Monday, June 8, 2009

So Much to Tell . . .

As you can see, my wheel got finished (3 coats of tung oil) and reassembled in time for the spinning demo. Also finished was my 1860 era attire, including apron. Hair was a cinch, as I
only needed to twist it into a bun and secure with a few hairpins. Glasses & shoes? Don't look.

The day was a good bit of fun, and I'm glad I participated. We were under a big canopy tent about 30 feet square, and people could come by to watch and ask questions. The weather was beautiful. We seem to have had quite a good turnout. (My first time, so I'm guessing)

The day was over before I knew it. I didn't get a chance to see the sheep whose fleece we were spinning, but there's always next time.

I also bought some combs from a fellow guild member. They're Indigo Hound 5-pitch, and come with a station that can be clamped to a work surface. Awesome! I will be putting them to good use.

The same guild member also gave me a generous bag of angora from one of her own bunnies! It will be the devil to process -- so fine, soft, and fly-away! I think I'll blend it with some soft merino to spin a weft yarn for a scarf on my RH loom.

The following weekend brought the long-awaited spinning workshop with Anne Field. It was three days of spinning bliss. I'm basically a self-taught spinner. A friend showed me how to use the drop spindle and the basics of drafting, but the wheel was on my own. I know my wheel mechanically well enough. Technically is a different story! Anne Field is a charming and delightful lady, from her spunky Kiwi accent to her positive, can-do attitude. And she's one dynamite teacher. She whipped us through spinning basics so fast it mad my head spin (almost literally!). We learned about spinning to match the crimp, how to figure out the best way to spin different types of wools, and how to spin to end up with the yarn we want. We spun little skeins of different breeds of wool, learned about worsted and woolen, semi-worsted, semi-woolen and talked about how to prepare the fiber. I spun a remarkably lovely bulky weight Romney that drew much admiration and many compliments. Don't worry -- it was soon offset by one of the ugliest yarns I've ever done when I attempted to spin a fine yarn with some lovely soft merino. Even after washing it was still hard and just gnarly. Optomistic Anne said, "It would make a good warp yarn." Bless her heart!

The weekend was too soon over. I am well armed with notes and samples, and I feel much better about being able to spin the type of yarn I want. I have the required knowledge; now I need practice.

This brings things to the end of April. There is much to come. Stay tuned . . . .