Fibre Fallout 2006

I got up early Saturday morning and headed off to the North Country Spinner’s Fiber Fallout. I took backroads to get there, and it was very nice and peaceful….no traffic. Except for one part where I saw something on the road…what the heck is that? It was a bear! I’ve never seen a bear close to here, but there he was. I tried to take a picture, but he kept on turning around to look at me, and I was paranoid (do bears attack cars?). OK, here is a terrible picture…but the bear is the little black dot in the middle (I think this should get an award for worst picture ever – don’t you think?)


The retreat was really good; I had a great time. There is something so nice about being with a lot of people that share the same interest. Everyone was very friendly, and I had the chance to talk to a lot of different people. And the spinning – wow! I realized what a beginner I am….and how expert a lot of people are. Saturday night we were sitting around, some people knitting, some spinning. I was watching someone spin – she was talking and laughing and didn’t look like she was paying attention to her wheel….and spinning thread.

On Saturday, I took a class with Rita Buchanan on being a versitile spinner. It was a great class; Rita was very low key, and funny. I got a lot out of the class, and was glad I took it. She’s such an expert spinner, but she didn’t make me feel stupid when I asked what were probably pretty obvious or stupid questions. She had a lot of samples of her spinning. They all were beautiful; very inspiring. She apparently is retiring from giving classes, so I feel very lucky that I got to do this with her.


Here is Rita demonstrating something on her wheel…


One of the biggest breakthroughs I had in class was that people spin yarn on purpose. I know, stupid eh? I don’t spin anything on purpose. I end up with yarn that is a surprise – I don’t know the gauge until after I’m done. But apparently most people plan what kind of yarn they spin depending on what project they want to knit or weave. Wow. I feel stupid just typing this, but so far I’ve viewed spinning as an un-related hobby in a way. I buy roving that I like, sit down and spin it, and then after I’m done, find a project to match the yarn (or more typically just put it in my stash). Apparently most people don’t do this. So its a shift in thinking….but I’m excited about it! I think before I got to Rhinebeck, I’m going to pick a project and then buy roving specifically for that. Maybe a sweater for Larry?

I sat next to Rita at dinner Saturday, and she was really interesting and very nice. I actually didn’t know anything about her….someone mentioned gardening and I asked her “oh, do you like to garden?”…duh….she’s written a lot of books about it! Who knew? She’s had a very interesting life, and has done a lot of things. And she has a separate studio – a little house in her backyard. I really want one too!

After dinner on Saturday, Rita gave a talk on her life as a spinner – and she talked about weaving. She had sample of her knitting, weaving and rug making. Amazing stuff. She even wove fabric from plant leaves. I am thinking about looking into weaving….the recommendation from everyone was to take the week-long beginning weaving class at The Mannings. It sort of looks like fun. I’m torn – weaving does look like it would be really fun, but I also feel I don’t have enough time to spend on knitting and spinning. Plus where would I put the loom? But after seeing the fabric Rita had woven, and how she uses the yarn she spins…..I really want to give it a try.

I got home yesterday a little after lunch; totally exhausted. So I took a nap, and had a relaxing afternoon. I did spin a bit and found that applying what I learned during the weekend really helps.

So although I was nervous and stressed about attending a retreat like this, I really did enjoy it. And I’ll definitely do it again!

Well, time to get ready for my second day on the new job. I’m taking the train today, so I have my knitting all packed up and ready to go! Have a great day.


10 Responses to Fibre Fallout 2006

  1. Yarngirl says:

    It looks like it was a great retreat – if it ever comes around again, we should go together. And Rita has the same wheel I do!!!

    When you start to spin, you go everywhere from there – I have a loom I haven’t used in years, but I did want to weave and I did learn. I will eventually pull it out again someday – Norwood Workshop folding loom when he was still making them.

    Did you stay Saturday night??

    Have a great 2nd day at the new job!

  2. Yarngirl says:

    Oh, and the BEAR! Yes, we have them – I had one sitting on my DECK on night – and destroying all my bird feeders a few times.

  3. AR says:

    That bear was probably so scared! haha Sheeshe! Sounds like you had a great time! I’m so jealous. What fun!

  4. LindaB says:

    Good for you! So glad you went for the weekend…I can hear the wheels turning now…with your beautiful property there’s plenty of room for your own workshop/studio including a floor loom! Bring back the landscaper! You need another path to your new pad & trenching to lay in electric & water. Just think of all the stash storage 😉 It’s certainly doable & would be a bit of heaven on earth!

  5. lobstah says:

    The retreat sounds like it went great. I agree, I really want to try weaving (more than I want to try spinning, actually)…but where to put a loom? The idea of a separate “craft house” is awesome!!

  6. Rebekah says:

    Sounds absolutely wonderful.

    And hey any bear picture is better than a non-bear picture.

  7. stitch-dom says:

    Sounds like a very educational day! I know what you mean about realizing some people spin a weight on purpose. Right now I’m still just struggling to get the roving into yarn and the yarn onto the bobbin and then the plying happens. Whatever comes out at the end is what I’ve got.

    I kind of figured though that if I can spin thin enough, then I can ply it thicker if I need to. On the other hand, I’m in that typical beginner spot where my spinning is getting thinner and thinner and now I can’t spin a nice thick single at all.

    Anyway – hope you can use your new skills soon…that box is going in the mail any day now!

  8. Opal says:

    I spin like you do most of the time. There aren’t any classes available here so I pretty much spin by the seat of my pants! What a grea opportunity to learn otherwise!

  9. Amber says:

    How cool (and sorta scary) that you saw a bear!

    Glad you enjoyed the retreat — sounds like an amazing time!

  10. Terri says:

    I like your bear photo. :o) Sounds like you had a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing your experiences and insights with us. Your enthusiasm makes me want to learn to spin!–>

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