Speaking to Potomac Fiber Arts Guild Sat 3/12 & Fiber Farmers Market Sun 3/13

by Gretchen Frederick March 03, 2016

Speaking to Potomac Fiber Arts Guild Sat 3/12 & Fiber Farmers Market Sun 3/13

Jeepers peepers...spring is exploding so early.

I wonder how many spring peepers and wood frogs are in our little pond? Bet its thousands. Solitude is positively vibrating with singing and frolicing. I wish I could put sound into this email...it hurts it's so loud (but thrilling). See the honey bee getting a drink...and the wolf spider and another spider too?Masses of frog eggs are accumulating.

Yesterday, along the road to our warehouse, I found these last bits of snow. They are so doomed.
Sue crutched her pregnant ewes yesterday afternoon (clipping the back end and udders in preparation for lambing). I've got hired help arriving this morning to work outside with me in hopes of getting ahead for once.
Welcome Spring!
But this weekend it might be rainy, so come see us!
Saturday Sue and I will be speaking to the Potomac Fiber Arts Guild at their monthly meeting in Potomac, MD at the St. James Episcopal Church (directions here). A short business meeting starts at 10, we start at 10:30 and will have yarn and fiber there for sale after the talk. The meeting is open to the public.
We are telling stories of how we each got into farming...how we discovered we were both thinking the same thing which led to the birth of Solitude Wool ten years ago and where we are today. Then sheep and wool stories of the small farms they come from, the process from sheep to label and yarn design and structure. It will be our first "projector" show...fingers crossed.
Sunday is the Fiber Farmers Market in a new location
One of our favorite events! Spinners especially, this is a great opportunity to tap into your local fibershed...but all fiber folks will find local artisans and producers to make your work special. Due to the Vienna Community center renovation, it is in a new location: Patriot Hall, 330 Center Street, North, Vienna, VA 22180. Do come! Hours are 1:00 to 5:00.
Are you a weaver? Would you like to be?
Do you have daydreams of being a weaver? You can do it! There are at least three places to take weaving classes in our area: Barefoot Weavers Studio out here in Purcellville, VA; The Art League in Alexandria, VA and the very new Red Stone Glen Fiber Center in York Haven, Pennsylvania. There are books, but I would recommend taking a class to get a solid start. Post note: got an email from Kristen Hughes about places in Richmond, VA to learn to weave: City of Richmond's Pine Camp (http://www.ci.richmond.va.us/parks/programmingArt.aspx), and the Visual Arts Center of Richmond (visarts.org)
We are excited to be doing two events that are weaving centered: the Conference of Northern California Handweaversin Modesto, CA in early April and, this summer, Convergence, the national conference of handweavers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Weaving from Solitude Wool

So, we have enlisted good friends who just happen to also be quite good weavers to create some samples to show off our yarns. This is the first in: a baby blanket in our Montadale light yarnwoven by Sandy Lund. It is just lovely and feels so cozy. I want a full size blanket for me. Sandy wove two small blankets so we could demonstrate that because we added a bit of nylon to this yarn...it is machine washable. The second folded blanket in the photo has been through the machine on a regular cycle, warm water and then thrown in the dryer on regular. It is softer, and the lovely basket weave is a little less pronounced, but it probably works even better this way for a baby.
The pattern is from Tom Knisley's Handwoven Baby Blankets book, and you could weave one blanket a little larger than Sandy's samples with the 1.5 pound cone. I'll have the blanket this weekend for show.

Handwashed blanket
this is the handwashed blanket

Machine Washed and Dryed Blanket
this is the machine washed and dryed blanket

Thank you for reading all this.
Hope you have an opportunity to soak up some spring this week.

Gretchen Frederick
Gretchen Frederick


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