Yesterday we visited Kathy from Unique Designs by Kathy at her shop in Tucson, Arizona. What a fabulous time I had! The shop is adjacent to her home, which meant that she was able to show us around introducing her animals, whose fibre she sells in her shop both as handspun yarn and roving. We met her llamas, sheep and goats, who all seemed so happy and content there. It was great to be able to "put a face" (so to speak!) to the fiber in the shop.
She then showed me her work in the shop. There were beautiful wet felted pieces in the form of bowls, hats, bags and landscapes to hang on the wall (check out her website here for some pictures of what she sells), as well as knitted items, and of course the yarn and roving. Kathy is just so friendly and helpful, I am a new spinner and I learned so much from her in our short trip yesterday! She also sells a line of handspun yarns that she calls "hidden treasures" Wow! (see pictures on her blog here, although they don't do the yarn justice! Has nothing to do with Kathy's photos, you just can't capture in a picture the textures, colors and beauty of these yarns). There is a mix of fibers in there for a textured effect, including ribbons, and then periodically there are beads, buttons, feathers etc. Truly wonderful works of art. I felt so inspired being around her store and seeing her work.
I bought a GORGEOUS new drop spindle from her. It was made by a gentleman from Kundert Spindles, and I am just ecstatic over it! It is Maple, with accents of Red cedar, Maple and Bloodwood on the whorl. It is truly a beautiful piece of art, and was hand turned to create such a well balanced spindle. The one I was previously using was a homemade DIY job, which worked well, but oh my gosh! After using this new spindle last night, I could never use anything else again! The quality of what I was spinning increased ten-fold and it was such a pleasure to use! I feel like a real spinner now!
I also bought roving from Kathy. The brown and black in it is from her llama, then I think she said the colored fiber was Shetland. It also has some angel tinsel through it. I started spinning it last night, and am really pleased with how it is turning out. It looks silvery grey, with flecks of the tinsel shimmer, then tweedy bits of orange and white.
What a cutie model demonstrating my new spindle:
As a note, if you happen to be around Tucson, Arizona on Saturday 3rd November, Kathy has organized the "Tucson Wool Festival 2007" to be held on her property.