Beth Smith

A Bee in My Bonnet

Sunday night again and it’s been some week!
This is Michelle. She comes to the shop to play most Tuesday nights. She is a fantastic quilter and does a lot of art quilts. It was her dog hair that I spun a few months ago. In exchange she is finishing the hand quilting on a quilt I made years ago. It’s a hand pieced quilt and I thought hand quilting would be the best thing but…
Anyway, Michelle is working on my quilt in this photo and also trying to find out if she is sensitive to the new Chameleon Colorworks Merino/Tencel roving and the hand dyed alpaca lace weight yarn. (That’s why she shoves them down her shirt. The merino/tencel was a winner!

On Wednesday Maggie and I went to teach about 10 8-11 year old girls to spin. It was so fun and several of the girls actually caught on in the hour we spent with them. There was a fleece to huff and spinning wheels to touch and a drop spindle and wool for everyone. Course I didn’t even take one photo cause I was teaching.
This is the latest handspun from Maggie. Spun from an Abby batt that was made especially for her. It’s very pink with some cut up yellow threads. It made a very lovely yarn which she is now knitting.
On Thursday the group arrived for the Janel Laidman workshop extravaganza. Denny and Elayne got a ride from Toronto with Lousmith and arrived in Howell at about 2:30. Then we all piled back in the car and headed to the airport to pick up the Janel. We stopped for a delicious dinner and then went to the shop and touched things for a while. We stayed up way too late and had a delightful time.

Friday was down to work after breakfast. There were class kits to make and furniture to move and details to work out..among the laughing and talking and harassing of Abby who couldn’t make it due to “deadlines”.

The picture above is all of the fiber (Chameleon Colorworks BFL) that each person got in their kit for the Saturday class arranged beautifully on a cupcake stand.
Friday evening after a delicious dinner was Kitchen Sink Yarns – blending old, trashy fiber on a drum carder to make something beautiful. Maggie was the teachers assistant.
A motley crew – but serious about the class. (Elayne, Maggie and Denny)
Carding in action. These girls were serious. We had 5 different carders from 3 companies and so the ladies got to try out a few models.
Card Faster!
After class came the sleepover. We all laid down to sleep about 1:30AM I think. There was plenty of goofing off and I was trying to finish some yarn I started…I’ll tell you why in a minute.
Saturday was Janel’s Painted Rovings class. This is Jan and Deb ready for action.
And Janel, Carla, Jillian, and Kathy in Andean Plying action
This class was fantastic and I came away with lots more experimenting I want to do. So many things were learned about how to spin a painted roving beyond just spinning from the end. Part of the class included Fractal Stripes which was featured on the cover and inside the Summer 2007 issue of Spin Off. Here Janel is holding up the actual sock from the magazine. It is beautiful in person.
Here’s the Denny version of Andean Plying. Notice the tangled yarn and the angle of the central finger.
So the shop was trashed again…nothing like after Abby’s class but Ellen couldn’t come and so the Wall O’Fleece was mostly intact.
There was a little gun play at the sleepover. I usually am scared of guns but it came in handy to handle some issues.
And there was the enhancement surgery. Above is the before photo.
And after. I think that from now on all enhancement surgery should be done with Abby Batts. They are safer than silicone, will not puncture and if you run out of fiber you can spin them and get more.

Also notice the new tattoo. Denny stamped herself with my address stamp.
Plus, there were new deliveries this week. This book is a fantastic book about needle felting a wide range of animals.
I’m not usually a huge felter but I do love this book. The photos are beautiful and the instructions are very complete.
Chameleon Colorworks arrived. Three different fibers – BFL, Merino/Tencel and Optim.
The optim colors are saturated and luscious. I’ve been spinning some Optim…which brings me to the late night production spinning.
Also this week I got this lovely Majacraft Rose. Every one of these is different. The wood ranges from very light to a lovely dark toasty color. This particular wheel had a very light handle, a dark wood veneer on the wheel and a dark flyer head. I fell in love with it right away…so I started spinning on it. Well, Elayne fell in love with it too. So it now lives in Toronto after a nice train ride. I have a full bobbin of Optim to be plied this week.
Also finished today is this scarf which will be a spinning kit for the shop in a range of colors. It was fun to spin for it and fun and easy to knit.
Watch for details.

So, now everyone is home and tomorrow I will clean up the carnage of the weekend and get to work on my next projects. It was a fantastically fun and stressful week. Always worth it in the end.

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