the 1994 article in SpinOff by Bill Ralph. In one of those serendipitous moments, I happened to be looking on Ravelry, and there it was… I was toast.  I was able to sell the Country Craftsman (which I still love) to a very good home in Alaska (she loves it, too!), and brought this beauty home:

It’s a late 1800′s, most likely Vezina CPW. It traveled here from Taos. We’re getting used to each other, and working out our differences of opinion (!), but this wheel is fast, fast, fast… I think I’ve met my match! I’ll be cleaning it up and working on some minor issues, but I do like it very much.

My next show is in Hamilton, Montana, the Big Sky Fiber Arts Festival, June 14-16. I’ve never been to Montana, and this is in the area of the Bitteroot range, and very pretty. It’s also in conjunction with their Mule Days, which will be a hoot. If I ever decide to breed Tang (not likely), it will be to a mammoth jack for a large mule foal.

I’m off to make another fiber order so I can go crazy dyeing again… Need to replenish my stock! Here’s what’s left:

One Response to I’ve been Dyeing (dying?)

  1. Congrats on doing even better at PHG than you thought! Woot!

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