Archive for October, 2005

Finally some fibery stuff happens around here, in between the coughing and post-nasal-dripping and all that fun stuff. It’s nice to know that when you can’t do anything involving complex thought, there is still fleece to sort. Or something like that. I’m finally getting on with the huge backlog of dirty fleece and even doing a bit of spinning.

I started a mindless project with some Ashland Bay multicolor Merino top, a scarf for The Not-Really-Allergic Boyfriend. It’s all single, with warp and weft of opposite twist. I picked up some burgundy to go with the purplish multi warp, but I think I’m going to end up with black weft. I still haven’t resolvevd the loom question, however. This needs a proper modern multi-harness loom and I don’t think I will survive using the table loom on the floor. But I don’t have to decide yet, I’ve only promised to have it finished by February.

It’s nice to finally do something rather than make samples all day long. And something that isn’t fussy and tedious. It will be a little uneven and that’s ok. I’m enjoying the part where I buy the fiber ready to spin, but not so much the bits I have to pick out of it. I’ve never seen a commercial wool I’ve been entirely happy with, there are always neps or VM or even sometimes lumps of nasty stained fiber. And it’s never as long a staple as it could be. As much work as it is, I will continue to scour and comb my own because the results are so much better.

Now I have almost all the photos online, there are only a few remaining. I have the images and I just need to get them ready to put up. Then maybe I can get back to articles? I have photos for one that have been sitting around for a while.

This morning I went off to the de Young Museum. I’m not normally a huge fan of art museums, but it was a big party for the new building and it was open free all weekend. (And I do mean all. I got there at sunrise, apparently the only time there wasn’t a huge line.) I didn’t know what they had because the old one closed before I moved here. I found the textile collection, with a good number of pieces currently on display. But also there is a textile library. It’s only open by appointment, but I could look in the glass door and see shelves of books. I will go back when it isn’t so much a zoo and see what it’s like.

I finished getting the notes online, plus a little more general housekeeping. Outside the computer, I’ve started taking skeins out of bags and hanging them to dry. The twisty linen told me it was more humid in North Carolina than here, so I thought I’d also air the rest of them. Then the box gets packed up for a while. I volunteered to do a guild program on the COE, but unless another speaker drops out there isn’t an opening until March. So seal it up with a packet of desiccant and off to storage it goes.

I don’t know what it is, I try to sit down and update the website and it’s always something. I came home to find that The Boyfriend lost his keys and locked himself out of the apartment, and in the middle of working our network comes crashing down for a hardware failure. But, no, I’d rather not be in New Jersey. My sister’s place is far nicer than ours, but we have a better Internet connection.

I’m adding comments to the COE pages, both from the judges and my own. You can see how individual items were scored and what I thought about it. It’s amazing how much work you can get done trapped in a flying tin can with nothing else to do for five hours. (Many thanks to United for having a spiffy frequent flyer program that lets me get my butt out of Economy on a regular basis. Although we won’t talk about what happened to my vegan meal. It’s good I only need non-dairy.)

So here I am in New Jersey. I tried to find some textile things of interest, so I looked up a local group, the Big Apple Knitting Guild. They had a meeting Saturday and I could get there on the subway. The meeting is a typical guild type of meeting, some business, a charity auction for hurricane relief, a speaker and socializing.

The program for the day was Lily Chin (a guild member) introducing her new line of yarns. For anyone living under an even larger rock than I do, she’s a big knit and crochet designer and is constantly on the road doing yarn shows, tv appearances and so on. She creates patterns, writes books and is a good teacher. Some people like her, some people hate her. Mostly I only have issue with the whole poncho thing. And I hadn’t even seen the Martha Dog Poncho because I don’t watch television. To her credit, she’s also over ponchos but somehow the market wants them I guess. Mostly what I saw was a woman trying to make a living by knowing her customers and trying to give them what they want without either pandering or being stuffy. People say she’s got a big ego, but mostly it seemed no different than any other business owner’s self-promotion. So there was a lot of handing around of sample garments and fondling of yarn and generally a good time was had by all. As for her new yarn collection, it is well thought out. I expect it will be even better next season when she gets the custom spun yarns, to pull it off on time she had to go with existing yarns from Europe but she is working with a mill in Canada. The patterns are simple but some of the garments are interesting and they all are reasonable for an average non-expert knitter. Each yarn has a crochet pattern too.

Enough about knitting, then. Also at this meeting I found out there was a huge yarn festival the next day. Knit-out New York was in Union Square Park and there was going to be giveaways and booths and all sorts of things. I even got my sister, who is finally getting around to finishing her first garter stitch scarf, to go. We get there and I start looking around, I get about three booths down and I find … spinners! A guild from upstate had a booth and was demonstrating spinning. I quietly had a look around while one of the demonstrators showed how to use a drop spindle and asked if anyone wanted to give it a go. I waited. Nobody was volunteering. Ok, I said, I’ll do it. I gave it a minute before I pointed out that I was, well, “somewhat experienced” at this. I put down my bag and almost immediately started teaching.

I did want to see the rest of the show, so I had to get up for a while. But I came back and spent the next two hours carding and spinning and talking to people. It was a little weird because although it looked like I was with the guild and might know local shops and teachers, I didn’t. I would say “I’m not from New York” and hear back “That’s ok, I’m from New Jersey.” “No, really.” I taught a spinner who wanted to learn how to card, several novices who were confused about some of the basics and spun for a teacher with a video camera. An experienced spinner showed me her new copy of Pluckyfluff’s art yarn book, which I had heard about but not seen. Because I could move around and had this funny looking spinny thing in my hand, I got a lot of attention. It was a bit weird. I hadn’t set out to take over somebody’s guild booth but it’s funny how things worked out. The folks from the guild seemed happy to have another demonstrator and I had a good time and managed to stay out of the sun in the process.

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© 2004-2007 Andrea Longo
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