Thursday, June 14, 2007

Black Sheep Gathering: The countdown has begun

OOoooh -- next week at this time, we will have just arrive to Eugene, Oregon for the Black Sheep Gathering. My mom is flying in from Minnesota on Tuesday. I can tell she is excited to come because she calls daily to tell me what we will be doing next week at this time. "Next week at this time, my plane will be landing", "Next week at this time, we will be driving up to Eugene", etc. Its very sweet.

We will drive half way on Wednesday and complete the trip on Thursday. I plan to go to sleep early on Thursday night and be up bright and early on Friday in time for the juding of fleeces to begin! This is my first fiber festival. I decided not to register for any classes although there were some that were mighty tempting. If there are still openings, I might attend the class named Organic Certification of Animal Fibers: Standards, Practices, and Considerations. Being that I do see sheep and a farm in my future.

If not full, I would have been very tempted to take Orenburg Handspinning. This is a type of Russian spinning that uses supported hand spindles to make lace out of the finest fibers like cashmere for lace weight shawls. Its funny. I don't think that my personality lends itself to spinning lace weight, knitting laceweight, or wearing laceweight, yet, I find myself increasingly drawn towards it. Maybe just for the challenge. I also think that I may be drawn towards the people who do spin and knit in this manner because I am in awe.

I think its interesting to think of how one's spinning may reflect one's personality. You know I joined the Spun Stitches SAL/ KAL to spin yarn for a shawl. I feel very lumpy among my spinning/knitting colleagues. They are spinning the most amazing, teensy, tiny, yarns. And mine, well, its pretty but lumpy. However, I do like the lumpy look. I could actually get defensive and say something along the line of "well, if I wanted to spin yarn that thin, I can" but really I don't find it fun. Every now and then, when I do spin something consistently laceweight, I can see the draw. I feel each individual fiber aligning just right with the fiber before it. I can feel the staple length. And, for a moment, I am pleased with being right there with my fiber and not caring how long it might take to spin 1400 yards. 1400 yards, oh my god, you might as well say 14,000,000 yards! My personality comes rushing back. My brain travels forward in its little time machine. I see myelf knitting and finshing. Then, my spinning flies forward into kind of lumpy bumpy. Oh, this feels more right, I am going to get to the next stage faster. So, I think part of my facination with these laceweight spinners is that they have fun making this kind of yarn. And, I would like to think that they are exemplifying the enjoyment of each minute, and each strand of fiber along the spinning process.

In saying all of that, the sheep to shawl competition is one event I am dying to see. This is a sport that I may actually get excited about. Instead of fantasy football, I could play fantasy shawl spinning. Expect to see a whole photo montage when I get back.

1 comment:

Stefaneener said...

Or maybe they're crazy. You need to consider all the possibilities.

I'm not a natural lace knitter, but I'd like to be. Maybe someday.

Have fun at the fiber festival! It sounds lovely.