Sunday, January 10, 2010

Why 13 Pounds?

I started spinning in 1992. I had just started knitting and fell deeply in love with fiber and really wanted to explore all of it. My husband (who's a builder) had been working on a sheep barn for a woman in the area. This woman happened to be a member of a very active guild and she invited me to attend a meeting. I had seen spinning wheels and demonstrations when I was a kid (it was the heyday of Laura Ingalls Wilder & Little House on the Prairie after all). When I walked into that meeting, it was fiber heaven. There were probably 40 people sitting at all different kinds of spinning wheels with all manner and color of fiber - I was a goner.

My very first workshop was with Rita Buchanan. It was based on taking an entire fleece and processing it all different ways. I had to borrow a wheel from the spinning guild, as I didn't have one of my own and I was such a rank beginner, I didn't even know how to use an orifice hook. My workshop mates and Rita were extremely gracious and helped me through most of it. My hands hurt for days after that workshop because of the death grip I had on the fleece.

Since then I've had workshops with many spinnerati (Lynne Vogel, Katherine Alexander, Judith MacKenzie McCuin, Beth Smith, Abby Franquemont, Maggie Casey, Rudy Amann, Janel Laidman, and others). I've been to SOAR twice and enjoyed it immensely both times. My spinning has improved over the years - A LOT.

However, I tend to spin the same kind of yarn. Over and over. It's a little boring. Since my theme word for 2010 is progress, I wanted to make progress in one of the things I love best. So I banded together with a couple of friends and we each pledged to spin 4 ounces of fiber a week. We don't have any rules, just a couple of guidelines:
  1. Spin 4 ounces/week
  2. Enjoy it
  3. Learn from it
  4. Write about it
That's it. We aren't going to be spinning the same fiber at the same time (although I will admit our stashes overlap quite a bit). I plan on working through Judith MacKenzie McCuin's The Intentional Spinner and picking up tips and tricks along the way.

At the end of the year, we'll each have 13 pounds of yarn that we made with our own hands and 13 pounds less of fiber languishing in our stashes (theoretically anyway). It's going to be an interesting trip - I can't wait to see what turns up along the way.

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