spinning

Sheep keds, belly wool, and how much fleece do you need for a sweater again?

Sheep keds, belly wool, and how much fleece do you need for a sweater again?

I love the Estes Park Wool Festival. To be fair, I haven't been to any other wool festival except Taos, but one thing especially draws me back to Estes every year.

The fleece and fiber judging.

Oh sure, I love the rest of it, but being able to learn so much from the fleece judge is such a treat. This year's judge was Amy Wolf. I suspect she hears a lot of jokes about her name being Wolf, but she definitely knows her sheep! She raises sheep herself, is a shearer, and a handspinner. So she can comment about the producer side of the fleeces as well as what is attractive to handspinners. Her advice about how to prepare and spin different kinds of fleece and deal with problem fleeces was invaluable. And as you may be able to tell from the photo below, she has a great sense of humor as well as a huge desire to help people understand these animals and their fleece.

Today was the white fleece judging.

The things I learned today... including the secret of weaving progress

The things I learned today... including the secret of weaving progress

You can hold off on the stash intervention. I found my knitting. I can't believe I hadn't knitted anything for a month and a half and what's more, hadn't even thought of looking for the project in that time.

But I did find it tucked into the back of one of the living room bookcases on top of the maps. Just hiding innocently in the back dark corner. I think I need a nice big knitting basket that lives permanently next to my "spot" on the couch.

....

And the last thing I learned today? If you sit at the loom and weave for 6 hours, you get a lot woven. I am so thrilled at my progress today and hope to repeat it over Labor Day weekend three times. I might even get the first two panels off the loom if I do that. I was spurred to this feat by a course I had to watch and the fact that the rest of my computer workload was put-off-able for the time being.

Stash diving

Stash diving

There comes a moment when I'm getting ready to go on another trip when I feel compelled to visit one of the excellent yarn stores here and buy the supplies for a new knitting project. The voice in my head is very strong.

"You have two long travel days and two weeks among strangers. If you run out of knitting/weaving/spinning projects, you might not survive." --Rebecca's head-voice

Resisting this voice is difficult, but I am determined to go shopping in my own yarn stash first. This is only practical. The stash is threatening to take over all available space in my clothes closet and even I need to wear clothes most days. Certainly I can find an appropriate match of knitting yarn and pattern for the upcoming teaching trip to Penland School of Crafts? Surely I can.