We have now been spinning for two weeks out of the 23 days of the Tour de Fleece. My first week was focused on spinning flax. I have been searching out good reliable sources for long line flax strick and stockpiling what I have come up with. It was starting to grow into quite a pile so I spent some time spinning it. In the process I was able to evaluate my sources and get a better idea who to buy from in the future. Good flax strick is getting more and more difficult to find. It used to be grown in more areas of the world, including the Pacific Northwest here in the USA for a short time in the early to middle 1900's, but it's very labor intensive and getting more and more expensive as a result.
I ended up with about 1400 yards of double ply linen yarn! I'm really pleased. It will definitely be used for more linen face cloths but maybe for other things too.
This past week I've been working on spinning up all my art batts. I love spinning art batts! I like spinning them into fun and funky two ply yarn as much as spinning them up as core spun yarn. Both are wonderful. So far I've spun up quite a few bumps of fiber but haven't plied any of them yet. Some will be plied with themselves, others with brushed mohair or something with sequins and one will be Navajo plied into a three ply yarn.
This past Tuesday our West Side Spinners met out here at my house. We had a grand time, like we usually do. Connie Elliott was here to help us brush up on our cotton spinning. This is something I've always struggled with. I grow cotton (in small amounts, it's true) and have always felt I should be able to spin it. Connie is a fabulous teacher and it was just the refresher I needed. I managed to get my little Tahkli spindle spinning and made some yarn!
Our Houston area guild, the Contemporary Handweavers of Houston, will be working in conjunction with The Menil Gallery on an exhibit called Experiments with Truth: Gandhi and Images of Nonviolence. The guild intends to have people demonstrating spinning cotton on the type of spinning wheels that Gandhi used as well as weaving some cotton cloth similar to what he wore. This will require quite a bit of hand spun cotton so we are trying to build not only skill but enthusiasm for the project among our local spinners. I'm thrilled to be able to contribute some hand spun cotton!
The last ten days have been wonderful and totally exhausting. We have had our one year old grandson while his mommy and daddy are on vacation. I'm reminded again why it is that young people have babies. Us old people just don't have the stamina anymore. We have had a blast and are so happy we could have this opportunity.