Thursday, May 3, 2012

Spinning tales

Ok, so. I know I have posted exactly once so far this year. I'm not going to apologize, I haven't had much to say. But I need to talk about Stringtopia. Last year I went, and by my own report, "The whole experience was an amazing pile of information and sensory overload," and yes, that happened again. But this time was different. This time was better.

I've owned my wheel for about 3 1/2 years. I spindle-spun a very little bit before then, and much more since. I love spinning classes for the way they remind me that learning new things is hard. I love wool, and handspun yarn from crazy-colored tops and batts. I've learned enough that I really think I can make any kind of yarn I want to. But I was starting to think I didn't really like the act of spinning. I couldn't get any momentum with my projects, and I liked my wheel but didn't love it, and I'd tried other wheels but I didn't love them either. Any spinning I did, I did when I could be cajoled into going to our local spinning meetings. I tried starting new projects a few times, but I'd lose interest in the first few minutes. I was starting to give away fiber that I knew I'd never spin, or things that I didn't care what kind of yarn they grew up into. It was not happy for me, and I couldn't figure why. I'd tried to participate in challenges like Tour de Fleece, but I'd get a day or two in and lose motivation.

So I signed up for two days of classes. I gave myself a day in the middle to get some things done for work, to relax and rest and try to not come back to work during finals week entirely used up (it only sort of worked). Friday night there was the Bash, where door prizes were handed out and everything changed. I won a spindle. A Bosworth Mini, in Birds-Eye Maple. I had heard about Bosworths, and yes, whatever they say is true. My new spindle is Really Good. I started spinning right then and didn't stop until I got home Sunday night. There were breaks for sleeping, eating, and my classes, but as Mandie noted a couple times during the weekend, I was spinning in bed before I slept and when I woke up. Saturday afternoon I was grading papers and pulled out a batt that I had thrown in my bag kind of randomly while packing, and I used spinning to entice myself through a stack of tests. I had that batt entirely spun about 36 hours later.

I apparently like spinning again. Mandie, being the good friend that she is, started bugging me right away to try wheels, quick, while I liked spinning and there were all these wheels right there. I tried the few that were there for sale, and they were fine, but still, didn't love them enough to make the switch from my perfectly usable wheel.

And then I took Beth's class Sunday morning. I'll talk more about the other classes later, but in the morning Drafting Methods class I said I felt like I could do all the things, but I didn't feel comfortable spinning a lot, so that's what I was after. And so. I was doing short forward draw, and troubleshooting my sore pinchy finger and Beth tried my wheel. And said that she always raised the treadles when she sold that one. And holy cow, that was it. I'd thought for a while that part of the problem was the treadle angle, but it never occurred to me that that was something I could change. Beth travels with a toolkit, so at the end of class I borrowed a screwdriver. I raised the treadles about 3/4 of an inch along the plastic thing that attaches to the footmen, and all of a sudden my wheel felt completely different and just the way I wanted it to. It was amazing. I cried. The afternoon class was great, and I loved the feel of my "new" wheel. I'm home now, and it's still awesome.

I finished the yarn from the pink batt from Abby:

As always, of course, it was amazing being among the yarn people. This year I was far more relaxed, and it was good to see folks from last year, as well as meeting new people. I'll talk more about what happened with the rest of the weekend later, but today, I wanted to post about how Stringtopia changed the way I feel about spinning. Which, for me, glazed the weekend with unexpected joy.

1 comment:

Knit Wit said...

Yay! I'm so happy for you that you found your happy spinning place again. And I really love that yarn. gorgous.