Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wound Upon a Rock

When my daughter had just turned 2 I was given a sudanese drop spindle, mighty heavy, but it had a hook and I bought fiber to play with and I spun, and spun, and spun, a n d s p u n.... until at last I had no more fiber, but a big GIANT cone of yellow singles on a stick. So I wound it onto something and got some more fiber from somewhere. Spinning with no direction, I just kept doing it, and not plying.
One of my closest Bosom buddies widened my world in a single fell swoop. She noticed my second spun yarn at an arts display (before she really knew me). I had spun it, but I didn't even know how to ply so I wound it on a rock to show what I had been up too. A lovely little bit of roving (a very little bit) spun and wound upon a nice rock I found. At this point I had no more fiber, but I REALLY wanted to spin. She took me under her wing, loaned me a wheel, never once in these 13 years denigrated my yarn on a rock, and then one day she suggested we pop up to SOAR and room together. What in the world is SOAR?

So we packed up and off we went and WOW. I thought I died and gone to heaven. Guess what!? There were other fiber geeky (except we are all now really fiber fiends) people. Other people who liked sheep and didn't think I was wierd. People who were MUUUCH farther gone than I. At that point I ah, didn't have a fiber stash to speak of. Anyway, my Bosom Bud sheperded me around told me cool things to do like volunteer to help. And I volunteered to man the welcome desk on Thursday (during market time. (don't be worried friends, I managed to buy enough to fill an additional suitcase. ;) ) I welcomed everyone ever so enthusiastically including Linda Ligon, who took this newbie's jubilence with a smile. I was just overwhelmed with SOAR. I took notes and cried at Karen Selk's presentation. (At that time I was raising my own silkworms and had almost no one to share it with... that is who understood that form of my insanity). I did EVERYTHING I could and by the last workshop session, I could no longer spin on my wheel and could hardly form a question with my mouth. This little sponge was fairly dripping with the week and could no longer absorb anything more than, 'I'm a warm body in the room'.

Quite frankly that week in uncountable ways changed the very fiber of my being. (Yes, there is a pun there, but the allusion is unresistable) (please stop throwing tomatoes now). I was changed. I taken some toddler steps into the big giant world.

Did I mention the marketplace? Well, the marketplace has to be experienced to be truly appreciated. Fiber vendors of every ilk, from all corners of the globe, descend to display their wares. Uh, not only display... but to let us touch, fondle, and of course buy... Karen Selk's husband just laughed at me with my arms full of ... incredible toys, there were books from Yarn Barn, Wooden fiber implements from Woody at Woodchuck's, Sheila and Jonathon Bosworth and their toys, and of course Francine's 'Rovings'.

As I said I was virginal in my visit to the marketplace and I could not understand why all these people were lined up the length of the marketplace to get into her booth. So being ever curious I grabbed a big garbage bag from her booth like everyone else and got into line. (You see my sheperd and Bosom Buddy could not protect me from the seduction of THE MARKETPLACE and although she was equally overcome, she had experience, wisdom, and restraint on her side. She also recognized there was nothing that could be done for me once I walked through those doors). At any rate eventually, I arrived in the booth to pay for my very large lawn size garbage bag of what turned out to be space dyed Polworth roving. Absolutely, amazing stuff. The thing is every year I am compelled by the spirits of the Polworth sheep to buy more roving (my own weakness has absolutely NOTHING whatsoever to do with it). But I noticed,,, or you know, my husband noticed that I was accumulating fleeces dyed, undyed, just shorn; that well (if the truth be told), I wasn't getting spun up, used up, given away... in short whereas once I had no stash... now I did. So this past year I restrained myself and did NOT buy a garbage bag of roving or fleece. I resolved to spin up at least one of my bags from Francine (but don't worry, I did buy polworth, silk and polworth cashmere blends of YARN, because Yarn isn't fleece or a bag of roving.

So here a a few photos (above) of what's left of my bag of roving. I would say I have an eighth of a bag left (which gives you an idea of what I've spun up already). I must think of a project for it. One of my friends said she volunteered to be a recipient and I could give it to her if I couldn't think of a use. It's good to have friends. :)

I would not now have so much fun or be who I am, were it not for the gift of a drop spindle, my rock, and my bosom buddy suggesting we pop off to spend a week at SOAR. Fiber is such an intrinsic part of my being that who knows what would have become of me... I still have my yarn wound on a rock.

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