Fiber Corner

Daily life of a knitting designer/publisher of handknitting patterns

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wrapping and Rolling

So, last week I mentioned the Wrap and Roll core spinning class I took at Madrona. Well, I've been playing some more with it and, by Jove, I think I've got it! Still haven't gotten it off the bobbin and won't really know for sure until I do. If the balance isn't right, gaps will form between all those little wraps.
Inside, is a crochet cotton thread and then the handspun single is wrapped around it. A spindle is needed to remove the twist the wheel puts in the thread. So, the wheel spins S as for plying and at the same time the spindle holding the core spins Z and the aim is for equilibrium. It's taking awhile to get this half bobbin of yarn plied up because there are so many things to concentrate on at once (is the spindle still spinning, is it moving the right way, wrap some yarn, push it up, slow down your treadle foot, wrap the single, quick push it up, is the spindle still spinning, on and on) that I can only do a little at a time before needing a break.

Now, why you may ask, am I putting myself through this? Well, it's good to learn new things. Keeps your brain working. And, it's a kick when you finally get it.

In simple spinning news, I've started working on my Perendale fleece again. It's white, don't know where that slight pink cast came from.
And, I picked up the Crown Prince shawl from Nancy Bush's Estonian book. Thought I'd give it a little test block because it was looking a little small. The yarn is some yak/silk I bought from Galina (but you can get it for less $$ from Treenway). It's knitting up nicely but probably won't be more than a 44" square by the time the edging is on, so I'm wondering if that will be too small to be usable.
What do you think? Continue on or cut my losses.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Finally. Finally, life worked out enough to allow me to attend the Madrona Retreat. Here are some snapshots of my time there.

Took two classes, the first was Wrap and Roll yarns with Sarah Anderson.
We had an awesome space for this class with scads of natural light. Sarah is a wonderful and energetic teacher. And, this was not an easy thing to teach; luckily, the class was small.

She had wonderful demo's of the technique, which is a particular type of core spinning using a spindle as well as a wheel.
Here one student was playing the wheel and the other the spindle
and Sarah showed how to wrap and move up the single.

And, she gave us a quick demo on how to spin this yarn on two spindles.

My other class was spinning silk with Judith. Here she is opening up a silk brick.
The whole room might look a little seasick green but I didn't bother trying to color correct it as it's exactly how I felt. There were still fumes left in the room from the dyeing class the day before (seems like people were still adding to the pile of dyed skeins on the table, so maybe there was another class going on, too), anyway, it made me sick and I had to leave early.

Friday I made a little side trip down to the glass museum in Tacoma.
Below that big cone is where they have glass blowing demo's. It would have been nice if they'd told us before we paid to get in that they were over for the day.
We missed the end of it by seconds. In the museum they did have some of the Chihuly chandeliers from his Venice show, so that was cool to see.

And, to get to the museum, you need to walk over the bridge of glass where these beauties look down on you.
If they look this good on a cloudy day, it must be mind blowing gorgeous when the sun is out.
There's a cupcake store just down the street from the museum.
Cute, isn't it. Had to get some, because it was someones birthday!
Here we are at our FT get-together dinner. I had to keep pinching myself that I was really there. From left to right, Angela, Denise, Naomi, Jen, and Laura.
The other side of the table shows, Sivia, Ellen, Kerry, Mel, and Roberta and you can just make out Angela's flame, Doug, at the end of the table.
There were so many great sweaters and shawls. But, Mel's Fern took the cake. It is a true sheep to sweater masterpiece!
And, Kerry finished her Casual Cables in the nick of time.
The birthday girl couldn't waste time eating cupcakes, she found her bliss in a wheel.
No new wheels came home with me, but here's my big ol' basket of loot. It was fun shopping completely new to me vendors. Except Ernst glass, they've had a booth at Stitches Midwest. It's always a struggle to decide on which of their beauties to bring home; at least it didn't take 3 hrs to make up my mind this time. Anyway, I found perfect buttons and inspiration (thanks to Mel) to finish spinning my Perendale fleece.

As at most of these events, the best part was meeting the people; new friends and old friends. Wish there had been more time with all of you!