Friday, August 17, 2018

Details, Details

But wait there's more:

Rosemary, CCW Guild member and Mid-State Fair Project Guru, provided a helpful list of suggestions on how to submit competition items for judging. In addition to Rosemary's guidelines I was able to find online resources for entering the skein competition. Although I am a novice spinner, I'm an expert at following the rules. Googling around I found Leslie Ordal's four-part blog post, "Skein Competition How-To". I carefully read Leslie's suggestions several times and looked at her Judge's score card. After reading her posts I rewound my skein 4 times till I was satisfied.

Leslie Ordal Fibre Arts

Each of my Mid-State Fair entries included a 3x5 card attached to the project. In addition to the Fair Division number and Class number there was also information about the entry that I hoped the judge would find useful. 

Weaving, Beginner - 1st Project.
Woven Scarf, first project using hand spun/hand dyed yarn.
10" Cricket Rigid Heddle Loom.
Dark brown yarn (Malabrigo sock) for warp and weft.
Tan weft yarn is hand spun and naturally dyed with acorns.

Gathering acorns with Bitsy.


Shelled acorns from the driveway (smashed open courtesy of The Man's truck) only the inner pulp is used to make the dye.

Acorn Dye Pot, aka Acorn Sun Tea.


Sampling a tiny skein.



Acorn-dyed hand spun yarn.




Weaving, Accessory, Scarves.
Woven Pooled Warp Scarf.
10" Cricket Rigid Heddle Loom.
Lorna's Laces sock yarn for warp.
Suavel lace-weight yarn for weft.


Hand Spun Yarn, Skein, Wool, Two (2) Ply or more.
"Corriedale Cross: roving, commercially prepared.
Spun short forward draw on a spinning wheel, Scotch tension.
Naturally dyed in the skein with oak galls.
The skein was washed and lightly fulled to set the twist.
This yarn is intended to be woven, showcasing texture.

The yarn was spun and plied on the Ashford Traditional Spinning Wheel.


Prewashing (scouring) the yarn to remove any chemicals that were added to the commercially processed wool. On the stove for one hour just under a simmer, 180°. 

The Oak Gall Sun Tea had been sitting in the sun for over a month. Making the oak gall dye was a little more labor intensive than the acorn dye. The galls were beat on with a meat tenderizer (next time I'll use a hammer) then ground into a fine powder with a mortar and pestle. Two teaspoons of oak gall powder were added to six cups of filtered water and left outside on the front porch to steep.


Into the dye pot, rinsed, and dried.



Earth Tones - Colors from Western Dye Plants, Carol Todd.
Harvesting Color - How to Find Plants and Make Natural Dyes, Rebecca Burgess.
The Modern Natural Dyer - A Comprehensive Guide to Dyeing Silk, Wool, Linen, and Cotton at Home, Kristine Vejar.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Fair Play

In early spring the Central Coast Weavers Guild begged encouraged their SLO County members to enter Still Exhibits competition items to the Mid-State Fair. Their goal was to have enough entries so they could all be grouped together in one display area instead of scattered willy-nilly throughout the building. On the last day for the online registration I signed up to enter three items.

A few days later I happily waved goodbye to The Man and Mattie as they left for a week-long camping/fishing trip. I had six days to work on my Fair entries, uninterrupted.


The day after The Man and Mattie returned home I dropped off my completed items.


Fair Day arrived the following month. We did a quick walk through the Livestock area to check out the sheep and goats. We bypassed the Pig Barn since none of the neighbor kids were entered this year.

Finally we got to the Frontier Pavilion where the Home Arts were displayed. The Man sat patiently in a nearby chair while I stood mesmerized by the Weaving and Spinning display. I recognized most of the entrant's names, they were CCW Guild members.


Imagine my surprise and delight to see that I won a first place ribbon on one of my items.

Winning a first place ribbon came with a cash prize of $6. More surprises were in store when I opened my prize envelope to find two real ribbons and a check for $10. My skein of hand spun had also won a ribbon. Yeehaw.

Central Coast Weavers Guild: A huge thanks to all of you who participated in the fair this year.  After a low of two people entering last year, we had 18 entrants this year, with almost everyone entering multiple items.  We had a great display, just of spinning and weaving entries, which created a lot of interest with the fair visitors.

But wait there's more . . . .

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Record Breaking

It's been sizzling hot for the past two weeks around SLO county. The sun has been relentless from dawn to dusk.

7/29/18 6:28 am

7/28/18 7:53 pm

Today, Paso Robles - just north of us - broke their 13 hot days record set in 1961. Paso's 105° temperature today marked 14 consecutive days of triple-digit heat. That is, 14 days and counting, this weekend was supposed to be a "cool down" and temps are expected to rise even higher all next week.

So far the highest temp we've seen has been 106°. The day after that scorcher we packed the dogs up and headed to Cayucos beach. It was cool, misty, and foggy and we enjoyed the five hours we were there. It surprised the heck out of us when we got home to see that we got very dark (me) and very red (The Man) from the little amount of sun we saw. Oops, no sunscreen.

7/26/18 11:47 am

Closer to home the heat is taking a toll on the oaks, lots of freshly dropped branches around the property.

A deer family: a small buck, a doe and her twins have been drinking from the buckets close to the pen. The buck came out of the pen licking his lips - he might have gotten into the goats' free-choice minerals in the goat house. I think he was smiling.

Luckily the high heat doesn't seem to bother the goats; they continue doing their job.

Hmmm,  is it my imagination or does it look like Boots is also getting a deep dark tan.