Sunday, March 11, 2018

Classes in 2018, washing locks, and lambs on the way!

I had a great time teaching the Ecoprinted Nunofelt lampshade class at North House Folk School in February. It was my first time attending the Northern Fibers Retreat weekend in Grand Marais and it didn't disappoint.
Saturday was absolutely beautiful and we were treated to a snowstorm on Sunday. Lake Superior is stunning in the wintertime!

I had a wonderful group of students in my class. There was plenty of time and space to complete our lampshades and as well as nunofelt and bundle some scarves on Sunday while the lampshades were simmering and the snow was falling.
They all turned out so beautiful!
This is the sample I made for the class. I love the soft, warm light it gives the room.

I had surgery to remove a hyperactive parathyroid right after we got home from Grand Marais. What a relief it is to have the surgery done! I had a very stiff and sore neck for a week, but now that I'm almost three weeks post-op, the only pain is when I touch the incision area or when I forget I even had surgery and I stretch my neck too far.

Hopefully I will continue to feel better and regain my energy and focus as the weeks go by. My blood tests still show a high level of parathyroid hormone, but my calcium is normal (yes!). I haven't talked to the surgeon yet, but I think they will continue to monitor my blood calcium level and if it goes up again, there is a possibility that I could have another overactive gland or two. I hope not. I want to get back to my old self right away!

Anyway, I am keeping my schedule light for this year. I didn't sign up to teach at Shepherd's Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival or the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival for 2018. I am teaching a special Cobweb Felt lampshade class for members of the Minnesota Feltmaker's Guild at the Textile Center in Minneapolis on June 10th and two classes (Raw Felted Fleeces and Sheep Locks Hoodie) at the Midwest Felting Symposium June 21-24th.  I will also teach another felted fleece class at North House Folk School July 21-22.

I am still available to teach classes in my studio here in Ogilvie also. If you are interested, just shoot me an email and we can figure out a date. Sid and I really enjoy having visitors here to felt and entertain. I am thinking Sid should teach some cooking classes this summer. All the students seem to love his cooking!
I am expecting lots of Gotland-sired lambs to arrive starting in mid-May and ending June 10th. It will be fun to have lambs again and see some of my maiden ewes take on maternal roles. The last ram I used only sired white lambs, so I am excited to see some color and possibly some gulmoget patterns in the lambs this year.

We will be shearing in April, in the meantime I am washing fleeces by rinsing the locks. I found out  that my long-stapled Teeswater cross fleeces are best cleaned by rinsing well under running water and then just a quick 10 minute dip in hot soapy water before being rinsed again. Actually, it was a FaceBook post that showed how this woman simply rinsed a small group of locks clean under running water. I had always heard that you never run water over your fleece or it will felt. But I royally felted my Teeswater/BFL/Finn fleeces the first time around when I tried to wash them in the usual manner of letting them soak in hot soapy water for an hour then rinse repeatedly until the rinse water is clear. That was a disaster! Those 1/4 Finn fleeces are so beautiful and lustrous, what a waste it was. Anyway, I can wash/rinse a whole fleece in less than one hour doing it my new way. So the fleeces I have saved for washed locks are finally getting done. I still have plenty to make into felted fleeces when the weather warms up.

Spring and Summer Classes 2024

  Well, it's April and the sheep have been sheared.  The chicks have arrived in the mail and Easter is behind us already.  Time to start...