Thursday, November 29, 2007

Adventures in Spinning, Part VIa: As The Wheel Turns

Friday evening was spent at the home - no, farm - of one of the organizers of the workshop. Darlene had us all over for dessert and to have some social time with Anne. OK - so there are no streetlights to speak of in the village where I live, but there are no streetlights West of the Super 8. I'm driving . . . and driving . . . and praying that I don't miss the gravel road that leads to the dirt road that leads to Darlene's house . . . We made it! It's not often that you get to see so many stars - there was virtually no ambient light!

Saturday came early, but both Judi and I were up and ready to go. We got to Memorial Hall early enough that we could take a walk around the town square - after sitting all day on Friday, it seemed like a good idea. Lamar was sort of like stepping into another time . . . the courthouse in the middle of the square, and surrounding it shops, the post office and the local movie theater. Saturday night was to be the start of the holiday season in Lamar - the town Christmas parade was scheduled for 6:05 p.m., and all the shops around the square would be open . . . ;-)

We headed back to Memorial Hall and settled in for what would prove to be a full day of spinning. Wow! Friday afternoon we had worked on the Corriedale. Saturday morning was spent on our coarser wools, my Cotswold. Anne saved the most challenging for last: the Rambouillet was really a fight. It didn't help that my fast flyer was defective. However, once I figured that out and switched back to my regular flyer, things went a little better.

Late in the afternoon, we all sat down again for some lecture time. We'd been working (sometimes fighting) with crimps and twists, doing piles of math and calculations, all to gain a better understanding of what could be the best choices for whatever fiber we found ourselves with. I could not imagine spinning and counting treadles for the rest of my spinning career (I did try this once before the workshop and it didn't go very well . . . ), so imagine my relief when Anne sat us down and said, "you don't spin like this." Everyone exhaled.

No, you don't spin like this - but it's like learning addition and subtraction so that you can balance your checkbook: because I learned these fundamentals that start with crimps per inch, I can apply that knowledge as I choose fleece for specific projects and have more options and choices open to me about how I might want to spin a fleece to gain a desired end result.

I also learned not to be afraid. To whit: I have had a mountain of fleece sitting here that I was afraid to spin because, being a beginner, I didn't want to "ick it up." After spinning Cotswold into a silky rope, and Rambouillet into sewing thread, I have no fear. There is always more fiber :-)

At lunch, Janet Wray, a local independent dyer brought some of her Shetland Isle Collection sock yarns and roving in for some shopping!! Wheee!!!! (Note: her site is up but still under construction.) I got three skeins of some of the prettiest sock yarn I've seen. If you're on Ravelry, you can see it in my stash.

When class was over for the day, Judi and I convinced a few of our classmates to go to the Christmas parade with us. First we took a trip to The Java Mule (Lamar does NOT have a Starbucks :-D), which is a really cool place and if I lived in Lamar, I would go there every day. Then, we took a walk around the square because all the shops were open! And then we walked off the square to the local florist, where one of the guild members works. I did a little shopping here, and added to the water fowl group that lives around my fireplace.
The parade in the square was small - a few floats, the junior high school and high school bands , the local Christmas Queen, a couple of horse-drawn coaches, the local Harley riders, and of course, Santa on the fire truck at the end! It was wonderful!! And it was 65 degrees out! I couldn't believe it.
One more day . . .

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