Posts Tagged ‘spinning’

  • Life seems to be a series of multitasking, particularly lately.  I am typing this with my cat sleeping on my lap and I am also listening to a lecturer speak online about QiGong.  The typing here is going somewhat slow as I listen and organize the thoughts for this post while also following the lecture.  Why am I telling you this? Well, that is my life at this moment.  This is what my process today is consisting of, not that I am sure that is how I want it to be, but that is what it is at this moment.
  • I have been spinning more wool but I am a slow spinner.  I really do it purely for enjoyment. It helps to slow my mind.  I did have to do an emergency repair on the hook on my spindle earlier today when it dropped mid-spin and landed on the floor. I am almost done with the second single ply so I can ply the two together and hopefully have enough to start the slipper I have in mind.
  • I am particularly grateful for my family for their love and support during this time when I really need it.  2011 is a time of major transitions and knowing I have their support means the world to me. Thank you and I love you!
  • I have been exploring the world of making Kombucha.  It has been a series of trial and error but I am now getting consistent results that are really tasty! Here are some pictures which include the books I used for guidance.  Thank you to Patrice for giving me my first mushroom to get me started!

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The last few weeks it has popped into my head that I want to work on projects.  I can’t actually call all of them works-in-progress because some of them are more ideas-in-process.  Then again, maybe the fact that they are an idea makes them into a work. One such project that is now more than an idea consists of a lot of spindle spinning.  I was generously RAKed a box of easy to draft wool so I could practice spinning.  I was told the finished fiber would be easy to felt so I got this idea in my head to make the Felted French Press slippers that I saw on Ravelry. Another wonderful RAKer made this possible by gifting me the pattern. I read in the pattern that you should use multiple strands so I decided that the fiber I had been spinning is too thin.  Then I remembered that in my stash I had a 4oz single ply of 100% natural color wool that you can see in the picture. After about 5 hours of spinning a twist into the previously plied single, I unwound it off the spindle so I would be ready to make another single ply of a creamy white colored wool.  I should explain here that I spin slowly(in my opinion) but I really enjoy it.  I will be posting more on this project as it progresses. But for now here are some pics from my spindle of wool that I inherited from my Grandmother. It was the only natural hand-spun fiber I found in her stash.

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Another week has passed as quickly as the blink of an eye.  My main project this week has been learning to use a spindle.  I began my adventures into spinning by a trip to the library to check out Intertwined by Lexi Boeger and Color in Spinning by Deb Menz.  The Boeger book I have already renewed once.  I have to admit that so far I have really only been flipping through these books and my intention is to actually read more of them before they need to be returned.  I was ready to make my own spindle and watched several tutorials on ideas for making them but then I received a surprise from my Sis-in-law Velma(three cheers for Velma! Hip hip hurray!I can’t thank you enough!) and now I have my very first spindle! What would a spindle be without fiber?  Well Velma also took care of that and sent me a beautiful bunch for fiber(see pics).  I was tad reserved about jumping in and using the beautifully colored fiber so I dug out the small bag of fiber I picked up at the Torrance festival.  Next I watched several You Tube videos. This one and this one by Abby Franquemont got me started with the spindle. You can see my first single ply in the pics below. Next I re-watched this video Velma made for YouTube. This gave me the courage to try my ColorBomb creations fibers.  I also joined up for the Spin-A-Long for Colorbomb Creation fibers on Ravelry(you need to be a member of Ravelry to see this link). After watching this video by Megan LaCore, I plied the two strands together, thus giving me my first two ply art yarn. I know I watched another video but I can’t seem to find it now but they gave a tip about running the single ply through the handle of a coffee mug to help with the tension.  Look through some of the other videos on YouTube and you might find it.  There is SO much information out there just try a few searches.  Now I just need to figure out how to set the twist and I’m good to go! There is a lot I still need to learn and I am looking forward to the journey. So I don’t get too wordy I am going to stop here and show you the visual yumminess of yarn now in my home.

