Monday, October 22, 2007


Head In A Whorl: Ass In A Sling

As I mentioned before, some time ago in an over-inflated (or perhaps wine-inflated) sense of competence I agreed to go speak to my brother's knitting group about fibre.

I was mainly concerned as I'm a dyer, not (much of) a spinner, and somehow the emphasis of the talk ended up being on spinning. After stating several times to the facilitator of the group that in fact I really couldn't spin (followed shortly by him saying, brightly, "we're so looking forward to hearing you talk about spinning!"), I thought to myself, "self", I thought, "perhaps you should learn how to spin!". Well, I made plans to spin every day for at least an hour, and I took the drop spindle to work and learned at least the basics; however, the best-laid plans ... or perhaps the best-laid mice. Whatever, you know the saying.

The Big Day arrived, in fact yesterday was the day, and I must say it was a hoot. All of my fears were for naught.

I had stayed up late the night before, mostly because, as we all know, staying up late after drinking too much and then getting three hours of sleep and then working all day is the best way to take care of oneself. Mostly, however, I was packing my basket.

(apparently the phrase "packing my basket" is one that should be used sparingly when around a group of gay men. word to the wise)

I didn't know what I was going to say or how I was going to say it. Nothing ruins public speaking like a little planning. (i may have that backwards, come to think of it) My plan, in general, was to take as much fibre and equipment as possible, talk about it a bit, show folks a few things and then let them play with it.

Apparently this was a good plan and I think most of the people there enjoyed the day, although I likely could have been a little more focused.

There were only five men there (I told you I'm better in small groups) and one wanted to figure out if he could fall in love with a drop spindle as he had a friend who had been offering him one for a couple of years. I got to see a new spinner get born, and although he left early and so couldn't try the wheel he had a grand old time with my Turkish drop spindle, and left happily clutching two small bags of roving (Perendale and Moorit) to his chest.

Welcome to the dark side. It's spinny over here.

The facilitator (who I'm hoping will forward me a few pictures) and one other man were very taken with the whole process. One was a natural on the wheel, although I don't think I've ever seen such overtwist in my life. It takes a certain skill! His yarn was very even and if he learns to let it feed through the orifice more quickly he'll be well on his way. I am very pleased to note that my spinning, despite my fears, was even and quite fine. I am impressed by Romney, and also by how flop sweat doesn't make one's hands freeze up and get all stupid when one has to spin in public.

I was delighted to meet Nigel, who immediately informed me that he wasn't going to leave until I sold him some sock yarn. Fortunately I had some which I had dyed at the same time as I dyed Forest Canopy for Mrs. Quimby (who apparently has very soft armpits). He loved it (the wool, not Mrs. Q's pits) and so an alliance was formed. He didn't love the spinning so much but there's still hope for a conversion. And if not? There's lots of yarn where that sock yarn came from.

There will be further spinnage in the future as I'm planning to join the group for either knitting or spinning as often as I can.


I do believe I'm enjoying being an agent for The Forces of Darkness (and sheep)

Well shoot. I sure wish you lived closer. I just can not get the hang of my drop spindle. I always manage to untwist the yarn that is already attached to the spindle. And yes, I am turning it in the right direction. lol The spindle is in the timeout box until I get over my lace kick I do believe.
Nothing ruins a little planning like public speaking.

Yes, that's definitely it. I believe it's from Poor Richard's Almanac, if I'm not mistaken.
Glad it went well - was thinking of you! (I really want to be clever and witty, but I haven't had coffee. I really shouldn't put so much pressure on myself.)

And I have to recommend the foot-butter-in-armpits thing. It's quite surprising!
I think maybe you were the only one who didn't know you'd do so well. :-)
I'm glad it went well. Nigel just needs a little more encouragement. He got some spinning exposure down here in PDX while at my gathering. He just has yet to find the fiber that begs to be spun up.
Speaking of packing one's basket, you should ask Nigel to show you the thong he knat.
Congrats on your survival -- I'm so glad it turned out to be actually (gasp) fun! I just wish I lived closer -- you keep saying the words drop spindle, and some little part of me jumps up and down and says, "me! me! I want one of THOSE!" Then I squash the little fiend.
well, dude. join a group of gay men to knit?

count me in! ;)
It's so good to read a good day post from you! I'm so happy. You so totally deserved a good day!

Also, although I didn't comment at the time, I loved that little story you wrote in here a little while back. The more I learn about you through your blog the more I realize how incredibly talented you are in so many, many ways! Seriously, I've you thought about writing as a money maker?

and I love seeing you on ravelry, too!

Hope you have a good week.

charlizeen at yahoooooooooooooo
You're really rough on yourself (in more ways than one) Yep, takin' over the world, one fiber at a time...OK, you won't believe the word verification, it's: zjjymca - I love being assigned these!
You got to meet Knigel? Too cool!
"Nothing ruins public speaking like a little planning." A quote by which I have lived my life. (Which has produced some interesting speeches. Apparently I do public speaking better while in a state of sheer terror.)

Sounds like it was a great day, and hurray for advancing the plan for Spinning World Domination! (Which I believe is an offshoot of Canadian World Domination, as well as an adjunct to Knitting World Domination, isn't it? I'm so terrible at keeping up with the notices...) And cool on plans for future. Luck on that!
You know, in catching up I came across your mention of the "vole salad sandwich" -- you know what's really good with that? Whompin' big bowl of Cream of Goat Soup. Just sayin'. Spinning? It's fairly lapping at my heels; at this point, I'm resisting. It's at the top of the list, above "quilting"....for my next life.
Can I just say, reading your blog (and I've read my way through all the archive as well...) has probably kept me sane the last few days and certainly helped me to keep my job, by distracting me enough that I didn't go and tell my asswipe boss that she blows goats most mightily. (great term btw. I've stolen it.) Thankyou. :-)
"orifice" is another word you want to be a little careful with in a group of gay men...
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