Friday, October 05, 2007

A Time to Spin, Part 6: The martial art of fibre preparation

September has come and gone, and I'm not entirely sure what happened to it. I think I've been busy, if by "busy" I mean I've been doing a lot of things that have nothing to do with The Big D. I also have a conference presentation to give in less than 10 days, and I haven't touched the files since June. Naturally, the best way to deal with that, I figure, is to finish the blog post I started nearly a month ago.

This is my brain on procrastination. And also, caffine and ice cream. Wheee!

So, from the spinning perspective, Pennsic was very good to me. Take, for instance, my new pair of Indigo Hound Viking Combs:

That is some of the fleece I washed up in June loaded on the combs. I bought them from Brush Creek Wool Works, who were apparently the only merchants at Pennsic selling wool combs, and they only brought four pairs with them. I bought the first pair, like, the second day the merchants were open. They sold them all by the second week. They are awesome. And also, deadly sharp. I like to think of them as the weapon of choice for ninja spinners.

My new toys weapons produce a wonderful roving, shown below after combing as it is being taken off the comb. I need would like a diz, and should probably just make one for myself, but in a fit of laziness I ordered one yesterday.

I declined to buy more fleece this year, since I still have most of the first washed Dorset to spin and two more fleece still to wash, on top of stash from LAST Pennsic to finish spinning, like my first brown fleece. Naturally, I had to make up for that somehow, so I went a little plant-fibre happy back at Brush Creek Wool Works, who were, conveniently (?) right beside the merchant who was teaching the three rigid heddle weaving classes that I took. I picked up some hemp, bamboo and flax to play with, and some lovely light green eucalyptus & tin-dyed wool. I don't expect to get to any of it for quite a while, what with one thing and the other, so no pictures at this point.

And because one can't have too many drop spindles (no, really!), I got this marvelous little one with a pink ivory wood whorl from Spanish Peacock:

What else have I been up to for the last 6 weeks? Well, that will take at least another post, I think. But it involves nothing less than a quest to dye wool crimson red and deep green using natural dyes, as well as learning how to calculate how much poundage will need to be dyed in order to spin up the appropriate yardage to weave a particular super-secret finished project on the new loom. Wool math. Sigh. I'm saving pictures of the loom until the project is really under way, and I am released from my vow of secrecy.

So in lieu of that, a few Pennsic pictures, finally. The tent, for the record, was lovely, and kept me wonderfully dry for what ended up being a particularly rainy War Week. I hope it will serve as a great home for many wars to come. Alas, I didn't get very good pictures of it myself, but I've found several online taken by others.*

I ended up in something of a "landmark" spot, right inside the gate of our camp, at the point where a well-traveled road and path intersect. It was nice, every time I started down the hill, to be treated to a perfect, picturesque view of my home:
Shot from the top of Runestone Hill

In a comical twist of fate, the only picture I've found so far of me with the tent is a stunning shot of... my butt:

And finally, a marvelous shot of our camp at night (the tiniest corner of my tent is visible on the lefthand side). I'm probably not one of the people sitting around the fire, as I tended to be either up topside and playing for dancers by this time of night, or asleep.

*The last two pics shown here have been uploaded to my blogger account rather than loading directly from other servers, but they still contain links back to the larger pictures on the photographers' respective sites, so that they can have all the credit. If one of these is yours and you'd like it removed from blogger and linked directly, just let me know and I'll be happy to oblige.

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