Raven Ridge Fiber Arts is a one-woman business based in Western Montana that creates high quality, hand-dyed fiber and yarns in colors inspired by Montana landscapes. In addition, I create one-of-a-kind hand-spun, hand-painted, and hand-knit wearable art that showcases the textures and colors unique to hand painted and handspun yarns.
Created on Sunday, April 19 2015
Recently, I have been dismayed to hear people claiming that shearing is cruel. These people, I assume with the best intentions, want us to stop using wool to spare sheep this supposedly cruel process. A certain animal rights organization has posted photos on Facebook showing a grotesquely mangled lamb, which they claim is the result of shearing. My blog post here shows how we shear sheep, and I think it is quite typical of shearing on small farms.
My friends Sharon and Will (River Run Weaving) asked our spinning group to help with the shearing of their small flock (12) of sheep on April 14. Leroy was the shearer. He has been shearing for many years, and he does a fine job of it.
Created on Monday, March 30 2015
In which there is a Fiber Festival, a birthday, car trouble, and a happy ending!
What a great trip to the Log Cabin Spin In, Post Falls, Idaho, this past weekend! My friend Laura M. went with me, and we sure are a smooth team putting up and taking down the booth, as well as helping all the friendly folks who stop by the booth. Below is my booth, all set up, with new banners, all the yarn in place, lights on, waiting for the show to open. I loved seeing so many old friends and meeting new people. Thanks to all who stopped by!
Created on Wednesday, February 25 2015
I frequently wash and block something I am knitting while it is still on the needles. I do this when I am concerned about how my project is coming out. Something doesn't look right, and I don't want to go farther until I am reassured that all is OK.
My Catkin Shawl was a good example. The 'corners' of this shawl use lots of slip stitches to create the graphic stripes. The 3 corners looked a bit weird on the needles, but once I started binding off, I realized that they were curling and twisting oddly. The image below shows the shawl unblocked, still on the needles (see them on the right?).
I'm just back from the Trailing of the Sheep Festival held in Sun Valley, ID this past weekend. It was as glorious as it was last year, so I took lots of pics. This first picture shows the sheep after they participated in the parade down Main St., Ketchum.
I am just back from a wonderful weekend knitting retreat put on by A Grand Yarn, yarn shop in Spokane, WA, that specializes in Indy Dyers - pretty great, eh! I was invited to give a presentation about dyeing, photography, and nature as part of several hands-on dyeing activities they had planned.
The retreat was held in Whitefish, MT, and the weather was perfect! I gave my powerpoint presentation in the morning, and in the afternoon we went to the back yard of the lovely Good Medicine Lodge for our dye activities. The mountains watched over us.
I belong to a wonderful group of fiber artists who meet every Thursday. A few weeks ago, we met at Libby's house. Libby lives in a small valley in the Sapphire Mountains. She has no electricity and a long dirt road off the main highway. And she has Cashmere goats, and a loyal livestock guard dog.
Created on Sunday, July 27 2014
Last week, Charlie and I hiked up to Sperry Chalet in Glacier National Park. The Chalet is accessible only by hiking or on horseback. We climbed 3300 feet over 6.7 miles, starting at Lake McDonald. It was stenuous and glorious, and the glass of lemonade provided when we got to the top tasted like nectar, and made me feel like this:
Created on Tuesday, April 01 2014
The Log Cabin Spin In, held at the end of March in Post Falls, Idaho, is one of my favorite fiber events. This was my 4th year as a vendor, and it was every bit as much fun as I had anticipated. My friends Laura M. and Margie N. went with me, and we spent much of the time laughing. The Log Cabin Spinning Guild has been hosting this event for 24 years, and their organization and experience made for a smooth, problem free, and welcoming experience for vendors and participants alike.
There were so many busy spinners that it was hard to move through the crowd.
In my last post (The Dyeing Process, Part 1), I showed how I dyed the yarn and fiber and wrapped it for steaming. The photos below show the next steps.
Here is the yarn (brown) and spinning fiber (green) after it has steamed, then left to cool overnight. It is now ready to unwrap and rinse.Read more...
Created on Monday, July 29 2013
Here is a guided tour of how I dye yarn and fiber.
The yarns and fibers are ready to dye. Each has a plastic tie color coded by yarn/fiber base (blue is Lambent). Combed tops are in mesh bags to protect them during soaking. Zane is there because otherwise this might be a kind of boring picture, and since he is my shadow, he is always there.Read more...