We are having some pretty unseasonable weather for the last half of May, but that didn't stop a hardy group of members from Foothill Fiber Guild and the Sierra-Carson Handweavers Guild from meeting last weekend at Lake Francis for some spindling fun.
This joint venture started back in the deep, dark days of winter, when someone posted to our listserv about the glories of the Golding spindle website. Soon, it seemed that members were vying for the title of Queen Spindle Slut, based on who owned the most, or coveted the most, or something like that.
We also realized that a few of our members were real spindle experts, and those who were newbies suggested getting together for a chance to learn from each other. Spindle Camp was born, and our dear Jan E. was the one to make sure all the details were gathered together. After several suggestions about location were thrown out, we voted Lake Francis RV Resort as the location, with something for everyone, including tent camping, cabins with indoor plumbing, a restaurant, and even a pull-through camp site for Amy and her peapod trailer!
The only thing that didn't work out right in the end was the weather, but as Barbara Sue kept telling us, it was just one more excuse to wear wool... lots and lots of layers of wool! There was also enough of spring floating in the air to give me a nasty case of allergies, but I had already opted not to camp, since this pretty little spot is only 20 minutes from my house! The sky did clear periodically, but then the winds would kick in.....
We gathered on Friday afternoon, and set up one of the giant pop-ups we use at our Celtic Festival spinning booth, and it was a good thing! Just as we were settling in to enjoy a Mexican-themed potluck dinner (BJ's homemade goat cheese tamales were to die for!), we got rain and hail both!
Here's Sara, modeling a pile-woven bag that she uses as her spindling bag... it had been originally intended for a hat.
Note she is also wearing two hand-knit (and probably handspun as well) sweaters, while Barbara Sue, to the right, is wearing two handknit scarves around her neck.
We stayed into the evening Friday night, as people from both guilds were arriving and all got busy spinning. Most were choosing to use spindles, though wheels hadn't been banned outright, so a smattering of them snuck in. Yep, that's the back of the infamous Wooly Daisy, busy at her Kromski wheel... no rickety spindles for her! Note: hefty handknit sweater, handspun/handknit hat, and handspun/handknit mitts to keep hands working). It really IS all about the wool!
Amy gave us a great talk about the variety of spindles and their uses.... featuring her ginormous collection. She was one of our other experts, and has actually tried out every spindle, though she was quick to point out which ones were too thick, blunt, heavy, etc., to spin well and how to shop for a spindle. Makes ya think she's had a lot of experience in the shopping part too.
Before Steph and I headed home, we wound round to Amy's campsite to admire her newly-refurbished trailer (this from a grrl with a personalized license plate on the truck that abbreviated "Purple Fuzzy Mittens" and another on the trailer that proclaimed "Folk Art").
Amy has had all the wood interior redone with new light birch, as well as a bed, kitchen counter and desks and cabinets to her specifications! We love her painted details and the lighting she customized.
I had such a great time on Friday evening that even though I woke up still sick with hay fever on Saturday morning, I decided to doctor myself up and go back for more! I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to learn from some of the greats!
Tea, allergy meds, propolis/echinacea throat spray, eye drops and lots of layers of wool, and soon I was feeling well enough to crawl into the car with my spindles and drive back to camp. I had to take Sunday to rest up, but heck, it's supposed to be a 'day of rest', right?
Anyway, I am really grateful for the time that Jan gave me in understanding how to match fiber to spindle (it's all in the staple length, which she taught me how to check), and for more fun and laughter with Sharon (old blog friend) and Heidi (new blog friend). Also, for the grand campfire Sara had made at breakfast, which I kept going strong all afternoon, while still acknowledging that it was "her" fire, as the firemaker!
I did manage to fill up my Greensleeves Mjolinar spinning up one red roving dyed by Sue F from her flock's Sweetwater Farm flock, and my Bosworth Moosie (my two favorite spindles, though I only have four) with a lighter pink, also from Sue and plan to ply them together using my Lizzy Kate from Greensleeves. I had a wonderful time and feel blessed to have such great fiber grrlfriends.