Unpacking is my least favorite part of travelling. I like it even less than waiting and hanging out in airports. Of course when you are a knitter you look forward to waiting as a socially acceptable opportunity to knit. I got a lot done on the sock. Now that we are home I look forward to Pat's reflections about all the places we visited.
Uncle Peter took us on his special tour of the monuments around the Washington DC mall at night. It was very moving to see the Vietnam and the Korean war memorials. We needed a little levity. Here is Peter holding up the oblisk
And Pat touching the tip
It was beautiful from any angle, we looked at the Jefferson memorial, the Lincoln memorial and the FDR memorial too. Nighttime was the best way to see them, it was cooler, parking was better and less crowded.
Now we are in DC visiting George Washington U among other things. So far Pat ranks them Columbia, GW, NYU. We are dodging the rain and managed to get out of NY just after the steam pipe explosion on Broadway. I am ready to put my feet up and knit, whew! I am making pretty good progress on the socks while we ride subways and trains. The sock seems a little large though. These may end up fitting Brian. Tomorrow we head down to Williamsburg to see William & Mary College.
Here is sock, on Amtrak from DC to NYC. We are taking Pat up to visit NYU and Columbia. It is a whirl through NY in 2 days then on to Virginia. I decided against trying to work on MS3 while traveling. Mistakes are too likely. Better stick with a mindless sock. Am trying a new toe up pattern, In Blue Moon Lightweight, typhoon tina colorway. More later.
We went to the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, Oregon. It was my first time there, but it has been going on a long time. We camped in a parking lot at the fairgrounds with lots of other spinners and spent 3 days looking at sheep, aren’t they cute?
and fleece, and yarn. It was a blast. We camped next to a large group from Washington that always had a circle of spinners going, and I sat and spun with them several times. My guild was there too and we participated in the Sheep to Shawl contest. This was new to me too, a team of spinners and a weaver take a washed fleece, a warped loom and make a shawl in 5 hours. I got to be one of the spinners, and I’m sure that is why we came in third instead of first. It was great fun. Here is the fleece we started with.Here is our team of spinners
one person carded, several were spinning and one person plied to keep our weaver supplied with yarn for the weft.
Here is Linda our weaver. She made it all look so effortless. It didn’t take as long as I thought it would, only about three and a half hours. And it was not intense, our team is pretty laid back, good thing too, because I was nervous. It was fun, though.
Here is our finished shawl with the whole team from left to right.
me, Linda, Donna, Linda (the weaver), Will (behind her) , Kate, and Velija.
Here is a detail of the shawl showing the pattern and the natural colorsIsn’t the overall pattern pretty? It is all done with the different colors in the warp and how the weft, which is basically light grey, either goes over or under it to create the subtle blocks. (you can tell I am a neophyte at weaving, I have so much to learn)
Saturday night they have a potluck (yes we ate lamb!) and the spinners lead. People who have made something from their own sheep get to model it while leading their sheep in the arena with everyone watching. The shawls get to be modeled as well. Rose had the honor of modeling our team shawl and someone let her lead a sheep too. She got an award for being brave enough to do that for the first time, the sheep was HUGE!
all in all we had great fun.
Desperate to find other like minded people, I joined the local spinning guild a few months ago. They are called Treadles to Threads and we meet at someone’s house every Monday to spin and visit. Well, this is a wonderful group of folks, they are welcoming and helpful. This week I volunteered our house for the afternoon of spinning. I cleared room in the family room and kitchen and made tea and lemon cake and waited. Lo and behold they showed up and soon the room was full of fluff and the hum of the wheels. We sat around spinning and sharing stories with each other the entire afternoon. It was lovely, I could hardly contain my excitement about having my house filled with all this creative energy and down to earth, nice folks. It is such a change from the usual pace of my life with kids and school, that it felt like a glimpse of my future when life slows down ( I hope). I can’t make all the meetings of this guild and I’m missing some of the special activities this summer, but I am grateful for my new friends and the time that I do get to spend spinning with them.
When I get a moment I will post about the Black Sheep Gathering in Oregon, more spinning and weaving.
I should always be careful what hints I leave around for Hubby to notice. I read all kinds of fiber related magazines and catalogs. Last spring I must have been browsing a catalog of looms and left it open, so that when the principal at St. Catherine’s casually asked Hubby what a nice thank you gift would be for me (I volunteered at the school leading singing all year at the daily morning assembly) Hubby suggested a gift certificate for a loom! Wooah! I like leading the singing, I didn’t expect anything except maybe a verbal thank you. I’ve always wanted to weave but I figured with knitting, newly spinning and three kids in the house, I would wait until I retired to take up weaving. Hubby had other ideas. So last summer I got to order a loom. I bought a Schact Baby Wolf and all the other stuff I needed to start weaving including a book. Then I started to try to do it on my own, well weaving is not trivial, and I realized right away that I would need to find a class or a group to learn this new skill. I made a sample scarf
and a lap blanket
Finally this summer I am able to fit in a weaving class and here is my first project. It is an overshot pattern called Rose Path. I am beginning to understand how to read a chart for the threading, the tie up and the treadling. It took me about 5 hours to warp my loom and get ready for the weaving. It is just magical to watch the pattern develop as I weave. It is a bit like it used to be in the darkroom watching my prints come to life in the developer. I know the technical part that makes it all happen, but it is still magical and exciting to watch it unfold.