October has been a crazy kind of month. Both the South Carolina State Fair and the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF) occur in October, and as in past years I was involved with both.
For the SC State Fair, I submitted a skein of hand-spun plied yarn in that competition, and my guild the Carolina Spinners, Weavers, and Knitters Guild was there one Saturday for live demonstrations of those arts. It was a fun day with lots of interest from the general public. Children especially are mesmerized by the motion of spinning wheels! And I am pleased to say that my yarn took first place.
The next weekend was SAFF, and here too I submitted a skein of 2-ply hand-spun yarn in the competition. SAFF, as always, was amazing and wonderful. Those people are my tribe! I took two days of drum-carder classes from Henry and Roy Clemes, the men who are the Clemes and Clemes company that make a variety of tools for fiber art. I learned a LOT about using a drum carder for fiber prep and blending, and really look forward to applying my knowledge now that I’m back home again. Here, too, my yarn took first place in its category. It’s funny how the mind works – with this little victory something shifted for me. I feel like now I am a spinner, not just someone who spins. That may seem subtle, but it’s very real for me. There was a lot more competition at SAFF, and the judges’ comments were really complimentary. I’m working now on compiling a list of spinning and fiber prep skills that I want to develop, and setting goals for the next year (including starting to think NOW about my State Fair and SAFF competition items).
So how, you may ask, am I going to improve my skills? I have joined the Sheep Spot’s The Flock, and become a paying member, which opens up a whole world of classes and targeted skill-building. In addition to the educational resources, I love having an extended online community to engage with.