Monday, March 3, 2008

Update - Spinning Adventures

In January, I had the opportunity to go the the John C. Campbell Folk School as a student for a class my friends Norman Kennedy & Martha Owen were co-teaching, called Cultural Enrichment in the Spinning Field. This was an advanced week class, and there were 14 lively students.

It was an opportunity for us as spinners to review basic skills and request demonstration and tuition of any particular skills we were interested in. I learned to spin a thick single, (here resulting in a thick 2 ply!)improved my grasp (literally!) of hand spindling and learned to spin on the long Navajo spindle.

We did some natural dyeing, watched Norman's spinning slides, participated in a wool waulking,

and visited the local yarn store, the Yarn Circle.

Here is Norman showing a sweater and scarf that he knit from yarn which he spun and dyed with vegetal dyes:

And here is our display for the student display at the end of the week:

I stayed over and went to a Robert Burns Supper in nearby Murphy, NC on the Friday night and then we had an informal tea at the Yarn Circle on Saturday for some of the local fiber folks to meet Norman.

It was a great week and went by far too quickly, as special time always seems to fly.

This past weekend, I spent a day in class with Patsy Zawistoski. The class was Understanding High Tech Fibers, and we got to spin with a variety of manmade fibers, including Tencel, rayon, bamboo blend, nylon, Ingeo, Angelina and Optim. Patsy was delightful and so full of great information. I learned a vital thumb roll, and really enjoyed trying out all these new fibers. I am generally such a traditional purist, but it's great to stretch into new territory from time to time. I particularly liked handling the Tencel and the Karaoke bamboo blend, but the Optim ultra fine wool was like spinnin' buttah!

One more fiber note - I got an order from Fleece Artist in this week, and it included their newest spinning fiber - Sea Wool roving! This fiber takes dye beautifully, and the roving is put up in a pair of roving strands that are a little thinker than standard pencil roving. I took 50 grams and divided the strands - I've spun one strand and when the other is spun I will ply them and see how the colors line up - it will clearly show how consistent my spinning is - or isn't!

This fiber will be for sale on my eBay store this week - I have two colors, Marsalaand Pansy, and I also have some undyed.
I will have more at our Peace Weavers booth at Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. If anyone wants any particular Fleece Artist or Hand Maiden yarns or colors, speak now - I'm sending in my MS&W order this week!


weebug said...

oh that fiber looks wonderful! those kinds of weekends always pass way too quickly.

Angela said...

Oh boy am I interested in that fiber!

Vicki said...

Fiber order to follow.

Hey, I recognized two students in your Folk School class--Kate and Kathryn! With 14 students in the Wet Room plus all those wheels, there mustn't have been much room to move around.

Love Patsy's thumb roll technique. And, I could happily spin Optim for the rest of my life!

Off to Etsy...

AlisonH said...

Tried to click on your link to ebay and all it got was http. I'd love to take a peek there...

Melissa said...

Well, I don't know why the eBay link doesn't work - you can find me by going to, click on Stores, and then search (by store) for Peace Weavers.

Thanks for looking!

Terri said...

Great post Melissa! Lots to look at. It was great to see Norman.