Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Northern Michigan Wool Festival: Sites and Sounds

My Sweetie and I went our annual Up North Get Away weekend, and we had such a great time. This year we decided to take in the "Northern Michigan Lamb and Wool Festival" in West Branch Michigan. Unfortunately, I did not have any time to take classes but I hope to next year. This was the 10th year for the wool festival and the location at the Ogemaw Fair Grounds was wonderful. Above is a photo of some of the lovely wool roving's and threads I bought. I have plans to wet felt some Christmas pressie from it. The white glittery ball of wool is not really wool at all but it is called "Firestar" which is similar to angelina fibers. The bag of light beige and white wool is 50% Baby Camel and 50% Bleached Tussah Silk Top and Oh, it is so very soft to touch. I bought it from "River Edge Weaving Studio". The purple, blue and mixed pink wool rovings all have "Firestar Glitter" in it. I bought the white wool roving at "Woolderness Fiber Arts Studio!

The above photo is of Elizabeth and her business called "Vibrant"!! Elizabeth dyes her wool from natural plant dyes. The wool rovings I bought were dyed from "Black Eye Susan", and Beets. They are truly beautiful vibrant colors. The wool is from Blue Faced Leicester sheep.Elizabeth is in the red top. I really enjoyed chatting with her about dying with plants.

The above photo was taken at the booth of "Zeilinger Wool Co." from Frankenmuth Michigan. This purse was made from a old wool sweater that was felted in a washing machine and the motifs were needled felted on. I thought it was a very neat looking purse.

This photo is of some very lovely hand dyed wool roving.

"The Flower Lady's Farm and Woolery" is located in Levering, Michigan. Kim had numerous lovely needle felted items to buy along with hand dyed wools and hooked rug kits.

I thought the use of wool roving to weave small wall hanging was a great idea.

The photo above is an over view of the vendor mall in Building Number 2.

The Northern Michigan Lamb and Wool Festival was celebrating their 10th year. I thought their cake was very artistic.

They also had a demonstration area that showed us all how to do weaving, spinning and dying which I really enjoyed allot.

Outside this wonderful Folk Music band was playing lovely music for us all to listen too.

I have never seen a pumpkin that had such a unique skin. Loved it.

On the Fair Ground they had restored an old "Log Cabin Church". I thought it to be very beautiful.

They also had a "Weaver's Cabin"!!

This is a photo of the outside area of the festival.

This Alpaca is looking very grand and proud with a wee sweet baby goat roaming around pestering him.

A beautiful Autumn scene to make you all smile. It was a glorious weekend and the best part was spenting quality time with my sweetie.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Shepherd's Rug Class

I did not have a photo of me braiding my three stripes of roving in the class but Letty the teacher sent me one from her collections of photos. You have three pieces of roving, which could be three different colors or any combination you would and they should all be a different length from one yard long to shorter. You take the three stripes of roving and by using a clamp attach the three pieces all different length to a table and start braiding like you would your own hair. When you get to the end of the first short stripe of roving take another long piece of roving approximately one yard long and add it to the short piece of roving and then continue to braid until you get your desired length of braid. Hope this helps a bit for you all that would like to give this a try.
On August 13th, I attended the "Michigan Fiber Festival" in Allegan and took a class called "The Shepherd's Rug"! Letty Klein and Ann Brown both co-authored the book called "The Shepherd's Rug" which they used in their classes. This wonderful book can be found by clicking on the hyperlink Letty Klein and Ann Brown above. There were 19 in our class and learning how to use wool roving and braid it into a rug was so much fun. After I braided 10 yards of wool roving using two shades of pink and a natural brown color our teacher put them into a laundry bag and took them to the local laundry mat where she washed them in hot soapy water and then dry them in a hot dryer. What you see above is what 10 yards of braiding looks like after my long braid was felted. We then started stitching the felted braids together by using waxed linen thread. You can see I still need to finish my project.

These are the beautiful colors I decided to use for my Shepherd's Rug which I bought from Letty. These are one pound balls of roving.

This is a photo of my teacher Letty Klein with the white jeans and her assistant Jan in the pink top. They both were wonderful teachers.

This is a photo of some of the hundreds of rugs Letty has created from wool braided roving. They are all truly beautiful.

