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 Norway! Yes. S'all i really got to say. What a great trip and great workshop and great show! More later, but for now i'm just going to post some fuzzy iphone pics of the gallery installation. The Giant Skein looked great!! thanks everyone. i plastered the walls with all the statements and that was wonderful to see the whole conversation happening. some made me cry! many made me laugh, one or two made me blush. i ended up cutting the tags off the giant skein because when it sat there next to the wall of statements it looked a bit like the shoulder of a California freeway circa 1972....littered. Some of the tags had fallen off or got rained on in the process anyhow and then ultimately i realized that the real power within this skein is how it represents the whole, it is it's own thing now and complete without all the individual references. (but don't worry contributors! there is a list of credits on the wall and of course....your own words. ) The thing was huge but once i got it up i wanted to see it even bigger! So I have decided to do this again next year and just add new yarns to this one. So if you missed out this time....

For my individual yarns i strung them up on the wall in different designs and this is now my new favorite thing!! I want to install all my yarn into spaces like this. I did have a few skeins hanging as-is as well...to show them as traditional yarn (whereas the installed ones transform to art.)

Thanks to Ola Bruvik (my borrowed assistant for the week who otherwise is a member of the best norwegian band EVER: Yo Yo Yo Alcapulco) who took my random video of the skein-making and some yarn photos and edited it into the coolest weird yarn video with a stunning ambient soundtrack of Creedence, John Prine, Merle Haggard and Mickey Avalon.  Thanks to the video all the ladies of Lillehammer wanted to know "who's the man in the green pants?". Don't we all want to know..... 

There were a couple of newspaper article about the upcoming show the most notable of which had a slightly mistranslated headline from something which i'm sure i was capable of saying and it had a big picture of me and the statement "LOVER FROM A PAST LIFE". I'm not sure if people knew exactly what that meant but i'm pretty sure it's why there was such a turnout at the opening. 

What a wonderful experience it was and i have to give some HUGE THANKS to all y'all:
Eirik and Tove for hosting me, organizing evreything, making the connections and always having a cold beer in the fridge. yer the best!!!! 
Ola- for your artist's eye, all the help and the Norwegian Lessons! 
Johan- For the show. Thanks! and I think i owe you 645 nail holes x $2 each is...well and with the exchange rate...er.. i'll catch you next time. 

and TO ALL THE BIG SKEIN SPINNERS!! it was all about the great work from the spinning universe...

BACK TO WORK.....Ahhh. the nitty gritty. Ok, coming down the pike:

The AURA Wheel from Majacraft!
For sale on my website soon!! like...today, or tomorrow!
I even re-made my website! Check it out

Registration is Open on the CAMPS PAGE.
Sept 18th and 19th

Watch your step Ola!

This one started out as an "explosion shape " and ended up looking like a cartoon "pow!" once it got to the other wall.

The cement-mixer yarn.


Some tailspun i spun in norway from beautiful locks i got from Susan's Fiber at the MD show.

Statements! (just some of them!)

This is not as easy as it looks...

Aura yarn.

My steel-wool bag and the yarn coming out from the corner, across the ceiling and onto this wall and around the corner.

People looking for a lover from a past life.

28 April 2010 @ 02:34 pm
Lynne Stallone

Cindy Hahn

Michelle Harrara

Julie Demar

Melissa Ricks

Thanks so much everyone for participating in the raffle!! It was a great help! Winners i will put your reciepts on file and when you see a class you want to join just let me know! 

Don't forget about Maryland! Join Glynis Poad of Majacraft and me for:

AURA Wheel Demonstrations! Come and chat, spin, hang out, say hi!
Saturday May 1st:
Yarn Barn - from 10.30am – Main Hall - D 08,09,10
Susan’s Fiber from 2.30pm - Building 2- 07,09,11

Sunday May 2nd:
Carolina Homespun from 10.30 am – Main Hall - C 24
Misty Mountain Farm from 2.30pm– Outside South - S 4

Going to MDSW? You should!!! Majacraft and I will be releasing our new amazing co-creation The AURA Wheel. Finally, a wheel that you don't have to wrestle, coerce, beg, bribe or take a power drill to in order to spin creative yarns. Not an art-yarn spinner? Try it anyhow, this wheel is designed to do EVERYTHING from laceweight to uber-shaggy tailspun boas without changing the head, bobbins or flyer to do so! and like all Majacraft wheels, it is beautifully engineered and spins like a dream. Glynis and Owen Poad, owners of Majacraft and I will be at the following booths demonstrating the wheel. Come take AURA for a spin! 

