Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Dudleyspinner Tie Dye Roving teaches at Arkansas Fiber Arts Extravaganza, My Bio

I am teaching three classes at the Arkansas Fiber Arts Extravaganza, Hot Springs, Arkansas, September 19, 1:30 pm-3:00pm, Adding Beads To Spinning. 3:30-5:00 Free Form Crochet. Sept 20, 8:30 am-10:00am, Simple Lacy Socks.

This is a little about how I got started spinning wool, knitting, crocheting, needle felting and dying fibers.

Becoming a Fiber Artist was not something that I aspired to as a child. I was very much like my daughters in the photo, just a kid that liked to go feed the bottle lambs with my Grandma. Grandma Bosselman would have me stay over and "help" her to go feed the lambs in the barn at night. I remember Grandma  filling the pop bottles with milk, and putting the rubber nipples on them. Grandma putting on my boots, the cold ground, seeing my breath as we walked to the barn. If I promised to be careful Grandma would let me carry one of the bottles.  I remember  he smell of the hay and being greeted by the hungry lambs bleating as we came close to them.  I loved the feeling of being a big helper. I am sure that just going by herself would have been much easier for Grandma, but I would not have learned about the wonders of wool if not for Grandma Bosselman. I slept under a wool comforter in our unheated upstairs  thanks to Grandma and those sheep. Those sheep and the memories kept me warm.

I learned to knit when one of the girls in my class wore a headband to school that was knit. I loved the texture and wanted to learn. Grandma took me to Woolworths and bought me my first pair of knitting needles. A pair of size 4 Boye straight needles and a skein of pink yarn. I did learn to knit when the girl in my class taught me how. I knit straight garter stitch for many years. By the time I was in high school, my Home Economics project was a cable knit scarf and mittens knit with Black Red Heart Wool, from the dime store. At that time all the yarn was wool, acrylic was not available.

When my husband and I got our first home that needed livestock for weed control I wanted sheep. The first trip to sell the wool I purchased a drop spindle and started making my own yarn. A dye class got me started with dying wool with natural dyes. A friend taught me how to use fiber reactive dyes for tie dye T-shirts. I sold T-shirts for several years. I later took those tie dye skills and applied them to wool roving  making my signature Tie Dye Rovings in bright rainbow colors. Along the way I learned crochet, then started doing some Free Form Crochet using UFO's in my work. I hate to see all that effort wasted.

 Spinning with a drop spindle was nice, but I wanted a wheel . Another trip to sell wool and an Ashford Traveller followed me home. I learned to spin mostly on my own, with a little help from the Mother of one of our friends.  Now my herd of spinning wheels has grown to 5 wood wheels and one electric Babe made of PVC pipe. I spend my days and nights knitting, crocheting, designing patterns like the purse I designed for the 2008 edition of Interweave Felts which uses UNSPUN ROVING

I haunt the thrift store in my local town to find unusual toys to use to make small scrumbles. Broomstick lace, hairpin lace, small weave it type looms, potholder looms, small table looms, knittng nancy looms,  all make it into a free form afghan.

I love yarn and color, so for me playing with a bunch of fiber toys and dying yarn and fiber is a joy.

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