72) That was the week(end), that was…

Recently, time does not seem to be flowing smoothly.  One afternoon seems to hang around forever, stretching out into infinity – then four days seem to be go past in a single lump.  This makes for sporadic blogging.

Nevertheless, the last week has been rather productive, all things considered.  I have:

  • started seaming coppertop (ravelry link) – my two-week sweater, haha;
  • finished plying the spindled silks;
  • finished plying the Sweetgeorgia BFL/silk, featured mostly in this post;
  • started spindle spinning some of my own batts ('Titania' – mixed purples with holographic angelina – here);
  • made copious notes about what has and what hasn't worked in the garden this year.  However, these are all currently on the back of an envelope, so I can't share them with you yet;
  • reached the crunch point on the Peacock shawl. I will be omitting one full repeat from the middle section.

Several of these items deserve blog posts of their own, but I am rather fond of the plied BFL/silk photos I took on Sunday, so I'm sharing those now:

That is a UK 5 pence piece tucked behind the yarn; that's slightly smaller than a US nickel (18mm as compared to 21mm, according to Wikipedia).  That's some pretty fine spinning!  In fact, this is the first time I've managed to get over 1000 metres of yarn from 100g of fibre, so it's a genuine milestone.  I'm not interested in spinning ultra-fine thread, but I am keen to spin true laceweight knitting yarns, and also yarns that could be woven into garment-weight cloth.


The glamour shot.  This yarn is one ply of silk and one ply of blue faced leicester (a lovely, soft, fine wool).  The flash on these shots really shows off the sparkle of the silk against the more matt texture of the wool – click for bigger to see it properly!

And don't you love that little wooden bowl?  It's maple burr, turned by a local craftsman, and I'm hoping it'll work well as a bowl for using with a support spindle.  It's taller and narrower than the ones I've seen in use, but I love it anyway.

I bought it on Saturday, at the Willingham Feast Market, where I and several others from Rampton Spinners were demonstrating spinning.  Geodyne originally organised the event but unfortunately couldn't make it on the day.  I'm pretty sure a wonderful time was had by all four of us who did make it, even though I dropped my phone down the loo (oops! – time for an iPhone, perhaps?)

DSC05287 This is the demo area as it looked just before the marked opened – we had wool, flax and silk on display, including a progression of flax from dried plant to spun fibre, and a lot of interest was shown by the public.

DSC05288 The left hand side of the display, showing Jo's range of spun and dyed fibres, plus tools and fabrics, (and books!!  I never thought to bring books..) along with my new toy (wool picker) and a bag of clean but unteased wool, and my Rampton bag from last year.  The wool picker deserves another post of its own, but was quite the hit with young boys; it relies heavily on long, black nails for its function, and looks like a mediaeval torture device on the inside.

Inadvertent amusement – and education – was provided by the nice man who came round offering us tea and coffee before the event opened.  I told him I'd brought my own, but thanked him for the offer.  Jo only drinks hot chocolate, so he talked her into that – then, when she finally agreed, informed her that that would be one pound, please.  Both of us were …slightly gobsmacked.  Bear in mind that we were 'working' at this event for free, and a free cup of tea or the like is a nice (and relatively common) way to say thanks.  It was a funny experience rather than an unpleasant one – but it's a lesson in customer service/expectation management, too.  I don't think that either of us would have minded paying if the price had been clear from the beginning – especially as the proceeds go to charity.  But both of us – even me, and I wasn't the one getting a drink! – felt slightly .. what?  Affronted?  Cheated?  Tricked, I think is the best word.  And the sad part is that I'm sure he didn't mean to make us feel like that.

The really notable part, the one that anyone who deals with customers of any kind should note, is that this is the experience, out of all those I had that morning, that I've chosen to write about here.  They say it takes five positive experiences to outweigh a negative.  I suspect that is a conservative estimate.


  • Your wool picker looks like a twin to mine. Don’t you just love it?
    Your yarn is gorgeous! Plotting shawls yet?

    12th October 2010
  • It more than likely is twin! Except I had to pay import duties on mine; I’ve not seen anything like it in the UK, so had to order in.
    Thanks for the yarn-love; I’m 99% sure that this is going to be my first Aeolian. I keep worrying about stripy yarn in lace, though. I guess I should stop spinning stripy lace-weight if its going to bother me this way, but it seems to be a recurring theme. I spent a couple of hours this morning trawling through completed Aeolians on Ravelry to see how it works up, but I didn’t find anything with long, slow, relatively subtle colour shifts. (Im a planner – can you tell?!) From what I saw, this should work out OK, but – only way to find out is to do it, I guess!

    12th October 2010
  • The stand looks marvelous! Thanks so much to you and Jo for standing in. Strange efforts at customer service notwithstanding, I really wish I could have been there. I got back early this morning.
    Also yarn *love*.

    13th October 2010
  • Time for an iPhone… so you can drop that in the loo as well? I did that, and it still works, although the warranty is now void (they have a cunning coloured dot inside the headphone jack which tells the world your phone has been immersed in water).
    Anyway, what I meant to say was: love that glamorous yarn!

    13th October 2010
  • Well, the Nokia seems to have made a full recovery. Mostly. My last Nokia *almost* survived its second trip through the washing machine, so a quick dunk in the school bogs probably wasnt going to phase this one too much. They might be basic, but by gods, theyre sturdy.
    And thanks for the yarn comments! Im getting more and more pleased with it myself. When I finished it, I was mostly just glad to get it off the wheel – it felt like it had been there forever – but Im now realising, more and more, that I really did do a pretty excellent job there. 🙂
    Grain will get you through times of no gold
    ~~better than~~
    gold will get you through times of no grain.
    Blog: http://yarninmypocket.typepad.com
    Ravelry: yarninmypocket
    Weavolution: yarninmypocket

    14th October 2010
  • I love the yarn! It must be seriously fine though if that is a 5p piece in there (I would be scared to use it for anything!)
    Did you have a word with the organisers about the coffee/chocolate debacle?

    20th October 2010
  • Thank you! And yes, it *is* fine. Genuine, definite laceweight; possibly even cobweb. Im pretty proud of it. 🙂
    I didnt say anything to the organisers – its a one-off, charity-type event, and the odds of the same person being in charge of it next year are minimal. I think weve both chosen to think of it as an amusing diversion, with important lesson embedded!

    20th October 2010

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