Sunday, March 20, 2011

Drop Spinning Class success!

It was a fun day.  Who wouldn't consider it fun hanging around with fibre enthusiasts and spending an entire day spinning, preparing fibre and learning new things? The class was full, 8 people - 3 of them new spinners, the rest had varying degress of experience.  Everyone left with the ability to make a continuous thread on their spindle, and several "tricks of the trade" for making spinning a pleasure.

Here are the photos:

Workshop in two bins, a basket, carry all and suitcase. 

These photos that follow were taken during our lunch break.  I wanted to capture the table full of fibre and tools.

See the table behind this woman?  This is where we had the drum carder set up with all kinds of fibres -wool, silk, mohair and alpaca -- in a variety of colours, for people to make an assorted batt for spinning.

It was a great day and I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat. I learned so much and I think the folks who participated did as well.

Friday, March 18, 2011

I've been a busy gal

Today is day one of the 3rd Annual FibresWest gathering .  Tomorrow, I teach a full-day six hour workshop called Introduction to Drop Spinning. I have spent the last while planning the session, worrying and wondering if anyone will sign up, and making the kits for the participants.  They are pretty amazing: each kit has three kinds of wool, alpaca, llama, 2 preparations of mohair, three preparations of silk; and a Houndesign spindle. Here are the kits, packaged up in recycled salad boxes, and the spindles are there in the foreground.

They are beautiful items that are also incredibly functional. In some ways I hope people will have their own so I will end up with all of these. . . but then again, I do want to spread the joy. Here's a fact: anyone I know who has purchased a Houndesign spindle, loved it so much, they have purchased a second one.  And really, who can resist?  I can't. 

Another thing that we will be doing tomorrow is learning about fibre preparation for drop spindling.  Here is a batt of romney (wool) that I carded up on the drum carder last night as part of a test run.  Each participant will make one of these batts -- and they will also be blending silk, mohair and maybe even angel dust (angelina) a wonderous sparkly soft addition to the fibre, into their batt.

I love these nests of carded fibre. When you are blending fibres and colours it's a bit like doing a watercolour painting. You do some things, but the materials do the rest.

And to update you on other things that have been on my plate. 

Below is my Claudia skirt -- I'd say it's about done.  I've been knitting it on the bus and train and in between other projects.  I wanted to finish it and wear it to FibresWest, but alas, it's still on the needles.  The problem is that I can't decide how long I want it to be. It reaches my knees right now, but if I do another increase in the purl ditch, I can widen the gore another bit and give it more of a floomph -- swirl factor when wearing.  So, it sits there on the side table, waiting for me to decide.  After the spinning workshop, I will.

And I finally finished the unmatched mitts. I decided to rip out the "wrong" one because I knew that I couldn't replicate those errors.  So, here they are.  A full set, finished and washed and ready for Kim tomorrow.