Saturday, October 30, 2010

SAFF 2010

I attended SAFF 2010, the Southeast Animal and Fiber Festival in Fletcher (near Asheville) this month. This was my first time vending for The Irresistible Ewe. Three of us traveled together and the car was packed, as they say, "tight as a tick." Strangely enough, even after good sales, it was just as crowded coming home. That must mean we did great shopping there as well. I'm very happy with a "new" old drum Clemes & Clemes drum carder I purchased from Rare Finds Farm and two fleeces from the Sales Arena fleece room. One is a Border Leicester and the other a Cotswold. I've washed the Cotswold and have it drying upstairs, and plan to wash the BL tomorrow. I can't wait to try it out.
I took a class in Core Spinning, and although the teacher, Ester Rogers, was very good, I found out that my spinning wheel is not really equipped to handle very bulky yarns. I do think I'll be able to do a downscaled version using techniques learned. I still enjoyed the class and came away with a greater appreciation of core-spun yarn. The technique involves using a core, or base, yarn and spinning this while applying an overlay of another yarn or fiber from a right angle to the core. It can be a very complex process, sometimes with the two yarns/fibers trading places during the spinning.
The customers at SAFF are a friendly lot. It's so nice to be surrounded by fiber enthusiasts doing what they love best. My favorite part of fiber festivals is always the animals in attendance. I didn't take hundreds of pictures this year, but still enjoyed walking around the pens seeing the different types of sheep and goats. The Sales Arena where we were also hosted several booths containing Angora rabbits. These were my very favorite. They are such sweet creatures and produce the loveliest yarn.
The trip home was tiring, especially having to get up early the next morning for work. I feel like I'm still recuperating, but very pleased with the experience and looking forward to next year.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Paper Tower Giveaway

There's a fantastic giveaway contest going on at Pink Cricut: The Original Scrapbox is giving a Paper Tower away. Go to Pink Cricut to enter.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Halloween Origami Bat

For those who love Halloween and origami, here's a simple bat based on the pattern in an origami kit called Origami Craft Pad, creatures & critters. I like the paper, although there is a perforated strip in each to make it optional to use the paper the rectangular size or square size if you tear along the dotted line. I've found most of the patterns easy to follow.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Late Summer Gourds

I tried growing a few canteen gourd seeds this summer in an extra herb bed next to our screened porch. I didn't think anything would grow at first, then holy moly, here came the vines! I only saw one gourd for a long time; now, there are about six. The vine ends have been trimmed several times this year, but gourd vines tend to be very aggressive and extremely self-sufficient. We've experienced extremely hot weather this summer, so I don't expect a freeze anytime soon. At least two of the gourds should make it before the vines start dying back. Three of the smallest gourds don't have much of a chance to amount to much, but I don't have it in me to get rid of them yet. I did pull down the vines you can see that have decided to climb our screens and take over the back step. The Lantana I planted just before planting the gourds and my climbing rose will be happy to see their bedfellows gone. They should have full rein next summer to spread out without such fierce competition.
If you'd like to grow your own gourds, the best way is to start with fresh seeds from a dried gourd that you like. At least half a day's sun is good. Mine had about this much sunshine. They can take small periods of drought, but don't let them go too long. They pretty much take care of themselves, but keep a watch unless you want to be taken over. They make great ground cover as long as no other plants will be smothered under their large abundant leaves.