Fiber Corner

Daily life of a knitting designer/publisher of handknitting patterns

Sunday, February 18, 2007

I'm B-a-a-a-c-k

I'm back from my class on spinning the Long and the Short--Cotton, Silk and Flax at the John C Campbell Folk School in NC. It's the second workshop I've taken there and was even more fun than the first one. Here's our class photo--from left to right Natalie, Pat, Patsy, Joan, Sue, me, Kate, Roberta, and Elizabeth. Happy faces, Yes?
It was a wide range of spinning experience levels--from Kate who had only been spinning a couple of weeks to Pat who holds her COE in spinning from the Handweavers Guild of America. I learned so much!

Here's my ring of sample skeins from the class. The rings were heart shaped this time since Valentine's Day occurred during our time there.
We started with spinning flax into linen but then quickly moved to cotton, then silk and back and forth never spending more than a couple of hours on one type of fiber. Patsy thought it best to mix up the fibers as much as possible so that your hands wouldn't get stuck in one type of drafting style. That what you learned spinning one type of fiber would transfer over when spinning another. We even dyed some cotton (the bright pink skein in the middle) and also the marled looking one on the right. And, I learned alot about blending fibers and mixing fiber plys--the options seem endless.

I'll write some separate posts on some of the class material but I'm sure you're all waiting to hear what I bought there so I'll happily accommodate.

The week started off by spending a day with Roberta. You know what they say about southern hospitality--it's all true! Especially when it refers to her. She picked me up at the northern most MARTA stop and after stopping for lunch, whisked me off to visit her local LYS. It was a very nice shop; part knitting store and the other half quilting supplies and what a lovely owner and patrons. Then after a stop at her lovely house we went down to a meeting of the local spinning guild. So many spinners all in one room! It was wonderful. One lady has a flock of Corriedale sheep and brought some hand dyed roving to sell that I simply couldn't resist. I'm thinking it should make great socks.

There's also a little knit shop near the Folk School and I found this lovely spindle there. It's made by Janet Yost and the whorl is Macassar Ebony with a Redheart shaft. It's really a beauty and a terrific spinner. The pic has the hook cut off but it's very similar to those on Tabachek spindles. There's only two things about it that take some getting used to--there is no notch on the whorl and the shaft tapers in and then out again so the cop can't be removed by sliding it down the shaft but needs to be wound off instead. No matter, as I just love the size--it's great for using while sitting.

The shop had lots of fibers. I bought some colored cottons but didn't bother taking pictures of them. But it also had raw fleece! Yum, just what I needed to see in my Year of the Fleece.

And, not just fleece from anywhere--Shetland fleeces FROM Shetland! I had to get two. :) The one on the left is very multicolored and so soft and crimpy. The one on the right is what she called a more open fleece--the lock structure is very different but I loved the silver grey color.

Not much knitting was accomplished while I was gone. But, I did finish these mittens since returning.
These are the Fanning the Flame mittens knit with Lisa's Angora/Merino in Mars Quake. I just love this yarn; so soft with a nice little halo. The weather has been cold and these mitts have been keeping my hands nice and warm, too.

Next up--my flax spinning adventures.


At 3:17 PM, Blogger Melanie said...

I'm glad you enjoyed Folk School again. The new spindle is lovely and the fleece ... oh my! I love those mittens.


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