Monday, January 17, 2011

Distaff Day

I had the best time at Distaff Day on Saturday, put on by the Front Range Fiber Artists. For those who don't know, Distaff Day is when women went back to the work of knitting and spinning and carding and combing after Christmas. Men, naturally, did not start back to work until the following day...what can I say? Of course, survival meant that they were all still "working", they just weren't doing certain things.

At Distaff Day, they had several demonstrations on weaving and spinning and dyeing - it was so inspirational! I just wanted to come home and start throwing dye on everything and spin up some more wool and knit up a storm. Note: I am resisting weaving, really I am, even though I have an inkle loom and weaving looks really cool, and some of the stuff they make is amazing, but resisting. I saw Navajo plying in person, and definitely want to try that again. The last time I tried Navajo plying, I ended up with a horrid knotted mess. I met a woman whose husband built her an electric spinning wheel. I saw every different type of wheel you can imagine, from well, electric spinning wheels to antique sleeping beauty wheels to fancy, expensive wheels.

And they had tables set up with different products for sale - mostly fiber. All different kinds of fiber at good prices, so I bought about four ounces of alpaca from a local breeder, a pound of undyed cormo (that is a sheep type), a pound of undyed mixed wool (golly, that was such a good price, such a good price! Really, such a good price I am using the word golly), a 4 oz. braid of superwash merino wool dyed beautifully for the cheapest price I have ever paid for a 4 oz braid, and another 4 ozs of mixed wool in natural colors which I may or may not dye,

I was very careful in my purchases, seeking out the best price and think I did very well. There were actual fleeces there that you could comb and card and make your own batts if you purchased them - that is truly the best price, but I don't have the equipment nor do I have the time. Someone even had adorable angora bunnies for sale - yes, angora bunny fur is spun, it is wonderfully soft and warm. No, I did not purchase an angora bunny. Yes, I did go temporarily insane and consider it, fortunately I realized I did not really want to brush and pluck bunny fur. I have enough trouble keeping up with the cat brushing. Seriously, look at that coat on her! And of course her face is in a bowl - she really can't have enough food and this was her morning drink of milk.

They had demonstrations on combing and carding. Ooooh, so cool. Several different types of carders and combs - even a nice electric carder was brought in for people to try out. It is so great that people want to share their tools and experiences. Next year, I'll take my camera so I can share the day with you.

Can you tell I found Distaff Day exciting?

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