Sunday, May 2, 2010

Festival fibers and a spindle!

Yesterday we went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival in the blazing sun and heat, and I had a blast picking out my very own drop spindle and fiber to go with it.  There were sheep, goats, alpacas, llamas, bunnies, and sheepdogs to see, and lamb delicacies of all kinds, and beautiful beautiful yarns, but I was on a mission.  I'd been reading Respect the Spindle: Spin Infinite Yarns with One Amazing Tool, and I was convinced that I could spin yarn.

K and I took a class called "Exploring Simple Spinning" where we used a homemade drop spindle made with a dowel and an old compact disc when we first arrived.  We spun absolutely nothing with it.  The thing was useless, or we were, I wasn't sure which.  But I had a good idea of what kind of spindle I wanted (high whorl, 2 oz. or so, rim-weighted and notched) and I sent D and K off to the sheepdog demonstration while I searched for my spindle.

After nearly giving up hope and purchasing the wrong (oh so wrong) spindle in desperation, I asked at yet another roving vendor's booth where I might find a spindle to spin their fiber, and was directed to Golding Fiber Tools in the Main Exhibition Hall.  There I found this beauty:

See the little sheep faces carved into the whorl?
It's exactly what I was looking for, and this morning I spun this yarn with it:

They tell me I won't be able to spin yarn this interesting looking once I get better at spinning!
I'm so excited! I bought 12 oz. of undyed Coopworth roving (I have yet to learn what makes Coopworth different from other kinds of wool, but the woman who sold it to me said it supposedly spins itself, so I will look it up in my copy of The Knitter's Book of Wool later on) and some beautifully dyed "art" fiber that seems to have a little bit of everything in it, because that is what the woman who helped me find Golding was selling.

I'm looking forward to finishing my first ball of yarn, learning how to ply, and seeing if I can knit with what I've made.

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