Today was a day I’d been looking forward to a lot: the annual Aurora Colony Handspinners’ Guild Spin-In in Aurora, Oregon, where members of the Guild gather for a day of fellowship and you guessed it, handspinning. There were about twenty of us there today, and it was wonderful seeing all the different wheels, methods of spinning, and fiber being spun. At one point or another, most of us wandered around the room ooh-ing and ah-ing at what we saw.
I knew a few people there and got to meet more and make new friends. It was a wonderful day; Suzette and I sat next to each other with our Ladybug wheels and enjoyed the day together. It was all very relaxing and enjoyable, and now that the days are longer, I will join the Guild once a month at their meetings in Canby.
Today I put together a collage showing what I bought this weekend at the Fiber Fair. Easy to tell I went tonal this time, and definitely bluesy.
So many of my spinning fibers are multi-colored and very bright; I love spinning them but they don’t work too well on lace or patterned projects, so I wanted to get something that would work well for my lace knitting adventures.
The undyed fiber? Well, Suzette and I are planning a dyeing day at her house one of these days, so I get to create my own colorways! I’m kinda scared about it, never having done dyeing before, but I know the colors that I love so it should be okay.
I got home from the fiber festival yesterday and suddenly realized that I’d forgotten to look for a matching yarn for a special knitting project I’m going to be starting soon. So I decided I’d just drive back up to Hood River again! Why not? It’s a lovely drive and I don’t mind going alone. So off I went, about 11 a.m. I figured I’d have plenty of time to look around because the marketplace closed at 4 o’clock. Wrong, wrong, wrong. It closed at 2 o’clock! No biggie. I had two hours to look around, talk to friends and enjoy the atmosphere.
I didn’t find the yarn I was looking for, but it was good to be there. I really enjoyed the afternoon. This was a fabulous fiber festival, and I am in awe that it was the idea of just one person who put last year’s first festival together. Kudos to Yvonne of Lavender Sheep for making it happen!
I love going to fiber festivals. I’ve found that the people who attend them couldn’t care less about what I look like or how much I weigh, whether or not I’m wearing makeup, or what kind of clothes I wear. That stuff just isn’t important. I never feel as though I have to dress up or impress anyone; we’re all connected because of our love of fiber. Kinda like being among all my friends and ‘ohana from da ‘aina. The outside stuff just doesn’t matter; what’s important is what’s on the inside.
But I digress. Here’s today’s photo, full of fibery goodness. It was a terrific weekend!
One photo couldn’t do justice to my day today. So you folks get to choose which one you think is the saddest, worthy of the photo of the day.
About a month ago I finished a really pretty cowl. I knit it out of my handspun. It was the first lace project I’d ever knit, the first handspun I’d knit, and I was mighty proud of it.
It looked really good when I wasn’t wearing it. The lace pattern showed up great and I loved the feel of it. Oni one problem: Each long edge rolled up toward the center so that I was left with this ugly coil-y something around my neck, despite some rigorous blocking beforehand. Every time I looked at it I got upset. It had taken me so long to knit it, so long to learn how to do lace, and now I was left with something I hated.
So I went into Littlelamb and Ewe today and showed Cindy the Knitting Destroyer my trouble, and after talking about it, we both agreed that frogging the whole thing was the best way to go. She’s a great frogging enabler when it just hurts too much to frog your own knitting.
Oh. You don’t know frogging? Well, rippitt, rippitt, ribbitt.
Now you know.
Here is the good nurse, finding the end of my knitting where I’d woven in the ends.
She starts pulling out my knitting. Remember, I gave her full permission to do so. It just hurt too much to do it myself. Hours and hours I’d spent on that cunfunnit cowl!
Here is the mad Yarn Nurse Kavorkian at work. She has put the end of the yarn in the electric ball winder, which is slowly pulling out all my carefully knitted stitches. Oh, da pain!!
The yarn ball is getting bigger and bigger, and my knitting is getting smaller and smaller.
Eventually it was pau. My cowl was no more. And here is the proof. Do you think she looks like she’s having fun?
I will find another pattern for my pretty yarn. After I’ve recovered.
Ho, I wen fall so far behind, yeah? Now stay pau da Tour de France and I stay playing catch-up! So today I going post da next three days of da Tour de Fleece.
Everyday I tried to get creative with my collages. Some days I had a lot of time, some not so much for that. For Day Thirteen, I thought it’d be fun to have the underneath of my myrtlewood wheel for the background. Joe Jorgensen made several hundred beautiful, myrtlewood wheels; there are several of us on Ravelry who are trying to locate as many of them as we can.
As you can see, the bobbin is getting a little fuller. Spinning a new fiber was a real learning experience for me, but the more I spun, the more consistent I was able to get.
