What fun! Last weekend, I got the chance to get away for a few days...spend some time with my best friend Cherie and another dear friend Mary (Hey! We were Cherie, Mary and Cary - we rhymed!) AND do fibery things! We went to a 2-day Workshop with Letty Klein to learn to braid wool roving into rugs (well, we actually made a chair pad in class)
I really went just because Cherie and I have both been so busy that we rarely get to visit any more. An excess of roving to be braided into rugs is not a problem for me...I rarely, RARELY have roving available from my fleeces so if I have it on hand I have purchased it to spin. But this was fun, and I was quickly taken by the beauty of the rugs. I've always loved braided rugs...my Great-Grandma made them, my Mom and Grannie had them and I often thought I would learn to make them (even have books on the traditional way), but Letty's process is even better...another way to make use of the marvelous natural product our sheep produce!
If you haven't heard of Letty Klein and Anne Brown's book "The Shepherd's Rug", visit Letty's site, Pine Lane Farm Karakuls to read more about it (and see great photos of some of their rugs)
I won't go into detail about the process of making the rug (you must buy the book or take the workshop - LOL!) but it was a fun time, very easy to learn and worthwhile, I thought.
Here are some photos of my in progress chair pad (including ALL of the supplies Letty included in the workshop for us to make the pads):
Here is a closer look:
If you ever have a chance to take this workshop, I HIGHLY recommend it!
But we had more fun than just this over the weekend! Wonderful food, great company - the best! - and yarn shop hopping! We shopped at the sweetest little yarn store outside Kalamazoo, called Handweavers. No website or I would share it with you, but it was a wonderful place with two of the friendliest young women running it that day! I bought (no surprise here...) yarn and patterns! The next morning we joined forces with two other friends who were taking the workshop and headed out across country to my dear, dear friend and sheep mentor Rita Walters at Mar-Rita Farms. Rita has a shop on her farm, The Wool Room, that they recently expanded and WOW ... does she ever have some GREAT new yarns! She was just unpacking some when we arrived. I left there with (you guessed it) some of that yarn, some sock yarn, patterns and Corriedale roving ;) We also visited the Corriedale sheep and fed them cookies. Its nice to see some of those old girls who are the mothers and grandmothers of my own flock! Two of my friends left there with fleeces of their own.
It really was a good time, and I came home relaxed and also recharged. Its always good to get away for a time and expose yourself to other creative and like minded people. I'm grateful to Cherie for inviting me to go along and to Cherie's dear Mom, Jean, who put us up overnight in her beautiful lakeside home. It was wonderful to travel with Mary and get to know her better (what a neat lady she is!) We got to meet some other new fiber friends, visit with old fiber friends and just generally have a really good time!
We are thinking of making this an annual get-away ;D