Friday, August 5, 2011

One last thing on SS2011

Sock Summit 2011 by Project Pictures
Sock Summit 2011, a photo by Project Pictures on Flickr.
I had a wonderful time, but what is a fiber festival without the Things You Got?!

I went in with the intention of just one purchase. I figured that would hold me back (along with the previous purchases made at BSG). I wanted to hit Abstract Fiber and pick up a particular colorway which I had spun for a sample. It's that gorgeous blue fiber you see on the left.

But of course I wandered the entire marketplace. I very much appreciated Fiber Optic's samples (the small skein on the upper left) which were eye-blindingly bright. I wasn't a huge fan of pencil roving. But let me tell you, this stuff was awesome. And gorgeous. And fun to spin. It was the perfect little spindle-snack for the evening and it certainly sold me on going back to Fiber Optic next year when my stash has been spun down a little bit more.

Sock Summit 2011
I also took a wonderful class in the afternoon from Judith MacKenzie, titled "Sock Exotica". It focused on spinning luxury fibers (mostly cashmere and cashmere blends) for socks. The baggies (above) are samples from that class I didn't finish (tussah, Chinese cashmere, superfine alpaca, Merino/silk) and the multi-tone skein is what I spun in class. The lovely red skein is leftover cashmere/silk I spun up the next day to cement the information presented in the class in my head. It was wonderful and I really enjoyed getting to meet Judith. (I also had a blast chatting with Heather, Judith's helper. She. Was. Awesome. I'm still giggling about a story that had the punchline, "How inteLECtual." Which I know makes no sense to you all, but it was really funny and if Heather stops by here, she'll know what I"m talking about.) I have fantastic notes from class I need to review and plenty of ideas about what to spin next for socks. I also highly appreciated a compliment I received from Judith. I had kept a small sample of the Peachy Keen yarn I'd spun for Laura of Textiles A Mano tied to my orifice hook. I liked that yarn and wanted to spin similar yarn to it. So I showed that to Judith and she gave me this little look and then asked, "Why are you taking this class? You already know how to do it."

Of course, you take a class from Judith to take a class from Judith. But also because there are hundreds of little details to pick up through good instruction that make your spinning just that much better. For one, Judith showed Lendrum owners how to cross their yarn over the bobbin to reduce take-in. Normally you would do this by running the yarn from a hook on one flyer arm to a hook on the other flyer arm (and maybe even back again) before it winds onto the bobbin, but Lendrum wheels use a sliding guide on one side. Instead you can simply bring the yarn across and around the opposite flyer arm to achieve the same result. It was so simple and so obvious once it was done, but I never would have thought of that myself!

After class I wandered back to the Tactile booth. I had been there earlier and admired the small samplers of various fibers (bundles of camel + camel/silk, or alpaca + llama + camel, and others). But what really had my attention was the cashmere. I'd just spent three hours spinning it with Judith MacKenzie, and I knew I'd want to have some to spin for my very own pair of "Oh MY GOSH" luxurious socks. I picked up four ounces of luscious cashmere/silk blend which I will eventually be transforming into the best sock yarn ever.

I almost can't wait.

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