Sunday, 15 April 2012

The Gathering, etc.

Yesterday I attended The Gathering in Port Hope, ON sponsored by the Great Pine Ridge Spinners and Weavers Guild and was held at the Recreation Centre.

There were 4 rows of chairs set up back to back - probably 80 in all and around the periphery of the hall, vendors were set up. It was a fun day of spinning and networking. Jennifer and Karen from my spinning group, the Whitby Spinners, were there and a couple of other spinnerly or knitterly acquaintances. Julia dropped in for a few minutes, too. I met Judy Findlay from the Shuttlebugs, a group of spinners and weavers from Greenwood, north of Ajax. Our spinnerly friend, Diane, belongs to their guild and recently has put out a call to see if any of us are interested in learning how to weave. Both Jennifer and I said 'yes!' so hope to get started on that in the next month or so. The guild has a couple of Leclerc Dorothy table looms for loan to guild members so I'll be able to try it out before investing the money in my own loom.

What really inspired me was this blog Pat's Knitting and Quilting, and particularly this post. I loved how the scarf turned out using the handpainted sock yarn. I also am so inspired by how she separates the light and dark fibres from a braid, spins and plys them separately and then knits two-colour designs with the contrasting yarns. Very cool.

I finished spinning two batches of fibre this week. The first is some Bitsy Knits Custom Carded Roving I purchased at Rhinebeck last year. It is 46% Romney, 30% BFL, 12% Yearling Mohair, and 12% Firestar. The colourway is Fall's End. I was attracted to its autumnal look and the shine of the Firestar.
Last night I finished the Dyeing for Colour superwash merino. I spent much of the week working on it and am happy to now be finished. It's 396 yards of slightly thicker than fingering weight. It should make a nice lace shawl of some kind.
I must confess, I have never completed a knitted project using my own handspun. How crazy is that? I look at the skeins wrought from my own hands as little pieces of art and I'm afraid to knit them up because the yarn will be gone. However, I really do have a lot of the stuff piling up and must start looking at appropriate knitting projects for my skeined 'babies'.

That's another thing I was impressed by with Pat's (of the aforementioned blog) spinning. She knits it up right away into attractive and useful projects.

I'm not like Michelangelo who felt he was freeing his sculptures from the marble. I don't look at my handspun and envision a finished project. I really am more of a technician than an artist. No matter, I'm going to really try and find some good projects to knit up some of my handspun.

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