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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Evening at the Spinning Guild at Hidden Valley Farm and Woolen Mill

Last night was our monthly guild meeting at Hidden Valley Farm and Woolen Mill.  Carol, the proprietor, graciously lets us meet in the upper portion of her studio and retail store building.  It's a beautiful place full of fiber and tools and finished yarns for purchase. We are so lucky to have such a great business located in our rural area of Wisconsin.

If you would like to visit this place, along with many other fiber places in our area, there is a big event coming up next weekend.  It's called Rites of Spring Fiber Frolic   This event is taking place:
Rites of Spring:
Fiber Frolic
April 17 - 18, 2015
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Gas up your car, grab a fiber friend or two, stop for tea and a treat along the road and come frolic with new lambs and kids and the fabulous fiber they provide for us as 10 area fiber businesses and 4 cafes open their doors for... Rites of Spring: Fiber Frolic on April 17 - 18, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.The fiber shops and cafes are all located around Lake Winnebago in northeast Wisconsin. It’s a quick drive from Madison, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Door County and even Chicago. Plug the addresses into your GPS and come visit, enjoy the spring air and add to your yarn, fiber and fabric stash(es) (we suspect you may have more than one)!

Now--- commercial over, back to our meeting last night! Our Black Sheep Spinners guild group gets together for sharing ideas, creative skills and lots of laughter too. We have about 15 members and we try to make all of the meetings if we can.   I missed out on the March meeting while we were gone on vacation.

We all bring in our projects that we are currently working on.  
Some bring in their wheels to spin, some bring in knitting projects
or finished items to Show-N-Tell. 

We have all ages in our group;
from young single girls, 
to alpaca farmers, 
to busy moms,
 to retired ladies.  
But we all have something in common:  
The love of fibers! 

We had a new spinner join in our group last night!  Rachel had been patiently learning how to spin on one of Carol's own wheels and had completed two full bobbins of single ply spun wool.  Now tonight she was learning the task of how take two single plies from each bobbin, and now spin them together in the opposite direction to create .... YARN!

Once the yarn is created on the final bobbin, it needs to be wound off into a long loose skein for washing and setting the twist.  The tool used for this is called a Niddy Noddy.  It's a bit confusing at first, but once you get the hang of how to wind the finished yarn in a continuous loop fashion, it makes sense.

There is a little children's rhyme that goes:

"Niddy-noddy, niddy-noddy, two heads and one body.

 ‘Tis one, tain’t one, t’will be one soon.
 ‘Tis two, tain’t two, t’will be two soon.

 ‘Tis three, tain’t three, t’will be three soon..."

And this is it.. Rachel's finished skein of handspun yarn! 
I am sure there will be many, many more skeins to follow, as she learns and creates with fibers to make her own special yarns.

Before leaving our meeting, Carol had a little gift for me... two big trash bags that needed a new home.  Once I peeked inside, I was more than happy to take them with me!

What would make me so happy, you might ask?  Well, these bags were full of wonderful fresh clean blanket wool fabric!  They will be cut into strips and woven into thick plush full wool rugs!   There are about four different color combinations to choose from, and I think I can get about 5 nice rugs out of it.  The second stack bottom color is more of a camel brown, not a yellow. Kinda hard to see in the morning light when I snapped this pic.  Some of the wools are plaids so that will add interest to the stripes in the rugs.

It's a rainy icky day here, so I just might start cutting up these strips for rugs while they are all out on the island in my kitchen.  I use a large Olfa cutting mat and a rotary cutter.  I just bought a different cutter of a new design the other day at Joann's (with a 50% coupon!)  I think it's safer and seems to be nicer to handle.  A few times I almost cut myself when setting my old cutter flat down on the table in between uses without retracting the blade.  Plus, I almost cut a slice in my new big ironing table by setting down the old cutter on the surface!

The best part of this new rotary cutting tool, the blade automatically retracts when you let go to set it down. It appears to be more ergonomically comfortable for your hand when cutting a lot of fabric.

Yesterday I had a long-awaited doc appointment to go to.  It was with an orthopedic doc who travels to Chilton once a week from a bigger clinic in Appleton.  I have been having trouble with a hip for the last 3-4 months.  Mostly pain just at night, but not during the day or not while I was walking etc.  I first had some xrays done at the connected hospital and then met the doc in his examining room a few minutes later.  Wonderful new technology that sents the xrays right to his computer screen in a matter of minutes after having it done.  No longer waiting for emulsion films to be processed.  Ahhh we've come a long way baby! 

The diagnosis is not what I was fearing (arthritis, osteoporosis, bone cancer, etc)  instead it's only BURSITIS!   Wheeeee what a relief!  It's the small pads on the hip bones called "bursae's" that help pad the hip bone and allows the ligaments and tendons and muscles to glide smoothly over the bone. My bursea are inflamed and causing pain. Because of my nissen fundoplication stomach surgeries, I sleep best on the right side, which is the one hip that is bothering me.  He prepped a needle with cortisone and gave me a deep shot right into the hip.  It hurt a bit, but nothing compared to the pains I have been having at night.  He said it would take a day or two to take effect and would last me about 3-6 months and perhaps I might not ever need another one. 

Well... I tell you, that cortisone shot REALLY worked!  About halfway through my spinning guild meeting, I noticed that I was getting more comfortable.  Then when going up to bed last night, I didn't have any creaking joint pain.  I slept all night laying on that side with no problems!   

Best of all, this morning I woke up without any stiffness, and I came down the stairs and felt NORMAL!!!!   (well as normal as I can be?) 


  1. Karen, I'm so glad it was only bursitis...and the shot is helping. Do you know to put a pillow in between your knees when you sleep in your side? That relieves a lot of stress on the hip joints!
    I think I would like to see the ladies spinning and twisting to make yarn! Great stuff!

  2. Wonderful news about the hip pain. Bursitis is no fun, but at least it is a lot more treatable and you don't have to wonder about an eventual hip replacement. I had bursitis in my shoulder some years back. Had a shot, got better, and it never came back! Fingers crossed for you.

  3. I have had to get that shot for the last two return trips to Indy - each year. We are in our return trip now and I am ready for my "annual shot" ..... you are right,......it is not the most comfortable shot to get. But it surely does the trick! Mine started as bursitis, but now after years is full fledged arthritis and I keep hoping the shots will postpone hip replacement surgery. Since you are younger, I imagine that your shot will be the magic touch for you.


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