I must say even though I went by myself both Saturday and Sunday I had a really good time, loved my classes, and since I had money this year so I could just "go for it" lol I enjoyed shopping too. This is the 7th year and I have attended all of them mostly to just look around and perhaps buy something. Last year I did take the drop spindle class which I really enjoyed and did purchase mostly natural dyes and a little alpaca roving.
I brought my camera but totally forgot to take photos-and it would have been uncomfortable to do so except in my spinning class which I just totally forgot about.
This event is not publicized enough for the vendors in my opinion. Allot of the vendors do also teach classes so they make money that way but some do not. I had a 1pm class so I went in early so I could take my time and visit with some of the vendors-and there was no one shopping that I could see but me from 9 til noon as the rest were in classes. I made a suggestion on their comments form that they really need to bring in the public for the vendors. If vendors don't make money they won't be back. Anyways I felt kinda wierd bringing out my camera with no one else visiting the vendors.
Saturday's class was Woology which I did learn allot of new things, and there was a nice handout, but the teacher was a little scatter brained lol meaning she jumped all over the place, talked really fast, got off topic allot and she thought our class was 1-4 instead of 1-5. I didn't have a watch so didn't realize it until most were leaving and someone said something to her-she tells everyone to come back to class if they want to lol It was sooooo cold in that room that everyone froze so I think they were all ready to leave.
She went over the fleece. tools, methods of prepping the fiber etc-so it was really useful. She had brought one of her own shetland fleece to show us what it looked like-then gave us bags and said we could take home whatever we wanted. I have washed allot of raw fleece before so I filled up my bag as did one other person.
As we were leaving the teacher asked me if I would like to take the rest of the fleece home to process-YES of course I would love it lol So that was cool. She even gave me a cloth pillowcase with zipper to put it in. I only store my fibers in cotton bags too and I was surprised how many in the class were keeping it in plastic bags-not good.
Here is a photo of the bag with the shetland fleece (note: all photos will expand to full size just click on them)
Before the class I had spotted her booth with the Unicorn fiber wash and rinse-I really love this product and she had a better price than what I paid online last year. We were given name tags to wear and she looks at my name and says well if you are from (the town I am in) than you must be Kathyinozarks-I am I say lol turns out she was my teacher for the woology class and she lives in my town too-which actually is not really a town but an area in the woods. She breeds long wools and I found out she is part of a fiberarts group here locally-so am excited to check that out and meet new people.
Here are photos of my finds--it was really fun
The first two photos are little bags of alpaca they only had one bag left of that dyed which I thought would be fun to use on my blending board-(second photo is a close up) This was from a local alpaca farm-which I really must find time to visit some day
I really loved this really dark alpaca which I found above in a small bag and below from another alpaca breeder that I always buy a bag or two from-she has such good prices and I love her rovings.
Below was a bit of a splurge for me but I totally fell in love with the colors. This is Ashland Bay the mixed colors is merino and that pretty melon is merino-silk. I want to play with some of this on the blending board too. These ladies were referred to me from the facebook page of Fiber U to visit for information about my vintage European wheel. They were so helpful answering my questions that I really wanted to purchase something. My spinning teacher was part of this trio of elder ladies that tour the country selling and teaching. They had just returned from an Alaskan cruise teaching.-I bet that was fun.
I had taken photos of my vintage wheel as I wanted to ask more about the drive band which I was told was a scotch tension set up-wrong-turns out my Ashford Traveler is a scotch tension and my vintage wheel is a double drive which was good to know.
While sitting in the lunch room waiting for my class someone came in with a Kromski wheel that looked like the modern version of my vintage.
Visiting this event over the last several years I have always wanted to purchase a pair of alpaca socks and this year I did just that. These come from alpaca fleece grown here in the USA and then these socks and other articles are made in the USA-so it helps out those that raise alpacas.
The first pair are slipper socks-I love the little alpaca grippers on the bottom of the socks. These will be perfect at my spinning wheel or in my new living room-I don't let anyone wear shoes in there lol
I bought these from the two alpaca booths I bought the alpaca fibers from above.
