Have Ewe Any Wool?

Sunday, January 08, 2012

St. Distaff's Day Celebrations

This year, I attended not one, but two Saint Distaff's Day celebrations. The first was on Saturday with the Blue Ridge Spinners and Weavers Guild. The second was with the Centreville Spinners.

Blue Ridge Spinners and Weavers...

Melissa organized the get together and it was hosted at Beth's brand new fiber studio! What a fabulous place! Check out the wonderful view just outside the studio!

There were several demos - dyeing, weaving, warping a loom, felting, combing fiber, spinning - charka, great wheel, and assorted other wheels. Melissa gave a demo and talk on how to skirt a fleece as well.

Liz demo'd using the Charka for spinning cotton. Check out the cool Charka she has! She makes it look so easy (video below)! After several others tried it (and succeeded), I finally I tried my hand at spinning cotton...and I succeeded too! Wahoo!!! A new skill!!!

Alice demo'd using a diz to produce roving from combed fiber (video below). It was fascinating! I have tried that in the past - I'm not very good at it....I definitely need some practice.

I spent most of the day spinning. It's so much fun to be in a room full of fellow spinners!!!

There was even some knitting - every fiber art was welcome here!

Karen had a basket of beautiful wool locks that needed some prep. She spent much of her time combing the fiber. When not actively combing, she could be found discussing the finer points of fiber prep, combing, and working with the diz with Marilyn. Of course, I listened in too. That's the beauty of festivals like this - you learn so much from each other!!!

One of the attendees had acquired a new Great Wheel. Melissa tutored her on the various parts and showed her how it all fits together. She then got to practice spinning on one of the other great wheels. One of the younger attendees was fascinated by the process, so she got to demo as well!

I even took a spin on the great wheel. I've never spun using the "long draw", so I found that to be a bit challenging at first. I caught on right away after a quick tutoring lesson from Liz. Now I REALLY want a great wheel. (Alice is keeping an eye out for one....so I've got my fingers crossed!!!)

Beth had a loom that was read to be warped for weaving some towels. A couple of folks worked on warping that loom most of the day. What a lot of work! Others prepped their yarns for weaving.

Dail demo'd dyeing. The prep time and equipment needed for dyeing seemed to exceed that of any of the other projects. It's a LOT of work, but she definitely seems to enjoy it!

Check out Dail's awesome shoes! Aren't these amazing? Shoes with individual toes - how cool is that?

Linda (on left) alternated between spinning and felting. I just love her felting kits with the "fiberscapes" of sheep and llamas! (I have one myself....I just haven't had a chance to work on it yet! The other Linda (on right) was busy knitting...and fascinated by the felting process.

One attendee started with an unwarped rigid heddle....and with a bit of help from Melissa, she left at the end of the day with a loom that was warped and ready to go!!!

Of course, when we weren't busy spinning, weaving, or discussing a project, we enjoyed some of the many goodies that we all brought to share. No fiber event is complete without the requisite over abundance of goodies!!!

Centreville Spinners Celebration...

The second celebration was with the Centreville Spinners. Reggie and Spencer hosted a fun afternoon of celebratory games in honor of Saint Distaff's day. Competitions included the following:
  • Most spun in 1 minute
  • Most spun in 2 minutes with rubber coated gloves on
  • Most spun in 1 minute blindfolded
  • Most even spinning while blindfolded
It was a LOT of fun...and very challenging! I had problems with the first blindfolded spinning - I hadn't attached my fiber well....and I had to "grope for my roving and reattach while "blind". It slowed me down quite a bit and I only managed to spin about 6 ft. or so by the time I got it all reattached!

I did much better in the spinning as fast as you can (placing a close 2nd) with 13 ft 11 1/2 inches completed in one minute. Whew! One minute went by so fast!!!

I managed to win the most spun with the gloves - 9 ft. 2 inches. Boy was that hard! The rubber coating prevented even drafting, so the yarns became quite thick...with a bit of thick-and-thin in unexpected places.

Alice and I tied for the most even spinning while blindfolded. We were quite evenly matched - we spun at close to the same speed and spun about the same weight. She mentioned that we might be good candidates to work together in a sheep to shawl competition type of competition.

We all definitely had a lot of fun...even though Jo's wheel just wouldn't cooperate...and Spencer made every effort NOT to win!!! There was lots of laughing throughout the afternoon.

(Unfortunately, I don't have any photos...but there are photos and videos on the Ravelry site for the group!)


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