I have been away from my WP dashboard for entirely too long! Each year June is pretty auspicious – my anniversary & birthday are within a week of each other – but this year was off the hook. It all began with a nasty cold. Thank you Air Jamaica seat-mate. My immune system enjoyed your coughing & sneezing into your rag-cum-hankie.
As soon as I got over said nasty cold, it was full-steam ahead for MIL’s visit. In my world this typically inspires a greater degree of order, and cleanliness in my house. It is a lesson I have learned well over the 6 years we have lived here in Canada. There are certain steps one can take to reduce the chances of hearing the words, “Well, my mother always said that a little dirt never killed anyone.” I now know that stash, etc. is best stuffed in far-off closets. And that’s easier said than done in our small house… Ace DIL that I am, I now have a mental list (no paper trail, see?) of food she will willingly eat, and food that gets the up-turned nose. There’s much more to this than well-spread beds & clean towels, and you won’t find it in a book.
Had a wrinkle though… I was also going away that weekend for my first-ever Ontario Handspinning Seminar. That jaunt did wonders for all concerned. MIL had quality time with her only child & I came back high on life & spinning. The OHS had good programming, and I loved the fiber-fest atmosphere in the vendor’s hall. I left inspired, and with a few friends. It’s run entirely by volunteers, and I really appreciated its independence from the guild system. A few vendors congratulated me on being a young person, so you can see where it could use some improvement! Speaking of vendors… Defeating the purpose of hiding stash, I went & bought some more! I bought this year’s raw fleece from Julie at Sunday Creek Farm. It’s primo white Romney from an ewe called Buttercup (Aww!). It’s ½ a fleece at 3 lbs 5 oz. Let me not rhapsodize…
Julie has registered Romneys and even a novice like me can tell this is a spinner’s flock! She was also good enough to put me onto Triscour soap from Wellington Fibres. She’s right – it’s a great scouring agent! Triscour at work this afternoon:
And here is some drying out in the hotter-than-Hades sun today:
I am ¾-way through this job, and am impressed with how little chaff & other stuff is sitting in the wool. Julie also plans to coat some of the flock.
Great to have 20 serious spinner’s vendors all under 1 roof! The 1st night I found a sister for my Kundert spindle. It has a walnut whorl with cherry accent wood:
A much better tool for splitting the Rambouillet hand-dyed roving. I had been lagging with my friend’s Turkish spindle by Ray. Even with a growing cop of yarn, I found the spindle to light to have a good spin. Then I had a sleepless night in a cooooold Queen’s University dorm room. Actually huddled with 1 finished sock:
Good thing I brought it along for some knitting 🙂
I almost missed this Tabacheck Compact Deluxe spindle. It was at the back of the Yarn Source‘s booth. I have coveted one of these ever since reading the Bellwether’s Productive Spindling. It’s a key member of her spindle Dream Team! Mine is cedar with a cherry shaft. It weighs 0.79 oz & has an amazing spin:
I don’t think that I have very good pics from the weekend. It was a rainy, dreary affair. My Saturday workshop was ‘Around the Whorl.’ The instructor was Catherine & her blog is here. The class was full, and Catherine taught us a bunch of tips & styles. I was pretty tired but woke up when I saw the swag on our chairs! Catherine obviously worked really hard on the bags/ contents, and her lace spinning was awesome!
On Sunday, I skipped the spin-ins, and went to the Shepherding panel. Good choice! The Shepherds were Frank Misek of Greystones Farm in Wilton, Tracy Asseltine, and Donna Hancock of Wellington Fibres. They stressed farm management, what we should look for in choosing a fleece for spinning, mill processing, and adding value to their fibre. Both Tracy and Donna raise Angora goats, and are involved in mill processing. It was very informative, and straightforward enough for a mere pup like me to understand!
I do have a whole bunch of birthday spindles to show-off, and some knitting that I am wearing all over creation but haven’t had time to write about! Life’s going back to normal now (for a few days at the outside), so I’ll have to get my act together & blog again soon!