Monday, September 9, 2013

What happened?

I pulled a Rip Van Winkle and a couple of months went by but I got a note from anonymous saying she hoped I'd post again soon and it woke me up. I think I've recovered from the 6 weeks of travel and will try to start creating.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Intermountain Weavers

Today is the last day of IWC, we pack up after 6:30 tonight, load out in the morning and leave for home.
Fort Lewis Campus is such a beautiful school. Situated on top a mountain but surrounded by even higher mountains, it's calm and quite until the thunder storms come rolling in. If you go off the mountain into Durango, you have great restaurants and trillions of tourists to mingle with. Hiking trails are everywhere, I'm quitting, I'm sounding like a travel agent but if you want a great weaving conference to go to, think about IWC.

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Location:Durango, CO

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Intermountain Weavers Conference

Our last road trip of this season. We are staying on the Ft Lewis campus this year as it's supposed to rain the rest of the week and I don't want to drive up and down this mountain in the rain.

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Location:Durango CO

Sunday, June 23, 2013

I'm bad

I tried to post earlier about being a bad blogger, I guess it's floating around in cyberspace, anyway, we are on our way home and I will try to catch up when I'm not so tired.

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Location:Raton, NM

Friday, May 31, 2013

Days 10 & 11

CHT is very small this year but the attending weavers are very serious and their work is outstanding! The member's exhibit is fabulous (I will take photos tomorrow) and there is a lot of RedFish silk in the prize winner's entries.

New this year was the Quick Draw contest. This was strictly a speed contest, the person who wove the longest scarf in 2 hours won. Everyone had the same equipment, they could use their own tools. The warp had to be at least 3 yards, 15 epi, 10 inches in the reed. Two women had their warps measured, wound on, threaded, tied on and were weaving in under an hour.

This picture show one woman winding on, not too neat but fast, her hand is blurry. The winning scarf was nothing to write home about but to go from a cone of yarn to a 3 yard scarf in under 2 hours is quite a feat.

Location:Addison TX

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Day 9 - Set up in Addison, TX

It didn't rain today while we were unloading, which is always a good thing. The temperature was in the low 80s so the humidity wasn't bad at all.

Set up went quickly, we have an excellent spot. There are a lot of vendors here that we only see at this show so with a 2 year gap, we had a lot of catchup to do.

This town just wants to be walked in so tonight we walked and walked. When we were about 2 miles from the hotel, it started raining, then lightening and raining. We thought it best to go inside and luckily enough there was a B&N right there so we passed the time looking at children's picture books and ended up walking back in the rain anyway. Something wrong with warm rain.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day 8 - Amarillo to Addison, TX

Tons of wild flowers along the roadways.

We reached Addison in time to get settled and walk to the Conference Center to see where we will unload. Google Map says it's a little over a mile from our hotel to the Conference Center, however, they never show the shortcuts, ends up its only 3/4 of a mile.

This town is nothing but parks (with fountains), restaurants (170 in walking distance of the Conference Center), shops, and above all of this is apartments, condos, and studios. Everything is in walking distance and the walkways are shaded by enormous trees. And art, this is the center of town.

It's blue.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Day 7 - Santa Rosa to Amarillo, TX

The town of Santa Rosa is on the down side of booming but it does have water and lots of it. Blue Hole is an Artesian Spring and is the scuba capital of New Mexico.

You have to have a permit to dive but not to jump. Boy I love NM.

The water is the most beautiful blue and perfectly clear. The ledge at the bottom of the photo is about 12 foot under the surface, under the ledge it widens from 60 foot to 120 foot.
Around the corner from the Blue Hole is a lake where only swimming is allowed. Everyone from 3 counties must have been in the lake or Blue Hole, freezing their tookies off.
Left Santa Rosa and headed for Amarillo where we crossed the Pecos.

This whole area was once under water and as the water evaporated over the years the mud dried and left these outcroppings of layered mud. Each layer is about a half inch and they are very beautiful and fragile. When we finally got to Amarillo, we decided not to camp as the wind is blowing way to hard.

Day 6 - petroglyphs and sopaipillas

It was way too hot to go out into the desert, so we went to the little volcano in the Petroglyph National Monument. Lots of glyphs, my favorite is the Mcaw.

This one is cool too, looks like a lizard playing basketball.

We headed out of town to Santa Rosa, NM, where we had a pile of sopaipillas and honey for dinner, then to Santa Rosa Lake State Park for the night.

It was primitive camping, a spot with a number, no fire allowed. Very quite and a million stars.

Location:Albuquerque NM

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Day 5 - Third day of selling and packing up.

