Thursday, October 3, 2013

Did That Really Just Happen?

Spinning creates fibre mess--little bits of loose fluff have a tendency to accumulate in the work area--so now that I'm a wheel spinner I have to vacuum more frequently. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Like a lot of wool people, I'd rather be playing and plying than doing housework. A couple of days ago, it was time to get the house clean again. I have a little canister-style machine which works well in our house with its mix of wide-plank pine floors and wool wall-to-wall carpet. Eventually I made it up to the third floor library where I have my wheel set up. I sucked up the dust and loose wool fibres from the beautiful old 170-year-old floorboards. I stuck the vacuum cleaner hose under the desk, and the futon, and then, just as I was bending down to have a look under an old trunk with legs, I heard a soft, tell-tale "fwug" (for lack of a better description of the sudden sucking sound). What's that, I asked myself? A tissue must have been drawn into the hose, I thought. Then I turned around and noticed with a sick feeling that a long length of Corriedale roving had disappeared. We're talking four feet of soft, combed top. I stood there and took in what had happened for about a minute. I bought 2 lbs of fibre for my Zora project. Allowing for some small waste, this should be about the right amount for the cardigan, but there's not a lot of room for error--or housekeeping accidents! I thought about opening up the machine and checking inside. I thought about the gunk one usually finds inside a vacuum cleaner bag. I thought about how I'd only put in a new bag the day before and not done all that much vacuuming. Does vacuumed gunk get more disgusting the longer it sits around? I thought about how I really, really needed ALL the fibre I'd purchased, and then I unclicked the door on the machine and had a look. Not so bad. The roving was sitting right there at the opening of the bag. I gave it a little tug and, lo and behold, the entire length of roving emerged, like a lamb being born, out of the little round bag opening, and suddenly life was OK again. By yesterday evening it was part of a new skein drying on my music stand in the living room. Whew!
Most of yesterday was spent with the Kingston Handloom Spinners and Weavers for their monthly day of spinning and potluck lunch. We were out on Cartwright Point, a hidden gem, tucked away on the water's edge behind the military base. The day was warm, even hot for October, so we gathered on the deck of the house.

Elaine, master (mistress?) of the long draw.

Alison, showing off her creation, intended for wear at an 1812 re-enactment ball.

Ruth's purple fleece. I want that colour!

I left my wheel at home and spent the day working on my handspun Zora.


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