DeAnna Dailey's Profile

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On the web: http://www.knit-n-nature.com

Several years ago, my partner and I were living way out in the country near Mt. St. Helens. We spent our mornings on the deck watching the volcano steam and our days traipsing around in the woods. Life was pretty ideal, except that we felt like we were missing something. A cat, we decided. We needed a cat. And so we "put it out the the universe", as we like to say, that we were looking for a cat. And pretty soon, one showed up. A beautiful long-haired orange cat that hung around the shed for several days and meowed at us without coming close. And then one day she must have made her choice, because she just came marching right up and introduced herself…

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  • Born on March 25
  • Joined December 24, 2008

Favorite materials

wool, alpaca, nettle, cedar, glass

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About

On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/knitnnature

On Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/knitnnature

On the web: http://www.knit-n-nature.com

Several years ago, my partner and I were living way out in the country near Mt. St. Helens. We spent our mornings on the deck watching the volcano steam and our days traipsing around in the woods. Life was pretty ideal, except that we felt like we were missing something. A cat, we decided. We needed a cat. And so we "put it out the the universe", as we like to say, that we were looking for a cat. And pretty soon, one showed up. A beautiful long-haired orange cat that hung around the shed for several days and meowed at us without coming close. And then one day she must have made her choice, because she just came marching right up and introduced herself and announced that she would be living with us from now on. And I didn't know it, but that was the beginning of my spinning career.

That spring, Kitty Magoo started to shed. Like, a lot. Huge tufts of hair everywhere, and especially on our red velvet couch, which was unattractive. My mother-in-law had just started spinning, and I called her to ask if there was some useful purpose that all this cat hair could be used for. I didn't have a spindle or anything, but she talked me through how to spin using the leg-roll method, and from there I was hooked. I collected and spun cat hair for that whole summer. And pretty soon I couldn't keep up with the spinning and I just collected it. Eventually I also had some rabbits and I sent of a large collection of cat and rabbit hair to be processed. I got back the most beautiful roving you can imagine and I still haven't decided what item would be worthy of making out of such a beautiful fiber.

So anyway, that's how it all started. And eventually I got a couple drop spindles, and an Ashford Traveler spinning wheel. And in the meantime, my mother-in-law got more and more addicted until she found herself the proud owner of four fiber sheep, which live happy lives on a pasture in the Idaho desert. She can't keep up with spinning all four fleeces every year, so I benefit greatly from her hobby.

I am still experimenting with many different fibers, but I am most interested in fiber from local, organically- and sustainably-raised animals as well as plant fibers from local, native plants. I've worked with nettle and cedar bark fibers quite a bit, though I haven't yet got a yarn fine enough to make it marketable. I'll keep working on it.

And then just a year ago or so, my partner got a job and the local fancy glass factory. They make the fancy glass rods used to make lampwork beads. He started bringing home scraps and pretty-but-flawed pieces out of the trash pile or picked up off the floor. One thing led to another (as these things tend to do), and now we have a fancy dual torch, with an oxy-propane setup in a new hand-built studio out back. We've still got a lot to learn about making beads, but I think you might like what we've figured out so far. Go take a look and tell me what you think!

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