The holidays are over, the decorations packed away, and we are back to the ol' routine.
I received some wonderful knitting/spinning goodies for Christmas. My friend Jane sent me a beautiful spindle and several colors of roving. The colors coordinate nicely so I think I will ply them together (someday when I know how to spin better)
My sister sent me some pencil roving, and 2 skeins of luscious alpaca yarn from Dakota Alpaca Farm in SD, which is where she lives. The fleece came from an alpaca named Ellenique, so that's what the yarn is called. So yummmmmy......
In our Secret Santa name draw for the BeeGees knitting group, Sharon gave me the book No Pattern Knits which I had been wanting.
I have been itching to take a spinning class. The one I thought I would take at Heritage in February unfortunately is going to be held on 2 days that I already have plans for. The next classes there aren't until April.
I didn't want to wait that long, and Threadbear was having a beginning spinning class, so I signed up. It's 4 Friday evenings, and it started last Friday. Threadbear is one of my favorite places in the world to hang out, but because it's 2 hours from my house (112 miles) I don't get there as often as I'd like.
Now some of you might think it's a little crazy to drive 2 hours, take a 2 hour class, and drive 2 more hours home. At night. In January/February. In Michigan. 4 times. Yes...kind of kooky. But I love hanging out with Rob and Matt, seeing all the new goodies they have acquired since the last time I was there, etc.
Luckily I was able to convince my friend Tamara to take the class with me. So I have someone to talk to on the way there and back, and if anything wonky were to happen on the road, I wouldn't be alone. It's fun having a friend in class too. The drive out there and back last week was in pouring rain most of the 4 hours, but it could have been worse. Could have been snow, or the ice we got overnight last night. They are saying snow for Friday this week, but it's only Monday, so we'll see if the forecast changes by then.....
Our spinning teacher, Jackie, is a gem. We learned a lot about the fleece and what's involved in preparing it for spinning. Our homework was to wash one hunk of fleece that is right off the sheep. Then we had to "flick" another handful of wool that had already been washed. Then we are to use the spindle and spin some carded roving which we will ply this week.
Not too bad, I guess. I'm getting the hang of it. I'm finding that pre-drafting is the way to go. We will start learning about the wheel this week, and I am really looking forward to being able to use my wheel that I got several months ago. Yeah!
What's on the needles? Well, several things. I am in the middle of doing a new shop sample of my Bloom Shawl pattern for Threadbear in Diakeito Rococo. The color repeats in this yarn are longer than the other yarns I've knit the other Bloom Shawls in, but I like how it's turning out.
I'm also working on the felted Mancala game from Knitty that I promised Jake I would make him.
And a couple of overdue Christmas gifts for my eternally patient, dear friend Maria.
When I get her gifts in the mail I will get back to my new pattern...which will hopefully, FINALLY, be announced soon!