Getting ready….

…for the weekend!

giant pile-o’-mawata-silk

It’s a working weekend for me: tomorrow I travel to Norwich, where I will spend Friday evening talking to the Norwich Embroiderers Guild about spinning – and on Saturday, I will be teaching a full-day drop spindle workshop for the guild!  I’m looking forwards to it enormously.  The spinning workshop will be an extended version of the introductory course I taught at Textiles In Focus, back in February, which was an absolute blast.

materials packs with spindles and handouts

On the other hand, I feel woefully under-prepared.  I’m not sure why: I know the workshop backwards, and my talk is well prepared.  My kit is packed, for both days, and all I need to do tomorrow is pack clothes, toiletries and personal items.  But no matter what I do, I have this horrible ‘forgotten something crucial’ sensation in the pit of my stomach.  It’s not stage fright: I know that one well and we are good friends from waaay back.  And I know that J and the houndies will be just fine at home without me: I’m only away overnight, for heaven’s sake!

distaff and spindle box

I wonder if it’s because I’m presenting two different sessions in one visit?  If I’m thinking about the talk, I’m not thinking about the workshop, and vice versa.  The two are complementary, but designed not to overlap all that much.  Maybe I need to go read through my notes for both, back-to-back, and see how I feel then.

Woody, asleep with his tongue poking out

That dog cracks me up.

‘Ello precioussss

…it’sss my birrrthdayy…

No, really, it is.  And what am I doing, you might ask?

Well, basically, nothing.

Textiles in Focus has been and gone; it was, of course, awesome.  And, equally of course, I had no time (and insufficient presence of mind) to take photographs during the event.  All I’ve got for you is a setup-time shot of the stall (which looks suspiciously similar to last year’s layout):

And a few photos of the yarn I prepped for my drop spindling class:

Yarn?  For a class on spindling??  Well, yes.  You see, it’s only a two-hour class, and it was aimed at complete beginners.  It’s very difficult to teach much spindling in two hours-  so I thought I’d level out the learning curve a bit.  Rather than handing out a stick and some fluff and attempting to teach everything all in one go, I went for a stick attached to yarn.  That meant we could play with plying, unplying and cabling for a while, before moving on to fibre.  It worked remarkably well.  By the time we got around to the slippery, tricksy fibre, everyone was comfortable with at least the concepts of holding, starting and stopping a spindle, dealing with unbalanced yarns, and winding onto storage bobbins.  (The practice, of course, takes a little longer).  I think that, with an hour extra (or even a half hour), everyone would have managed to produce a two-ply yarn that they had spun themselves from fibre.

And I think that just about everyone enjoyed themselves.  At any rate, I’m reasonably sure that no-one was unduly traumatised.  And one lady asked if I was available to teach a full day’s course for her guild.  Well, sure I am!  I’m honoured to be asked.  (Also, I was headhunted for several more shows as a yarn dyer/vendor, which is doubly, triply awesome.)

Anyway, back to the birthday thing.  Textiles in Focus ran until Sunday – the 27th.  Every bit of my spare energy before the show went into preparing the teaching materials and the stock for sale.  With only one clear day between TIF and my birthday, I have essentially *nothing* planned – not even a day off work!

But, you know?  I’m OK with that.  I’m perfectly happy to have done TIF for the second year in a row, and I’m more than pleased with the commitment I gave to it.  I’m still quite tired, so I’m happy not to be ‘wasting’ a birthday day off in recuperation.  Instead, I’ll have a quiet evening with J and the hounds, some nice food, a sofa and some knitting.  In a week or two’s time, I shall declare it Belated Birthday, take a day off and go enjoy myself.

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