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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Yarn Along - Renny's Ready!

This post is probably going to seem pretty random and/or weird, but hey, it beats missing another week of Yarn Along and I do have something exciting to share.  Or a couple things.  I had a pretty intense root canal this morning/afternoon, so hang on, it might be a crazy ride!  I apologize up front :-o.

First up, Renny's ready to roll!  My half of her yarn is all spun and I feel like I've got plenty of yardage to not have to dip into the other half of anything :-D.  How did I get it done so quickly?  I ended up having a brilliant idea to enter the Handspinner's Yarn Basket class at the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival later this month.

Not only have I always thought that looked liked fun, but by doing so, I Had A Deadline.  This is never a bad idea with me ;-).  And, not only did I have a deadline, but I obviously wanted to do my very best spinning, so I really concentrated on doing my very best spinning.  Also never a bad idea with me.

I had a great time assembling my basket.  I included half of the spun yarn, the pattern I've picked, my knitted swatch and some info about Renny and Miss Ewenice and how and why this project came to be.  I did take some pictures of it before I put it in the mail.  I'll share those after the festival.

If you've never entered your yarn or a finished item in competition, I can't encourage you enough to do so.  Even if you don't win a ribbon, you are going to get so much valuable feedback from folks who know way more than you do and that's a big win in itself.  Even just taking the time to really do your very best spinning is going to teach you something!

Speaking of fun and interesting competitions at fiber festivals, I would LOVE to enter a Shepherd's Lead class...but I can't find one close by.  Can you imagine taking Maisie all the way to Maryland?!?  I have an idea that maybe we could all do something "online", but oh man, I'm getting way off track here...

Back to Finger Lakes!  This is one of the very nicest fiber festivals I've been to.  I've gone three years now.  Or maybe I've gone two years and this is my third?  Lalala...  Last year I taught a drop spindling class and they asked me back to teach it again and add a "what next" class after it to talk about plying and finishing your yarn.

We had a blast last year and I'm really looking forward to this year.  Just like entering your work in a competition kicks you in the butt, so does having to teach someone how to do something.  I always learn as much as my "students".  I'm sure there are still spots open.  Come join us!  Or at very least, stick your head in the door at the end of the workshop and say hey :-).

Now for something random about spinning yarn you might find interesting.  Or maybe it's about wool.  Or it probably includes characteristics from both spinning and wool.  As I was making test samples before I started spinning for real, I'd spin a bit and then wash the sample to see how it worked, if I needed more twist or less twist or thicker or thinner...  You should always wash your samples to get the truest final results.  Don't ask me how I know this ;-). 

Here are two samples.  Notice that they are different lengths even though they were wound on the same skein winder?  Do you know why?

The long one is still wet and the short one is dry.  As your wool yarn dries, the fiber itself and the crimp or curl in the fiber will relax back into more where it started just off the sheep.  That wet skein is stretched out.  The dry one is stretchy.  And even though this picture really doesn't show it very clearly, it's thicker and rounder and exactly what I wanted :-).  

See I told you this post was going to be goofy.  I'll wrap it up.  Okay, one more really random thing.  As I tried to type wrap, I actually typed warp (a weaving term).  I also tried to shear a book.  Friends should not let friends post blogs on pain meds :-o.  

For my book to share - I've listened to several books lately as I was spinning.  One I really enjoyed was The Language of Hoofbeats by Catherine Ryan Hyde.  Ooh, I didn't realize she also wrote Pay It Forward.  I'm currently listening to another No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency story.  Always fun :-).

Joining in with Ginny...

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