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EAIA Fiber Interest Group

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

It has been three months since we had our first EAIA Fiber Interest group meeting. It was great to see such an enthusiastic group of fiber artists. Summer has been very busy but I have managed to get some weaving, dyeing, and spinning done. Speaking of spinning there is a fun project that has been brewing since our stay at Pleasant Hill Shaker Village that you might be interested in.

Three cloth bags of wool.

One of the nice things about our annual meetings is we get to meet other EAIA members. My husband and I were staying in the West Family Dwelling. So were several other folks from all over. Gwenn and Pat Lasswell and Dianne and were staying there as well. Gwenn was knitting, I was spinning some of Gwenn's Jacob fleece and Dianne was putting a puzzle together. Soon the three of us were chatting about this and that. Dianne was curious about my spinning on my new wheel. Soon told us about how she had several Shetland cross sheep on her farm in Pensalvaina. She explained that she had sheared the sheep in the spring and had all of this wool. Of course, being the teacher in me, I said..." well you need to learn to spin." Diane said she was not interested in learning to spin, but would I like to have the fleece ? I said ......Sure!

About three weeks later I hear a honking outside my house. My mail lady was calling me out to her car and said, you have mail!. Oh yes, I did, three bags full. Big cloth bags crammed full of wool. Oh my, I was thinking a small box of wool that I could wash and card in no time. Well, this was 13 1/2 pounds of mostly white wool. That is quite a lot of wool for one spinner ( me ) to skirt, wash, pick and card, let alone to spin. What was I going to do with all of this wool? I got it! I will talk to my "fiber partner in crime" Gwenn Lasswell.

The once 13 1/2 pound of dirty wool is now about 9 1/2 pounds of clean wool.

The once 13 1/2 pound of dirty wool is now about 9 1/2 pounds of clean wool.

Gwenn listened as I told her about the wool that Dianne had sent me. I also said that the wool needed to be skirted, washed and at least picked so that it would be spun. I then told her about my idea for part of this wool. Why not have a group fiber project. Dianne has donated the wool, I have it professionally cleaned and will spin a portion of it and Gwenn will spin additional yarns from this wool. After the wool is spun, Gwenn will knit a hat and I will weave a scarf. Then both pieces will be donated at our next EAIA Annual Meeting Silent Auction.

Spinning all week!

Spinning all week!

I started spinning my portion of wool last month when I accompanied my husband Ron on a trip. Ron took a week long advanced blacksmithing class and I just spent my time spinning on the wool project.

I am not sure if I am going to dye my yarn yet, but if I do I will most likely use natural dyes. All white is nice, but I sure do like more color in my life. Not sure what Gwenn is going to knit with her contribution of spun wool, but I bet it will be wonderful.

There is still almost 8 months till the next EAIA Annual Meeting. I hope sharing this blog post will peak your interest about our little adventure. It might make you more incline to come and join in on the fun at the annual meeting and better yet come and bid on these two hand-made fiber items. Hey get busy other members and try to work up a fun collaborative project for the silent auction. It really can be fun!!!

--Pam Howard


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