Fiber!!

Nov. 2nd, 2015 06:13 pm
osodecanela: (cam capture)
Weaver does fiber. (duh)

Yes, I do weave, but more often I spin to knit. Spinning is zen. It's calming. Centering. It puts me into a better space - as long as I'm not fighting with the fiber because it's felted or something like that. I prefer to work with animal based fibers. More elasticity and a bit more forgiving in the hands of a spinner. Plant based fibers are generally not so elastic.

Al and Dan have a Samoyed. Wyatt is a gorgeous beast, now two years old. The first time I set eyes on him, "Dibs on his coat," came out of my mouth. All just dropped by this afternoon with his sheddings from the first of the year. Almost 3 pounds. Ten 1/2 gallon ziplocks full of Wyatt's undercoat.

My medical assistant and file clerks were just looking at it trying to figure out what fiber it is. After 3 minutes and multiple guesses, I finally told them. Dog was not on their list.

"What are you going to do with it?," they asked.
"Not sure yet. Probably listen to it with my fingers and let it tell me what it wants to be."
Faby looked at me over her glasses. Beto looked confused.

"I will process it by carding it on my drum carder and then will probably dye some of it with acid dyes to something earth toned. Greens, browns and rusts, and perhaps some reds and blues. Then I will sit down to spin, and will see how the fiber behaves in my hands when I start to turn it into yarn. I'm not sure how fine it will be and how even and that will determine what I ultimately do with it." Faby has heard me say things like that before. She's worked for me for 22 years and has known me for almost 30. Beto simply looked confused.

I took a tuft of the undercoat and started twisting it and drawing it out with my fingers and Beto's eye grew wide as he watched me spin with just my fingers 18 inches of a fine single and then ply it back on itself for about 9 inches of a two ply fuzzy yarn. I handed it to him and told him to pull on it to test its strength. He was surprised he could not pull it apart. "That's what I can do with just my fingers. Imagine what I can do with my wheel."

I smiled. I love when he looks at me with one eyebrow raised.



I do need to make a point of getting a cap from this for Al by his next birthday next March. Perhaps something in shades of blue. Or green. Maybe a bit of both.
osodecanela: (cam capture)
A gaggle of geese, a pride of lions.......

I know not what the true name is for a group of spinners, but I prefer to think of it as a twist.

Today was the annual gathering of spinners for the northbay, our first time at this new venue at the Grange south of Sebastopol. For the past 17 years we've met in a vineyard at the edge of the Russian River, the owner a longtime participating spinner herself, but the property has been sold. It's always been a delightful day with good company, good food and an opportunity to score fiber for future project, and even a place to learn different techniques. There's also always been a raffle, a way to cover the costs of the gathering. I always toss in $5 and unless I buy something from a vendor, I return home empty handed.

That is until today.

I came back with back today with a 1/4 lb. of gorgeous bamboo & Merino roving space dyed in shades of blue and green, ironic since I was spinning roving today nearly the same color, although a silk alpaca blend instead (& a roving I think I snagged at this gathering 2 years ago and never got around to using. Score!

Dan (dear friend, my Rose's uncle, husband of [livejournal.com profile] donkeygirl06, & a master spinner) drove down from Willets, and he and I took turns tutoring Sheila, a neighbor of mine and a very novice spinner (truth told, before today a fiber virgin).

All in all, a great day. Time for bed. I've someone in early labor and I may get called at 0dark:30 to run to L&D.
osodecanela: (Default)
I got called today. Someone forwarded my name to the folks arranging demos at the county fair & they've ask me to come spin.

I'll be doing the afternoon of Aug. 8th.

I need to see if Dan wants to join me.
osodecanela: (Default)
It was a great day today.

Once a year the country fiber community has a gathering in a picturesque vineyard right on the Russian River near Healdsburg. About 100 spinners from around the bay show up each year, wheels in tow. Fibers from merino to alpaca, bamboo to silk, raw fleece to finished yarn gets sold, and spinners crank away under the shade of stately oaks just yards from the rivers edge, green grape vines shimmering in the sun nearby.

Dan came down from Ukiah. We nosed through the sellers stalls checking out their wares. There was some gorgeous stuff for sale, but I resisted temptation. I have more stuff in my fiber stash than I could spin up in a year, even if I spent a couple of hours each day processing it. Dan has no where near the stash and he added some alpaca silk roving to his. He got about a pound to work with in varying shades of grey and white with lovely sheen, but then that is the glory of silk.

After cruising through the vendors, we settled in to craft. Men were in the minority and about half that were seemed to be hangers on - guys who were accompanying their wives or girlfriends. Now I'm a fairly proficient spinner, and Dan is bloody meticulous at it. We sat and shot the shit, had some lunch and played with fiber. I did 2.5 ounces of merino today, a roving I got several years ago, teal green accented with colors you'd find on a mallard. It's beautiful stuff, and I'm doing it up as a sport weight 2-ply. Not sure what I'll make with the yarn as of yet, but it will be fun to work with. Dan opted not to bring his wheel today. He's in knit mode at the moment, working up a sport weight 3-ply, 1 strand of beige bombyx silk & 2 strands of forest green merino tencel blend. It's simple and simply beautiful. He's turning it into a fisherman's scarf. Very impressive. It's his second knitting project, but as meticulous as he is, & as mechanical as his mind is, you'd think he's been doing this for years, but that's Dan. I gave him my old wheel x-mas before last. Eight months later he took best of show at the Booneville fair. He entered a bombyx silk yarn that beat out not only every other yarn entered, but every last fiber project other than raw fleeces entered in the fair. I've been spinning 30 years and I've never had a yard place higher than 3rd. My finished projects are well received. I've even taken a blue ribbon, but best of show? In my dreams!

A number of women drifted past, many stopping to shmooz and check out our work. I seem to attract the little ones. Today it was a 7 year old, who's mom was one of the vendors. I'm fairly certain her mom could have answered everything she wanted know. I think it may have been the colors I was working with. Her mom's stuff were all natural colors, high end raw and processed fibers like alpaca and blue faced leiscester, nothing dyed and certainly the not in the shades of a mallard.

I've babbled enough; time for bed. With luck, perhaps I'll get laid.
osodecanela: (Default)
I owe Dan & Melissa a debt of gratitude.

Weekend before last, we met at the annual gathering of spinners here in the county. It was the excuse I needed to go hunting for my bobbins & lazy Kate. I knew exactly where my spinning wheel was, but my accesories had been "put away" by my husband the last time he rearranged the great room. Yeah, it's been that long since I had spun any yarn.

It only took me an hour to find where they were hidden.

The day in the vinyard surrounded by 80 or so spinners was delightful & to my pleasure my fingers remembered their task with no difficulty. And even better, I now had my tools to use again & I can now spin in the evening, untangling the web ofthe day.

So very Zen, to sit, mind centered in peaceful quietude, fingers dancing as tho' swiftly fingering prayer beads, a woolen rosary twisting within my touch. I finish an hour later, returning my tools to their place, my mind clear, my manner serene.

I understand again why Gandhiji insisted those of his inner circle spin.
osodecanela: (Default)
Just got off the phone with an old friend I'd lost contact with. She's another fiber artist and we worked the Ren Faire together in the late 80's thru the early 90's, in the weavers and spinners guild. The faire has moved and with it my easy access to getting there on a weekly basis, when it was in season. I am NOT driving 4 hours each way minimum to go there now, certainly not while in costume period to the early 1600's

What a nice conversation we had, and we will get together soon. T'was nice to hear her voice again, and nice to be able to respond to the name Seumas once more.

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