Fiber and Family Trip

Our trip to Colorado and Wyoming was full of fiber and family which is perfect in my mind. This is the trip that Steve masterminded after I told him last fall that I don’t need more “things” for gifts. I have more than enough stuff and would prefer experiences.

He got on the ball by looking in one of my Spin Off magazines and at Christmas proposed that we take a trip to Colorado and Wyoming as my gifts for 2016. The timing was centered around Interweave’s Yarn Fest in Loveland CO and our children joined us for parts of the trip.

The day he and I arrived we went first to Boulder so that I could visit Shuttles, Spindles and Skeins. I have always wanted to go there because it is run by Maggie Casey who is well known through her workshops and DVDs, and her partner. I knew it would have many spinning and weaving items as well as yarn and I wasn’t disappointed. After browsing extensively and finding a few treasures to take home I walked deeper into the second room, turned a corner and stopped with a small gasp when I saw:

wheels in boulder

Spinning wheels for classes at Shuttles Spindles & Skeins

These wheels are used for teaching in a huge classroom. I was among my own people. 🙂

The next day I took a day long class on Fiber Prep with Esther Rogers, another well know spinning teacher. I enjoy Fiber Prep as much as and maybe a tiny bit more than spinning. I knew that she would give tips on creative out of the box ways to use fiber prep tools and I wasn’t disappointed. I learned different ways to use the drum carder and blending board to create unique fibers to spin. One fun thing she did was to literally cram as much diverse fiber onto one little drum carder with long teeth as she could to produce art rolags. Art means the rolags will have many textures from different fibers and will be colorful. The yarn spun from them will have those characteristics too. It won’t be a smooth predictable yarn.

esther's art batt

Filling the drum carder super full









art rolags CO

Art rolags by Esther Rogers








One night we had dinner with cousins from Denver. We were able to meet my cousin’s young grandson for the first time and figured he would be my third cousin but our sons first cousin once removed following genealogy terms. All we will probably retain is that he’s a cousin. A very nice cousin.

Then on to Laramie Wyoming to visit another cousin (first 🙂 ) I was so lucky to be able to visit her in part because we share some family heirlooms. Our Burnham grandmother was a Nebraska farm wife during the depression and was a very talented quilter. We did not know her as she died in 1944.  Here is Dell’s quilt:dell's quilt


Here is my quilt:

my quilt

My quilt from my grandmother Burnham. The lighting isn’t so good.

I took individual pictures of many of the squares on Dell’s so I can find the common fabrics. Here is one of hers:

quilt square

Quilt square from Dell’s quilt

Here is one of mine with the same flower material. Mine is more faded.

rose pattern like dells


She also gave me a bowl that had belonged to our grandmother. It says Western Stoneware Co. on the bottom and is quite heavy. I couldn’t resist getting some of my sourdough starter going in it the very day we returned home.

Nebraska bowl with sourdough

Grandmother Burnham’s bowl with my sourdough starter

Then, just to show how bizarre life can be, Dell took us to this monument:

ames monument

Ames monument Laramie WY

Steve had told her that the shovels used to dig the original railroad were made in our town at the Ames Shovel Factory which is now condos. She said there was a monument to the 2 Ames brothers who we knew in addition to providing shovels were also in charge of completing the intercontinental railroad at the behest of President Lincoln. We had no idea the monument existed. Several town buildings including the high school and library  in our town were named for the Ames family and their historic homes are now parks and we know their history well. So, we found ourselves sort of in the middle of nowhere (I say that fondly) looking at a picture of North Easton MA containing a building we recognized. ames plaque WY

C me Dell WY

My son Christopher, myself, and my cousin at Ames Monument in WY

At the end I was ready to get back to my cat and chickens. I missed seeing their little faces every day even though I knew they were being thoroughly spoiled by a neighbor.

We were blessed with a wonderful trip.




















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