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Welcome to Esther's Blog

The World According to Esther

Stitches South and SWAY Festival- Vacation Wrapped up in Shows!

These last few weeks have been a whirlwind of color and fiber and driving and oysters. It was all so much fun, it made all the months of work prepping and the hard work it takes to do a huge show.. but it’s all worth it. Especially when you get a vacation included.

Stitches South 2013 was a huge success! My class was extremely well received, and my students gave me very positive feedback. They are wanting more classes, so I hope this is only the beginning of my teaching with the Stitches events. I had an easel and pad in my class and was able to draw the way the twist entered the core. How fancy! It is always great to watch my students catch their ah-ha moment. There was even one special student who walked out of class and purchased a lendrum she liked the technique so much. That feeling of sharing never gets old.

_MG_9229.CR2 The show itself was fantastic. It’s so great to see old customers and what they’ve created, and it’s just as great to meet new customers! This year the new items were the handwoven tote, market and project bags and the amazing garment patterns.  Everyone was so excited about the sweaters and the tailspun shawl.  Of course there was lots of yarn- bright tailspun, funky corespun, extreme twists and NakedSpun.. and lots of it went to new homes!

_MG_9285 [etsy] After Stitches South I spent a day weaving with Denise Prince, at her studio, HanDen Studio in PeachTree City.  Denise and another studio had a SAORI booth right next to mine at Stitches South. It was wonderful to watch all the new weavers sit down and fall in love with the loom that I am so in love with myself.   I splurged on some beautiful silk cone sets for a new project I’m working on and 2 pattern books. I can’t wait to start creating more garments from my woven cloth.

_MG_9296 [etsy]At the studio, Denise taught me how to wind my own warp, then thread the reed and heddles with the tabletop threader and cross holder, and then how to beam my own warp.  This was my “main” reason for coming to the studio and she is a great teacher.  She also taught me the 3 color clasp weft technique, which brings 3 colors into one weft pass.  It’s not surprising that my first warp would be my “soul” colors of violet, plum, royal blue, turquoise, teal, lavender and complementing colors. Denise was so lovely to let me dive into her precious silk stash- so the cloth I wove is almost 100% tussah silk! It has amazing drape and saturated colors.  I can’t wait to make it into a garment!

164966_10200206646347364_1363712155_nAfter I finished weaving my cloth I headed down to Florida for the SWAY Art Yarn Fest.  I was the most excited about this part of the trip, because not only was I teaching and vending, but I was going to get some good hang out and vacation time with some of my favorite girlfriends.  I picked up Heather in Tampa and we slept at my sister’s in St. Petersburg. She and her boyfriend took us for oysters and stone crab claws for lunch and we headed down to Sarasota.  We hung out and recharged at Deb’s amazing shop, Picasso’s Moon. It’s a mix of antiques and yarns and fibers all so beautiful.  If I was local, I would live there.

552944_10200204840782226_1594677133_nAfter some hang out time we went and picked up Lexi from the airport and went for oysters and drinks. Oysters were a theme of this vacation! I love Gulf Oysters and I think I topped 6dozen over the course of the week.  After a few drinks we said our goodnights and planned to meet in the morning.

The next day was our scheduled vacation day. We were all working so hard up to the event, it was a much needed stressfree day.  We had fun at the thrift stores- finding treasures and hilarity.

12421_10200204850942480_2014710037_nWe spent time at the beach- There is something extra special about Siesta Key. The sand is fine and super white- voted one of the whitest beaches! The water flows from the Gulf and is warm- inviting for a dip.

We found lots and lots and LOTS of shells. Whole sanddollars and pieces of conch. When the tide was low there was a sandbar where we could just walk and swim and dive for the best shells we could see.

We went for frosty beach drinks that were strong and cold and fruity (and more oysters) then a trip to Deb’s shop and back to the beach.  That evening was spent with dinner at Deb’s fave local seafood joint (more oysters) and a few more drinks on the beach before bed.

922772_10200210521204233_1170613680_nFriday morning we had an early morning beach trip, and some post beach mini donuts (with yummy toppings like cheesecake, boston creme, peanutbutter and chocolate)

I then headed to the shop with Deb and spent the day blending fiber with an art hackle and blending board from MoonSong Ranch and an Ashford Wild Drum Carder. There were lots of interested folks that stopped by for the fun.

That evening there was a book signing and reception for the weekend’s event. We had a nice time visiting with new friends, and it was nice to see Arlene who had just arrived for the fun.

537973_10200212537134630_1974213552_n I got my “booth” set up as well during the reception. I had a table and Deb had given me some beautiful baskets and antlers to add dimension and layers to my display. I had yarns and batts and locks ready for people to spin the next day.

That night was a few more beach drinks and a few more oysters and then we were off to bed.  Saturday morning was raining, so no beach trip..   We headed right to the workshop where Lexi spent the day teaching.  There were more than 50 wheels in the room and everyone was eager to learn!

313875_10200217890628464_1768690785_nSaturday was the Leather and Lace auction as well. The yarns were auctioned off in lots of 2-3 yarns and each lot sold for more than $100!! In total more than $1000 was raised and the proceeds will support 3 sheep for a year at the Farm Animal Sanctuary.

Saturday evening it was chilly so no beach, but a few more drinks and oysters.  Then Sunday was one more awesome day of teaching. I brought out the new Majacraft Loom and Lexi taught a few more techniques. By the end of the day people were happy and tired and their eyes were twinkling with inspiration.
552900_10201126649794060_1504810162_nSunday after class we made a B-Line for the beach one more time. We let the water wash away any last stress we’d been holding onto- knowing it was our last dip.  We had one more night of amazing food- the best we had had all weekend. We had one more evening of drinks- some excellent martini’s.  Then we had to say goodbye to our vacation, to the beach, to Panama Gary our local hilarious drunk guy….

And now I have 25 batts to card and send to Jolene for Maryland Sheep and Wool next week! Renee is coming from Chicago and we’re going to spend some good time with Arlene.  Then after Maryland I’ll have a huge update in the shop and will buckle down and write write write a couple projects I’m working on. And I’ll dive headfirst into this huge new endeavor I have planned.  SO many great things happening!! It was wonderful to have a few days to just relax with my favorite girls.

See everyone next week at Maryland Sheep and Wool festival!