Tag Archive | dreams

OHS Level 2: Day 5

I can’t believe we’re more than half way through the week. This makes me a little sad in some ways (but ecstatic in others because it’s just 4 more sleeps Baby Boy!).

I don’t feel as overwhelmed as I did last year. I went out for dinner with a couple of the girls tonight and we were talking about it. I think a lot of it is that I’m in a bit of a better place. I think they way the material has been presented with regards to our homework also plays a big factor. This year we know how to mount our skeins. We don’t have to stress about it. And Beth and Beth filled in some missing blanks today that were total game-changers. I think I said this yesterday, but I’m going to say it again. I’m actually excited about my assignments this year!

Today we really focused on worsted spinning, the prep and the assignments. I really like how it was suggested that we pick a project and work backwards in order to figure out what kind wool would be best and which spinning method would be most effective. I realize it’s not rocket science and this may just be logical to the experienced spinner. But remember… You were once where we are now. I’ve been spinning for almost four years now, but I’m still very green on the grander scheme of things.

I could probably write more, but I am exhausted. My sinus pressure has loosened up, which is good. But it’s left me coughing, which isn’t fun.

I’m really looking forward to tomorrow when we get to work with Wendy and Marty for colour study!!!! I don’t think I’ve kept it a secret as to how much I love colour. We’ll be doing a 30 step chart. To say I’m stoked is a SERIOUS understatement!!! Hopefully I won’t be so excited that I’ll forget to take pictures.


OHS Level 2: Day 2

We’re not going to talk about yesterday. Yesterday didn’t count, it didn’t happen. I felt so horrible. I’m chalking it up to allergies and sinus infection. I was coughing and I had a bad headache. I didn’t feel like something the cat dragged in. It was more like something the cat coughed up! I mean, I didn’t even take my new Minion backpack and lunch bag with me. I made it through most of the day. I managed to do my paper presentation. I think it went well considering how I felt.

Today was a different story though. It’s like it was a do-over. We spent a large portion of the day spinning on each others wheels and spindles. What a great experience! I worked with some lovely wheels, but by doing so, it made me appreciate the versatility of my Lendrum that much more.

I started my adventure off on a Mud River wheel. This is the part where I kick myself in the butt for not getting photos. Anyway, it was a heavy duty wheel much like an Indian Head Spinner. It was a bit hard to treadle at first, but once I found my groove, I rocked it!

Next I spun on a Golding Travel Wheel. BEAUTIFUL. But it should be for the price of it!!!! The price tag on it is over $2,000! The ratio was a little higher on this one, 13:1. Comparable to the largest ratio on the fast flyer I’m used to at 15:1. It spun like a dream.

Next, I spun on a Chapin American Traveler. I liked it too, but it took some getting used to. I’m used to having to give my Lendrum wheel a bit of a nudge to start. With this one, you don’t touch the wheel at all.

Next I moved on the great wheel or walking wheel. I could just feel the history with this one. I told Wendy that if I hadn’t have done my paper on the spindle head for the Lendrum, I wouldn’t have had courage to try this one. It was a bit finicky when I tried it. It ended up having to be adjusted. I never got a chance to spin on it after it got adjusted though. But I’m not too upset about it – this one belongs to the Haliburton Museum. We have our spinning group meetings there a few times over the year and I’m sure if we asked, they’d probably let us take it for a whirl. Anyway, from what I did spin, I enjoyed it.

Walking wheel - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

Spinning on the walking wheel – complete with Little Mickey and Pooh photo bomb

The last of the 5 that we were required to try as part of our assignment was an electric wheel. I’m sure they have their time and place, but I did not enjoy this one at all. I think it’s probably because for me, treadling allows me to feel connected to my yarn. I’m using my energy to put the twist in. This one uses electricity. Cheesy? Perhaps. I’m also the girl who can’t stand to wear sock or shoes when I’m spinning so that I can feel my wheel better. You know, four years ago I would have laughed at myself saying these things. It almost sounds eccentric! hehehe

I had some time left over so I tried out Sue’s Road Bug. I’m not going to say whether I liked or disliked it – the jury’s still out on that one. I did find it a bit difficult to treadle, but the setup was completely different from anything I’m used to.

I think that was it for wheel trials. I wanted to try to Navajo spindle, but the lineup was too long and we ran out of time.

Next we went on to strengthening our wool grading skills with Harriett. I hope someday I know even half of what this woman knows about fleece! I think I probably said that last year too. She helped me have an “ah-ha!” moment today in regards to describing a double-coated sheep breed. I’m also happy with my progress on my breed book. I haven’t started the documentation yet, but I think I’m over the half way mark for samples for the amount of breeds required. I’m hoping to be able to spin a small skein and knit a small swatch. This way it’ll be a good record when searching for the perfect sheep breed for a specific project.

Tomorrow we’ll carry on with our work with Harriett. Then it will be on to combing wool to prep for worsted and semi-worsted spinning with Beth and Beth.

