Did you miss me? Things have been crazy here. I found out at the end of August that I had to go to Massachusetts for my photo shoot this past week. so the piling began.


 The car was full with my spinning wheel and 2 drum carders all of my tools as well as pounds and pounds of wool which included 4 full fleeces. I was able to fit my suitcase into the front seat. The back seat was all filled and the trunk had not an inch of space. I wondered when I left whether it was overkill and if I was bringing too much but I didn’t want to get there and find out we didn’t have something I needed.


Before I left I had to de-bling my nails. Yes, no sparkles allowed. they look ok but not my usual. Before I go on I’ll brag a little about something that may only be important to me. I have very dry cuticles and I have a tendency to pick at the little bits of dry skin. It’s a nervous habit I’ve had since I was a child. It’s been very difficult to stop and usually I’m not thinking about it. Well, take a look at those nails. When I found out about the shoot I began sitting on my hands a lot or making sure they were busy. I couldn’t have those terrible hands preserved for posterity. I’m pretty proud of myself. Now to continue and not have those ugly cuticles ever again.

OK, on with it.

Story Publishing is my publisher. Same as the publisher for the Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook, The Field Guide to Fleece and The Spinner’s Book of Yarn Design.  Both books that are full of great information as well as being beautiful. Storey also has sewing and gardening and cooking and all manner of how to books that are lovely. You might know them best by the series of One Skein Wonders books. The title for my book will be The Spinner’s Book of Fleece.


Anyhoo, they have a nice little photo studio at their offices in North Adams MA. They are part of the same old spinning mill complex as the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art aka MassMOCA. I was working the whole week so I didn’t get to visit the museum. Maybe next time.


I was treated like a queen while I was there. A parking spot by the door and water served to me in beautiful crystal.


I don’t have any photos of action shots since I was in those shots (actually my hands were).


This is the art director, Alethea Morrison, and the photographer, John Polak, checking out the photo of the combs laid out on the fleece, deciding if they like the look.  The excellent thing is that there is a cord that goes from the camera to the computer and the photos go right to the computer and then Alethea could crop it to the size she would need for the spot it was going and see if it would work.  It is quite fascinating.


We wanted to show a well rolled fleece and John is making sure he got the shot here.


The natural light in the room is fantastic. The junk sitting all over is only what was being recently used. Everything else was relegated to the hall since there were 4 people (including me) inside the room trying to work around each other.


There’s that beautifully rolled fleece. I’m pretty good at it:-)

We took hundreds of photos over 2 1/2 days. There are some spinning action shots and how to shots for tools and how to wash a fleece with great illustrative photos. It’s all very colorful even though most of the fiber and yarn is natural colors.

When I got there they had made some sample pages with tools and yarns I had sent ahead. I took some photos of a few of the pages so you can see what the book might look like. Keep in mind that none of this is final. It’s all early days but I think what they are doing is gorgeous.



This is what the chapter pages might look like.


Some beautiful 2 page spreads.


A little technical information made into a pretty thing to look at.


And lots of words.  Look how pretty my samples look spilling out of that bag. That’s a photo. It looks 3D. That’s just how good John is as a photographer.

I started driving home on Thursday afternoon but I didn’t want to leave MA without a visit to WEBS. It’s about an hour from North Adams and not on the way home but, really. I met everybody when I was there including Gail Callahan.  It was so fun and there is so much yarn. I decided when I walked in that the thing for me was coned yarns since I’m getting a new loom soon – more on that later. I bought a little cotton for dish towels, some 20/2 wool for yardage to make a skirt and 2 cones of 60/2 silk for a scarf or two, a sweater pattern that will be great in handspun and a weaving draft for the scarves.


Here’s a photo in case you wanted to see.

This week includes washing pounds and pounds of wool for Rhinebeck.

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