A New Treasure

I knit because I make yarn, but given the opportunity to just sell the yarn I make, I would just spin.

Today, a friend that I started on spinning about a year ago came over with a bag of gorgeous Leicester Longwool lamb roving, and an entire Leicester Longwool lamb fleece in the raw. After she started spinning with a drop spindle I gave her, then a Turkish spindle I sold her, she bought several more spindles on her own, and then the travel wheel that I had tried her on. I had gotten a small Saxony wheel made by Kromski and previously owned by a good friend who passed away. The little Saxony is one I can take to retreats and to costumed demonstrations and the travel wheel was not being used. She has become quite a good spinner, but is having some difficulty with the travel wheel due to it’s size. She came over to discuss how to clean raw wool, to try my Kromski to see if it might be a wheel for her to seek out, and a lesson in using wool combs. We had a very nice afternoon playing with fiber and broadening her scope a bit.

After she left, I anxiously dashed up to the mailbox as I was awaiting my newest spinning treasure, a Golding spindle that with it’s dark wood and black ring will be one I can take to demonstrations. Each Golding comes with a small sample of wool usually from Inglenook Fibers. I had just ordered some fiber from them and looked at the colorway that was sent as a sample. If I had just waited a few days, I not only would have bought that colorway, but would have gotten a discount from them. Maybe if I sell another pair of fingerless mitts or a hat, I will return to their online shop and purchase more of it.

This spindle spins forever. I love my little Jenkins Turkish spindle, it is fun to use and to ply from but very limited in amount it will hold, but the Goldings are primo.

Fun With Friends – 12/5/2019

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.

Weekend of Fun-9/1/2019

I am home from a few days of fun with friends at one of the fiber retreats that I attend as a participant and as a vendor. We changed the location this year from a State Park in Tennessee to the Blue Ridge YMCA Assembly in Black Mountain, North Carolina. A couple of years ago, I volunteered to work on organizing the goody bags for the first 25 participants that register as overnight guests, and as a vendor, agree to donate a door prize. This year, because it is Labor Day weekend, we lost a few regulars, but had a few new folks. We also have a voluntary “Dirty Santa” gift exchange game. I was fortunate to have a beautiful copper shawl pin donated as a door prize by a blacksmith friend, JJL Forge, you can find him on Facebook. A good discount on a yarn bowl, and I had a 4 ounce hank of roving plus a hand spun, hand knit scarf that I made that were also door prizes. With gifts donated by other vendors and folks that just wanted to add to the fun, there was a door prize for everyone.

We have several husbands that come and hang out, hike, or in one case spin with us. I cleaned up at this retreat. I gave a friend some fiber she could spin or blend with some of her wool from her animals. She was a commuter participant so she could care for her animals and this morning, she returned with the two white balls of the softest white Cormo roving as a gift for me. The teal and gray sock ball was my door prize. The red roving top left was my gift exchange result, the 5 balls of yarn in the center were a purchase for a wrap for me. The yellow skein sitting on the reddish and pinkish roving was a grab bag that I purchased because I took only natural colored fiber with me and wanted some color. The yellow part was spun and plyed yesterday.

Some participants do not spin so there are knitters and crocheters that come as well. We had some different vendors this year, Unplanned Peacock Yarns came, vended and donated mini skeins for the goody bags. Happy Art by Kay donated a painted plate as a door prize and a box of home made toffee for each goody bag. We had two artists that taught classes, one watercolor painting, one Bob Ross painting. Classes in Zentangle, Darning knits, Reading knitting charts, 2 different yoga classes, Word bracelet making, 2 different weaving classes, and so much more to keep us busy and allowing breaks in the knitting or spinning if you signed up for any of the classes.

It was busy, relaxing, rewarding, and I am glad to be home to catch up here for a few days. There is laundry to finish, a yard to mow, a house to vacuum and dust, but goodies to play with in my down times.