Posted on July 24, 2011 at 12:37 am
I am WAY behind in keeping the blog up to date.
How behind? Let's just say there are whole weeks in April that need to be accounted for. In the meantime, let's just talk about a certain Saturday before I have to turn the calendar page again.
Up to three weeks ago, I had spent probably all of 10 dedicated minutes of my whole life in the company of Josette McWilliams of Enchanted Knoll (here's her Ravelry fan club), and I tell you dear reader, it was enough to convince me that she is one of life's great souls. But alak, she lives in environs of Maine into which my personal orbit does not regularly reach, and so I have to content myself with my paltry annual allotment at SPA to bask in her company.
As my own personal fiber Rasputin, Kelly suggested that all it would take to get Josette out of Maine and into our company, and perhaps (while she's here) to teach us some of her secrets would be the mere mention of her name in the same sentence as "workshop" and "my house" to our local spinning friends. In other words: we could pay her to hang out with us, and get our friends to help us foot the bill.
So it goes.
Josette took the bait, mostly I think because she knows my husband is generous with the wine, and she wouldn't have to cook dinner. I have loved her sparkly fiber as long as I have known about it (and sparkly batts we made), but the general blending exercises she had us do solved so many of the carder mysteries I have suffered from since I started spinning. All of a sudden, I'm using the carder that my husband bought for me my first spinning Christmas (the boys get the tool aspect of the spinning, don't they?) that has sat in the studio with the neppy remnants of my first washed fleece still clinging to the uptake drum.
We took scoured fleece from clumpy locks to top-like consistency, we added sari silk and firestar to plain white top to make what she calls Birthday Cake, and we played a fun game I'll call Fiber Craps, which involved a pile of mystery fibers and mix-ins that Josette calls "spices", a pair of dice, and some bartering skillz. The idea is that you can take a fiber you may not like very much, and transform it with a little creative carding. And you might get this if you're lucky (or simply Kellee Middlebrooks):
or this (if you turf most of your original fiber and just use the mix-ins):
or something you can wear as a hat:
And then you can sit around for the rest of the day and spin up what you carded.
And eat a load of pizza.