AURA Wheel Demonstrations! Come and chat, spin, hang out, say hi!
Saturday May 1st:
Yarn Barn - from 10.30am – Main Hall - D 08,09,10
Susan’s Fiber from 2.30pm -  Building 2- 07,09,11

Sunday May 2nd:
Carolina Homespun from 10.30 am – Main Hall - C 24
Misty Mountain Farm from 2.30pm–  Outside South - S 4

 These and many other pressing questions will be answered this week as I prepare for a visit from Glynis and Owen Poad, owners of Majacraft. And i'm not just dropping names here. No by this point we not only have business-relations but we have friend-relations, and the friend part is going to come in handy when they see what shenanigans i have in store for them. lots of people, singing, yelling, food flying, driving with as many people in the car as possible, wine, sunburns and no....it's not a frat party, it's my life with children. There will be three kiwi's, me, two kids and whatever other familial stragglers want to get on board for four days of touring, wine tasting, fishing and historic-sightseeing before we (sans kids) get on a plane and head out to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Fest to introduce our new amazing AURA WHEEL. My main thought here as a good california hostess (after what wine to pour them first) is "how am i going to fit them all in my Beetle"? I started working it out, clearly Glynis gets the passenger seat, and their sister could maybe squeeze between the two car seats and owen could drive and i could get in the trunk with the luggage....and no wait, owen drives on the English side of the road, that's not going to go over well in San Francisco...". I was beginning to lament and look into racks and trailors when i got a very mysterious text from my Swiss cousin Marco stating "can you get to LA tomorrow I have something I want to give you before me and the team fly home.". (i live in placerville, 8 hours from LA....so...NO). [BACKGROUND: Marco is the coach for the Swiss Olympic Snowboard Team and had been in country training the team in Colorado.] He asked if i had any friends in LA that could receive "It". I just happen to have a lieutenant down there and so....intrigued...i called him. "Lieutenant you have a mission! a strange foreigner will contact you, you will meet him and recieve a package. take this package and any other gifts he offers (i would try for a fifth of whisky and a bag of taco's if i were you). then you will report back to me. do you accept?". i can't remember exactly what the lieutenant said but i think it was something like "HELL YES". So calls were made and clandestine meetings under cover of smog were had and the lieutenant reported only that "it's unbelievable.... amazing. no words can describe...." and so he sent me this:

Isn't she a beauty?! yes. yes it's true. i have been given a FREE SUBURBAN. It truly is amazing. It seats 15 comfortably (two sleeping) and came with three snowboards, a longboard, a helmet and crutches. It has a perfect skunk stripe of rust down the roof and gets BOTH AM and FM stations. Apparently instead of using the Swiss Olympic organization's stipend for "transportation expenses" (aka rental car) Marco decided to outright purchase The Beast, heretofor known as the Swiss Olympic Snowboard Team Tour Bus. And now it's all mine. Thank you marco!! Clearly there is enough residual long-hair-boy-athlete mojo left in this thing to ensure a decent adventure for my Zew Zealand associates. And though some of you might be getting a bit concerned for our dear Poads, i'm not. I do recall a brushy off road adventure with a very interested glider pilot instigated by Owen....

Hmmm....wonder which one of these Glynis could use... (note the superman stencil on the door)

COME SEE THE AURA at the MD Fest!! I will post the demo times in a day or two.

In other news: WHO'S YARN IS THIS?? I used it to tie off the giant skein and somehow lost the tag. please email me or just use the comment button. i will make you a new card, cute i promise. 

