Wednesday, October 20, 2010

OFFF - Fast, Furious and Fluffy

OFFF Class
Originally uploaded by Project Pictures
I've been spinning for almost two years now, but I am largely self- and internet-taught. It leaves you wanting, fairly often, to know exactly what it is you're doing. There is only so much that long-distance-explanation can do.

So when the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival came up on my radar, I immediately checked out the class listing.

"Long Draw" is something that is rather difficult to do on an unsupported spindle (although it can be done), but it is quite a natural technique for the wheel. Now that I have a wheel, I couldn't resist some hands-on instruction.

Jeane DeCoster was the instructor for this class, and she was great. She got everyone involved right away with a pledge to allow ourselves to "Really #*@$ things up" while we were learning. It got a big laugh, and got people to relax enough to learn.

What I found out is that I really knew how to long-draw already. I just didn't know for sure that was what I was doing. She did give me some really good pointers, and one counter-intuitive piece of advice that was really helpful.

In the end, I spun a nice skein of purple yarn that is very, very fluffy. I'm quite happy with it.

I also have a better understanding of what I'm doing, and how to go about it.

In addition, I bought a little bit of wool at Abstract Fibers. I got a small sample of their stuff at Black Sheep Gathering and fell in love. (You know, the lost-and-found skeinlet. It was so pretty, I knew I had to find them to look at their stuff in person.

My class was Sunday morning. Almost all Sunday, it rained. It certainly was dreary and overcast for the entire day. So when I walked into Abstract Fibers' booth, it was a respite from gloomy grey. The people working the booth were awesome. I had as much fun just chatting with them, and showing off my mini-skein, as I did buying fiber.

OFFF - Abstract Fibers
They were able to find a one-off of "Kaliki" in 80/20 Merino/silk blend. "Kaliki" is what I spun from BSG. This particular skein doesn't have the pronounced red in it that my sample skein does, but it is still brilliantly gorgeous. And I was more than happy to nab it at a reduced price. On a day where grey and mud pressed in from every direction, it was impossible to resist such a brilliantly sunny colorway. Plus, I'd had have a mind to buy it even before I walked in that morning.

OFFF - Abstract Fibers
I also couldn't leave without this 50/50 Merino/silk blend called "Rosewood", although it makes me think more of the copper-bottomed pots I have. They did have a "Copper" colorway in the same base, but it was much more muted and similar to a camel/silk blend I spun up last year. I loved the brilliant, shiny red of this fiber and almost chose it over "Kaliki". But then again, why pick one or the other, when you can have both... and still leave the fair without having spent your whole budget?

OFFF - Abstract Fibers
And last, but not least, they shoved a huge handful of blue fiber at me as a sample after seeing what I had done with the Kaliki sample from BSG. It is also 80/20 Merino/silk, and I couldn't help but spin up a bit of it as soon as I got home.

I can't wait to dig into these, as soon as I'm able to get a few things out of my ever-growing queue!

1 comment:

geekknitter said...

Jeane's awesome, isn't she?