Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Three Weekends in a Row

Let’s go in reverse order. I got home Monday from the Toledo, Ohio area. I had spent Saturday and Sunday teaching spinning workshops for the Black Swamp Spinners Guild.  

For my overnights, I stayed with the Guild president, Deb. She and her husband have a lovely farmhouse; he’s a farmer, she raises alpacas and llamas. Deb made me feel comfortable and welcome.

The workshops were held at the Eight Leafed Clover B & B. The B & B provided breakfast treats, lunch and dinner in a delightful setting. The grounds were a pleasure to explore, especially when I’d find the occasional chicken strolling around.

The attending spinners were all cheery and fun to spend time with. And they were generous! Wendy sent me home with some of her hand dyed Targhee wool top (in the colorway, Nevertheless, She Persisted), Ann Mary sent me home with some of her angora fiber (three colors) from her Satin angora bunnies, and Deb sent me home with some lovely grey alpaca from her beautiful herd. I’ve got some delicious spinning in my future!

Wendy (whom I’d met when I taught knitting workshops in the Toledo area in April) also brought more of her fabulous molasses-ginger cookies, and she even gave me a copy of the recipe! Good thing, too, because the cookies did not last long.

The weekend before, I drove down to Ohio, but this time to Wooster. I taught some workshops at the Great Lakes Fiber Show.  

It was a large group of students on Saturday morning for my long draw class. They were really game for trying new techniques. The smaller class on Sunday for spinning luxury fibers allowed for good discussion and ideas about how to spin some really yummy fibers.

On Saturday afternoon I judged the skein competition. This is an activity that I used to do regularly at the Michigan Fiber Festival, and once at the NYS Sheep & Wool Festival (aka, Rhinebeck). At GLFS, the judging is done in front of an audience. I really like that strategy. I get to spell out my judging criteria and values (er, “biases”). For example, I really value a yarn that is a good match for the intended use. There were many wonderful skeins. For Best of Show, I chose one that I thought was especially well spun, uniformly plied, and where the yarn and fiber content were particularly well matched to the intended use.

I managed to get a bit of shopping done. There were so many wonderful vendors at this event! And I dropped off a few fleeces with Carol Wagner of Hidden Valley Farm & Woolen Mill to get processed, some just washed, some to be carded into roving.

Prior to those two weekends of driving down to Ohio (6-8 hours, one way), I drove north to Pickford, Michigan (only 4 hours, one way). I got to attend the Spring Fiber Fling, sponsored by the Country Spinners and Bridge Shuttlers guild  and held at the Northwoods Christian Camp. It was a brief visit. For that trip, I was accompanied by my friend Becky. She’s always good company, especially when we travel into the Upper Peninsula!

I wish I’d been able to spend more time at the Fling. Next year, for sure! They are fantastic and lively folks with whom I always enjoy spending time.

As much as I love travelling to teach and share fibery goodness, three weekends in a row of To and Fro was a bit much. I returned home with a horrendous cough and cold. So, I won’t be doing my spring cleaning or gardening as soon as I’d planned. At least this week, I get to dog sit; I’m taking care of Auggie, a most well-mannered and handsome Weimaraner.

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