Archive for August, 2007


August 30, 2007

It took me about 20 minutes to collect this.

And for once, Crackers our family dog is not the culprit.

She is a hairball all by herself. I have considered giving it a go at spinning some of her fur. Her fur ends up being part of my clothing anyway.

OK…now why on earth would I want to collect this hairball?

Well… it is mixed up with some really good stuff.
The hairball is made up of musk ox guard hairs that I pulled… yes one by one… from raw qiviut fiber.

I came across a booth at the fair that had a collection of knitted and woven items made from qiviut.

They also had yarn and raw fiber of which I purchased 2 ounces…

along with this brooch, “Spirit of the Musk Ox” designed and made by a local artist.

I have checked a few sites about how to remove guard hairs and for the small amount of fiber that I have, pulling them out by hand seems to be my only option. If I had a larger amount, there are some mills that could do it. If anyone has any suggests, please let know.

The pic shows the raw qiviut on the right and the de-haired qiviut on the left. I hope to have at least an ounce and a half when I’m finished.

The qiviut is so, so soft and will be well worth all this effort.


State Fair and Spinning Demo

August 28, 2007

Yesterday I allowed the “little darlings” to cut some of their classes and we headed to the state fair.  It was a nice drive out to the valley. 


I don’t like to go on the weekends because it is so crowded.  I handed out ride tickets,  some cash for food and a cell phone so they could check in.  I remember what an expedition it was to take them to the fair when they were little.   They met up with some of their cousins and explored the fair together.  We connect a few times, one was for lunch.  They do have some very good food booths.  My favorite is the deep fried beer battered halibut, the fish is always moist and delicious.

But this is where I spent most of my time.


The fiber arts display had demonstrations of spinning and needle felting.  Volunteers from The Valley Fiber Arts and Anchorage Weavers and Spinners Guild contribute many hours for the exhibit, judging and demonstrations.  Denise, the lady with vivid green fiber also dyed and knitted the shawl.  She said that they had over a hundred more display items  this year.

I have seen some examples of needle felting but I was rather impressed and amused by what Kelley had created.

Twice a year the valley guild puts on a retreat, I won’t be able to go this September so it was wonderful that I got to visit with these ladies.  Well after gabbing discussing our fiber adventures for half an hour,  I was invited to sit down behind the display.  I was show the spindles that they handout and was promptly put to work… gladly.

Well, when I start spinning, it was on a spindle, but I haven’t used them much, I moved quickly to a wheel.   But to my suprise, using the spindle was a lot easier and more enjoyable for me now than when I first started.  I was a bit nervous since it is a demonstration, the object being to show how it is done, not “what on earth is that lady doing with a top?”  but quickly got comfortable.  I enjoyed answering questions and handing out spindles. 

For once, it was my kids telling me it was time to go home.

Got Milk?

August 23, 2007

I mentioned in an earlier post that I teased my “little darlings” about going back to school.

Well, I was feeling a little guilty so I made their favorite cookies (chocolate chip) for when they came home.

I do a variation of the classic Nestle Toll House recipe.  The only thing that is low fat about them is the milk in the glass.  But I do add some whole wheat.

Speaking of fiber…

The fibers are (starting at the top, going clockwise)

Bombyx Silk – Iris
Bombyx Silk – Rose Petals
Merino/Bombyx Blend 50/50 – Primrose

All dyed by Nancy Finn from Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks available through Crown Mountain Farms.

Did I hear Pavlov ring a bell?