Thursday, August 17, 2006

Delayed gratification. It's an adult concept.

My sister works too hard or perhaps she’s just too conscientious, one, because she would not take two extra days off of work and consequently I missed the first two days of Conference. Sheeesh.

We joined NwRSA (Northwest Regional Spinners Association) earlier this year because 1: we had been going to St. Distaff Day* for three years and we were enthralled to be with a huge room-full of spinners with their wheels PLUS there was a market, a nice one; B: Area 2010 has kick-ass events (Judith McKenzie’s dye class for example) and we wanted in on some of that; III: we were really getting into spinning by June last year and had to get into a support group ~ the kind which would enable us at every turn and with whom we could hang and spin.

St. Distaff Day, held annually on the first Saturday of January, an all-day spin-in with Market and left-over holiday goodies galore.

Joining NwRSA lead us to attend the annual Conference which, every 4th year, is held at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. There are perks: we get a dorm room, 3 squares a day and a seemingly unending supply of door prizes, winners of which were announced off and on during the weekend. There is also a series of raffles, all fiber related. We bought tickets and considered it a donation ~ we have a well-deserved reputation for never winning anything. It’s become a bit of a joke between us but truth be told we don’t really need any more 'stuff', and if we do we tend to buy exactly the sort we ‘need’ for ourselves.

What a shock to win the grand prize raffle: a wool blanket, hand-woven on an 8 harness loom by Marilyn Knapp of Omak, Washington and long-time member of NwRSA. We’re grinning at each other, totally delighted. Totally, even though neither of us has this particular lavender color in our homes and even though neither of us has a twin bed, delighted. It’s a beautiful blanket, lovely pattern, finished nicely with braided fringe. It was a heart-felt thank-you gift to my son and his lovely wife for opening their home to the two of us on our way through Portland to Eugene later in June for Black Sheep Gathering.

Because we missed Thursday (thnx, Pe) we could not enter our spinning or knitting for judging. We did see the results of the judging though and our friend, Evelyn Clark, was captured as she spotted the award for her entry ~ the grand prize award for best use of handspun, where she had spindle spun the merino, designed the shawl, written the pattern and knit up the shawl.

Here’s Evelyn looking de-lighted.
She’s not nearly so blasé as she pretends to be.

Here’s her shawl, in a gorgeous hyacinth color merino
from Ashland Bay. She said she purchased the roving at Weaving Works in Seattle. I wish I had a photo of it stretched out, but that would have taken planning and forethought.

Peggy and I took a class in “Spinning Beyond the Basics II” with Trish Andersen on Saturday afternoon. Our logic was that a half-day class would give us time to spin with our friends and give us serious Market time while still enabling us to take a class with a teacher we didn’t know. We were part of a small class of 10; Trish passed around long runs of multi-colored roving and asked us what we wanted to learn. The loudest voices said “Chained Singles” (heh, in your dreams; they said “Navaho Plying”) so we got into spinning for enough singles to be chained while we were entertained by Trish telling stories of her travels and filling us in on some tidbits of her spinning know-how. She said she spins about 2 pounds of roving a day. A day. She’s a production spinner, has a Lendrum and said nice things about our wheels while making it clear that, since they weren’t Lendrums, at least they were ‘pretty’. We had a great time in her class. Then we went shopping. Again. Yea!

Here is what I bought from Reflection Farms ~ a lovely Corriedale Cross in reds/golds/rusts. I spun it up fast, as it comes in pencil-roving ~ so easy to handle ~ and got about 857 yards from 5.7 ounces. This will make a great shawl!

From Dawns Custom Carding, 7.5 ozs of wool/mohair for socks. Love this periwinkle color so much that maybe instead I'll knit up a little shoulder shawl designed by Evelyn A. Clark. There's an EAC KAL on yahoo for all you Evelyn fans, btw.

From Janis at dyelots! a lovely 8 oz Blueface Leicester top that I sampled while I was at Conference and hanked up on this VERY cool little sample skeiner from Ashland Bay. Who knew I'd love another tool so much! This little guy makes sampling new rovings just as fun as swatching new yarns, and I love me some swatching!

I’m going to have to learn to pre-plan my fiber purchasing. Is that even possible? Normally I’m capable of delaying gratification, but this roving thing has me all confused. Three years ago I was all "No spinning for me. There's enough yarn in the world, don't need to go making more, nope." to "oooo, roving! Pretty!" Delayed gratification, my ass. I was totally out of control at
Black Sheep Gathering later that same month, but that's a story for another day.

Ar, reporting from underneath a pile of roving. OOOOO, PRETTY!


vanessa said...

i LOVE the colors in the reflection farms.

jenknits said...

The lavendar blanket is so pretty. What great smiles you all have! Now I have to go back and click on all those vendor links you provided. You two should be named "Queen Enablers"!

Melinda said...

I love Reflection farms roving with burning intensity. It's so yummy. I just dug a bag of dark brown/black roving out of my stash. I bought it 3-ish years ago at the Shepherd's Extravaganza. It's gorgeous, and I was thinking, where did I get this? Then I found the tag - yup, Reflection Farms.

Rebecca said...

Hi Lowlander!
Are you and your sisters twins? You really, really look alike! My girls are as opposite in looks as opposites can be. In fact, if I wasn't present for the birth of one of them I would wonder if she is really mine.

It looks like you guys had fun and did some serious yarn stashing!