Thursday, July 10, 2008

What I've Been Up To: Part One

The last two weeks of June and the first week of July passed in a blur. The good news is that it was a fibery blur--I worked at something fibre-related for 8-10 hours everyday, then fell asleep dreaming of fibre! The bad new is that I have been too busy to blog, so now I have a blog-jam to clear. So, I have decided to divide things into chunks and blog separately about the different topics, rather than spend the day writing an epic that would rival War and Peace in its length and scope!

Part One: Prep and Packing

Getting ready to go away to teach spinning for a week is an adventure in and of itself, but this time I worked to coordinate materials with the other instructor, who had been preparing materials for the whole Level 3 class before it was split. That went really well, but in the end, there was still a lot for me to do on my own. I have never taught to someone else's curriculum before, so there was a real learning curve in sorting through the information and breaking it into exercises, then breaking the exercises into materials. Many emails were exchanged with other instructors and with purveyors of fibre, and the stash was dived into several times before I got things under control. My studio looked as if a flock of sheep had exploded in it, after a tornado had hit!

I was also madly spinning to prepare a yarn to submit for the silent auction, plus frantically knitting to get my Phoenix sweater done (which I didn't!). And then I decided that I had to have a dye day.

Now, I may or may not have mentioned that I love to dye, but that the work takes a toll upon my creaky knees and back. This means that I tend to let dye projects accumulate, then do a day-long blitz. This is also partly because I do not have a dedicated dye space, so I have to set up my temporary place out on the patio. So I set up and go, go, go.

This day's results:

...kid Mohair locks in 7 different colors (A friend dropped by, saw this pile and said "So I see you've been scalping clowns again, Michelle". Again?!?);

...painted Corriedale roving in a colorway I named "Opal";

...and the same roving in "Jade"; fat yarn from this post, handpainted in blues and greens;

..and the silent auction yarn, handpainted in "Shiraz".

I also handpainted some silk hankies for my Level 3 students, but neglected to photograph them. Much mess, but fabulous results!

And when it was all done...

...we ate dinner on the coffee table.

The painted Corriedale went into "learn to spindle" kits, the "Shiraz" yarn got yoinked back into my stash, the fat yarn got alloted to the silent auction, and the Mohair got bagged up for sale. Then I packed all the materials that I had accumulated into kits for each student, sorted books and equipment, rounded up clean undies and my toothbrush and took my show on the road.

Next time, in Part Two: Our intrepid heroine goes to Fibre Week.

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