I had an excellent day today. It was one of those sun-is-shining spring days where all the neurons are popping, and I feel electric with ideas and possibilities and optimism. The sun is just part of it. Today, I had my third spinning class, and I think I finally have sorted the difference between woolen and worsted, both as fiber preparations and drafting techniques. It remains to do some scientific experimenting -- use the same fiber to spin roughly the same weight of yarn in four different ways (woolen prep/woolen draft, worsted/worsted, and both semi-worsted yarns), then knit them, then examine them in lots of light and possibly given all 4 swatches a serious wash and rub to see how they wear.
Usually I'm not very scientific -- my dye mixing technique is solidly in the "a little of this and a little of that" camp, and note taking is an occasional afterthought. But I can't yet see some of the differences I'm looking for, but I want to be in control of the yarn that I spin so that I can make decisions about technique to produce a desired effect. I need to do what it takes for me to be able to see the differences.
I'll keep you posted on this project.
After my spinning class, I visited Three Bags Full to deliver some promised rovings, and I found all four of the Elizabeth Zimmerman books that I had wanted to see in person. I settled on The Opinionated Knitter and Knitting Around. The Knitters Almanac frankly doesn't contain projects that interest me, although I'm intrigued by the concept of knitted tights, and the book based on her TV series is a bit redundant, since I have the DVDs.
EZ always gets me inspired. The new books, along with my teacher's exhortations to be seen knitting my own yarn more often, are combining to inspire me to make my first Baby Surprise Jacket with my own soft-spun yarn. As soon as my husband comes home, I'll head out to the car (I ought not to leave the three year old alone in the house) to bring in the rest of the yarn that's still in the trunk from the weekend show, and choose my colours. I'm thinking two or three purples, and a lovely brown.
The Studio Tour was cool -- i met some neat fellow artists and artisans, I explained how to make yarn to a lot of kids, and I explained the mechanics of the spinning wheel to lots of all kinds of people. I really enjoyed myself, but I'm wiped, as usual.
No rest for the self-employed though. Today's full schedule of class and a sales call was technically my "day off," and tomorrow I have to hit the dyepots -- I'm completely out of fiber. If you want my fiber, head down to Three Bags Full, they have everything.