Wednesday, November 03, 2010

SOAR 2010

Sooooo... yeah. It's been a while since I blogged. But SOAR was important. Spin-Off Autumn Retreat for the uninitiated. In Delavan, Wisconsin.

I went not knowing what to expect. No one I knew in Real Life was going to attend. I had only heard good things, save for the Swine Flu Epidemic of 2009, but I got my 3-in-1 shot in September so I wasn't worried about that. I was leaving a two-week-post-tonsillectomy husband and 2 small children at home in Texas, and I was slightly worried on that count, but not too much. We had emergency babysitters lined up and a healthy frozen dinner service on speed dial.

I'm going to skip all the fluff and get right down to it, especially since I didn't take the camera (I know, I know -- for shame!). On Thursday night, I met people I had only talked to online, placed faces with avatars, and non-public-me actually volunteered to walk in the fashion show in probably the least impressive garment possible (my "beat around the house" sweater -- EZ's NZ Pullover in 3-ply CVM long-draw worsted weight).

Friday started with Margaret Stove's Spinning Fine Lace retreat. Definitely re-wrote my preconceptions on lace spinning. I wouldn't have guessed that a medium whorl would be the secret to beautifully knit-able gossamer yarn. Looking through a microscope to see the twist angle on the result was a true revelation for me.

Friday afternoon changed my perspective, too, but in a different way. Now, this time we were spinning fast in Sara Lamb's Silk Spinning class. I had always avoided spinning silk top because of shoulder tension from spinning from the end, semi-worsted-style. All of a sudden I was spinning with my hands in my lap, fiber coming from 'wherever' in the fiber-mass and it was the easiest, fastest, most relaxing thing ever.

Friday night was more camaraderie and sharing stories -- and drinks (I never drink at home so I let loose -- perhaps a little too enthusiastically -- abroad). Saturday morning, though, I was right as rain, particularly after a brisk, and by that I mean CHILLY, walk by the lake, which was wonderful.

Open Studio was Saturday morning - perhaps something that needs to be tweaked in future, but still gave me a chance to spend more time discussing obscure topics while getting some serious brainless spinning time in -- always my relaxation method of choice.

Saturday afternoon culminated in Deb Menz's class on blending fiber on hackles. Also fascinating and I learned that I have a fairly difficult time distinguishing equal value between different hue families. :-/ However, the blending was great fun and I was finally able to put in play all the theory I had gleaned out of my beloved copies of Color in Spinning and Color Works. I also gave value to that tetanus booster I got 2 years ago by thwapping my right thumb solidly onto the hackle. Note to self: thumb /= fiber.

Sunday morning I managed to pry all my new acquisitions into my suitcase and backpack and head home .... less one motorcycle jacket, which I forgot in my airport-ride's vehicle. She has kindly offered to mail it to me, though.

Market purchases: Only 1 pound of Rovings polwarth and 1 pack of undyed silk hankies. I left with way too much of my budget unspent -- mostly due to the crowded nature of the market. I felt if I would have bought something it would have to be on impulse and I am very much not an impulse purchaser.

That's pretty much it -- I don't remember much of the Spin-In (except for watching Phreadde card cotton for Sara Lamb and Deb Menz while we all indulged in scotch) due to sleep deprivation. Someone (ahem... me) forgot to pack her melatonin and my internal clock is not used to the sun (or lack thereof) in the mid-west. I think I went to sleep at midnight and woke at 3am every night of my stay -- not so good for working with sharp and pointy wool implements!!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


There are some things that I, Little-Miss-Rules-Follower, am willing to jump a barrier, walk past a "Do Not Go Past This Sign" sign, and risk the ire of the Gardai for.


Cliffs of Moher


But don't you think it's so worth it???

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Back from Holiday

So, I'm back from a long holiday break and the store is re-stocked. I've got a few more odds and ends to finish up, then I'm going to attack the biggest bag of Targhee ever.

I will be doing a combination of dyeing pre- and post- spinning, so if you want to request something without obligation, feel free. I'm not taking custom orders, but I would like to see what I can do with weight/color requests.

Hope to show you more yarn soon!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My New Toy

I got a Rigid Heddle Loom. A 24" Ashford. At Kid N Ewe. For half-price.

I've already woven a piano scarf (and I suck at trimming fringe).

Unfortunately, hubs took the [work] camera to China to take [tourist] pictures. I'm angry. Bear with me. Pictures will be forthcoming... once I get that fringe trimmed.

Ana said I had to add pictures since she lent me her Digital SLR for the week.....

Oh Noes!!!!!! It's a Sunburned Zebra!!

Monday, September 08, 2008

I'm Not Going to Tell You How To Vote

Heck, I'm not even going to tell you which party I belong to. It's not relevant to this discussion.

But here's the thing: VOTE. It's important. It DOES matter. Most importantly, though, please vote with an informed knowledge of the candidates. If you'd like an unbiased source for the candidates' policies and views, you can find one here...

Yes, I know it's extra work and you're already super busy. I know it's easier to just vote your customary party line. However, it is very important to know WHO you're voting for. Don't just vote for the party that typically agrees with you on certain key issues.

Please, please, please RESEARCH the candidates -- all of them, including the VP nominees. Dig down deep and look for the least biased sources. Don't just rely on your friends and religious groups for information. Dig deeper, look harder, care more.

This is important during every single election, from the municipal level to the national level, but for me, this November is going to have earth-shattering consequences no matter who wins.

So VOTE, but more importantly, use these next two months to RESEARCH THE CANDIDATES. Please.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Let's See If This Works....

Longdraw spinning a Red Stone Yarns batt.... Tiger Eye to be specific.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Knitting at 12,000 feet....

Because we could.

Knitting at 12,000 ft.

Ana's barf scarf (aka ski run)

Look What I Bought....

Just the Spinner's Choice Award-winning fleece from the Estes Park Wool Market. And I picked it out the evening before the judging. Good eye, huh? (Also a little steering towards the back of the grower's truck from my new fleece-buying plenipotentiary.)

New Fleece

From left to right is me (the happy owner), Chendra (fleece plenipotentiary), and Robin Phillips (the prize winning wool grower).

It's not coming home with me on the plane, though. Chendra, aka The Redhead, has it in Boulder right now and is going to scour it for me in return for a percentage of the cleaned fiber.

I'll post about more of my purchases later. Just had to share this one.