it wasn’t Maryland, but Huntington had its own, lovely Sheep to Shawl Festival here on Sunday. And what a glorious day it was!

First off, the weather, which was supposed to be gray and rainy was anything but. It was sunny & glorious! Many Long Island guilds participated, including my own favorite spinning guild. Also present were the rug hookers, bobbin lace makers, knitters, tatter (almost said taters!) and weavers. Live music was provided by a trio of musicians and there were pony rides, antiques,food and lots of general gaiety. I even managed to learn some drop spindling techniques!

I really enjoy doing spinning demonstrations at these festivals. What a great way to spend the day – spinning with friends!

One of our guild members, Tabbethia is a professional shearer/alpaca and llama breader and shower and here she is giving one of three demonstrations.

So keep this in mind for next year – if Maryland is too far, Long Island is right here!

Navajo. not always the answer.

There has been some spinning. My guild has a smaller group that meets every now and again called The Explorer’s Club. These spinners together decide on what type of wool and then spin it for their next meeting where they discuss the properties of the fleece, what fiber prep method they found most useful and what type of spinning method yields the best results. The Explorer’s Club is great for expanding your knowledge of sheep breed, the different fiber types, staple length etc. and how this all effects the spinning experience.

Unless of course you take my approach which goes something like this.

shit. is Explorer’s on Tuesday?
I better do something then.
where did I put that stuff? what is it again?
finding stuff
~insert general historical musings~ would you look at that, ‘Southdown Babydoll’ I wonder if that’s where the name of the town (town by me) came from?
well, I’m not washing this. I’ll just do the cleaned stuff.
crap. this isn’t going well. it’s spinning for shit. I suppose I should have checked staple length etc. ahead of time.
I should definitely spin it onto a bunch of different bobbins so I can try different plying methods. Maybe that will help.
f*&! all bobbins are filled with other stuff.
that’s it. everything is getting navajoed.

Navajo plying is a very cool thing. I love Navajo plying. It has lots of useful aspects. Plus it looks really cool when you’re doing it. It cannot however, take your crappy, last minute, unprepped spinning and turn it into something that looks good. There is no dross into gold here.

The ‘yarn’ that was the result is for shit. Really, I should be embarrassed to even show it at the meeting tonight. When they ask me if I used the woolen or worsted method, instead of trying to remember what the hell that even means, I will have to confess to the lazy arse approach. In more genteel circles, this is referred to as the Last Minute Method. or maybe I’m confusing it with the “Pull Out” method! ha! truly, this is the spinning equivalent and has the same level of guaranteed results.

But what is the stuff in the picture? The stuff that actually looks not so bad? When I realized how out of control and behind my spinning had become, I took the time to get a bit organized and clear off some fiber that had been stagnating on the bobbins. I also felt the need to redeem myself as a spinner and have something that looked halfway decent. That is 180 yards of two-ply Coopworth in the Autumn colorway bought from The SpeepShed at Rhinebeck.

Boar’s The Best

10 oct 2 (9)

Originally uploaded by purlingswine

Do you see that metal clamping thing at the base of the mother of all? (I giggle every-time I say that word) It appears that I was being much too gentle with my new wheel. That clamp is the tension adjuster. When I unscrewed that piece I was able to rock the MoA a bit to change the tension, but not much.

Well when Boar came home, I was telling him about the wheel not taking the fiber onto the bobbin and asking if he had a rat tail file to try (thanks Cheryl!). “By the way”, I said, “what do you think the deal on this is?” and I showed him the clamp, the limited movement etc.

It turns out that the metal was stuck to the wood. I guess a build up of age related goop had worked to glue them together. All it needed was a good twist – my problem all along had been not enough tension.

So we are spinning!

Speaking of age related goop – Boar and I are celebrating our 21st anniversary on Thursday and I have come to believe that that is the secret to a long term marriage …. age-related goop.

in other matters, here is my horoscope for today …..

If people around you react explosively to an explosive situation today, do not follow their example — not matter how justified they may be. Screaming at someone who has been rude or inconsiderate isn’t going to mitigate the stress, it will only increase it. Be mindful of your role in every conversation, and try to be a force for mutual respect, not power struggles. You will have to take the high road today. There will be another day for you to get down and dirty and get things off your chest.

sounds like things could get a bit dicey at Costco ……

Spin Out


these pictures should say it all – Spin Out was fantastic in every way! The weather was sheer perfection! The location was gorgeous! The bathrooms were close by! The spinners were Fun & Fascinating! It truly was a perfect day. lots of exclamation points!!!

I picked up Martha (fellow guild member and spinner extraordinaire), at the train station and we headed into the city. This was a major step for me since I have a fear of city driving. Well, those days are over! I drove in with no problem at all and found a very conveniently located parking garage. We got to the site in Central Park at 10 to set up. Cara brought bagels! Before we knew it all of the spinners began to arrive and from there it was a whirl of gabbing, laughing and spinning! Truly the day just flew by. The carriage horses and pedi-cabs come to see the spectacular view from this site so we had a constant parade of people. There was music in the distance providing a nice audio background. What more could we ask for? I walked through my door at 7:30 pm – exhausted but happy.

I bet you want to know who was there — I am terrible at this and will leave people out for sure. Cara had a sign up sheet so perhaps she will provide a link-fest for us. In the meantime, I was yucking it up with Nancy, Maribel, Chante, Peggie, Annie, Jenny, Regina, John, Kay, Melissa, Amy, Jenna, Martha, Carrie …… I know there were lots more. And now I feel badly. I hope you all are happy – see what you’ve done!

Anyway, there are more pictures to see over at my Flickr account. Today I will be performing a labor of love with potential for fabulous dividends ….. stay tuned for more details, all will be revealed my pets!