Monday, September 6, 2010

Where has Sue been hiding?

I'll give you three guess...Australia? New Zealand? Fiji?
Yes, all three. I traveled from August 3-August 29. You can follow my trip on the Susan Hensel Art Blog. Slowly but surely I am posting the notes and the photos.

I saw lots of austere, beautiful red sand and mountains in the outback/Red Center of Australia. Fed wallabies, watched birds, looked at and bought Aboriginal art, visited a cattle station, swam the Great Barrier Reef, drank at pubs, motored Sydney Harbour at night, toured the Sydney Opera House before it opened to the public, met a woman who had woven the restoration upholstery and drapery for the restored Governor's House in Sydney Domain. Traveled to New Zealand through breathtaking mountain ranges, sailed on fjords, saw seals & penguins, petted a Koala, stayed in a home in Christchurch, attended evensong at the Christchurch Cathedral, visited Anne Field & Marilyn Rea-Menzies studios in Christchurch (I hope their work is OK. Their buildings were damaged in the earthquake.), saw lots of sheep, sailed in Aukland Harbour, met a Maori king. Walked the beach in Fiji, got sick from the heat, drank kava and ate a luxurious lunch in an impoverished village home, toasted astounding sunsets from my balcony.
So I show you cotton! I did come home with a tiny bit of fiber from New Zealand: and alpaca/polworth mix that is lovely.It has the lovely silkiness of the alpaca, but the addition of the polworth gives it a delightful bounce. I will photograph it soon.

I was on a great tour, and did not find materials easy to come by. The "new" big thing over there was merino mink. They are heavily marketing the combo of merino and possum. The possum forms a halo much like angora. It is lovely. I did not find and yarn until I was nearing departure and worried about paying duty! I did come home with fingerless gloves and a knit cap. They were invaluable keeping me warm in the fjord.

Before the main drain back up today, I washed up some white alpaca (Dang, she was a rolled in the hay! I'll have to comb more of it than I like!) and dyed various wools in Australian colors. Imagine that! The drain is fixed, now. Plumbers work on holidays and drains ONLY back up on weekends and holidays.

In May, I purchased this Tahkli, a tiny supported spindle. Finally, today was the day to play with it. I've been home for a week and the jet lag is just about gone and a few creative thoughts finally began flitting across my brain. Yeah! I tried it in a little bowl. Didn't like that. I then read that some people spin it on a piece of leather. I liked that! So while I half-watched the Anthony Bourdain marathon, I spun thick and thin cotton...trying for evenness, but achieving it only intermittently. I am pleased, though. Lots of progress was made toward mastery.

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