Monday, May 22, 2006

Spinning tales and show notes

Since I have dedicated so much time to knitting, and the cold weather is passing, I will start to focus more on spinning. Spring time for me means the transition from cold weather activities like knitting to warmer activities like processing fleece and spinning. I noticed I have been spinning more over the last couple of weeks if not months. Having sent off last years clip seconds as well as my unwashed wool I am left with roving to spin and an almost uncontrollable desire to have my hands in dirty fleece. I still have 05 Escamillo alpaca blanket left, My perfect white Icelandic fleece from Tongue river farm, the Shetland Lincoln fleece (black) the less than 1 lb of border leister lambs wool, and little bits of other stuff, like grey angora bunny, oatmeal Icelandic, Escamillo's half brother Figaro,(who is a blonde) Stuff like that. These are fibers I've washed and processed myself, or are still in their raw stage. Unfortunately there is nothing like the heady smell of a good fleece. I don't know why but it's a good smell to me.(I'm not talking about a ram fleece after he's been in season, and not the kinda fleece that's old and dusty.) a with in 3 month clip on a 70-75 degree spring day with low humidity. (Unless it's alpaca. I haven't run into a foul smelling fleece yet.)

My alpaca boy Escamillo! Here is a LINK to his boarding farm as well as one to his birth place. He is the alpaca on the bottom right. I have spun lots of wool breeds, hyucaya alpaca, llama, 2 types of silk, bunny, mohair, cotton and even a dog. (And yes those are listed in order of most like to least like.) Every year I take my best yarns and sell them at the guild show. I'm currently working on opening my own online shop. I'm down to photos and buy now buttons. I fist learned to spin on a drop spindle and then on a wheel. I still do both. I prefer my own hand made one to the ones I've bought but mostly cause of the weight. I spin on a bottom whorl and am awed at the beauty of the top whorls and frustrated at my inability to get the hang of them. The spinning on the thigh thing just gets me. But I still want one and that leads me to our next subject

Sheep shows! I've only been to two: One in Philipsburg K.S., the other in Nevada M.O. The one in Kansas is hosted by shepherd'slled shephards mill The MO show is put on by the colored wool growers assoc. Both are fun, both last 2 days. There were sheep and camalids at the KS show and sheep and goats and bunnies at the MO show. (Which was larger incidentally so there was more of everything.) The MO show Is where I won my first ribbon for spinning.. It was a blue one! (Can you tell I'm proud?) Now I will tell you what I like in a show...Variety! Different classes, vendors, products, you name it! People who keep an open mind, hotels not too far and at least some food on the premises. I like a show big enough to keep me there from 8-8, and takes about 8 hours to see everything. That way the other 16 hours I can take classes, watch shows and demos, get into contests, explore in depth. Even have time to spin a while and eat. The IA show looks like it will more than fit the bill. Since I'm not taking any classes, I should have all the time I need to meet new people, and pick out the best fleeces and equipment. I should come home with:

1)A wool breed I have not spun,
2)A fleece off to a new mill
3)Kid mohair roving or fleece
4)Several dyed rovings(wool or silk)
5)Medium grade wool carders (maybe)
6)Spindles (top or bottom)
7)Business cards
8)Lots of photos
9)A finished knitted sock
10) Less trunk space and less money!
OOOHHH I can not WAIT!

I'm gonna have to ask the ladies from the Fremont guild.
Gotta go..
Toodles!

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