Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Aftermath

spindle camp 1
Two pop ups and the screen room set up the morning of camp! day! one!, ready for the onslaught of spinners to arrive (we were 23 or 24 at final count).

spindle camp 7
We drift in, set up our space, and are apparently off eating something somewhere.

spindle camp 4

spindle camp 3
But we eventually drift back, and settle in to serious spinning. This is Lindsey, me, Eva and BJ, photo by Susan (all photos by Susan) used totally without their permission (except for Susan, I asked her), so you may see my name on the docket soon.

It's super serious business here:
spindle camp 6
No fun was had, we were working! all the time! (snort).

spindle camp 11
Name tags, potato snacks, wine and marshmallow roasting equipment.

We spun, had potluck dinners two nights running and a dinner at the camp restaurant the third night (no one had to cook!). We had shared lunches, much wine and coffee, chocolate and chips (requisite camp food) and a glorious expanse of time to spin, knit, chat, have a fashion show, pass out door prizes, and spin some more. We stayed up late and got up early (bacon!) and do you think I am focused enough on the food???

We had the requisite camp visitor:
spindle camp 9
spindle camp 10

spindle camp 8
Then the sun set on Spindle Camp II. Watch for Spindle Camp III! This space, next year :D!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Spindle Camp II

This weekend! We are away! Camping! With spindles (and wheels and needles and potluck suppers and pop-up tents) and a campfire! The weather should be grand (raining now, but supposed to stop and we are counting on the weatherman being right this time!).

Last year was Spindle Camp the First. Guild member Jan took on the challenge of organizing us, setting the date, contacting the campground, getting everyone to pony-up for the camping fees. We all showed up with tents and campers, good food and spindles, and the rest, as they say, is history.

We had such fun that we agreed to do it again: the second annual Inter-mountain Spindle Camp for the Foothill Fibers Guild and the Reno Fiber Guild starts tomorrow.

I have been soooooooo looking forward to it: days of just spinning (a little knitting, and maybe a stroll or two), sharing good food with friends, and long relaxing campfire conversations. I love the smell of woodsmoke, especially when it permeates my camp-clothes.

No one is In Charge. We'll have a table or two of fiber-white-elephant or studio-clean-out sale stuff, plus this year, Susan organized Door Prizes: A Golding spindle! Fiber from Lisa Souza! and Miss Babs!

I actually have new spindles for the event:
spindles 002

I was going to wait to try them out at Camp, but, alas, who can resist? Obviously, not me. And, um, I like pairs. This is two Goldings, and two from a NZ spindle maker, Sourkraut. All are fabulous spinners!

CNCH last weekend in Sutter Creek was grand: well organized, pleasant people all around, everyone seemed happy to be there and helpful. Class went well, better than expected really because the time was so short. We had a very beautiful workroom: lots of light and space, and that makes a world of difference. I had time for a relaxed dinner two nights running with good friends, a wonderful bonus.

But this week? Thoughts turn to Spindle Camp. Can you tell I'm excited? I am! To some people, though, Spindle Camp might seem like a total snoozer:


Give her time. Maybe she'll grow up to be a spinner.....

Monday, May 09, 2011

Big Surprise

I made a new bag:
celtic project bag

I know this is not a surprise to anyone, the post title is sarcasm. I made this last week, and kept thinking I should post about it, but also knew most people who read this will not find yet another new bag all that compelling. Alas, I guess I have to work with what I've got. It's what I do :).

This is a project/travel bag. It's sturdy denim, a good dark color for travel, and has a zip closure and long enough straps to carry cross-body.

I made and have carried this one for 6 years. There is a certain comfort in carrying the same bag on trips: I put my boarding pass in a specific place, and can always find it. I have enough room for my netbook, kindle, book (I know, redundant), wallet, a shawl and a project (or two), plus some travel necessities like nuts, hard candy, tea bags and dental floss (which is useful for all kinds of things from string to cutting tool).

Th current travel bag is still intact, has had pockets and bands re-sewn a few times, has been washed and re-washed, and is quite serviceable. But. It also has some limitations which I have tried to mitigate in the new one.

First off: I put a zipper in the top. This will keep things better in place, of course, but also makes the bag a possibility for over-head stowing.

Next, I made one of the outside pockets a pouch:
celtic project bag pocket

with a button! Carrying a project in the outside pocket meant I could easily reach it during flights, without scrambling through everything and pulling the whole bag out from under the seat to go through it. But the flat pockets meant things bubbled out, especially if I pulled one thing: the rest would follow. This is more voluminous. The pouch will hold a small project easily, and the button means I can leave the ball of yarn in the pouch, feed the working yarn out, and the ball will remain in the pocket, not roll around in my lap (or ack! on the floor).

The new bag is slightly larger, so that my spindle carriers fit in the bottom:
celtic project bag inside

They are protected, provide a certain strength and stability, are accessible if need be, but not likely to fall out.

There is room (when not actually traveling) for a full pile of yarn or fiber above the spindle cases:
celtic project bag inside2

There are inside pockets for my niddy-noddy and nostepinne, and a snap pocket for knitting notions like stitch markers, a tape measure and a crochet hook.

I feel so smug. The real test comes with use though, so I guess it's time to break out the travel schedule. This week! CNCH. Also? The bag can be a class sample :)!

I will be traveling to CNCH by car, so the Ultimate Test will have to wait until the next flight, which is not soon enough, of course, to visit this favorite munchkin: