This is a top heavy spinning post, if you're looking for the knitting content skip to the bottom for the two finished projects.
Last Sunday morning found me in the Eugene Catholic School Cafeteria with 24 other spinners to learn about Spinning down fibers from Judith Mackenzie McCuin. (This woman has groupies! A Spinning Teacher with groupies - yes! Spinning is edging into the Rock Star arena.)
The Class started with a representative from the Empress Chinchilla Breeders Cooperative.
She brought two of the cute critters that we got to pet and a few got to hold. You can get an ounce of fiber a year off one Chinchilla. She doesn't spin her fiber straight; she likes to put in 20% chinchilla with a mix of cormo and silk. We each got a handful to spin. (the chinchilla is the light gray single to the left.
The singles to the right is bison. This is Judith's fiber that she collects and sells. She sure has a lot of good Bison raising stories. (She and her husband use to manage Ted Turner's Bison Herd in Montana.) She'd pass out fiber, give a short demo on spinning it on her Jensen Wheel, then entertain us with stories while we spun.
Clockwise, starting at 12:00; Combed Cashmere, cashmere with silk, bison, 50/50 yak and merino, quivet, the last little bit of the chinchilla blend, 15 micron Royal Cashmere, Cashmere with wool and center is cashmere down.
My singles left to right; yak, cashmere and wool, yak 50/50 blend, cashmere with silk top
Judith apoligized for not having any quivet to hand out as the cost and availability was just too dear. When a woman in the group brings out a gallon ziploc stuffed with what turns out to be Quivet from the Portland Zoo where she works. What an unexpected treat!
This two-and-a-half hour class went fast. I didn't get to finish spinning all the cashmere samples and didn't touch the quivet. But I did learn that my San Diego Spinning Teacher is a very good teacher. I knew all the terms, I could spin all the different methods each fiber required, in other words I had been well prepared. (Truth: in back of my mind, I was a bit worried that the class might be a bit over my head.)
A couple more documentation photos, since that was the main reason I started this blog:
the half of an alpaca fleece I bought at BSG. (See Isaiah's one spot? It was in my half - don't know why but it seems like I found the prize in the Cracker Jack's Box!)
The six skeins of Socks That Rock, lightweight seconds (minus one that I had to start a sock with) there is no color names on these labels
Here's the Silkie Socks that Rock , colorway: Ms LaRock
And the Teal ShiBui 100% superwash merino sock yarn
This yarn feels so good and the twist is very similar to the Koigu I bought.
I finish the Teosinte Socks from KnitSpot. I loved knitting this pattern; I've never felt this way about a pattern it just seemed to be like a rocking chair - back and forth, back and forth. I'm definetly going to try some other patterns by Anne Hanson; I hope they're all so nice to follow.
And my first pair of sock for the Summer of Socks.
These are my vanilla ribbed sock pattern made in Fortissima Socka - sorry I can't find the label to tell you the color.
That was a long update!