And this was my big purchase of this event--that I had planned for. I talked with an Ashford dealer that would be at this event and she said she had a jumbo flyer for my wheel that she had had for awhile so she would give me a discount.
This will enable me to make fat art yarns-so I am excited about this. I need to find my dark stain and stain this up-put the hooks on and take the one maiden off and put this on. I also found out, which I wish she would have thought to bring since she knew I had an older Ashford wheel is a piece that goes on the maiden that will enable me to use this jumbo flyer and then take off and put my regular flyer back on without having to also take the maiden off too--which would be a good thing as I don't want to be screwing off and on that maiden and possibly wearing out that screw hole in the wood. (hope that made sense lol)
My Sunday class was beginning spinning from 8 am to noon. The original reasoning for the Ashford traveler was so people like me could take them to class easily. However cars made in 1978 and now are much different I can see-lol This wheel was advertised to easily fit over the hump between the seats in a car where the spinning wheel would ride well-not so in my suv type car now. It was too tall to fit in in the back seat area or in the front passenger side-and no big hump anymore either . It did fit way in the back-so I piled up blankets around it so it wouldn't tip over while driving-I was definately in panic attack mode there for awhile lol
I could not have had a more excellent teacher. There was just 4 of us which was nice-she only wants 6 in her class, and she just started from the beginning explaining the wheel etc. I had been doing allot of practicing but my yarn is just not improving at all and should by now. One of the reasons I decided to take this class.
So she watched me and says "quit fiddling with your wool" and she showed me another way to do it. I was glad I had the basics down first before taking this class, but I do need to re learn over what I have been doing for the last year so that is difficult right now. With practice I believe my spinning will improve.
There were two that were total beginners-knew nothing at all about spinning so they were grasping the idea but having a difficult time for sure. The other lady was doing really well-she had the newer Ashford like mine. She ended up telling us that this was her 3rd beginning spinning class and with this teacher and her past experience she finally "got it" I am hoping I feel the same after a week or so.
The teacher also told me that my scotch tension line was too short and that is why I am having problems with my tension adjustments. The spring is not to be fully expanded and there is just not enough length on the fishing line--so that was a plus to learn. Since hubby is an avid fisherman I can easily put new on.
Have not attempted to ply my own yarn yet-actually my yarn has been definately singles until just recently. She showed us a really cool way to do this-at least totally new for me. I had purchased a lazy kate when I had sold off allot of quilty things but for a two ply this was nifty. She had one of those ball winders that gives you a center pull-I actually have one of these that hubby bought at a garage sale thinking I could use it-well now for sure lol anyways hers had a little clamp on the back that she just clipped to the spinning wheel-she took the spun yarn from the bobbin and put the end right on to the ball winder and wound it up-then she took the center pull and the outside end yarn attached it to the bobbin and then holding the two pieces apart she spun it the opposite twist right back onto the bobbin-very cool I thought-and then she would put on a niddy noddy and wet finish.
Our teacher has 30 years plus spinning experience so we were all just asking questions in class-an awesome learning experience for me
One nice tip for you spinners that do not already know this-she told us a less expensive way to buy oil. Buy one bottle of the spinning wheel oil cause the container and long tip is perfect to use-but after that buy 30 weight non detergent motor oil at a wal mart type store and re fill your bottle Loved that one. I asked how often to oil and she says every new day she sits down to spin she always oils everything that moves.
So an awesome weekend learning experience for me.
A few months ago I was on Etsy looking at handmade pottery knitting bowls-I love and collect handmade pottery and thought this would be really nice to use and place my spun spools into and get them on the niddy noddy, and also when using the warping board to also put my yarns in there-through the holes to keep everything tidy and not running all over the place. I know I could just grab a big plastic bowl or something but what fun is that??
I found a potterer that I totally fell in love with-and we designed a bowl together-I wanted it to be larger not so tall and with motifs of the plants that I use here in my woods for natural dyeing. Over the weekend she sent me photos-that it was done-I Love it!! So beautiful
I told you it was gorgeous can't wait to get it she is in Colorado here is her shop