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I comment quite a bit to my husband about there not being any fibery type of events to attend in southern California.  Well as luck would have it I stumbled across the Southern California Handweavers’ Guild Spinning and Weaving Festival while doing some on-line searching.  I decided I really needed to make the trip north to Torrance and give the So Cal fiber scene a shot. The location at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center was easy to find and there was plenty of free parking.  The line to pay the 5 dollar admission was short and I was instructed that there were 3 separate rooms for the event.

I figured I would make my way into the closest room first and headed through the first door.  The first booth I encountered when I walked through the door had beautifully hand crafted hats and yarns on display.  I conversed for a little while with the lady behind the counter, then being the blogger(and shutterbug) that I am, remembered that I had brought my camera with me to document this momentous so cal fiber event.  I asked the woman behind the table if I could take a few pictures and she said she would ask the owner.  The woman from behind the counter went to the owner and asked if I could take pictures and they spoke back and forth for a moment as she pointed me out to the owner.  The owner glanced at me, turned away and they spoke for another moment. The  woman very politely came back to me and said that the owner did not want me to take pictures and then thanked me for asking. So that was my introduction to the the Spinning and Weaving Festival.  Shut down by my local(since I live in the county they are from) fiber people. I remembered how friendly all the fiber people in Maine were just last month. I wondered if all the vendors at this event would be the same way as the owner of the first booth I encountered.  I put my chin up and continued through the event. I realized I do have the ability to write and describe an event even if I don’t have photographs of certain things.  Persevere my blog followers and read on because the event gets MUCH BETTER!

Continuing into the event there were booths with beads and buttons, roving, hand-spun yarn, hand painted yarn, commercial yarns, you name it this event seemed to have it! At this point I still had not gotten the nerve up to ask about more photos of anyone. I noticed a sign on a little booth tucked in the corner of the room for  Fiber Arts in Whittier.  I decided to check out that area of the room and boy am I glad I did! I noticed a woman sitting in front of a spinning wheel while using a paperclip to demonstrate spinning.  She asked the woman that she was demonstrating for to grab the center of the single ply that she had spun.  The woman obliged and then the demonstrator took the two ends together and the yarn spun around itself to form a two ply yarn.  I watched and listened to this woman until a moment came for me to have the opportunity to speak with her.  She is a vibrant wonderful soul that is eighty-nine years old. I didn’t believe her when she told me her age and I asked her if that was REALLY her age.  She confirmed it.   This breath of fresh air is a spinner named Mary Frances Eves. I cannot fully express just what an impact this woman had on me. Not only did she pick up my spirits from my first impression of this event she renewed my hope of finding a friendly fiber community in southern California! She is a retired school teacher that is now a professional clown.  She graduated from Clown College and everything.  She consistently made me smile as she told me stories and jokes and gave me a tremendous joy to be alive. She explained that she has grown her own cotton to process and spin so she could make a garment (I  believe she said it was a sweater).  She had a lined handbag that she had made from spun dog hair that she had dyed with Kool Aid.  She won a prize at the county fair for that piece.

I asked Mary Frances if I could take pictures of her spinning and she said “Sure, why not?”. Mary Frances you are a joy to be around. Simply by typing the word ‘joy’ I  remember your “pride and joy” and it brings a smile to my face!

If you look at the empty chair beside Mary Frances in the photo you can see a small glimpse of her bag made from spun dog hair.  Spending time with her lifted my spirits and I feel so inspired by her. I hope everyone reading this has the opportunity to spend time with her someday.  I hope to see you again!

I could have easily spent ALL day with her but there were other people waiting to speak with her as well so I decided I should continue to make my way through the festival.

I do have more to write regarding the festival and I will post more in the next few days.

I have decided to join the National Novel Writing Month for November. I will probably refer to it as NaNo or NaNoWriMo from here on out.  Since I have already missed a few days this month and I still have not written one word for it but have written over one thousand just for this blog post I figure I should go meet my word quota for NaNoWriMo for today.  If I write at least two thousand words a day then I can make the deadline at the end of the month.  Check out the site all you budding or would-be-writers.  It costs nothing to join and gives you a sweet little kick-in-the-behind to try living a dream.

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