On Friday, the sky opened. We were sitting in the cafeteria at supper when noise on the roof became so loud that we couldn't hear each other across the table because of this:
There's hail in that storm, a lot of it; by the time the roaring stopped, that picnic table top was covered in it. So it went throughout the week, although not as intensely. People became convinced that the rains knew when we were without our umbrellas, so we took to carrying them everywhere.
Some instructors and students were late in arriving or couldn't make it to Fibre Week because of the storms, flooding and slides in the mountains. (One student in my class was unable to attend.) Those that did make it to Olds experienced a week of fibre fun. Olds Campus devotes itself to fibre aficionados that week-we take over the classrooms, the dorms, the townhouses and the college bar. This is my Beginning Spinners' class, slaving away at their wheels:
None of them were raw beginners, which wasn't difficult to figure out, given work like this:
That's Carol's exercise in gaining control over your yarns; the assignment was to spin a yarn, record the wraps per inch and then do a yarn twice as fine as the original. Carol's fine yarn was 52 wraps per inch, which (in case you're not a spinner) is pretty fine indeed. Later in the week, Carol continued on to Level 1 of the Master Spinner's Programme. The other students did not, but they all did equally well with their spinning and seemed to have prepared themselves at the vendors for their home spinning practice. I loved teaching them and I think they enjoyed themselves; they look pretty happy here, at the end of Day 3:
Evenings for the first three days were devoted to social activities in the campus bar. There was music and laughter, a few tears, visits with old friends and new, a graduation ceremony,a retirement and some unexpected fireworks on Saturday evening which were the best I've ever seen. I won't fill you in on all the details of our adventures-what happens at Fibre Week stays at Fibre Week-but if a woman named Dorothy tells you that I lost my top in the college bar, you may choose not to believe her version of events. (Thanks to Dorothy, I will never be able to look at certain hand positions again. I also desperately want to meet her Mom and hang out with the rest of her family.)
The Master Spinner Programme celebrated its 25th anniversary this year, which brought many former graduates out in full force. This year marked Otto Pahl's retirement from Olds College staff. For many years, Otto has coordinated and devoted his time to making Fibre Week the wonderful event it is. His patience and ability to problem-solve is impressive and he will be greatly missed. His assistant, Melanie S., is also moving on to other things. Melanie is another staff member who keeps Fibre Week running smoothly, working tirelessly to help out in any way she can. She will also be missed, as will Judi D., aka sheepless in suburbia, Judi is the Volunteer of Volunteers. She oversees the registration desk for Fibre Week attendees, coordinates the general activities, organizes the other volunteers and acts in whatever capacity may be required, all from her love of fibre. Judi will be exploring other fibre avenues. I will miss our chats in the Land Sciences Building and hope we meet again.
I made new friends at Fibre Week, including the remarkable Joan Ruane, who was one of my room-mates, along with the lovely Birgit and my amazing friend, Coleen, who gave the keynote address on her silk road adventures in Asia. On Monday, things quiet down, as the general fibre programmes end and the Master Spinner Programme begins. More on that later; for now, I leave you with some more photos:
|Current and Past Graduates of the Master Spinner Programme with Otto Pahl|
|The gorgeous Kara, wearing an equally gorgeous wrap spun and knitted by Donna R., as part of Donna's In-Depth Study. The wrap is made from beaver down (you read that right) and is incredibly soft. Donna's research on beaver fibre is remarkable.|