The Albuquerque Fiber Arts Festival is one of the best show we do. The show is put on by the various guilds in New Mexico with tons of volunteers from across the state. It is held at the New Mexico Fairgrounds in Albuquerque and is always very well organized. Their hospitality is amazing with snacks, coffee and water served all day. Each of the guilds has a booth that members enter their work with ribbons awarded.
The guilds represented the following techniques:
Knitting - machine
Mixed media
Polymer clay
Silk painting
Surface design
Wool manipulation
And a Youth exhibit
Also, in close by buildings, were exhibits of the New Mexico Watercolor Association and the New Mexico Gourd Association. All these great artists in one place for three days was enough to knock my socks off! Hand knit ones of course.
We have 3 days to do an eleven hour drive so we might climb a volcano, I'll let you know.
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Friday, May 24, 2013

Day 4 - Second selling day

I got one photo taken before we opened, didn't have time to walk around.

We stopped on the way to our hotel and had some Shusi. Seafood and cucumber salad, a Caterpillar roll and a New Mexico roll - tuna, salmon, cucumber, avocado, and fire roasted green chiles in wrapped in rice and seaweed. Excellent.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Day 3 - First selling day over

I love it when we are too busy to take photos. Tomorrow I will take some.

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Location:International Ave SE,Albuquerque,United States

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Set-up day over so we celebrated

For some reason, we can never remember that we loose an hour on this trip so we once again shorted ourselves a hour set-up time. To reward ourselves for working hard and finishing up, we went to our favorite Albuquerque restaurant, Two Fools Tavern, for fish and chips and LeftHand Milk Stout. Seems strange coming to the desert for fish and chips but what can I say besides they are the best I have ever tasted.

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Location:International Ave SE,Albuquerque,United States

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Day 1

Finished driving for the day. Watched the sun go down. Now to sleep.

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Location:Navajo Blvd,Holbrook,United States

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Traveling food

Being "Traveling Silk Merchants", we are sometimes on the road for long stretches of time. This trip takes us to New Mexico, down into Texas for 2 shows, then up to Kansas before we head for home. Once you get East of the Pecos organic, vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free food is in short supply so I have learned to dehydrate to make good tasting food for our traveling. Packed in the 2 side bins of the truck is enough food to last us 5 weeks except for fresh veggies we will pick up along the way. Well, except for fish and chips and oatmeal stout beer at our favorite restaurant in Albuquerque .

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Location:Escondido Canyon Rd,Acton,United States

Friday, May 17, 2013

Gearing Up

Tuesday next, RedFish leaves on a 5 week selling trip. Between now and then it will be a test to see just how much yarn we can stuff into a pickup truck. Stay tuned as we hit the trail again.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Vogue Live!

Today was busy, busy, busy. There was a continual fashion show today, knitwear from Vogue designers but I didn't have time to take photos.

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Location:Seattle, WA

Friday, April 5, 2013

Vogue Live!

Long day. We loaded in and set up from 8:am to 5:pm then had preview sales for registered people from 5:pm to 8:30.
I posted photos on my Facebook page Sandy Gunther.

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Location:I-405 S,Bellevue, WA

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Vogue Live

Neither rain, snow or 55 mile per hour speed limits will keep us from selling yarn at Vogue Live! in Seattle. What a trip!! First off the top of my head is the fact that LA to Seattle is not a two day trip unless you want to drive 12 hours a day, which I don't but I did. Second the pass above Seattle is 3500 foot, snow level was 3000, I live at 3000 foot, we don't have snow, we don't even get rain. AND, way too green here, way too many trees. Trips away from the desert disturb my gamma rays. Tomorrow will be better, we get to play with yarn.

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Location:Seattle, WA

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

On the road to Vogue Live, Seattle

The Hi-Lo Motel and Cafe in Weed, CA is one of our favorite breakfast places and it's just a little over half way to Seattle (610 miles) so here we are pooped but ready to sleep so we can eat breakfast. Sorry, no time to take photos, but I can say the Western Red Buds are in full bloom and Mt. Shasta is snow covered.

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Location:Weed, CA

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Boucle #5 Needle

The swatch done on #5 Needle is finished. Four inches square and looks the same on both sides. On to #7 Needle.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Boucle - Do Over!

DO OVER, DO OVER, I like this much better than my GrandMother's RIP IT OUT and a smack on the back of the head.

The 40 stitch swatch proved to be way too big. I have started over with 16 stitches, also as there is no difference visually between the knits and purls, it will all be garter stitch.

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Boucle - continued

Today I am volunteering at the Acton/Agua Dulce Used Book Store so I have some time to knit.

