Monday, October 09, 2006

OFFF, Part II

After being up to my eyeballs in alligators for the last couple weeks, I'm coming up for air long enough to share "the rest of the OFFF story."

As I stated in OFFF, Part I, one of my objectives in going to OFFF was to learn to spin. Even though Lois had plenty on her own plate (that's her in the sheep pen, below), she graciously set me up with both her Ashford and Schacht wheels and patiently worked with me as I made my first frustrated attempts.

It wasn't easy and it wasn't pretty, but I did manage to spin a little (and ply a little), and have a tiny, lumpy-bumpy ball of handspun yarn to prove it!

Spinning didn't come as easily as I had hoped, but the challenge made me even more determined to master this tricky craft and be able to spin the fleece of my own dear sheepies. Lois advised trying as many different wheels as possible. I only had time to try a Louet at a vendor's booth at OFFF, so I blocked out a couple hours the following week to go to Woodland Woolworks, a local business with a large inventory of new and used spinning wheels. There I tried an Ashford, a Lendrum, a Fricke, a couple Kromskis, another Louet or two, and more. Some were quite seductive in appearance, but the Louets were by far the easiest and most comfortable to me to use, and I liked their uncomplicated design. I stewed and chewed for several days, but finally bought the inexpensive, used Louet S17 Woodland Woolworks had, along with some inexpensive roving to practice with. Meet Louie!

Louie and I haven't had time to get further acquainted since I got him home, but he's waiting patiently. I had to work at my husband's veterinary clinic last week while his secretary was on vacation, so I DID get to wash Dinah's fleece and Rechel's rooing in the top-load washing machine while there. The fleece still needs to be carded, but the rooing (below) is soft and beautiful and begging to be spun as is. I hope I can do it justice!

That's it for now at . . .

6 comments:

Nancy K. said...

Congratulations on getting a wheel! You're gonna love spinning. Do you knit (yet?) ;-)

How nice to finally "meet" Lois! She has a couple of my ewe lambs and I'm happy to say that she looks like just as nice of a lady as she sounds like in e-mails and on the phone!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Nancy, check out my post "One Thing Leads to Another" to learn about my knitting saga. I've now completed four satisfactory scarves (all from the same pattern) after unraveling the first one and starting over, and have another one that needs some unraveling and correcting. Another is on the needles. I've ordered "The Sweater Workshop" that is supposed to help with using handspun. As you can see, I'm hooked!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Oh, and yes, Lois is as nice as you could possibly imagine, and has been a wonderful mentor to me!

Kathy L. said...

Great start, Michelle! Good on ya!
I'm sure you and Louie will have a wonderful relationship as well as a long one.
And your fleece looks so nice. See? You, too, can become hooked on spinning...then baskets to put the fleece in, and dyeing to change the color, and knitting or weaving to use all the yarn..and then...

(At least you don't have to send sheep, wool, or yarn to college!)

Tina T-P said...

Good for you on getting a new wheel - That type always looks very easy to use, too. The best thing I have done to help myself spin is to find the local spinner's guild and go to the monthly meetings - people are always very willing to give you help there too.
Good luck! T.

sheperdchik said...

Michelle: I love the name for your wheel! All my wheels have had female names, though I am now wondering why that is... Louet is a great brand. I know you will love it. Congrats on your new ewe, her fleece looks so nice, what a great color of yarn that will make.