some summer, huh?  all this rain has made a mess at the farm.  not enough dry days in a row to mow the fields and bale hay, mud everywhere…  the goats hate it.  doesn’t seem to bother the sheep and cattle.  and today is only in the 60’s.  oh well, i guess that’s life in southwestern pennsylvania.  never the less, it has been a very busy time for me.


most of you know i was able to get natalie redding to come to pittsburgh to teach one of her dye secrets classes.  what an amazing learning experience that has been.  i really wanted to learn how to dye my own curls for my needle felted sheep but in the back of my mind i’ve been thinking i may want to try my hand dyeing yarn as well.  fifteen of us took her class and are all on our way to dyeing fiber, yarn, whatever else we can think of!  and i have an endless supply of fleece to play with, so it stands to reason, right?


one advantage to all the rain is that i’ve had some time to do some felting, at long last!  i had an urge to wet felt an octopus for some reason.  you know – to go with all of my gifelted fishes i guess.  well, not knowing exactly how to do it, i forged on.  my first guy looks more like a squid and i named him squeegee.  the second one looks more like an octopus although he’s still drying.


on that subject, several people have been asking me to teach another gifelted fishes class, so i’m putting it on the schedule, along with beginning knitting, and eco dyeing.  check out the classes/events tab on the website because they are on the schedule but note that these new classes won’t be held until after the steel valley yarn crawl (which runs from july 28 through august 6).  oh and by the way, the bags are in for the crawl and are on sale now.  $12 includes the bag (which is generously big this year), the passport, and a strip of 11 white universal tickets which are good for any of the shops.  i am going to have a BRANDIE NEW yarn for the yarn crawl this year.  no peeking – but just wait till you see the beautiful colors AND the generous yardage!!!!  it won’t be revealed until the yarn crawl begins, so you have to wait.  sorry!  and NO ONE in this area has this yarn yet!



THE PRAIRY TRUNK SHOW:  friday, july 14 from 10 to 5.  carlene will be bringing her amazing home-grown (literally) yarn to us.  you may have seen her at the ligonier country market on saturdays or at the raggz fiber affair and wool market.  she is a delightful lady straight from wyoming who now owns a ‘pretty little farm’ (that’s the name of it) in cumberland, maryland.  she raises her own sheep and alpaca and has it made into AMAZING yarns.  and to add to that excitement, our own rebecca hilko shlepler has written a pattern SPECIFICALLY for one skein of her yarn called appropriately ‘a pretty little shawl.’  the pattern is available on ravelry.

SPIN-IN AT RAGGZ:  saturday august 19 from 10 to 5 at the shop.  bring your wheel or drop spindle and come play with the rest of us!  we’re just going to sit and spin and share information and techniques.  there will be a carder and blending board or two to play with as well.  you can bring your own fiber or buy some if you don’t have any.  and even if you don’t spin but are thinking about it or just want to watch, join us!

FLAX SCUTCHING FESTIVAL:  saturday/sunday, september 16 & 17.  raggz and friends have been invited back again this year to demonstrate spinning, weaving, knitting, etc.  join us – we have a little building to ourselves.  check out what we’re working on and there may be a few items for sale.  if you’d like to join us in demonstrating, please contact me.  the store will be closed that weekend so i can attend the festivities!

SPINZILLA!:  raggz is putting a spinning team together for this year’s TNNA sponsored spinzilla.  if you are interested, please contact me.  all fun – no pressure.  we just want to experience it.  spinzilla starts october 1 but the team has to be registered in august.  think about it whether you drop spindle or have a wheel!

RAGGZ FIBER AFFAIR & WOOL MARKET:  saturday october 21 at the detmont fire hall.  my 4th show – 23 amazing local vendors!

YARN OF THE MONTH:  this year, raggz is featuring a new yarn every month.  so far i have featured meadow croft’s new yarn moon lorn in may, june was shirsty cat, july will be the prairie (available at the trunk show and after).  upcoming featured yarns will be dream’s new color ways, spencer hill, and fiber nymph.  plus my other secret yarn which will be revealed and presented at the yarn crawl.  i’m working on securing orders from other indie dyers, since almost every new feature will be supporting small and/or local.


one last thing – there is a group of ladies who have formed a group called ‘fiber forward’.  this pittsburgh-based artisans of knit and crochet are providing an opportunity for knitters and crocheters to exhibit their work.  applications will be accepted soon for an exhibit to be held at the 2018 pittsburgh knit and crochet and creative arts festival in april.  it will be a juried exhibit and there will be awards for different techniques of the knit and crochet mediums.  the works accepted will consist of wearables and 3-dimensional pieces.  if you are interested in obtaining a prospectus and submission form, contact them at fiberforward2018@gmail.com.  this is going to be fun!


STOP in at the shop and get your yarn crawl bag or just sit and knit with us!




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