field trip! Lavender Fleece Farm

Last weekend I took a field trip with the Isabella Fiber Arts Guild to Lavender Fleece Farm, which is located just outside Midland, MI (about an hour from home).

It was a gorgeous day – the first really lovely weekend day we’ve had in April this year. Lavender Fleece Farm‘s proprietor showed us around despite the fact that she was also helping a ewe through a difficult birth that morning! We saw lots of adorbs sheep and lambs, perused the farm shop, and learned a lot about both sheep and lavender. We also went down the road to the Heritage Flock Fiber Mill and learned about the services available there. I also happened to run into one of Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue’s amazing volunteers (who was there as a customer of the Fiber Mill) and we had a lovely chat about our pooches. More pics on flickr!

Ewes and lambs at Lavender Fleece Farm

Fleece at Lavender Fleece Farm

In addition to some yarn (which I justified by making plans to use it for knitting gifts) I also picked up a lovely lavender bowl (she also makes pottery!):

Lavender Fleece Farm bowl

Such a lovely, fun day!

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creativity looming

Have you heard? There’s a new fiber group in town! The Isabella Fiber Arts Guild, which meets the second Thursday of the month in Mount Pleasant. We’ve been meeting for a few months and the group is growing – if you haven’t been but want to join, you’d be very welcome! The members of this group have a wide variety of talents: knit, crochet, weaving, and more I’m forgetting at the moment, I’m sure.

Isabella Fiber Arts Guild January meeting - table looms

Each month we focus on a particular skill or technique or topic, and this month the demonstration was on table looms. Several members brought their table looms to show how they work and let everyone have a chance at trying them out.

Isabella Fiber Arts Guild January meeting - table looms

This is a rigid heddle loom. Isn’t it cute? I love that it’s so portable and can be used on a stand like this or just set on a table or even used on your lap if you have something to balance it on.

Isabella Fiber Arts Guild January meeting - table looms

These are assorted other types of table looms. I remember making a table loom (though I used it leaned up against the wall most of the time) when I took a weaving class in undergrad. (My major was English and Secondary Education, but weaving counted as some kind of general requirement. If I were going to school now, I’d be all about the art/making classes!) We also got to use the big floor looms in that class – I was sad to hear from someone at the IFAG meeting that CMU has apparently gotten rid of all of their floor looms. Those things were so cool! I feel lucky that I got to use one in that class. The table loom I made was basically a square frame formed by four pieces of wood, with a ton of tiny nails along the top and bottom on which I strung the warp. I remember that we had our choice of yarns to use from the cupboard in class – it was a huge cupboard with giant cones of all sorts and colors of fiber. It felt like a treasure chest!

At our next meeting we are going to be cold dyeing! I’ve never done this before and I’m quite excited to try it!

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