Saturday, March 14, 2009

It was a wonderful first day for the spinning workshop at Lincoln’s New Salem. The teachers, Dona Walzer and Barbara Brown, sure know their stuff and have made it such fun. Here are a few pictures from the day.

I tell you, the dynamics of the group makes all the difference and this group has been so good to be with.

Not having had much instruction, particularly with a spinning wheel, I’ve enjoyed practicing different types of fiber preparation. We’ve worked with merino sheep raised at New Salem (which was a bit more dirty than expected, really) and they’ve got quite a good variety of fleeces and prepared fibers to practice with as well.

We went over the differences between worsted and woolen preparation (cards/combs), worsted and woolen drafting (short/long draw), spinning to the crimp and counting the twists per inch for singles and plies. All the things I’ve heard about over the years but never really understood or practiced. My problem is just that, although I understand that there’s a difference between the two, I can never remember which is woolen and which is worsted!!


Tomorrow’s another day with more to learn and more to spin!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Things to do...

I had a great time with the Prairie Weaver’s Guild on Tuesday night. What a great group. I did a short program on Characteristics of fiber and then broke out the samples of a fairly wide variety of them for people to touch and spin with. Of course, the star of the evening was the Kromski Minstrel spinning wheel that recently graced me with its presence!

I’ve had a couple of days off from my day job to prepare things for my upcoming Lincoln Land classes – Designing a Purse (knit or crochet) which will run over 3 Thursday nights beginning March 26th and Knitting With Jewelry Wire and Beads which will be the first Saturday in April. I’ve been able to get a great deal done with a little more to do later today. This is the first time I’ve done the Designing class in this format and, of course, designing is what I love to do so I’m very excited to get this class underway. I’ve got lots of fun creativity exercises and a design questionnaire that should help people get started with the process.

The next thing to come up in my busy month is a spinning workshop this weekend at Lincoln’s New Salem. We just so rarely have access to spinning classes here so this is such a treat and I can’t wait. Kromski and I will head over tomorrow to learn about the sheep breeds that were common during Lincoln’s New Salem days (around 1830) and the spend two whole days with spinners – what a treat! I’ll take my camera and will hopefully have some pictures to share (if I can remember to take them!).

The gansey is through the plain stockinette and I’ve just started the first garter border. I promise that I will take a picture for the next posting. A blue knitted tube just hasn’t seemed worth breaking out the camera but now it’s soon to get thrilling!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Slightly blocked

Just a quick post to show off the slightly blocked long gloves. I really do think they would look better in a lighter lace yarn but I do think they're awfully elegant!

(Click to see a larger version.)

Just a quick note, too, to brag a little on my wonderfully talented mother, Wanda Odum, who designed this t-shirt logo for her local chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists:

I'm so proud! ahhhh....

Sunday, March 8, 2009

One down, a few to go

I wanted to finish at least one of the projects I have outstanding this weekend and was actually able to do it by finishing my long gloves. They’re soaking right now and I’ll try to figure out how to block them so will have to post pictures a little later. I think they are very elegant but I think, before blocking anyway, that they would be prettier in a less ‘fluffy’ yarn – one with less halo. I think it would show up the pattern a little better. But I still like the idea of this one. I also still like the idea of adding beads around the wrist so maybe I’ll make them again with a less fluffy yarn and some beads. Ha! It’ll go on the list, anyway!!

I got tons on knitting done on my gansey, due almost entirely to the 3 hours I spent Saturday morning with my car in the garage. Rather extensive maintenance and checking which was also insanely expensive. But I keep trying to tell myself, at least it’s not a monthly car payment (although this would make up for a couple of month’s payments). I’ve gotten spoiled by not having a car payment for about the last 6 years. Long may it drive, is all I’ve got to say!!

But back to the gansey, I’ve got about 8 inches of stockinette (in the round) knitted. Very exciting, right? I don’t mind it so much, actually, but I am curious to get started on the patterned part. I’ve decided I’m going to use knit/purl textured patterns – I think a small diamond pattern as a divider, then an argyle-type pattern, then a diagonal pattern. I think I’ve decided on saddle shoulders, too. That style seems to best suit my very narrow shoulders. That’s the plan and no pictures until there’s actually something to show.