Monday, May 14, 2007

Shepherd's Harvest

I spent much of Saturday at Shepherd's Harvest in Lake Elmo, MN.

I took a Creative Drum Carding class from Carol Wagner of Hidden Valley Farm & Woolen Mill. It was a fabulous class - it really helped me figure out how to use my drum carder more efficiently. I'd been drum carding with "book learning" only, and to see it done in real life was GREAT! I've been working way to hard at it - trying to jam too much onto my carder.

We learned to blend colors and even how to make a multicolored batt. Here, one of my classmates, Jenni, gives the multicolored batt a quick finger-spin to demonstrate the colors in a singles yarn. We were all very excited by the possibilities! We had a great group of women in class.

Here's the samples I worked with in class. We were using dyed coopworth locks from Carol's sheep. First I did the yellow, to learn basic carding techniques. Then we blended colors - I mixed purple and orange (looking for an odd combination) and I really liked the blend. The multicolored batt was next. I layered navy, pink and bright blue. We pulled our batts out into roving, and rolled them into balls, and all I have to do is give them a quick shake, and they're ready to spin!

It was really fun to see all the color combinations used by my classmates.

The three hour class just flew by. Carol's a marvelous teacher. I took a class in dyeing and spinning silk caps from her two years ago at Shepherd's Harvest.

After returning the drum carder and supplies to the truck, I went SHOPPING! I had a few items on my list that I was specifically looking for. This year, there was more fibers, and less actual tools. I was hoping to see some Majacraft wheels - I'm kinda jonesing for a Suzie or a Rose, but need to trial them again. No Majacraft there - guess I'll save my money for SOAR in the fall. I was also looking for some Strauch drum carder accessories, but there was no Strauch. There were lots of Ashford and Louet carders.

I always buy a new basket at Shepherd's Harvest. There are always so many to choose from. I got this nifty small tote basket from Ellie Lida. I bought a pound of Shanghai Nights (coopworth and silk threads) from Hidden Valley Farm. I found a new pattern for the Rambling Rows afghan (I've got one here somewhere, but I can't find it!!) and a pattern for the Babys and Bears sweater for adults. I've made lots of Babys and Bears sweaters, so an adult one is intriguing - maybe a use for those single smaller skeins of handspun? I also bought a spinning control card.

I bought this spindle made by Fox Den Fiber Arts. It's made of poly-clay and weighs 30.5 grams. I loved the multicolors and the flower on the top. There were lots of cool celtic shapes, and some with dragons and butterflys. It was hard to choose. This little puppy goes like crazy!

The weather was warm and sunny, a nice change from the past several years when it has been cool and rainy. There were more people there than I have seen other years. I hope it continues to grow. All the people does make for standing in line when you want to pay, but that really isn't much of complaint! There were three buildings full of vendors.

I walked around for hours, dithering about this and that. Pick something up, put it down. I really have a pretty good stash of spinning fibers. I couldn't quite justify adding to the piles.
Ended up with a pretty small bunch of purchases, but all in all, I'm quite pleased. And I'm not broke!


Anonymous said...

That really was a fun class, wasn't it? Carol is indeed a great teacher. I see she's teaching at the Wisconsin Spin-In in the fall - I may just have to make the trek.

As far as Majacraft wheel go, I have the Suzie and I love it. I don't know where you live, but if you can get out to Maple Plain, Detta's Spindle sells them. She has lots of different wheels to try out, and Detta is just awesome, period.

Have a great day!

Lorraine said...

You were at the next table during the drum carding class. I'm amazed you found my blog. So cool. BTW, I'll second the recommendation for Detta. I've been out there several times and she's a sweetheart.