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Welcome to Esther's Blog

The World According to Esther

Lake Coast fun at Michigan Fiber Festival

It was so much fun returning to my beloved Lake Michigan coast for the Michigan Fiber Festival, last month.  Though I may be on the other side of The Lake from Sweet Home Chicago, the Midwest love didn’t fail.

I was really excited to be teaching 4 days at the festival, and I even had an afternoon to shop!  This was my first time at Michigan Fiber Fest and I wasn’t disappointed! There’s good food, and a wonderful selection of vendors! There is PLENTY of yummy fleece (I bought TEN even though I wasn’t going to buy any) and that was all from booths..  there’s even a fleece show that I didn’t hit, and a barn full of animals!

The first 2 days were full day classes- first my creative spinning to weave class. We worked through lots of techniques including textural plying and corespinning on wire and elastic! We were so lucky to have spinables from some amazing artists- hand dyed tops from Happy Fuzzy Yarn, Rainbow batts from Uniquely Yours Fiber and beautiful wensleydale locks from Wild Lily Artisan Fibers
11816176_10205844882459743_7479840887983095342_o(1)I love this class because we explore how texture works in different weaving techniques.  I love to bring in my favorite woven sample with some crazy yarns to show how bold you can be when working with the loom.
_SNJ9472The second day was spent immersed in all things art yarn. We corespun, added sequins, beads, beehives and plied to ply and ply again!  Orifices were challenged, as well as the temperature. We spun through the sticky heat, and prevailed!   That day our spinnables were yummy art batts from Little Bird Fibers, as well as hand dyed tops from Created by Elise, as well as more locks from Wild Lily Artisan Fibers
11888606_10205853186587341_2349212618466073389_o11834882_10205856006217830_3830199395724266090_o11888603_10205856005617815_1723638096998224441_oI have been working on a lot of writing and samples, but I was so lucky to have Jillian Moreno in my Thursday class (yes THE Jillian Moreno from KnittySpin and PLY Magazine and Craftsy class instructor and Interweave video author.. NO PRESSURE, right?!)  It’s fun to have colleagues in classes, and I know how much I love to actually take a class when I have time. She had dragged Beth Smith along to the fest (kicking and screaming I’m, sure..) and we relished in a couple hours of downtime after the full day!
11891876_10205855884054776_1338646718792811972_oMy third day of teaching was split into 2 classes. In the morning I taught one of my new classes, that is also a favorite- Unconventional Materials Challenge and other party games.  In this class we really reach outside our comfort zones and push the limits! We play a number of games that encourages the use of new techniques, as well as going outside of color comfort.  I was beyond excited to see my amazing friend, Sara Norine,  from Florida, who also happens to be one of the most incredible photographers I know.   She got some amazing shots of what we were spinning in class.

We used the luscious rainbow batts from Uniquely Yours fiber, along with some awesome chevoit hand dyed top from Curly C’Ewes fiber.
The afternoon was spent enjoying the weather and exploring color theory. We had a wonderful time playing with hues and saturation, and building colorwheels.
11896484_10205860681574711_2848100985735538813_oMy final morning teaching was spent with all the in’s and outs of tailspinning. We went on a field trip to the barn and met the goats who’s mohair we spun.  We talked about breeds and curls. We spun locks more than 4 different ways!!   Our curls came from Bitter Buffalo fiberworks, Stack a Rock Ranch, Wild Lily Artisan Fibers
along with hand dyed top from Happy Fuzzy Yarn!
11906800_10205863736851091_2989026484589568812_oWe lockspun, tailspun, spun with one and 2 cores.. we SPUN ALL THE LOCKS!!
The rest of my afternoon was spent peeking into vendor stalls and trying not to come home with all the fleeces and yarn.  and I got to spend the afternoon with an old Bestie, that I don’t see enough since she moved to Chicago. For those of you who’ve been reading my blog for a few years, know Renee and I have had some crazy fiber adventures.. usually involving food and stuffing the car as full of fiber as we can..
11856545_10205865234528532_7072190772320236108_oLike old times we split the most beautiful 9lb grey wensleydale/bfl fleece. Then it was time to head home- had to keep pumping out the content for #epicthings that I have been working so hard on (more on that in the next post!!)   I’ve got a handful of spots left in my Texas workshop at WC Mercantile at the end of the month in Navasota, and there are still a few spots left in my SAFF classes.   I can’t wait to spill the beans about my #epicthings!!!   Maybe tomorrow!! Until then….