Posts tagged ‘COE’

I keep trying to find entertaining tidbits to dazzle and enlighten, but the truth is I’m not doing anything the least bit exciting on the textile front at the moment. The skein for the county fair is off and the sock is in that row after row of stockinette stitch part. I’ve even spun all the Merino I combed for the bobbins of singles. So what am I doing now? Fiber prep. Sorting, scouring and flicking. I haven’t even gotten back to the pointy dangerous tool bit.

For those of you who were here for the whole COE thing, I realize this is a letdown. First the COE, and then the Learning Exchange and now… fiber prep? Yes, I hate to break it to you but I am one of those types who generally works on a project until it’s done. I may have two or three going, but rarely more. Right now, there is a knitting project, a spinning project and a loom-configuration project, in addition to the ongoing may-take-forever spindle project. I’ve got some ideas for other things, I’ve toyed with a few samples, but I haven’t actually started anything.

Since I finally finished scouring the first lamb fleece from last summer (there are two more to go, remember,) I’m continuing with the spinning of it. I’m basically going to spin three full bobbins of single and make sock yarn, which will be used for legwarmers and wrist warmers and possibly some socks. The Boyfriend has expressed an interest in gloves. Several of these things will come from this first batch. If I need more yarn, well, it was a four pound fleece.

I like to spin a bunch of yarn all at once because I get better yarn. If I do all the singles first, they are more likely to match. And if they don’t, I can still do something about it (like decide I want a six-ply yarn instead.) I also do better if I ply all at once. Now with full bobbins of fine single, that’s going to mean many bobbins of 3-ply yarn. But I can ply a full bobbin in a couple hours at most. I usually do it in one sitting. I count treadles when I ply, so I set aside an afternoon when I have nothing else I have to do and nobody is around. I don’t answer the phone. I even got some extra bobbins so I could do several at a time.

All this is about as far as you can get from the gee-wiz school of spinning, where one is in it for exploring the unending parade of possible fibers, colors and textures. I like to pick something and do it for a while until I feel I really understand it. Add to that my preference for large projects and it can easily take years to finish something. When I finished the COE, the one thing I most wanted to do was make something. After such a long time of doing nothing but samples, I need to produce a finished object just to see that I still can. It didn’t help at all that many of those yarns are things I would never choose to do for myself. “Ok, I did the novelty yarns. Can I go back to fun stuff now?” Bobbin after bobbin of technically precise yarn is the fun stuff.

The hats are back safely, so now I have my regular hat to wear again. And I went to Goodwill this morning and found not only a spindle case (wine bottle carrier) but a jar of Procion MX and a bag of soda ash. Somebody must have dumped excess tye-dye stuff, with as much as most people know about dyes it’s a wonder they even ended up bagged together. Can’t beat 99 cents.

I started back up on preparing fiber for the sock yarn. I have to find a new place to put the comb pad because the current location is killing my wrists. I need to be able to pull straight out but the shelf I have it clamped to is too tall. My arms don’t work that way, and trying to pull down is putting my hands in a weird position. I’m wondering if a low stool and the second shelf would be better. I still have some things to work out with this, but it’s coming along. I may even get enough finished by next week for the fair.

My hats are on their way back from Convergence, I should have them early next week. I was concerned at first because I got a call from the shipping place wanting to know how I was going to pay for return shipping (HGA was supposed to cover it.) But when I called back later with my FedEx account number, it had all been sorted out. The person I talked to said Convergence package handling had been disorganized, but at least now I’m getting my stuff back. So everything is ok.

I’ve been thinking about this county fair thing and I can’t see how it’s going to happen. I just don’t have enough done to feel comfortable having it finished in time. I could just send off the entry form and if I don’t make it then it would just be a waste of $4 or something, but I really don’t see it having any chance of happening. I’m not much interested in competing, but a friend asked and I figured it would be good to give it a go at least once. Oh well.

I’m getting my two matching hats (seen in the Gallery section) ready to send off for display. I mentioned a while back that I was invited to send something for an exhibit of COE recipients at Convergence, HGA’s big conference. I submitted my paperwork and yesterday I got the forms and such back in the mail. Shipping labels, id tags, “Return Shipping Authorization Instructions” form, along with three pages of instructions. Sigh. Every art show has it’s own set of requirements, instructions, forms and so on. If I were a bigtime artist, I’d have to be doing this all the time as part of my marketing campaign. That’s one way you get people to buy your fancy expensive artwork, you submit it to juried shows and hope you get in. Your name gets in the program book, hopefully spelled correctly and with a decent photo of your work, and people know what you do and where to find you. The thought has been kicking around for a while, but the sheer volume of paperwork is one reason I haven’t been all that diligent about trying to be one of those Bigtime Artists. Producing two or three pieces a year at most isn’t a good way to make a living, either. This art thing is rough, why I haven’t completely given up on the computers yet. The Boyfriend has to win the IPO lottery first.

I’ve got one hat blocked and the other one is drying. I’ve got my shipping box and my packing paper (conveniently left over from the move.) To keep the nice blocked shape, I have to stuff them with paper and ship it all in this huge box so nothing gets smooshed in transit. I’ve been told they will be on hat forms, that should make them look nice, but I have to get them there unmangled and ready to display. None of that is necessary for return shipping because all I’m going to do is shove them back in my coat pocket. I have a padded envelope that would be fine, but reading through the instructions I find that there is nothing in the procedure about providing different packaging for return shipping. I guess I could just do it and note it in the return shipping instructions.

I’m sure this was developed through years of experience, but bold capital letters make me a bit twitchy. At least this time I don’t have to cut out little cardboard tags of exactly the proscribed size and so on. I’m just not big on all the formality of this art show stuff.

Several people have asked me what do you get for doing the COE. Well, you get a mention in a magazine and sometimes people are impressed. Other times people are impressed that you put up with all the nonsense to finish it. I have a new item for my textile resume. Mostly it seems that is about it.

One thing I wasn’t expecting is to be asked to submit something for a show. A few weeks ago, the president of HGA called me (the day after we moved, to be exact) and asked if I had anything to display at Convergence in June. If I had more notice, I might have been able to make something new. But I decided to send the two knit hats. I’m cleaning them up and we’ll see how it goes. I have no idea what to expect, other than the conference is having a display of work from recent COE recipients. The president is also the director of the COE program and is looking to promote it.

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© 2004-2007 Andrea Longo
spinnyspinny at feorlen dot org