Sunday, February 4

Fiber Frolic and spinning silk hankies

I've been busy the last few days getting ready for a Fiber Frolic (aka knit and spin in) held at Jessica's house yesterday. I went early to help get ready for the crowd. I took my spinning wheel, lots of spinning fiber to sell/trade, things for the swap table, a donation for the door prize basket, and a huge pot of vegetarian chili. I'm so glad I went early! The roads were fairly clear, the sun was trying to shine, and it was only 10 degrees. After I was safely at Jess's, the wind began howling, banging against the house, and we had white out conditions for a while. (Must have been the cold front that was supposed to come through. Later, my husband told me our winter weather warning had been changed to a BLIZZARD warning! Yikes!) We were afraid the weather would keep people away. Not so, it wasn't long before they began to arrive. In all, eleven people braved the brutal weather conditions to attend. Peggy Coffey and her friend, Svenja, drove the farthest from LaPorte. That must have been a long, cold drive. You'll find pictures of the event on my friend Liz's blog. Jess will no doubt post some on her blog when she recovers from having us all over. LOL!

There were 7 spinning wheels whirring away, 1 drop spindler, and a number of knitters. I spun some lime green Shetland on my Majacraft Little Gem wheel (see picture above). We showed off our handspun, spinning fibers, completed knitting projects, etc. Jess hung a string across her patio door to display her completed Cameron Shawl, Elizabeth's Hap Shawl, and Liz's Flower Basket Shawl (knit from her hand dyed, handspun singles). All of them are gorgeous!

I did a short demo on spinning silk hankies on a drop spindle using silk hankies I purchased last year at Michigan Fiber Fest. The lady at the booth showed me how to pull one thin layer from the hankie and pull it into a roving. It's easy. (Before you start, make sure you lotion your hands thoroughly. The silk will catch on any dry skin.) After you pull off one hankie, put your fingers through the center to make a hole, and start pulling your hands apart to extend the fiber. You'll have to pull hard as this stuff is strong! Keep drafting until you get it as thin as you like. WARNING: Once you pull your roving, do not try to move the pile or you will have a knotty mess! (Ask me how I know? LOL!) Break the circle of roving, attach one end to a small, lightweight, drop spindle and start spinning. Silk is so long and strong that it won't break as you're spinning it as other fibers can. It's also "grabby" enough that it's easy to join a new piece. One hankie will spin a lot of very thin singles. If you don't spin, you can even knit from unspun silk roving. I sent the remaining silk hankies home with Aubrey and Liz to spin. They're both hooked on silk! I won't miss it as I bought more than one package in Allegan. Liz called me later to let me know that she had spun 3 hankies on the Bosworth featherweight spindle she got last week. I am such a fiber enabler!

I cleaned out my fiber bins and took a huge bag of roving to swap/sell. A lot of it found new homes but was replaced with 4 new ones! 1) The blue/white roving on the left is 9 oz of Columbia/Merino (80/20) blend from the door prize basket. 2) The center one is of 4 oz of a frosty looking Shetland/black llama mix, a trade from Peggy Coffey. 3) The colorful roving on the right is Liz's (Chocolate Princess) hand dyed BFL top from the swap table. 4) The blue braid in the front is 1.5 ounces of Fleece Artist merino sliver in Blueberry Mist. This was a gift from Jess. She was in Nova Scotia recently and found a yarn shop that stocks Fleece Artist products from nearby Halifax. This shop carries some colorways that are dyed specially for their shop. The blueberry colorway is one of them! This will be the next fiber on my wheel! I'll knit it up into something special just for me. I also snagged the Yarn Harlot's book, At Knit's End from the swap table. I have an autographed copy of her first book. I am so looking forward to reading this one.

No one went home without at least one new knitting or spinning goodie. In fact, we had such a good time that no one wanted to leave. LOL! Break up time was 3 pm but a number of us stayed later. We're already planning another Fiber Frolic for sometime in March. The drive home was even colder than my morning drive and snow was drifting across the road in many places. I made it safely home, warmed by thoughts of the wonderful day I had with some of the best friends a person could ever ask for!

1 comment:

Liz M. said...

Vicki, looks like you didn't do to bad either with what you came away with! I went through my "bag" and it had like 4-5 things more than when I left! Especially fiber! I don't need more fiber (hahahahah) And the lace hankies! I am definitely hooked! Thank you mentor for your diligent lesson and unfailing support! You made me know I could do it, and I am! My drop spindle is half way full already! I can't even get to my knitting because I can't put those hankies down! Love ya