A new chapter begins

The beginnings of my yarn studio at 105 N. Center St., Springfield, Ohio

The beginnings of my yarn studio at 105 N. Center St., Springfield, Ohio

If you’ve been around me for more than a couple years, you know there is one thing I love more than writing—and that is working with fiber.

I’ve even managed to combine my two loves in the title of this blog, A Weaver of Tales, A Spinner of Yarns, at debragaskill.wordpress.com

Almost as long and my husband and I have had llamas and alpacas (since 1999), we’ve been a regular on the fiber show circuit with our farm, Checkered Flag Fibers, selling the home-grown, hand-dyed yarn from our llamas and alpacas. We’ve taken part in fiber shows in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky and I love sharing stories about my llamas or ideas for working with the yarn they provide.

And I absolutely love dyeing. It’s almost magical the way some colors come out! I have more fun using those hand dyed yarns in my weaving, knitting and the Japanese braiding art of kumihimo.

Unfortunately, I’ve been limited to dyeing only in my back yard. And with Ohio’s weather, that could be limited to two or three times a year, which limits my production, but also my income. I’ve had several offers to provide yarn to other stores, something I have only been able to do on a limited basis.

That’s about to change. Thanks to Springfield’s Turner Foundation, the former Springfield Metallic Casket Company offices, located at 105 N. Center St., have been transformed into Hatch Studios, a place for artists—including fiber artists like myself—to have a place for their creativity to grow.

The studios, which come in different sizes and shapes, have become home, so far, to a number of painters, a potter, a mixed media artist —and ME!

Beginning next week, I will have a space where I can dye any time of year. This will allow me to expand my yarn business from four fiber shows a year (which I’ll still attend) to whatever my schedule can accommodate.

It’s also enabled me to open an online yarn store at http://www.checkeredflagfibers.com.

I will open my doors to the public at the Nov. 4 event from 6-10 p.m at Springfield’s monthly First Friday events. Please join me as I start this new journey.

Don’t worry! I’m still at work on my writing: I have one novel currently underway, which I hope to have completed by the first of 2017.

My yarns, along with my novels, will be available for purchase at that time.