After dealing with insanity all week at work I was more than ready to take Friday off so I could go take my first spinning workshops in over a decade. Its not like I haven’t taken any workshops since then, just none spinning related.
Of course the first challenge was packing….where is this book…should I take this one? Where is that batt? Okay now to get the GPSr ready for the trip and the rest of the stuff I need for geocaching. Oh yeah, I better pack a bag separately for the sleepover! Okay, where is that pair of socks? Which spindles should I bring? And we have to get the dogs ready to go to the kennel. I fell asleep before finishing on Thursday night and never did find that batt (sigh).
Thanks to the late start Friday morning as I scrambled to find those last few things, we only found one geocache (aka cache) on the way there.
But when we arrived I was nervous and excited to meet Abby, and of course Beth and Faina (of lace fame). Little did I know at the time Sharon of Heere Be Dragone fame was also present. But a moment later my eyes espied…
…the wall of fleece. Other than at a fiber festival I have never seen so many different breed fleeces in one place. But I dragged my eyes back to Abby as she was starting her workshop.
I quickly became engrossed in her stories of life in Chinchero as she began her presentation. Weaving and spinning intertwined in the stories and then into the techniques.
True Andean spinning and plying was discussed. How her dad Ed learned the technique that is commonly called “Andean plying” and its publication in Spin-Off. Stupid spindle tricks explained.
We all received spindles and roving to play with. Some took to it with no problem, others added weight until spinning on it was easier. That was the first time in many years I had spun on a bottom whorl spindle without a hook. I did have problems at first, but just out of pure stubbornness that I was going to get the thing to work without adding weight and yes I was eventually successful. Jerry enjoyed the time and and chance to take photos for me. Especially after the workshop of Beth’s shop.
This is just a bit of teaser of what you will find in her shop.
So after the workshop we all milled around a bit. Wine and rootbeer was broken out and Jerry saw his chance to escape before things got too much for him. I shared part of my book collection with Abby, the good, the bad, the unusual. And some of the socks I brought as examples for her to use. I also exposed my problems with knitting gauge for all eyes to see.
Sleep was inevitable and about 2:00 we all started settling down to sleep.
The next morning came way too early for use night owls. Beth went and got coffee and cinnamon rolls for all of us and the
sane daytrippers started appearing. I managed to foist off some of my junk on Jerry before he went geocaching, but I still had a substantial amount of junk.
I thought I had warned Beth I didn’t travel light…um…that was an oversight on my part. But I used that junk Beth, well not the Alpaca wheel and its supplies…
Jillian and Carla shows up sparking a whole different atmosphere from the day before.
Beth wears a tiara and Shannah holds down the fort during the workshop.
Late in the day it was becoming obvious that we were being exposed to a lot of material.
And were starting to get an inkling about how much we had trashed Beth’s shop.
Too soon it was over. I knew Jerry would be coming to get me eventually so I got a chance to try our Abby’s Victoria wheel.
And turned around and forgot about Beth wanting to try my Lendrum. Eventually my attention was drawn back to the wall of fleece.
Yes I went shopping, some serious research for us here at Sheepwreck. Some of these fleeces you will see here in the future, I promise! Beth has some pictures of me in the supposed aftermath of my shopping spree, but what she doesn’t tell you is that there were some I only got a pound of that are not put back in the cubes yet.
Jerry ended up meeting us at dinner. He was excited from his day he spent geocaching with the DarrylW4 and Firefly03 of Cache-A-Maniacs as well as muddy and tired. The group eventually ended up back at Beth’s and I was just about to leave when Denny calls and we all continue talking. Eventually Beth, who is in dire need of sleep, kicks us all out and I say goodbye both her and Abby.
The next morning I switch gears and we meet an equally bleary eyed Darryl and Firefly to share stories and trade geocoins (ooh shiny!). Eventually we headed back toward Chicagoland caching at rest areas on the way back and keeping an eye to the weather. Jerry realized that at one of the caches that he had hit 700, luckily it wasn’t a micro.
If you get a chance to take a workshop with Abby by all means go! What you learn from her is something I really can’t explain, but having a chance to talk, ask questions and just watch her made a huge difference. Being able to handle and feel yarn, see the twist, feel the draft of the fibers is nothing like reading about it in a book.