Monday, January 24, 2011

Off to a good start!

Our first meeting of the year was one of the first sunny winter days we've seen in awhile. Twenty-three of us piled into Kelly and Dale's house for a grand afternoon Spin-in! With opportunities to try out different drop spindles and a wide variety of wheels, our group ranged from total novice to getting better to pretty accomplished.

Aurora is definitely one of our more accomplished spinners.

The hand spinners ended up downstairs and the wheels went upstairs into the studio Kelly & Dale recently made out of the (grown-up now) kid's playroom. Now it's Kelly and Dale's playroom with plenty of room for Dale to work on his rugs and Kelly to spin away. There's a wall of cubbies for storage and workspace on top, great natural light, and a TV so they can spend hours there!

Peggy has had her wheel for awhile but rarely has time to spin, so our Spin-in was an ideal opportunity for her to work on her technique and ask a few questions, too..
Michaela is explaining twist.
Sonia got her very contemporary wheel for Christmas, but needs help getting it all set up. There was some Google-ing going on to find an online User's Manual. Look at that beautiful roving in her lap! Won't that make some gorgeous thread! 
Behind, Garnette Tuten and Melissa Dertian are loving the drum carder. Much easier than using paddle carders.

Downstairs, experienced spinners were happy to help the novices get started with the drop spindle.
Jessica is watching Terri get started using the "park & draft' technique -- a good one for beginners!
The "spin" Terri gave the spindle before she "parked" it, causes the yarn to form almost magically as Terri moves her hand up.
 This is how all-consuming hobbies get started!

Thanks to Kelly and Dale for letting us have the run of your house for the afternoon. And thanks to everyone who shared what they knew with those who were just getting started. It was fun!

One announcement: With a new year, we have new officers who will be planning things this year. Help them out whenever you can!
President, Lynn Holland
Vice President, Kelly Fort
Secretary, Jessica Jones
Treasurer: Garnette Tuten
Publicity Chair, Amy Heins

Rosters have gone out via e-mail, so you should have contact information on everyone. If you need a roster, contact Sandy ( And if you haven't paid your membership fee for 2011, send a check made out to Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild to Garnette. Best $25 you'll spend this year!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Celebrating "Back to Work"

In the Middle Ages, January 6 -- "Old Christmas " -- was celebrated with one last party before the household resumed its normal routine after the holidays. 

The "normal" household routine was strongly associated with the constant chore of spinning and weaving -- so after this last holiday celebration it was time to return to spindles and looms. It all came to be known as "Distaff Day" or even "Roc Day." The drop spindle all women carried in their apron pockets to use during odd moments of idleness was called their roc.

Modern Fiber Guilds have revived the old custom of making this day a celebration, often holding special meetings or workshops. This year, our Guild will observe Distaff Day by gathering at the home of Kelly Fort for a "Spin-In" on Saturday, January 15, from 2:00 - 4:00 PM. 

Bring your wheels and your spindles if you have them. If you don't have the tools or the skills, this is an opportunity to see the process, try your hand at it, and learn some of the fine points of spinning raw fiber or roving into thread to suit your purpose. Do you want fine or full thread? Single or double twist? As we discovered in June when we tried drop spindles, an afternoon is long enough for a novice to make some headway. 

What a great way to kick off a New Year! Cheers!

2010 Highlights