Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Color Connects!

This past weekend took me to Riverside, California, to attend Color Connects. I had promised Nancy of Custom Handweaving that I'd help her and Cal out and so for the next three days, I helped sell, spin and I shopped till I had to pick out the pennies and lint from my wallet - yup, I shopped myself broke.

I also met some wonderful people, including Henry and Roy Clemes of Clemes & Clemes based in the Bay area. Henry let me spin on both the Traditional wheel, and the "kit" or "modern" wheel, and they both spun like buttah! I wish I could get one! At least the kit wheel! Oh well, with my S45 edging out my two other wheels as to first preference these days, Clemes will have to wait. But I highly recommend their wheels and drum carders!

Henry was also the only one since I began spinning that actually explained how the double drive wheel works and how on earth the tension screw/knob works to adjust the tension or angle on the band that goes around the bobbin, and why one needs to always use a piece of string and not monofilament for their wheels (monofilament rounds out the groove, which totally affects the tensioning of the bobbin to influence the take-up...or something like that). See, even I seem to know what I was talking about there. I think.

I have some pretty cool video of Henry spinning on both Clemes wheels!

The Greater Los Angeles Spinning Guild had their own booth that was definitely very fun, engaging and full of activity. They held spinning competitions and also taught non-spinners how to spin. Gwen asked me if I'd like to have some of my yarns featured in their booth and I gladly obliged. There were three of my yarns just hanging out for the weekend - my Viva La Vida yarn, Bikini Botom, and my green supercoils. The rest of my yarns, primarily Crosspatch Creations handspun were all featured at the Custom Handweaving booth. I totally need some kind of commission here, I think.

Anyway, I totally salivated over so many things and wished I had the budget to buy everything I wanted. Susan's Kitchen had some luscious alpaca roving (mental note: visit her etsy store!); Lisa of Soap-Plantation had some wonderful merino-tencel roving to dye for (I bought one!), Shari had some gorgeous roving and yarns, one of them being Sandy's of Homestead Wool & Gift Farm!

Nebo Rock Textiles had some beautiful roving, locks and handspun yarns. I was totally drooling over the locks and the tussah silk. I ended up emptying all my pennies to buy 2 oz. of angora fiber just as the market closed on Sunday. Before that, I purchased a weaving book by Rebecca Smith of Loom in a Tube. Turns out, what I really want to weave are tapestries and so the PVC pipe loom I built was perfect for it, not as a rigid heddle loom. Goes to show what I know about weaving - nada! But her pieces were amazing. I'll be trading with the other Nancy (Nancy who helps out the first Nancy at Custom Handweaving) my beginning weaving book for her weaving with beads one so I can incorporate weaving beads in. But first, I have start from the beginning!

I did purchase some books from Custom Handweaving - primarily Barbara Walker's Treasury of Knitting Patterns (500 patterns in all!) and Knitting Design from Teach Yourself Visually series. I have my eye on some color books and may get that from her in a week or so. I chatted with Ruth of Dizzy Ewe and John Marshall, who has the most exquisite Japanese textiles. He showed me how Japanese velvet was made and reminded me how Velvet (berodu in Japanese) is written in katakana. Amazing man!

Janice Rosema dropped by and spun her new Spinolution Bee wheel, while I got to spin a few wheels at the Custom Handweaving booth though I so missed my Louet S45. Speaking of my Louet, it is totally a dream to spin! I haven' spun any novelty yarn lately because I've been spinning some thin yarns which I then navajo-ply to dk weight yarn. Not too shabby! Today, I dunked all my navajo plied handspun mill ends and dyed them a bright turquoise color! Tomorrow I'll show it all off - it's currently drying in the corner.

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend. I got to meet spinners, knitters, crocheters - all crafty people like you and me, and I had fun. It was actually nice to get away and I'd forgotten how wonderful it is to be with creative people again. Probably my only complaint would be that it would have been great if there had been more non-spinners, non-knitters there for us to convert.

Someone did say that spinning seemed to be a dying art and if you based it on this weekend's turnout, you just might have to agree. But I have to disagree. We spinners are not a dying breed. Or are we?


Bee said...

great coverage! i'm sorry i missed this weekend but i ended up at big bear mtn. love all the eyecandy shots and all those wheels!!! i'd been eyeing the clemes wheels via their site and your vid gives me a much better idea of how they look. they looked kinda odd on the site. well i hope spinners aren't a dying breed! i think w the economy, ppl are just becoming more frugal. at least i hope.

Velvet said...

True. It was Henry Clemes who did say that spinning may be "a dying art" because 20 years ago, when they came out with their wheels, he would be teaching spinning to kids from the time the conference opened till the time they would close. At the conference, he taught only 1 - it didn't help that his booth was around the back side, but I think the event needed more advertising to bring in more newcomers rather than the usual spinners, and fiber crafters.

Missed you there! But Big Bear mountain is so much fun although these days my skis spend more time, in fact all the time, in the garage rather than outside in the mountains!