The Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair is always a huge experience for me. The fiber! The classes! The huge buildings full of vendors!
This year was no exception. I got lots of fiber: silk and silk blends, pure merino, pure cashmere from Patagonia, and even some cotton!!! I even got a little yarn – a couple of skeins of sock yarn and 4 coordinated colors of merino/silk yarn for a shawl.
I took two classes. The first was Spin for that Project, and unbelievably I was the only student. So I got focused 1 on 1 attention from the instructor, Nancie McCraw. Before class I selected a knitting pattern that I would like to spin yarn for, and we analyzed everything you need to know to spin a comparable yarn so the knitted garment would come out like the pattern writer intended. It was kind of technical, and included things like wool characteristics of different breeds and MATH to figure out how much fiber to get and how to spin and ply it. We also got to go shopping to buy the right fiber and then spin a sample to see if I liked it. Since that was a yes, I went back & got enough for my project plus some for practice as far as getting the twist and diameter right.
The second class was Fractal Frolic with Jillian Moreno. She is famous in the spinning world and the class was great. Fractal spinning is a technique that yields beautiful yarn. I’ve tried it before, but really wanted to learn more about how to pick good colors for it and different ways to do the spinning. She definitely delivered everything I was hoping for. She even took some time with me on a different question, not related to fractals, that I had about something in her book Yarnitecture.
Last but not least, Nancie recommended a book to me called Spinning for Softness and Speed, by Paula Simmons. This book describes a method of spinning wool that is fast, requires only one hand and produces a soft, perfectly twisted and even yarn. I’m in! I was able to get a copy at SAFF, and after I got home I tried it yesterday with some practice fiber. My goodness, it’s humbling to try something new! The “yarn” I produced looks pretty much like my earliest attempts at spinning 3 years ago! But I will persevere, because for projects that use wool fibers, especially in large quantities, I think this will be a good technique. I’ve ordered two pounds of inexpensive wool to practice on. Practice makes better.
Here’s the rest of the loot, in addition to the cashmere/silk blend above. I’m including these as a gallery, and I know that doesn’t show up in the newsletter version for some of you. So if you can’t see the pictures and you want to, click the “see the full post” link.
You can click any thumbnail to see the full size photo, and then scroll using the arrows at the sides. ESC to return.