Monday, November 15, 2004

In the Presence of Genius

I could never have even guessed what an amazing resource Nelda Davis is when it comes to spinning.

Ways of Learning
I know there are volumes of data on how people learn. I work best with demonstration and praise when I do things well. Nelda is definitely the kind of instructor that I learn best from.

Nelda knows an enormous amount about the history and the workings of great wheels. She is also an amazingly accomplished spinner with proficiency in every stage of fiber preparation from sheep breeds to finishing a newly spun yarn.

Since I knew next to nothing about spinning, I definitely go my money's worth from this past weekend.

Spinning Workshop
For those who didn't know, I took a two day workshop, led by Nelda Davis on spinning on antique great wheels.

First of all, the workshop was hosted by the Princeton Weaver's Guild at the home of long-time members, Deborah and Michael Holcomb. Deborah and Michael own more spinning and weaving equipment than you could possibly imagine, and their collection of antique great wheels is museum-like in both quality and quantity.

And you should see their basement.

Suffice it to say, I got to try out multiple types of wheels and I can't say enough about how amazing it was.

I don't plan on owning a great wheel anytime soon, but I learned many drafting and spinning techniques that I will be able to transfer to my Louet spinning. I also learned how easy it is to prepare some raw fibers. All-in-all, it was a weekend well spent.

Now that I've finished the red baby blanket (I still haven't woven in all the ends, or blocked it), I needed a new project for my hotel time.

I brought the cone of wool and hemp to Albany with me, and I'll play around with a design this week. As soon as it starts looking like something, I'll post about it with pictures.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Thanks again for keeping yourselves occupied while I learned new spinning stuff this weekend.

Gail V. mentions that she's glad to have found an oasis of interesting knitters with taste.

I'm glad she reminded me. I remember searching through bad patterns and awful yarn stores before I found Tomato Factory and their unique style of knitting design. That great style transformed into Simply Knit and I was able to find a haven of like-minded knitters there (including reader Kathy as one-time part owner/designer). Then they closed, and the only places I know with similar sensibilities are Rosie's and Sophie's in Philadelphia and Habu Textiles in New York City. I am very glad to provide even a fraction of that kind of respite from the tedious knit world most everywhere else.

I also wanted to give special mention to Carol S.'s great link, Kim Salazar's thoughtful comment about the yarn meatballs ad and Liz's comparison of atrributing homosexuality to good looking, famous guys to a teenage girl's puppy love of a teen heart throb. That's exactly what I think it is too.