I promised to show you my haul from down South, so here are these two beauties:
Both spindles are KCL spindles, made by Ken Ledbetter. The top photo shows my baby, 30 grams of Maple whorl with Candy Pyolite inlay. It has 3 interchangeable shafts, intended for plying, but I'm hoping to use it as a travelling sample spindle. I can switch out shafts when I want to change fibres.
The bottom photo is a 24 gram spindle of Sycamore and Dyed Maple. She is simple, but beautiful and spins well. (Any KCL spindle I've tested spins well.) Susan Z. has claimed her.
The spindles came from TempeYarn and Fiber, a lovely yarn store right next to the hotel where we spent our first night. (Coincidence? I think not.) The owners and staff were very friendly. I was there a few times and joined the local knitting group for a few minutes before heading out. Along with the spindles, I bought some locally dyed silk roving, organic cotton, in prepared punis and bolls, plus 2 small balls of yarn for road trip knitting. (I am unhappy with my handspun trip knitting and suspect it will be binned shortly.)
I also visited Jessica Knits in Scottsdale, AZ. Again, everyone was welcoming. I picked up a skein of locally hand dyed silk noil yarn, some sale needles and moisturizing products for knitters. This shop didn't carry any spinning products, but carried Atenti and Lantern Moon Bags. Somehow, I managed to resist those.
I was surprised at the amount of wool yarn in both stores. The people At Tempe Yarn and Fiber told me that wool was their most popular fibre, even in the Arizona heat. They do sell more cotton in the summer, but "wool is just so nice to knit with," it's always in demand.
I've spent the last two days recovering from travel time, submitting my Yoga Course Final Exam and catching up on local news. Beginners' Spinning Class started last night and, with Susan's and Sharon's help, I muddled through, despite my fatigue-induced goofiness. (Yup, that explains it. This time.)
We had 3 brand new spinners, 1 refresher student and we hope to have two more newbies next week. After suffering through all my spinning blah, blah, blah, we got everyone started with toy wheel top whorl spindles and some Romney roving which Sharon donated. Everyone was spinning yarn within twenty minutes and, by the end of the two hour class, everyone had impressively consistent yarn. Everyone learned how to prop a spindle elegantly between their knees in order to Park and Draft. They also discovered why they should wear blue jeans to class.
I love teaching people to spin. It's fun to watch as they learn how simple it is to make yarn and how interesting string can be. I never stop my efforts to lure people into the art - I had Gwen, one of our housemates, spinning on a yo-yo spindle while we sat by the pool in Phoenix. (She was too shy to pose for a picture, but her spinning was very nice - fine, consistent and evenly twisted.) She resisted my offer of a spindle loan, but said she'd stop by the store when she was home to see what we were doing.
So, I'm back on the wheel, readjusting to daily routine after our mini-break. Morris was delighted to see his Dad; Mickey was delighted to see me and Richard, the wonderful brother-in-law, was delighted to return home, minus squirrelly bull terrier and demanding twenty pound cat.
Life is good. Namaste.