While at a flea market in Germany I came upon this lovely very old spinning wheel. The lady that previously owned this spinning wheel was going into a nursing home at the age of 95 and her son was selling some of her things. He told me that this spinning wheel was bought for his mother when she was a young bride and that his dad bought it from South Africa. All those white wee specks you see are Ivory. Isn't it truly beautiful. I will always treasure this spinning wheel even thought I have no idea how to spin. I just love looking at it and knowing the history behind it warms my heart. Can you imagine how much wool this dear lady spun on this spinning wheel over the years. I also bought the wool rug the spinning wheel is setting on from a weaver at a Christmas Market in Germany who told me she used 100% New Zealand wool to create it. It is so nice and warm to walk on. They are also very easy to clean. Letty told us in the winter when the snow is deep and dry she takes her wool rugs outside and lays them in the snow. Letty then pounds both sides of the rug and then shakes the snow off. They are now nice and clean. She told us these wool rugs will last forever.

This photo is an up close photo of this lovely antique spinning wheel. When I bought it I paid 90Euro for it. I have no idea what its worth would be. If anyone has any idea what its value may be I would love to hear from you.

This photo was taken at a Easter Market in Germany which was located in a Castle not far from where I lived. It was the first time I ever discovered a lady teaching needle felting wool. "The Wool Lady" had heaps of lovely things she was selling and she gave me my first needle felting spot right there at the Easter Market. I instantly fell in love with felting that day. The Wool Lady told me she dyed all her wool with things from nature, like onions, flowers, berries, and roots from plants too. I bought some beautiful wool from her in lovely blues, yellow, green, and orange.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my Shepherd's Rugs class and the wee story about my cherished spinning wheel and The Wool Lady.

I wish you all a wonderful week. Here in Michigan we have been experience a lovely Indian Summer with very nice sunny days and very mild temperatures in the 70F. The Autumn leaves are now just turning a wee bit. More photos of them to come in future posts.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Blogaversary Give Away "Winners"

Hello Everyone, Today I had a bit of trouble uploading photos to bloggers, hence my late posting for the winners of my " 3rd Blogaversary. The very first thing I would like to say is a Huge Thank You to "Everyone" who was kind enough to visit my blog and leave their lovely messages for me to read. They "ALL" were greatly appreciated, and I wish I had a gift to give to everyone.

Today My Sweetie pulled out of the hat the following names. The first winner is "Miss 376" and Jane lives in the UK. Congratulation Jane you have won the DMC Linen Thread, I hope you will like your pressie and that you will have many hours of stitching with this lovely floss. Jane's lovely blog is called, Loopy Lou's Adventures Into Handicrafts. Please email with your snail mail address and I will send them off to you soon.

The second winner is "RagoJo" and Rags lives in Iceland. Congratulations Rags, you have won Miss Sunshine. I hope you will enjoy looking at her and know she will have a good home with you. Rags has a lovely website called, "Friendship Tapestry" which is very unique and I sure you all would enjoy a visit there. Please email me your snail mail address and I will send Miss Sunshine off to you soon.
The third winner is Jasmine, also from the UK. Congratulation Jasmine you have won the Two Polymer Clay Creations. They can be used to embellish any of your creations or used to make a brooch or pendant. Jasmine also has a lovely blog called, Nature's Wispers. Jasmine is new to wool felting and I think everyone will find her blog very informative. Please email me your snail mail address and I will send off your pressie soon. My email address is

Above is another photo of one of my 8 Sedums. They are so beautiful to look at in the late summer months with their glorious colors.

You know it is getting close to Autumn when you find "Turkeys" wondering about in your back yard gardens. I am sure you can guess what they were wanting to nipple on, yup, my lovely blooms. My Sweetie took their photos and told all 12 of them that I did not appreciate them in my gardens. They understood and they wondered off. LOL

I have spent most of my summer working in my gardens this year and I am truly looking forward to Autumn and the slower pace of life. I have missed so much my stitching. I have taken a couple of classes this summer and I will share with you all what I have created soon.

Please remember their is "Always, Always, Always Something To Be Grateful For"! And one of the many things I am "Truly Grateful for are all my "Blogging Friends.

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