Sunday, March 11, 2007

March Spin In, and what they left

Spinners at work
Spinners at work

Originally uploaded by spinnity.
Yesterday on a gloriously beautiful spring afternoon, full of sunshine and pollen, the spinners came a-visiting, with suitcases, bags and baggage. This was a repeat of our January gathering - Kristi and I set up the "Spin In" for people who already know how to spin. And spin they did! For most of the afternoon, there were seven spinning wheels and a handspindle in motion. I've got two sets of photos from this event -- one set of the spinners themselves and one of what they were spinning. I saw at least 4 spinnners change from one fiber to another, so I think it was a very productive day! I'll post the yarn pr0n pictures in the next post - the colors of the yarn came out better than the colors of the people, sorry gals!

In January, at our first spinners' gathering, I didn't get much of a chance to spin. I was being hostess and teaching spinning. This time, the newer spinners were self-sufficient, spinning away and asking questions as needed. So, reluctantly, I had to admit I had no more excuses for not spinning at my own spin in, and I actually spent several good hours spinning. I spun a gift roving from Kristi on the spindle before dinner - I think it's coming out "lumpy worsted" weight.

There were many yummy snacks - and snacks of quality! Aija brought delicious pastries from a Chinese bakery. We ate Janice's crab dip on Lori's homemade bread. Cookie served up ice cream and made a boba run to get these drinks with their "Hello Zodiac" lids. Jasmine milk tea turned out to be a great accompaniment to the spicy soup at dinner - although it is a bit of a cultural mismatch to drink pearl tea with southwestern tomato & chipotle flavors.

Our soup this time was "Smokey black bean" from a recipe from Vegetarian Times. This photo is missing Margit - and the make up photo I took to include her is, um, not good. Sorry Margit, I'll get you in next time!

After dinner, I continued to pretend the wheel didn't exist. But Kristi was on to me and urged me to get over it. I trepedatiously sat down at the wheel with a French blue Corriedale roving from Judy's Novelty Wool. The technology of the wheel is still not familiar to me, and I am kind of struggling with my drafting style, which involves untwisting, or back-spinning the beginning of the drafting zone with each drafting motion. I can tell from the fierce hand cramps I got during fiber preparation that my current hand motions are a recipe for repetive strain. I'll need to develop a new style. I did manage to spin about 2/3 of a bobbin before going to bed - the last of my 4 ounce bundle of fiber. I couln't stay up any later, but I am ready to ply next time I sit down to spin. I let a sample twist back on itself to see what I was getting. This yarn also looks like it is coming out at 12 wraps per inch - lumpy worsted, just like on the spindle. I think this is huge progress from my 1995 spinning efforts, which are clearly "lumpy aran" or even "lumpy chunky" weight.

Cleanup was pretty quick, and revealed several items left behind. As a public service, I am posting a photo so all y'all spinners will know where your missing kitchen items are. Have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the day and can't wait to repeat it. And I kind of love what I spun. It's good to be among my people. Thank you, spinners, for making my home spinning-friendly. I wouldn't be spinning without your influence.


Blogger Emy said...

I completely forgot about this, and I'm very sorry I missed it. :(

(On a completely different note, maybe you and I shouldn't talk about basketball this week. :O )

March 11, 2007 6:45 PM  
Anonymous Jo said...

I am so completely in awe of your spinning. What fun!

March 11, 2007 9:03 PM  
Blogger Abigail said...

Looks like you all had a blast!

I think the spinning just isn't in me. At least not with a spindle and I can't commit to a wheel right now. Maybe later!

March 11, 2007 9:10 PM  
Anonymous Kristi said...

Thanks for the hostessing! You rock!

My silver tray, btw.

March 11, 2007 9:54 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

I had a wonderful time and feel great that I actually spun! I even look like I know what I'm doing in the picture you took.

Thank you for having us all over and cooking such yummy soup.

The plaid towel is mine.

March 12, 2007 12:31 PM  
Blogger hannahbee said...

mary ~ thank you for letting me crash your spinning party. i dreamt that evening that i owned a wheel. :) and the needles you gave me are going to be used for my dream swatch headband! yipeeeee! :) i had a fabulous time.

March 12, 2007 1:19 PM  
Anonymous no-blog-rachel said...

It looks like Lori 'got it'! My wheel is due in this week - I can't wait.

March 12, 2007 9:25 PM  
Blogger aija said...

Thanks so much for opening your house to me and to the fellow spinners! I had a great time :)

March 14, 2007 12:50 PM  
Anonymous Margit said...

Thanks for hosting! It was uberfun! I can't wait until next time!

March 14, 2007 6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spinners in the Bay Area, who'd have thought! I toddled over from Sock Pr0n and I'm looking for fellow knitters and perhaps someone to help me learn to spin. I plan to crash the TKGA meeting next month, so hopefully I'll meet y'all there! Looks like you had a lovely time - with a bit o'luck perhaps I'll join you someday.

March 15, 2007 4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a new spinner in the Santa Clara area. Is your spinning group open to new members? I would love to join some social spinning.

March 25, 2007 8:12 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

I love your spin in. I wish that they had that over on this side of the country. I just got my first wheel and I don't have any idea if I am "really " spinning yarn or not.

March 28, 2007 6:41 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Well, the questions I didn't know to ask... I'd be delighted to share another vice with you, if there's room in this recurring spin-in for another novice spinner. (And if not, that's fine, you won't hurt my feelings.)

And by the way everyone, the wyvern socks are even prettier in person than they are online. (And Spinnity is a born leader!)

March 28, 2007 11:44 PM  

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