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 Friday, January 22 2016
I want to share with you a story that makes me happy everytime I think of it. It shows how the wonderful people in our fiber community work together, and create beautiful things.
Let me start with my local yarn shop, Joseph's Coat, in Missoula, Montana. The owner, Janet Sullivan, has supported my little indy dye business from the very beginning. I am so grateful for her help and support. In her honor, the image on my Retail Shops webpage is from her shop, and I reposting it here. My yarns are hanging at the front of on the right.
In September, 2015, I got a lovely email from Candis C., saying: "I’m a Montanan who moved to San Diego years ago, but I always feel as though I’ve come home when I return to Montana to visit. On a recent visit, I discovered your yarn in Joseph’s Coat in Missoula. I actually made two separate trips to Missoula to buy more yarn because I fell in love with your colors based on local landscapes and the incredible feel of the fibers you use. I only bought seven of the colors and now I’m regretting that I didn’t get one of each – I like them that much."
As if that were not wonderful enough, she went on to say: "We had our annual Yarn Crawl in San Diego this past weekend and I talked up your yarn to one of the shop owners who will probably be contacting you. I would like so much to have your yarns available locally. The shop is Yarning for You in San Marcos." A few days later, I got a call from Lynn K. from Yarning for You, saying that they wanted to carry my yarn, and that they would like to feature me as Indy Dyer of the Month in their shop! To say I was thrilled, would be an understatement.Read more...
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...