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Old Bio

        Fibers have always been a part of my life. Growing up in Des Moines, Iowa I loved to look at the colors in my grandma’s quilts. Sewing became my favorite hobby. In 1977, I graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Home Economics Education. For several years my husband and I lived in the Chicago suburbs where I was a home economist for Minnesota Fabrics. After settling in Waseca, Minnesota I began doing custom sewing and knitting while teaching sewing classes at the University of Minnesota at Waseca, coaching gymnastics and teaching community education classes in all areas of sewing and needle arts. About 10 years ago I met some gals who raised sheep and angora goats. Their handspun yarns were so beautiful and buttery soft I had to learn to spin. Soon, my customers wanted handspun, hand knit items and then knitters wanted my rustic yarns.


        Northern Lights Spinning Guild of the Twin Cities area is a fantastic group of gals. Aside from growing the best wool around, they connected me with fiber and knitting events to sell my yarns. We all have the best time buying and selling our products. I am a vendor at Shepherds Harvest Festival in Washington County near Stillwater, MN, which is held every Mother’s Day weekend. I also attend Yarnover, a knitting day held in St. Paul each spring, along with many other local festivals in the Minnesota and Iowa area. There are also events where I demonstrate spinning, such as at the summer festivals at Farmamerica, an agricultural interpretive center near Waseca, MN (the picture on this page was taken at that event).


        February 1, 2005 my husband’s job relocated us to beautiful Spokane Washington. The gals I have met through the fiber community here, have helped me feel right at home. Every week there are spinning groups to attend. Spin ins, dye days and road trips to meet sheep growers. Last summer I sold my yarn at several local farmers markets and art fairs and the local yarn shops carry my yarns. Last summer on the second Sunday in July I set up at the mission Cataldo Idaho’s 1800 art festival. It was so beautiful looking over the mountains. Quite a change from the corn fields of Minnesota. North West Regional Spinners Association has some wonderful opportunities to meet fiber enthusiasts and acquire new ideas. I will travel across the state again to have a booth at the Seattle Knitting Expo, April 29, 2006. We built a home near the Washington, Idaho border, where I now have a fiber studio, with a mountain view. Although I miss my Minnesota friends, new experiences, new friends inspire me to keep spinning more yarns.


        I have enhanced my spinning skills in workshops taught by Patsy Zwatoski and Rita Buchanan and have learned natural dyeing techniques from Carol Lee.
        Wholesale inquiries are welcome. Contact me at yarn@gardenpartyfibers.com.


        We welcome any suggestions or comments as we build my web site. I want everything to be easy to understand.


        I love the entire process: shearing days to buy wool, washing the fleeces and seeing them become clean and fluffy, picking and carding the incredible natural colors, dyeing the fibers into the colors of my imagination, or something I had never dreamed of, spinning these luscious fibers into rustic yarns and of course, knitting; which I hope you will find enjoyable too. I hope you are inspired to select a yarn for your next project. Thank you for looking at my web page.
Happy knitting, jq

 

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