Sunday, May 13, 2018

Lucky Baby

Travelling to Duluth is always a treat. I was gone for 7 days; I left on Thursday, May 3, and got home on Wednesday, May 9. On the way to Duluth, I stayed overnight in Ironwood, on the far west border between the Upper Peninsula and Wisconsin. There was still some snow on the ground in the UP and ice on the water near Munising, Marquette and also Ashland, WI.

Arriving midday Friday, I was greeted by Judy McLaughlin and her husband Jim. I stayed with them for the duration. They are both generous and gracious, and they made my working trip as easy as could be. As a bonus, Judy made her fabulous lamb stew, which we had – along with mint juleps – on Saturday to celebrate the Kentucky Derby. My pick, Justify, won! (Well, he was the favorite…)
Judy and me. Lamb stew and mint juleps.
On Friday night, I gave a presentation, "Sources of Inspiration", to the Duluth Fiber Handcrafters Guild and enjoyed a delightful pot luck dinner. This is a presentation that I especially like; it gives me the opportunity to combine my thoughts on dance, neuroscience, art, fiber, rocks, and Michigan.

Saturday and Sunday workshops were “Blending Colors at the Wheel” and “Creating the Yarn You Want”. The group of spinners was terrific; engaged and inquisitive. Judy and another guild member took and shared photos. Here are a few.
I'm explaining some samples I'd made.

Here are some samples that participants made in the workshop.
I stayed an extra day in Duluth. Judy, her friend Donna, and I visited Marie Glaesemann. Marie has sheep. Over the years, I’ve purchased many fleeces from her, and they’ve all been great! This year I got two: from sheep named “Lucky” and “Baby”. Both are mixed-breed sheep, with some Corriedale, some Romney, and maybe some Merino or Ile de France in there too. I can hardly wait to get these two fleeces processed into roving.
Marie on the left, Judy on the right.

"Lucky" above, "Baby" below.

Marie's spinning wheel. I gave the drive wheel a "shove" and it spun around endlessly. Sweet!

Judy, Donna, and I then had lunch and a visit to the yarn shop, Yarn Harbor. I bought a couple skeins of a lovely wool/silk lace weight yarn for re-knitting my “Curvy Corner Shawl”, a pattern that I plan to write up and have available later this year.

I finished the day by finishing the book I’d brought with me on the trip: Louise Penny’s Glass Houses. I am addicted to this author’s series of mysteries set in eastern Canada and featuring Inspector Gamache.

The trip home held more adventures. First I stopped in Ironwood to shop at the local Ben Franklin’s. At the entry of this town, there’s a billboard stating that this Ben Franklin’s is the largest gift shop in the Upper Peninsula. With a claim like that, I had to stop. I bought some cotton yarn for more dish rags and a few odds and ends for other fiber projects. Also a few bumper stickers to adorn the car I got last fall.
Then I stopped at Fiddle Knoll Farm  a bit south of Marquette. Sue Kapla is the shepherd. She raises Romney and CVM sheep. This year, I had reserved the fleece from a CVM ewe, “Heli”. The fleece is gorgeous! I can hardly wait to share it with students in my workshops. Sue is a PhD trained animal behaviorist. In addition to raising happy and healthy sheep, she is also a dog trainer. On this visit I got some dog advice from her (because I’m hoping to get a dog sometime this year). She’s a wealth of knowledge!

Heli's fleece, still on the hoof.
The penultimate stop on the way home was in Nawbinway. I got some smoked salmon at King’s Fish Market. Another good place for bumper stickers. There was still some snow and ice in the UP on my way home. Lastly, I stopped in Petoskey to pick up some dreamy peanut brittle at Kilwins. Yum!

Next weekend I get to go back to the UP for the Spring Fiber Fling in Pickford. Say Ya To Da UP, Eh!

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