Saturday, June 14, 2008

It started with a song

A couple of months ago, people on the GLBT Knit list were getting ready for the Knit Camp East. Food lists were being compiled, requests for demos being posted, and a general excitement of getting to meet friends known only online was building. Soon after I had sung to the Yarn Harlot, I was getting requests to call in and sing to the group as I had said I would not be able to make it to Knit Camp this year.

Originally I had thought I would not have been able to make it due to limited funds. But when the call came through, I had received funds from Daddy Bush, making it possible to get a ticket to fly over. I thought that instead of announcing I was coming to the entire group I would make it a surprise instead. So I contacted the camp's hosts and conspired to make my entrance. They very generously offered a bed for me to sleep in for the weekend so I didn't have to worry about accommodations. From there it was a case of keeping the secret for two months until June.

The day arrived with a forecast of heat being posted for Vermont over the weekend. Vermont hot? Yes. And it was hot. More humid than I was used to. My flight stopped at Dulles airport where the place was uncomfortably sticky and delays caused my flight to Albany end up being an hour late. I picked up my car and drove to Bennington for the gathering. I was the first to arrive of the group to my hosts so prepared for the first of several surprisings. Other campers started to arrive and were delighted to see that I had indeed made it over to sing in person.

The next day was field trip day. A group of us went to the Green Mountain Spinnery and got a tour of the place.

It starts with the raw fleece. These are bales of fleeces brought in. GMS prides itself in having as ecologically safe a processing method for making its yarns, so more and more of its fleece purchases are from organically raised sheep.

The fiber being processed that day was cotton. After washing and drying, it's run through a picker a couple of times to clean out vegetable matter and such.

The fiber is then put through the machine that cards it into sliver, then roving.

The sliver (pronounced SLY ver) can be seen on the device on the very top of this pic

This is the roving being wound onto bobbins prior to spinning.

The roving is then spun into singles.

After plying, the bobbined yarn is steamed to set the twist.

Next: Golding Fiber Tools

1 comment:

Tiggywinkle Knits said...

Missed you at WWKIP in Streets of Tanasbourne today! We had a great time. Freaked out a lot of muggles. And fascinated a lot of little girls (and their parents) with the Lendrum. The little girls knew what I was doing, even when their parents didn't!

You went to Golding? I am SOOOO jealous! On Wednesday, I want to hear all about your trip!