Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Emily's Rolags

I spent April 23 – 25 in Neenah, Wisconsin, at Midwest Masters 2010. This event is a delightful three days of fiber arts workshops fabulously well organized by Barbara Cattani. She owns and runs the shop, Yarns by Design. A half dozen instructors from around the country taught workshops over three days. I taught four spinning workshops and one knitting workshop. And I had fun! The spinners and knitters who participated were friendly, enthusiastic, and open to challenges! And I enjoyed my time meeting some of the other instructors and hearing about their interesting approaches to fiber arts and to life in general.

One of my workshops was “Variations on Long Draw” in which we explored three general categories of long draw as well as techniques for making rolags with hand cards. One workshop participant, Emily S., was especially thrilled with her new found success in carding rolags. Here’s a picture of Emily with two beautiful rolags.

In addition to teaching, I had time to explore Barb’s shop. She has a great selection of knitting yarns, as well as equipment and supplies for spinners and weavers. I came home with a few new circular knitting needles (Can a knitter really have too many needles?), a lovely skein of undyed Wensleydale wool yarn (Wensleydale is a breed of sheep that yields especially lustrous wool of a very long staple length.), and an equally lovely skein of sock yarn that I’d not yet tried.

The sock yarn, “Bambie”, is made by Blue Ridge Yarns. I got a skein of the color way “Spanish Moss” (Color 027). The yarn is a blend of superwash Merino wool and bamboo. There is a pleasant sheen to the yarn, as one would expect from the bamboo. And I was quite intrigued by the color way: a variegated combination of medium grey, golden brown, and golden yellow. I was so excited about this yarn, that I wound it into a ball (by hand, not with a ball winder) before I even got home from the trip. I’m thinking it will work well in some sort of slip stitch pattern. That will be the topic of a future blog entry.