Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sarasota was Something!

I got back on Sunday. A whirlwind visit. And loads of fun. There were 10 people in the workshops, and after two full days, I felt right at home among them.

Let’s go around the room:

Tammy had a very cool spinning wheel, I think made in New Zealand, but she’d purchased it in San Diego. The wood was beautifully striped.

Jean was my host. She made me feel like family at her home. She is originally from Maryland and was involved in the inception of the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival
. Once a shepherd with more than 150 sheep, she now has a house filled with all kinds of equipment and fiber. She is a dealer for Spinolution and Ashford equipment. I got to spin for a bit on her sweet Spinolution “Mach 3” wheel. Awesome! Oh, and she let me try her Fricke electric spinner. Very cool too!

Debbie was the youngest among us. She had recently gotten a Spinolution “Hopper” wheel. So incredibly cute! She also had some crazy tales of “clubbing” in Tampa on Friday night.

Maureen was getting to know her Bosworth “Journey Wheel”. The workshop topics required frequent changing of spin direction, so Maureen ultimately became very comfortable switching the drive band on her wheel. Maureen also does some very nice dye work, and she gave me a bit of some lovely tencel that she’d dyed.

Elizabeth is a talented, long-time fiber artist. She is especially good with precision work. So, it was no surprise to anyone that she loved the more “tidy” yarns that we made, and she was much less enthusiastic about the more “reckless” yarns. A good sport!

Kate is a new spinner. In fact, prior to this workshop she’d never plied a yarn! And the first morning was all about “plying for texture”. A lesser person might have had a meltdown, but Kate persevered with equanimity. I was very impressed.

Lynn had to leave a pinch early on Friday to pick up her dog, Foxy Lady. On Saturday, Lynn handed me a written apology from Foxy Lady which included her picture. She’s an adorable Papillion!

Elaine. Thank goodness someone else was originally from Michigan! She had the knack of asking questions that were perfectly timed to lead me on to the next topic. Thanks for keeping me on track!

Wendy remained cheerful despite having some knee challenges. Wendy and Bev treated me to a delicious lunch on Friday. We were seated outside – something that you can’t do in Michigan in March! I had lobster bisque and a grouper sandwich. Oh, and I got a sunburn on my neck. A perfect Florida memento!

Bev was incredibly gracious about the fact that I stumbled backwards over her lazy Kate and broke it. And it was a borrowed Kate. Yikes! She assured me the following day that all was taken care of. When Bev heard that I’d spent my academic career studying dance and motor control she took the opportunity to make the requisite joke. Ha ha.

Let me get back to Jean. Not only did she host me, she sent me home with some wonderful gifts. During the workshop, she gave me a sweet Ashford niddy noddy that is a perfect sample size.

And then she gave me a loom! An Ashford “Knitters Loom”. I’ll write more about this soon.

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