Ladies, Start Your Wheels!

Day One of our spinning retreat and we’re off and running.  Well, we’re off and spinning, I guess I should say.  Every seat had a goody bag filled with different kinds of fiber when we arrived but we had to control ourselves and not dig into it before our instructor, Beth Smith gave us the go-ahead.

First on the agenda was a lovely bag of Polwarth wool.  This was what we practiced on this morning, as we tried different wheel settings to spin laceweight yarn.  It was quite educational to observe all the different wheels in use and how each person’s yarn varied.  One of our spinners was spinning yarn so thin that a normal camera couldn’t even capture a picture of it.  We needed a hi-definition camera to see the thread.

Mine wasn’t any where near that fine.  However, it was a lot thinner than I had been spinning it.  My main goal this retreat is to learn how to get more yardage out of my fiber and I’ll just be thrilled if I can get around 400 yds. of plied yarn from 4 oz. of fiber.  The spinner in the previous paragraph HAD been spinning around 800 yds. of yarn from 4 oz. of fiber.  Wow!

We even had “guests” in our class.  One of our group brought her two greyhounds with her.  She set up their cushions by her wheel and they settled right down and slept while we spun.

After a great lunch, we switched to the lace knitting portion of our retreat with Anne Hanson.  I’m doing her Pine and Ivy shawl pattern.  Casting on 303 stitches for the small version was challenging simply because it was afternoon and I’d had a big lunch but then, once I started knitting, I really had to keep on my toes from the sheer terror of thinking I might lose my place in the pattern and not be able to figure out where I had been.  Thank goodness for a growing ability to “read” my stitches, which DOES help, if that happens.

Now I’m back in my room and ready to put my feet up and work some more on my shawl.  It’s a long day when you’ve been in a spinning class for 4 hours (doesn’t that sound so physical?), especially when you say that you “covered a lot of territory.”  Ha!  As if this body would ever be poured into spandex and sweating on a bicycle in a gym.

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