What up earth? Didn't you get the memo? NO SPEWING VOLCANIC ASH INTO THE JET STREAM BEFORE NORWAY. Audry! Fax that shit to corporate. I mean, seriously people. What is this world coming to? Better not be fire and brimstone just yet. Next month? bring it. i live in Hangtown on the safe side of the san andreas fault. so when everything goes down at least i'll have ocean front property. So i wait. Hopefully all will be clear by the time i leave in two weeks. but what's most fretful here is the the GIANT SKEIN is trapped by the volcano as we speak! where is that big beautiful thing? who knows. Washington? London? getting jumbled up with the millions of other packages backing up in UPS wharehouses? Waiting for a train, a plane, a goat-cart? Where are you my beauty??!!! I hear nothing. Just slightly less tragic than the fact that the skein is waylaid is the fact that UPS charged me $700 to ship it. Which i don't have, but which is being billed and so i got's to do something quick. so i got an idea!

FUNDRAISER! Send That BadBoy to Norway! (or keep me from the poor house. have you seen those UPS guys? i think they can break fingers.)
I am raffling off spots in my spinning workshops for a $5 ticket! Class tuition is usually around $200. I will draw 5 tickets at the end of the auction on April 28th. If your name is drawn you will get a spot in any workshop that comes near you. Note: i am scheduling new classes all the time all around the world but if you don't want to wait you can come to me for private lessons (in Placerville CA) or i will reemburse your $5. You can buy as many tickets as you want, your name will go into the drawing for each purchase.

Get yer molten hot RAFFLE TICKETS HERE

(in case that link don't work cause LJ has been weird cut and paste this:)  http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=300419140480&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT#ht_528wt_909

Other than these minor catastophic goings-on's there has been other rumblings on the mount. mostly caused by my new GIGANTIC CEMENT MIXER SPINDLE! um yes. i have the raddest brother ever with a welding rod because i asked for a little old spindle and i got this:

It has magical powers! as you can clearly see my brother creating the force-orb that will power the creation.

LET IT BEGIN! I used some cargo rope and electrical tape to start the lead. Now i'm adding some fiber to the twist. Then i got so distracted i didn't take anymore photos of the yarn! but you can watch the video on youtube: Cement Mixer Spindle   and    More Madness! (these videos are silly...i need to learn how to edit).

09 April 2010 @ 02:37 pm
As with every technical field there is the inevitable development of it's own specific vocabulary. And so it is in the exciting new field of giant skein making. as i'm sure that this will be something that many people will want to try at home let's have a brief lesson in some of the terminology of the trade so that when the migrant crews of giant yarn winders come into town for the skeining season there will be no confusion or miscommunication that could lead to serious injury or death. (we had a very close call with Gavin silking the big bull clockwise instead of counter clockwise....sorry 'bout the ankle Gavin!). Note: it's a good idea to always have a sports doctor on hand while skeining. Pens ready?
here we go:

Limper: (noun) The person who walks the yarn around the track. Used most often in a limpers early attempts at skeining. A beginner. 
     adj: Limping. Gavin was limping the skein when his ankle gave out.

Flowing the Line: (verb)Taking the yarn around the track and laying it into the skein with ease and speed. Advanced limping. Refers to a limper who has found the kinetic  flow of the yarn and winds with graceful, almost trancendant, movement.

Bag: (verb)
inflected form(s): Bagged; Bag-ging
slang: Tea-bagging (root: Old Hangtown; used to be particularly insulting.)
A yarn section that tends to droop, sink or settle from loss of tautness. To droop as a result of poor limping. Jesus Dan, you really bagged that slub on that last turn.

The Bull (noun): Any large, rounded, sturdy form that functions as the anchor points of a skeins armature. Traditionally an armiture has two Bulls and several smaller supports in between. 

Minding the Bull: an idiomatic expression meaning to pay close attention when rounding the corners of a skeins armature. Being mindful not to tangle threads or stub ones toe into the Bull. Mindy yelled; Mind the Bull! Just as Josh, limping backwards and talking to spectators, stumbled into it.

Barrel (noun): Any smaller than a Bull rounded form used to support the weight of the skein in between the Bulls.

Silking the Barrel (verb): The act of doing either a clockwise or counter-clockwise turn while simultaneously laying a yarn down on the skein. Used sometimes as embellishment, as in a fancy but not-necessary dance move. but most often used at the mid-point of a large armature when it becomes easier to limp backwards facing the origin or the yarn one is holding. Dan's training as a boot scootin' two-stepper was apparent when he was silking the barrel.