This was my attempt at humor. I’d taken the photo of the Pileated Woodpecker right outside my office window and am really happy with it. I thought this could work well for my Day Fourteen collage.
For Day Fifteen, I did what a lot of handspinners do: put a coin underneath the singles to demonstrate how fine we’re spinning. I’m not spinning major fine, but as you can see, my singles is definitely getting more consistent. And oh, yeah, the bobbin is getting fuller. Hee hee. I took the sheep photo on one of our appraisal assignments near Jefferson, Oregon.
On Day Nine, I filled up the first bobbin!! Whoot! So, trying to be creative, I decided to put it on a daylily for contrast. A little bit of the daylily’s pollen da kine got on it; I think it’ll wash out when I ply the two bobbins together, but if not, I kinda like it!
Are you getting bored yet? Same old stuff on the bobbin, I know. But it’s getting fuller, and I am perfecting my craft. Ha! This is really challenging stuff to spin, and I’m having to figure out which spinning technique will give me the result I want. Long draw? Short forward draw? Something in between? Kamaʻāina draw? (I made that one up. How did you guess?) How do I get enough twist in the singles without making it looks all corkscrewy? How do I get more consistent in spinning this slippery fiber?
I am definitely being challenged! I’m glad I’m doing da Tour de Fleece, even if finding spinning time in my busy schedule is difficult.
Today I had to take ʻUkulele, my very special pōpoki, to the vet. She’s sixteen years old and may be having some kidney problems. It’s been a really hard day for me today. I get the report tomorrow.
I find spinning soothes me at times like this. It’s repetitive and rhythmic. It’s nurturing and creative. Some people like their wheels to be as quiet as possible, but not me. I love the clickity-clack that most of my wheels’ bobbins make as they turn, spinning fiber into thread.
I pray the report gives us some hope tomorrow. I will be spinning while I wait for the doctor’s call. It will help calm me down.
Here is the collage from Day Six… having sheep in it seemed appropriate.
Well, here we are on Day Five. At least back then we were, yeah? Ahahaha….
In this collage is one lone daffodil blooming among the tulips at the Wooden Shoe Bulb Farm here in Oregon. Well, you know that, right? Cuz I jass wen do a couple of blog posts about it! Anyway, I thought I’d add the photo. Because you know why? Because it reminds me that each of us is unique, and that photo reminded me of that. Each of us has his or her own beauty even though we’re among a whole lot of other people.
The rhododendron down at the bottom is at our house; it bloomed like crazy this year!
And oh yeah, the spinning! The bobbin is getting more full, yeah? I am finding this Merino wool is a real challenge to me. I’ve never spun it before and it’s not easy to get a consistent singles. (That’s what you call one spun fiber. Then you ply it with another singles, and that makes yarn. Though some people just spin it thicker and leave it as a singles. I know it sounds like my English is bad, but “singles” is a real word.)
Some people even do a 4-ply yarn, but that’s a story for another day. My goal is to ply the singles on both my bobbins together before the tour is pau, but I don’t know if I’m going to make it. My main challenge was learning to spin superwash (that means it won’t felt) Merino, which is very slippery and hard to control, and to spin it consistently.
Day Four. I didn’t get to have a whole lot of spinning that day, but I could still see that my bobbin is getting fuller. It’s not filling as evenly as I’d like because my flyer hooks (da flyer is the U-shaped da kine that the bobbin slips onto) are all hamajang. I went to the hardware store to get new ones, and asked my talented neighbor if he’d be able to help me with them. He couldn’t do it for a couple of days, so I just did the best I could in trying to fill the bobbin as evenly as possible, considering that a whole bunch of hooks were missing!
I was so blessed that my Bird of Paradise was blooming on the very day that I needed to take some photos for the collage! And the Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly had stopped by a couple of months ago, so I added his photo to the collage too.
Day Three. It was a really hard day for me because it was the anniversary of my mom’s death, and this year it was hitting me particularly hard. It was like I was experiencing the desperation to get down to California to say goodbye all over again, yet knowing that I didn’t make it. So I was more tense as I was spinning, and I can’t say that it went all that well. I was crying and spinning at the same time.
And yet, spinning was a good thing for me to do. There’s something wonderful about being able to create beauty in the midst of sadness. My friend Linda always suggests that when I’m having a hard day to find something nurturing to do, something that will touch me in those deep places where I’m hurting so bad. As my spinning progressed, I knew once again that she was right. I began to relax and was able to take a measure of joy in what I was creating.
The white wicker chair is my favorite spinning chair. It used to sit in my mom’s bedroom draped with a pastel shawl that I’d knit for her. I like that I’m using it to create beauty, because my mom instilled in me a love for nature and its glories.
Here is the collage that I created for Day Chree:
I was so excited that my red hibiscus was blooming that day. We used to have a large red bush right outside our kitchen in Mānoa Valley, and the flower reminded me of home.