Saturday morning spinning and three well traveled yarns

October 11, 2014

Good morning, and happy Saturday! It’s good to be home this morning. The past few weekends I have had to head out to various fiber festivals, sometimes leaving my house very early when I should be enjoying my coffee and spinning. Not having anywhere to be today is going to be a refreshing change. My original plans for today were to spend time at the Old Stone Fort’s History Days Fair in Schoharie. The Golden Fleece Spinners and Weavers Guild is participating in spinning, dyeing, and weaving demonstrations, and I was really looking forward to being there to help out in any way I could, but vehicular issues are preventing me from going much of anywhere today except the bank to apply for a loan.  

If you’re looking for something to do today that is fun for the whole family and educational too, take a trip down I-88 to Schoharie and check it out. It should be a fantastic day for a drive, and the views as you come over the top of the hill just before the Schoharie exit are always spectacular, but should be absolutely stunning this time of year.

Last Saturday I attended the Adirondack Museum’s Fall Festival and Fiber Arts Fair , and hosted the knit in and knitting demonstrations with Jan MackIntosh of Queensbury, NY. I first attended this event in 2012, and I was so glad to be invited back again this year. The weather was very gray and a bit wet. Okay, sometimes more than a bit wet. But that didn’t stop people from coming out to visit the museum. I still enjoyed my drive into the Adirondacks too, and despite the wetness, tried to keep a window open as much as I could during the drive to catch that beautiful balsam fragrance that fills the air.

During my time at the museum I did get some opportunities to walk around and see a few of the exhibits as well as check out the other demonstrators and the vendors. This also provided me the opportunity to get some spinning done as well. I had just a little bit of the blue polwarth and silk that I started spinning at the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival a few weeks ago, and continued spinning at the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival just two weekends ago.

With plans for a three-ply yarn, I split the fiber up as best as I could in to three roughly even sections, each being about an ounce. Each of the sections was spun onto one of Jim’s spindles and then wound off onto a plastic storage bobbin for plying. I finished the first at Finger Lakes, the second at Southern Adirondack, and the third at the Adirondack Museum. Plying was completed last night here at home.

This fiber, which is part of the Fondle This fiber of the month club, was dyed in West Danby, NY which is down near Ithaca. So throughout its life from dyed fiber to finished yarn, it has been all over New York State.

Another yarn that I finally plied last night is the white wool that I washed and carded here at home. Some of this went with me to the Men’s Fall Knitting Retreat in Seattle on Labor Day Weekend, and most of this yarn was spun there.

The last yarn that I plied last night was a bit of wool that I swiped from our pantry table after the Iron Spinner Competition at the Schoharie Sunshine Fair in July. It was a lovely Romney blend that I spun on a spindle while walking around the fair after the competition. Because there was just the one plastic bobbin full when I was done, I chose to chain ply.

One of my favorite aspects of spindle spinning is its portability. A spindle and a bit of fiber are much easier to pack up and take with you than a wheel, and require no set up. More than that, using a suspended or drop spindle also allows you the opportunity to move about a little as you spin, and that has become one of my favorite things to do. If you’ve seen me walking around at any of the events that I’ve been at the last few weeks, you’ve likely seen me with a spindle in my hands and some of that blue polwarth and silk, spinning as I stroll about. It takes some coordination though, and a lot of practice, but it’s incredibly fun.

This morning I’m going to try plying my sported spindle practice. I have a plastic bobbin with some of the yak fiber that I’ve been practicing with on each of my new supported spindles. Getting comfortable with the Tibetan style spindles with the whorl on the bottom was very easy, and I’m definitely getting better with the Russian spindle too. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to inspect the singles again as they are plied, and I’m also looking forward to more practice now that the spindles are all empty again.

That’s it for this morning. I’m off to ply and spin. I hope you all have a wonderful day!

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