Post (noun): The person who stand near the swift and keep the yarn supported. Function; to keep the yarn off the ground. To aid the limper in clearing the Bulls.
inflected form(s);Posting (verb): The act of standing with one's hand aloft, supporting the yarn that is being flowed.

V-Tipping (verb): Holding one's index and middle fingers apart forming a V that acts as a guide for the flowing yarn. Performed by the Post.

Yikky (noun): Flesh burn cause by rapidly flowing yarn. Occurs most often when silking the barrel at the end of a yarn when the un-posted slack wraps around the limper's neck, causing a flesh wound.  John got a nasty yikky when the tag got caught on his coller just as he rounded the Bull.

Scrogging the Swift (verb): Loading an individual skein onto the swift in preparation for flowing.

Jumping the Bunny (verb): locating the loose end of a yarn that has just been scrogged. 

Sit the Swift (verb): To monitor a swift in motion. To attend to a swift with the purpose of ensuring efficient unloading. Jordan had to sit the swift in case any slubbies got tangled on the doll heads. 

For more information on Giant Skein Vocabulary please see the resource on youtube entitled "The Vocabulary of Giant Skein Making", Boeger, 2010 Pluckyfluff et al, courtesy of Hangtown Productions

Now Open for Enrollment on the Camps Page:

June 19-20

Ashville, NC
at the Folk Art Center
July 10-11th
hosted by Esther, Jazzturtle Creations
07 April 2010 @ 07:24 pm
 and im too exhausted to write. one week of very little sleep, walking the line in the middle of the day, in the middle of the night, to bonfires and snowdrifts, blazing heat, warm beer, naysayers and soothsayers, and four AMAZING crews who relentlessly limped the barrels and flowed the line UNTIL IT WAS DONE. All 10.5 miles of it.


That's right. 10 and a half MILES. the boys counted it....three times. More words and video soon. i'm going to eat then sleep.
'Cause at this point i might need divine intervention. My forklift/swift needs to be moved because I HAVE TO BUILD ANOTHER ARMATURE TWICE AS BIG and i'm running out of space.  what? oh yes, you heard me. ANOTHER ONE. BIGGER. Because yes once again i have underestimated the grow power of yarn. and now it is truely truely huge. and it needs to get in the mail monday. and it needs to be out of the way of the winery crew come monday. and i have a third left to do. and it's going to rain...again. 


Why use an office chair when you could use a forklift? this is what happens when art meets agriculture. 

Transferring (yet again) all the progress thus far off of one armature onto a bigger one. i ani'y doin' this again n'more!

See This Vidio on YOUTUBE under Pluckyfluff
 Did you hear? It's GIANT-SKEIN-WINDING  week!! people everywhere are....well...probably sleeping in and thinking about weather they are going to watch the project runway marathon or not. but other people everywhere (me!) are getting up and making a GIANT SKEIN! well...that was/still is the plan. it all started friday night when i sat in the crows nest (my office) and looked at the not-really-that-big pile of packages of yarn sent in for the giant skein project and sipped a glass of wine and confidently assessed that i could get up saturday morning and open all the packages, record the names and wind them up into what would not be as big of a skein as i'd hoped but totally cool none-the-less. so i did what any reasonable giant skein maker would do and went out playing bad pool and eating over fried food at Denny's. and though this decision was not helpful physically at 8 in the morning when i went to get up for my project, it was helpful as a bit of a reality check. because while laying there cursing main street and budwieser i actually realized that maybe...just maybe... i might need a little help. so where did i turn? facebook! thank god Jenny Neutron Star heard my wimpering cries stuggling out from under the oppression of my underestimation. by 9:00 i had the assurance that she would be there in time for brunch-snaks. and she were! so saturday went a bit like this: wake up and freak out. talk to jenny, calm down, get coffee. brush teeth. put on business underwear. meet jenny in the winery, stake out territory (ALL of the winery). unpack hundreds of packages, read statements,data-entry. beer snack. make amazing office-chair-swift-winding-apparatus with scrap wood and duck-tape. feel proud. stage yarns on wine palate/worktable. breathe in with deep satisfaction. call it a day at 8pm! feel assured that all these (tightly wrapped) little skeins can be wound in the morning. go out to dinner. go out on the town. 

