Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Midwest Fiber and Folk Festival Report

We went to see the fleece, yarn, and alpacas up in Crystal Lake this weekend. I spent most of the day in a class taught by spinning and knitting guru Nancy Shroyer. Chances are good that you own one of her handy tools. She taught us how to spin for a purpose, which essentially means designing the type of yarn you're going to make for the project you want to knit.

Meg took a picture of one of the alpacas they had there. This guy apparently nudged her gently on the stomach through the fence! That made her day.

The class was fantastic. Not only did I learn about how to plan for projects, but I also finally got over this sort of spinning hump I've been suffering from. It turns out that my spinning had been suffering from unconscious fluctuations between worsted and woolen techniques, leading to two-plied yarns that just looked incredibly strange. Nancy straightened me out and showed me how to control which I do. Yippee! I am thrilled.

Here's some of the fiber I spun in class.

Angus approves. Especially the alpaca blend at the end.

This was my best yarn of the day, and possibly to date! The blurry bit in the corner is, of course, our friend Angus, just before he pounced.

One of the big projects that I had bought the supplies for but never started was yarn for Meg to knit a sweater. I finally got about 10 grams spun up, and Meg knit the swatch this morning.

The yarn is slightly too thick for her project, but if I can back off on the thickness just a bit, we'll have the right yarn for the job. Otherwise, it looks fantastic.

Driving home from the festival, we saw this.

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