Tuesday, August 16, 2011

So! Excited!

Oh my goodness, so many exciting things are happening chez YarnEnvy in the near future.

First, Stitches Midwest is coming up, and that's always a good time.  I've been looking forward to Stitches since sometime in May I think.

Secondly, I have scheduled a vacation for myself.  Yes kids, Sadie and I are hitting the road.  I am going to be away from work for an entire week, something I haven't done since I lived in Sioux Falls.  I've rented a cottage near Lake Cumberland, KY and Sadie and I are going to relax, and then we're going to take a nap, and then we're going to relax some more.  All I really want to do is sit quietly with no laundry or home improvement or lawn care nagging at me.  And if I'm 200 miles away from the laundry and the house and the lawn, it will not bother me one iota.  I promise.  And since I'm just going to be in some quiet part of Kentucky, I won't feel obligated to sight-see or tour or Take In The Sights.  None of it!  The cottage does have WiFi, however, so I will not be disconnected from society or Netflix.

Finally, a strange turn of events.  In my constant quest to take up as many hobbies as is humanly possible, I've been spinning lately, which you can see in some of my previous posts.  Several of my friends spin, and they are part of a group that gets together at a local alpaca farm once a month and socializes and eats treats, and well, what's not to love, right?  What I don't love is that it's on the same night of the week that I have May Festival Chorus rehearsal, and can't make it.  Except this month, since it's summer, I was able to make it, and they twisted my arm on a trip to The Woolery on which I tagged along.  So, there I am, spinning along on my drop spindle, perfectly content, when I hear the alpaca-farming host (a lovely lady named Linda, by the way) and my friend Lorain talking about an event for which they have 23 fleeces donated and only 8 volunteer spinners, and What Are They To Do?  And of course, I happened to be free the day of the event and a fundamentally helpful person, so I volunteer to spin one of the fleeces.  Lorain and Linda assure me this is within the scope of my skills, and Lorain is going to lend me one of her wheels, and really, how much more fun could one person have?  Nevermind that I have only spun about four different fibers in my life, and certainly have done absolutely zip-o fiber prep.

So, here she is, laying out on my dining room table:

It is my responsibility to get this ready to spin by some weekend in October.  So far, I have laid it out, looked at it, smelled it, picked out some extra stuff, and looked at it some more.  I don't know what it weighs or anything.  It was free.  And when I dumped it out on the table, in the bottom of the bag was a commercially-spun skein of 200 yards of matching alpaca, presumably from the farm that made the donation (it's in the center of the picture, with a card tied to it).  How cool is that?  It's like I'm getting paid to ruin their product.  Egads.

So. why am I so excited for this, when I never had any desire what-so-ever to even look at a fleece before?  I think it's because the things holding me back don't apply here.  1.  I'm not investing any money, only time, and I'm (clearly) not afraid of failure.  I am, however, afraid of wasting money.  2.  I'm not having to pick out a fleece myself, a prospect I know little of.  The pressure is off.  If the fleece sucks, it's not my fault.  3.  I'm assured by the lovely Lorain and Linda that I don't need any fancy equipment to deal with this stuff, and I'm inclined to believe them.  I did use Sadie's brush (which is glad to be getting some good use, frankly) to flick card a little bit of it and draft it into a wee bit of roving.  Dirt was flying, and a good cleaning is in order before proceeding, for sure.  But it's definitely do-able.  And 4.  I have the time and am committed.  I can use my vacation to prep the fiber, and I'll be showing up and spinning my little heart out for at least one day, possibly two. This ensures that this poor little fleece will NOT live in my basement neglected until the day I die and all hobby-related activity ceases.  (Which may or may not be the fate of a lot of things.)

Whew.  So there it is.  So much excitement.  (Too bad it involves so much dirt.  Those alpacas sure do like to get dirty!)


Anonymous said...

Wow! You sure jumped into this, didn't you? I have to admit, I'm a bit jealous. Just a wee bit. It looks like fun, actually. Is this a sheep-to-shawl event?

Beth said...

It's not a sheep-to-shawl or else I probably wouldn't have had the confidence to participate. It's an alpaca show (KY Classic), and the organizers want to highlight textiles and fiber and bring attention to that aspect of alpaca farming, I guess. So we're really just going to be on display. It's in Frankfort on the 22 and 23 of October; I'm sure you're welcome to participate if you're available.

Gwen said...

Wow! You sure jump right in with both feet. Please note that you may want to start saving money because borrowing a wheel is more than halfway down that slippery slope to wheel ownership...

Good Luck and take lots of pictures!

Lorette said...

Wow, indeed! I've only prepped about 8 ounces of raw fiber, so I'm nowhere near an expert. If you're on Ravelry, there are a couple of good fiber prep groups that have tons of helpful info.