recording of the names: thanks jenny!

oh come on, you know old-school is hot. check out the duct-tape on that bad boy....

poised and ready:

i am going to interject on myself here (if i may) that at some point in the going-out-on-the-town with jenny part of the story,(i apologize for all the hyphens and parenthesis, except not really, cause that's the mood im in tonight),  we had some very valuable (if subconcious) insight. and that was; that we might need to get some recruits to help us with this project. so round about 12:30 (in the a.m.) we started throwing it out about the rad yarn project and all and there were a few very interested volunteers and so the seeds of the giant skein yarn gang were formed. 

WATCH THE VIDIO HERE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXUvQzWKFjc

skip ahead to sunday morning. oh it all started out just fine. we decided to use the nice giant plastic wine vats to wrap the yarn around. we looked at the yarn pile, we looked at the vats. we looked at the yarn, the vats, the sky. we listened to the wind. the wind said nothin'. we decided there wasn't a huge amount of yarn. we used two vats put them 5 feet apart and started winding. and that's where the "Process" began......

Our Lovely volunteers Rob and Justin!! (PS rob gimme my hat back!) Thanks Guys!! what's that you say? oh, that's 'handspun'. what? oh yes, it IS rad....we know...

Notice the very sad face and weighted posture of Jenny. yes, thats because we just broached the question (after looking at our progress after maybe....oh...1/10th of the yarns and realizing that this skein was already at a finished proportion. which in laymen's terms means: we made it too short!!!! if we put all the yarns on it will be a giant fatty-stubby skein and that would be ...well, just wrong. The problem this whole time has been that yarn GROWS. i know this, i totally underestimated!...what to do?

Take it off. move the tanks apart. start over. 

with a bit of recalculation we got the scale right. i havent measured it yet but i'm thinking this circumference is around 50 feet. and in this pic we have about 1/4 of the yarn on. unfortunately what you can't see in this pic is a looming storm up in the sky and a forecast for snow and the highest winds of the year. i probably have 2 full days of winding left to do. yay! i love the Process! 


To be continued.....
 Balls of roving that is. Got old balls of roving you can't stand anymore? Slightly felted? Dusty? I want them! I'll even pay for them! (sort of). I am moving into Phase II of the big Lillehammer Project and I need a S*-ton of fiber to spin a skein as big as a human body. And i want it FAT! I'm talking strands as fat as your arm. Originally i was resurrecting my old hair-brained scheme of turning my '64 Scout pick-up truck into a motor driven spindle by welding a giant spindle onto the rear axle. I ran this plot by my brother who's good with concept like "axle" and "welding" and he asked if anyone besides me were going to be involved and I said "yes" and he said "no way, it's a disaster waiting to happen and someone will lose an arm and that'd be ok if it were just your arm since you wouldn't sue your own brother...but..". So he went away. but then he came back with a little sketch and said he could make a 5-foot long spindle with a motor it just can't be attached to a half ton vintage pickup truck on jacks. i said 'fine'. i don't usually like to compromise my vision, even in the interest of saving limbs, but you can see what i have to work with here. SO. The brother is welding and ordering parts. he assures me the thing will be ready next week. to i replied "aw hell!". i don't have any fiber. why don't i have any fiber? well...i do but it is pretty much strewn from california to new zealand to england and all i have left is what i managed to check into baggage from Bristol. so i'm sounding the call for.....

any color. any type. (MUST BE WASHED THOUGH....nothing raw) 
Roving form is best but fleece or whatever i can deal with it. 
I will buy it and pay for shipping but i'm on an extreme budget. i need a total of like..... 100lbs of fiber to make it body-sized. so, yeah , doing the math ain't pretty.

Got Fiber? email me at handspunrevolution@gmail.com with the quantity and price and brief description. if i can use it send me a paypal invoice. can't send checks or anything like that...paypal only.  THANKS GUYS!!

Schematics are cool.

He uses words like 'Flange'. This inspires confidence. I don't know what a flange is.....

ok it's a weird pic but you get what i'm saying....