Last weekend saw the launch of the new fiber event known as Spin Quest. Co-hosted by Wild Hare Fiber Studio and Spin Artiste, the event was held on Saturday in quaint Front Royal, Virginia at the Blue Ridge Arts Council. The event had a little bit of everything: vendors, technique demos, a spinning circle, door prizes and a competition for a prize awarded to the attendees’ favorite yarn made during the day. We truly had an awesome time! Of course, I snapped a lot of pictures for those of you who couldn’t join us and am going to share them with you in this post.
I had to start the day with the right shoes. There is only one pair of shoes that my significant other refuses to be seen with me wearing, but my fiber friends like them…so, I got to style my John Fluevog Wonder Woman boots. I don’t drink coffee — I depend upon my shoe choice to mentally kick start my day and seeing how it was the launch of the event, I felt a little connection to Wonder Woman was in order.
Our wonderful vendors set up inviting displays in the market area which was open to the public as well as the attendees. On hand were Avalon Springs Farm, The Camel Shoppe, CompassioKnit, Unique Designs by Kathy, Three Ravens, Wild Hare Fiber Studio, and Mada Vemi Alpacas. Here are some snaps of the vendor area:
We kicked the day off by letting the attendees select their “Quest Kit” which contained samples of all the vendors in attendance as well as samples from JazzTurtle Creations and Portland Fiber Gallery and Weaving Studio. Unfortunately JazzTurtle and Portland Fiber could not be with us, but with their beautiful fibers in the kits, they were certainly with us in spirit. I had been working for a couple of weeks putting together the kits which included not only the fiber but also a selection of add-ins as well as choice of many types of yarns and thread to use for core spinning and or plying.
Our attendees in the spinning circle ranged in experience from very beginning to very experienced, but we had something for everyone by way of things to learn. It was great to have several teachers present to give attendees individual attention as needed. Demos for different techniques were given each hour through out the day. We started out with drum carding by Melissa Yoder Ricks of Wild Hare Fiber Studio and then Christiane Knight of Three Ravens.
This was very informative to see not only their different styles but also how they work with different drum carders. Many of the attendees are well versed in carding but it is always interesting to see the special tricks each person has developed.
Next up Melissa showed us some of her plying techniques.
After we reconvened from lunch (and shopping for fiber!), Dawn Dolpp of Mada Vemi Alpacas continued the demos with corespinning and then tail spinning. As many of you know, Dawn is not only a fiber artist but owns animals. Dawn is a great resource and her instruction in tail spinning not only discussed how to handle long locks (which is what a lot of people teach), BUT also how to work with very short pieces. Thanks, Dawn! Notice also the cool skirt that Dawn is wearing — this was a pair of jeans that she cut off and trimmed with a crocheted panel combining commercial yarn with some of her hand spun yarn and trimmed in tail spun yarn — great design!!
As part of the core spinning component of the day, Christiane Knight gave instruction on how to add in items such as chains, fabric, etc. Also, I had been teasing her for about two weeks leading up to the event that she needed to do an “Ode to Ruffle Yarn” Yarn so she did! Also, by popular demand, we had a number of folks that wanted to work on chain aka Navajo plying and Christiane led that part of the day as well.
Wrapping up the demos was a great presentation by Melissa on how to make an easy but striking boucle-style yarn. This is a technique Melissa has developed and if you ever have a chance to take a class from her where this is included, you will enjoy seeing how she does this. A lot of the experienced spinners in the room where oohing and ahhing over this demonstration and very excited to try it.
I did manage to get some spinning done myself including one yarn that I was pretty satisfied with — nothing crazy — just a big puff of solar dyed, minty green mohair spun over top of a fuzzy mohair core. It’s companion yarn to something else I spun a few weeks ago and I was glad to finish it up on Saturday!
We had a little competition going all day to see whose yarn would be chosen as the favorite. At the end of the day, all the contenders were lined up for voting. There were some great yarns made so this wasn’t an easy choice.
But, wait, what about the prize? Well, the prize was pretty special..you can see it surrounded by all the contending yarns…yes, a vintage spinning wheel lamp. I was dying to spray paint it gold and I had to keep reminding myself that not everyone has my taste…:-)
Now for the rest of my Spin Quest, 2012 scrapbook:
If this looks like fun, it was!! Next year will be even better. If you are interested in keeping tabs on the yarns we’ve been spinning since the event or want to make sure you don’t miss next year’s event, join us on Facebook for the updates. Until next time, all the best, Arlene