Monday, May 12, 2008

Ronnie's Homespun

I'm sad to report I just learned about the recent passing of a fiber friend - Ronnie of Ronnie's Homespun.

She was a fantastic person, generous and talented, and she will be missed by many. I have been buying fiber from her for years and honestly don't know what I'm going to do now.

I first found her in June 2006 on ebay selling an undyed blend of merino, targhee and rambouillet under the name "Lucky Llama Lover". This is what arrived:

How did she get that mass of fiber into that flat rate box!?

This was my kind of woman.

I tried it out and instantly fell in love. It was soft, bouncy, and took up dye perfectly. I bought more and more and more. And then some more.

Eventually she stopped selling on ebay, so I hoarded whatever fiber I had left from her and started buying from other sources, but her wool was my favorite.

I can't possibly show you pictures of all of the roving and yarn I made from her fiber - there is too much. Click on the Flickr badge with all the moving squares for a sampling.

At the Black Sheep Gathering in 2007 she had a booth on the front lawn outside. I was thrilled! I immediately bought another pound of undyed wool from her. (Big white ball in picture)

While I was there, she was telling us how her 9 year old grandson helped her dye wool, so I had to go ahead and buy a big one pound braid dyed by him personally! (Braid at bottom of picture)

He dyed yarn using all of the best colors. I could never reproduce it.

I was really looking forward to seeing her again at this year's Black Sheep Gathering and loading up on her awesome fiber. I heard that some of her friends are going to be selling off her stock and of course I'll try to buy some.

I spent a lot of time working down that pound of fiber I scored from Ronnie's grandson. I decided to try spinning it in different ways as an experiment. A boucle, a single, a sport weight, and a bulky.

The boucle is called "Canterbury" since that was the stage of the Tour de France I watched while spinning it. It was spun into a single and plied with steel colored thread.

The single yarn is called July in the Alps. That's where the Tour de France was when I spun it. It's a somewhat energized single. 3 oz. 122 yards.

And then: Veggie duo, done two ways. The first yarn is a worsted to bulky 2-ply and the second is a sport to dk-weight of the same fiber. Isn't it cool to see how different they look? Or perhaps I am the only fiber nerd here.

The 2-ply sport/dk weight yarn is 3.9 oz, 160 yards. It's called vegetable garden and it won a ribbon at the 2007 LA County Fair.

The 2-ply worsted to bulky weight yarn is called vegetable patch. I like how the colors didn't blend as much in this one compared to the one above. Would you believe it's all the same roving?

And then I had some leftover roving, so I spun a yarn called Canterbury Junior, following the same technique as Canterbury. 2.3 oz. 90 yards.

I'm reminded that our time here is limited. This is our community and we are all connected through it. When Socktopia's Gigi Silva passed I made a plea to everyone to step it up. I am going to do that again.

I encourage everyone to pass on what you know about knitting, spinning, weaving, crochet, felting, etc. as freely as possible. Yes, your time is valuable, but so is your legacy.

This is a good year to get that book/vacation/fair isle sweater/business/your dream here/ off the ground!


Erica said...

Oh, that's horrible to hear of. I just discovered Ronnie and her wool. Such a sad bit of news.

abigail said...

i just have to let you know that that is the most beautiful yarn i have ever seen. ever.

Dorien Ruben said...

I'm sorry to hear.. And no you're not the only spinning freak in here. It is fascinating how many different things can be made from one roving.

Natalie Rush said...

I'm so sorry to hear of another fiber loss. Your yarn is beautiful and thank you so very much for sharing.

Rosemary said...

The grandson's yarn is simply beautiful. I like what you've done with it - you've given me an idea, with your boucle. It's all beautiful. I'm sorry that you've lost a friend, yes, our time here is limited.