RedFish DyeWorks Boucle
95g skein 150 yards
10 wraps per inch

For my first gauge swatch I'm using a #5 Bamboo needle by Clover. The #5 looks to be a little larger than the Boucle yarn. Why that size you ask? Beats me, I'm just learning to knit and no one else wants to knit gauge swatches so here I am pretending I know what I'm talking about.

I casted on 40 stitches.

My plan - garter stitch 4 rows, four stitch garter border around stockinette stitch until the piece is square. Continued later, probably much later.

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Location:Acton Library

Monday, March 11, 2013

Previewing RedFish DyeWorks' yarns

RedFish DyeWorks deals in silk and silk blended yarns and fibers. When time allows, I will try to write about the 17 yarns we currently dye.

The first to be discussed is Boucle.  Our Boucle is made by wrapping a fine silk roving with two very fine silk threads that are crossed and drawn up tight making little puffs of the silk roving.  If the yarn is pulled tight when winding into a ball or measured onto a warping board the fine silk threads will pop and the yarn will unravel.

 The fine threads can be seen in this close up.
 This is the skein as it comes to you without it's label.  Untwist the yarn and grab the white string that marks the middle of the skein.
 Place the skein on a swift. I personally like the plastic swifts as they do not grab at the silk like wood. Untie the white string and find the knot that holds the ends together. Before untying the end knot, work your way around the skein smoothing the strands and uncrossing twists. Untie the end knot and determine which end comes from the outside and which comes from the inside. I wind boucle balls by hand as the ball winder pulls on the swift too hard.
 I also like to work with boucle from the outside of the ball rather than a center pull. This yarn has a tendency to stick on it's self as it is a roving and not spun and plied.

Next time -- stats and what to do with this beautiful yarn.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Stitches is over!

WOW! We were just rushing around trying to get our act together to get on the road to Stitches 2013 and here we are home again. The larger booth worked out well, giving us room for 2 new circular racks to hold the new RedFish Silk Sock yarn, which seemed to be a hit as it's mostly gone.

The iPad is the choice of computer when we are on the road and I am going to learn to keep with me so I can take photos to post. I haven't figured out how to transfer photos from my phone to my iPad. Always some thing to learn, or remember.

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Location:Home in Acton

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Stitches Day 3

Day 3 just zoomed by, no time to play. Tonight too tired to think.

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Location:Santa Clara, CA

Friday, February 22, 2013

Stitches West Day 2

Stitches officially opened to the public today with tons of knitters rolling through the vendor hall like kittens after balls of yarn.

As vendors, we get in the vendor hall 2 hours before the public to tidy up our booths and restock but of course we shop. I found a really cool new toy at the Clemes & Clemes booth. They make really beautiful, high precision spinning wheels and equipment and came out with a blending board for making batts and rolags. I don't spin but I do felt and this little board makes perfect little batts for pre-felts which lead me to do one of my very favorite things - "Hotel Bathroom Felting".

Remember this is a dark bathroom so the photos aren't premium but you will get the idea. We made the batt in the Clemes & Clemes booth, I will get photos from them tomorrow. The batt is RedFish 50/50 silk and superfine merino and it's now in the bath tub and I have wet it with dish soap and warm water.

The batt has been pre-felted using a fiberglass screen until it holds together nicely.

Now I roll it using bubble wrap. I have moved from the tub to the sink area.

Next is the wadding up and throwing it into the sink to get it as hard as I want it.

Kitchen sink with lemon water.

Little soak and a clear water rinse.

Squeezed out in a towel.

Hung to dry.

Tomorrow I will take it back to Clemes & Clemes to show them what their new little toy helped to produce.

Just to let you know, I don't always carry screening and bubble wrap in my suitcase but it just happened that my friend Lisa took a felting class today and let me borrow her stuff. Thanks Lisa.

No hotel bathroom was destroyed during this project.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Location:Santa Clara, CA

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Stitches West Day 1

All the hard work is over! Day 1 is always set up for six hours and sell for 4, makes for a long hard day, but we get to see a lot of friends we haven't seen for awhile.
For the last 5 years, on set-up day, a woman has pulled her little station wagon up to the dock to sell the best home-made tamales I have ever eaten, today she didn't come. I, along with many others were disappointed. I hope she is OK.
No pictures today, I will try to remember tomorrow.

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Location:Santa Clara, CA

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Stitches West

RedFish DyeWorks first trip of the season and we start out with an ice storm and closed roads but after we got through the Grapevine we had smooth sailing to Santa Clara. The almond trees in Northern California are usually blooming when we come to Stitches but this year they hadn't even started to bud out. Maybe on the way home.
We have a booth and a half this year, splitting a booth with John Marshall. We have 50 square feet extra, the truck is stuffed to capacity, it will take longer to unload but we have the same amount of time to setup. I might have to work!

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Location:Gold St,San Jose,United States