Sunday, 11 November 2012

Beth Smith's Ringwood Spinning Class and a flurry of finishing off projects.

Last weekend I attended Beth Smith's spinning class in Ringwood. It was pure joy. I was having so much fun that I did not take any photographs so what you see here is what I brought home with me.

On Friday evening, we explored 4 different drawing methods: short forward, short backward, supported long draw and long draw. These skeins represent my efforts at this. 

On Saturday we spun American Breeds using flicking, combing and carding to make up different samples of each breed.

On Sunday the luxury fibres came out and we learned how to spin fine yarn. Here is the finest single I managed to spin. It is merino and is alongside a standard sewing pin. 

On the bobbin it is next to a DK weight, Lenpur, which I use as leaders.

My samples for the day are 2ply and 3ply of each fibre we were given and yes, that is Qiviut at the top of the left hand column. We spun cashmere and silk too, amongst many other gorgeous fibres.  I had to spin mohair too which I really don't like!

The weekend left me with a lovely bag full of fibre to play with when I get the chance. In the week since the class, I have noticed so many little improvements in my spinning techniques which has been exceedingly pleasing. I loved the class and would definitely go again. She is a lovely teacher and creates a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere for one to learn in.

In other spinning news, there are now 4 little skeins of about 50 yards each for the Sheep Heid. They are, from the bottom, Brown Bfl, Oatmeal Bfl, Jabob and Black Sheltand. Moorit is next on the list but I have not got to it yet as I have spent the day finishing off various projects.

I just finished weaving another 2 photographs. In an earlier blog post this year, you can find how it is done if you are interested.

The first one is of the Barracks in Winchester. I took the photo on a still, icy morning. It was beautifully reflected in the pond in front of it.

The second was taken on our first walk in the Catskill Mountains in New York State last year and the fall colours were so beautiful.

I have finally hemmed the table runner which I finished weaving a couple of months ago. It is a surprise gift and I plan to mail it tomorrow.

While the Saint was working away on speaker phone with his boss today, I could not sew and finish up the above,  so I managed to finally sew the buttons on Acorns Cardigan and am looking forward to wearing it. 

It is knit from the cashmere yarn I reclaimed from two grey/taupe charity shop jumpers I found and dyed the yarn with Koolaid. I  am so happy and excited by the result. 

I love the details in the pattern. It was a wonderful pattern to knit.

Lastly for this blog, I am knitting the Maxfield Cardigan. The yarn is Shilasdair Luxury DK and the coloured one is my handspun, the autumn colour way from MandaCrafts which I bought at Glastonbury earlier this year. It was a joy to spin.

On the other hand, the pattern and I nearly parted ways when I started knitting it as some of the instructions for the middle size are incorrect and give instructions for the smaller sizes on the sleeves which I did not think to look at and knit in accordance with one of the larger sizes which is the correct way. Amy responded quickly to my queries which was a great help however the errors have not been corrected yet with an updated PDF.

I started out very disappointed with pattern and only persevered because I loved how the 2 yarns complimented each other. I am now falling deeply in love with this pattern and it is such fun to knit and the Shilasdair yarn is just gorgeous:) Sometimes it is really worth the effort of perseverance!