I belong to a spinning group that meets once a week during the day and has an offshoot (maybe the original group) that meets once a month at night. The group is called the Spunsters, nice play on a term. We are mostly gals, but not entirely. The daytime group are mostly retired women, but a few that still work outside the home that come when their job allows. This group is very generous with their knowledge and often their equipment as well. I had recently taken up spinning with a drop spindle when I discovered them, then using the Community Room at the local library. Eventually, the library started preempting us, often at the last minute, so we relocated, finally landing at the Recreation Center. A couple of times each year, one member who has a lovely, large home that is centrally located holds a social event where we bring snacks, she furnishes beverages, and we have sale and free tables and at the holidays, we have a Dirty Santa exchange. The gift must be of fiber or fiber related theme. Last year the event was just after mid December and we had just had a snow and ice event a few days prior, so her driveway was a bit treacherous for some of the gals. She decided to try to beat the bad weather this year and we held the party today.
There are a lot of food allergies in my group of friends, and I often try to make something that is gluten free, dairy free, and nut free. This year I didn’t. I love shortbread, but didn’t want to make plain shortbread. I made the recipe, added Almond extract, topped it with a thin layer of melted Giradelli dark chocolate, and sprinkled crushed Heath Bars on top. I did put an allergy list on it, but still half of it was consumed.
Half the fun of the Dirty Santa game is to have folks that don’t just pick a wrapped gift from under the tree, but peruse the already opened gifts and select from one of them. Most of this group are reticent to do that, but a few of us will. One gal couldn’t stay for the entire Santa part so she didn’t participate in it, and as she was leaving, the hostess told everyone to wish her goodbye and quickly grabbed an opened gift. Lots of laughs and exaggerated perturbation over having their gift taken. Sometimes they go get a different wrapped item, sometimes they will take another open gift. There were lots of very nice gifts today, fiber, yarn, notions, and books. I took an opened gift and it was taken from me. I took another opened gift and came home with this.
I also came home with a fringe twister and a Mayan spinner that will be added to my spinning equipment that goes to teaching events. The fringe twister was the result of my asking for knowledge assistance as I spent hours untying knotted fringe on a shawl and hand twisting the fringe into a more finished twisted fringe. The Mayan spinner a gift to add to my demonstration tools.
On December 20, I will be a Colonial spinner for the 4th graders at a local elementary school as they conclude their unit on Colonial history. One of my Spunster friends is going to loan me a small loom and help me get it warped so that I can have it set up and demonstrate it that day too. It will be a fun day of demonstrating how labor intensive having clothing and household linens was in Colonial times.
I don’t get to this group weekly, but enjoy when I have the opportunity and appreciate the generosity of these spinners of their time, expertise, and loan of equipment.