Sunday, June 21, 2009

Can We Just Skip The Drop Spindle and Get to the Spinning Wheel Already?

Yes, I'm completely willing to skip the drop spindle and just get to the spinning wheel now. The drop spindle is just too slow for my taste. Why ride rickshaw when you can really pick up the pace in a sportscar? When I see people making yarn this way, I just see wanna-be spinners dropping a spinning top on the floor over and over. Makes me think of novices with yo-yos, and how they continually let the discs graze the ground. Over and over. Dropping anything to floor repetitively gets on my nerves. My brothers used to dribble a basketball in the house hardwood floors while we were growing up. I'd just say, "Can you please stop????" And they'd continue on annoying me until I grabbed away the ball away.

Anyhow, let me back up. I'm taking a beginning weaving class at the Chicago Park District. I'd don't really care about the looms, I just want to learn how to make my own yarn. I mentioned my quest to a friend, she suggested I take an $18 10-week class, which started this past Saturday. The teacher would probably let me spin to my heart's contentment, she said.

So I signed up last minute with my wad of cash. Hustled my bustle to get to the 9:30 a.m. class. Perspired profusely on the way wearing my not so comfortable Born sandals. Breathlessly made it up the stairs to the classroom, which was locked. Not a soul in sight, unless you count the bodies in a nearby room stretching their limbs in a yoga class overlooking Lake Michigan.

Happily, a Park District staffer unlocked the room. I entered what looks like the Adult Woman's playroom. Loom after loom after loom, all 20 or so covered with cotton sheets, they all looked like player pianos covered in white. The sheets, you know means "Hands Off!" in adultspeak.

And there was this device, which I think is a carding machine. Crank crank crank! Now I did some carding as a kid at Pioneer Day at Crow Island school. By hand, it gets old fast. But to build muscle tone pumping the wheel on this thing? Could be fun. Could be addictive. Could call for some Guinness beforehand, off-site at a local lounge.

I'm not precisely sure what this textile in progress is, but it wasn't covered up with a sheet, but it looks like a bargello print in progress. The Missoni people in Italy, who are obsessed with zig-zag motifs, would love this, and I do too. Must find out more.

The roving reserves, a splendid system to store raw fiber. Old oatmeal containers, stacked. How do they stay shoulder to shoulder? I'm completely curious.

Here's a close-up of the roving stored, in case you're curious.
Here are I am waiting Teach (name's apparently Linda), who never arrived. For about 10 minutes, I was ready to storm the Park District Office and demand my money back. Instead, I waited for a half hour. I figured if I had my knitting and I could be patient, impatiently working my hands, which must be busy anytime I'm awake. Boy, was it hot up there, I didn't turn on the fan, but I could have. I was afraid of dust flying everywhere, and sneezes by the truckload. So I sweated it out in more ways than one. Finally, another student, Lori, arrived. She apparently took a parked bicycled near the door as a sign that Teach was here. So well-hidden among the looms, that was the one contraption I didn't see. Finally, I go downstairs to the office desk to find out Linda won't be in today. At least, the class is still on for next week.
Class over early, I headed over to Vogue Fabrics in Evanston where a big annual Custer's Last Stand festival. Here are I am testing out the latest Viking Designer sewing machine. The free project of the day was making an Ugly Doll with felt. Gosh, this machine knows when you're going to turn. It would make itty-bitty adjustments if you even thought about lurching left or running right. Talk about Big Brother at the presser foot. I just looked for an overhead camera watching my every move. There was none. Spooky.
Here I am posing with my Ugly Doll, with a girl who made her Ugly doll in a plush purple. so pretty. I think my Ugly Doll will going with tonight to Vogue for free sewing demo tonight.
Anyhow, I'm ready for next week's spinning adventure. Wish me luck in talking Linda into letting me skip the drop spindle.

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