One thing I’ve already noticed about level 2 is that they seem to be more generous with due dates. Okay, the first assignment was by like a week. But a week does make a huge difference. There is also a far bigger time given for the 11 skeins we need to spin as opposed to last year. This is good. Am I going to take advantage of this? Nope. Once my Goob starts back to school, Mama is diving in. Who knows, she may dive in before that!

I was trying to stay low-key about this course because I didn’t want to rush my limited summer time with my Goober. But now that he’s gone (and we have 7 more sleeps to go), I’m stoked. Bring it on!!!!

My Purpose

I had the absolute honour and pleasure of helping Wendy with the beginner spinning program last week at HSTA. I get so excited when she asks me to help out. I LOVE watching people learn. I literally get butterflies in my stomach knowing the potential and how this may change their lives like it has mine. The joy. The peacefulness. The outlet for creativity. I could go on. I think I held myself together pretty well, but deep down I was crying tears of joy for them! I know some will fall comfortably in the vortex. Others have their toes on the edge. But this is something they will always have. If they spin today or 5 years from now, the option is still there.

Another thing I giggle about is how somebody gets something set in their mind that they probably won’t enjoy, but once they get their hands on it, game over. For example, there was somebody who wasn’t overly excited about dyeing. The next thing I knew, she was running around making up her own concoction and wanting to get the perfect colour that she held in her mind. I love it!

I just really enjoy passing on what I know. I know that I’m far from knowing a lot about spinning, but I do know enough to get people going. And it felt good. When I wasn’t sure about something, I would tell them how I understand it, but I wanted to double check with Wendy. More often than not, I was correct. I just wanted to be sure that I wasn’t passing on misinformation. It was also so cool to watch them do a technique that I demonstrated.

Sun dyeing at Fleming - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

Sun dyeing at Fleming

Sun dyeing at Fleming - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

Some more colours

I think I was put on this planet to teach. In fact I became convinced of that when I coached skating. I LOVED working with the kids and watching them grow. There were a couple of girls that grew into amazing skaters. I couldn’t help be think that maybe something I taught them helped them to get to where they were. When I was in high school, I wanted to be a music teacher. There were a bunch of perceived barriers in the way (if I knew then what I know now, I would have knocked them right out of the way!), so that never happened. I’m currently teaching workshops at the Kinmount Artisans Marketplace this summer. I love it. I just love it!

Soooo… I’ve got my sights set. I want to teach spinning. I want to fuel the fire in others the way Wendy fuels the fire in me. Whenever I do a spinning demo, I hear “That’s a dying art” a lot. I tell them that I’m on a mission to change that or “Not on my watch!” I want to suck as many people in to the spinny vortex that I can. That would make the world a much prettier, happier place.

To those whom I assisted last week: You all just blew me away with your enthusiasm, creativity and especially how quickly you picked up on spinning! I’ve seen a few others at the same stage, but I have never seen a class as a whole grasp it so quickly! You all did amazing! I wish you all the best in your future endeavors, spinning and other. I hope to see some of you at OHS Level 1 in 2017 if I don’t see you before. If I can be of assistance in any way, you know how to find me. Don’t hesitate to ask. Thank you so much. I did my best to keep a lid on stuff, but I will say that you helped me through a pretty rough week. I appreciate it. Keep up the good work!

The Future as Seen from 2011 Me

It’s funny how you find things when you’re looking for a place to put something else. No, I wasn’t cleaning house this time. I’m signed up for a crochet pattern grading course, so I was trying to decide where the best place would be to store my class files. I was surfing around the My Documents file. I noticed that it was really untidy. There were receipts from things I had bought a couple of years ago. Old business card templates. In other words, lots of stuff that didn’t need to be there. So I started deleting and moving things. Okay, I sort of got distracted from the task at hand, but that’s how things go with me. The same frickin’ thing happens when I do a deep cleaning of my house. It takes me days because I find an old note, things my Goober has made, stuff from Mom. You name it. Apparently it’s not much different with my computer. God help me when it comes time to organize my pattern files! But I digress…

One thing that I found was something I had written on September 14, 2011. That was the day after I touched a spinning wheel for the very first time. The Notepad file was simply named “future.” Here’s what I had written:

We’re going to be weaving on Friday. We also have class on Saturday this week. I am very grateful for that. And then the next weekend is birthday weekend. Looking forward to Chinese food and chocolate cake. The real chocolate cake, not the generic, flavorless stuff at the buffet. Just saying…

I feel like I closed an old chapter this morning and started writing a new one this afternoon. Right now is my chance to start thinking about how I want this one to go. We have the setting. We have the plot. Characters. Props. In this scene, a woman discovers spinning. Not just spinning. But spinning her own fibres. What is going through her head right now? What direction does she want to take this story in? I think we’re going to go to school on time tomorrow. We’re going to watch that video. Burn some fabric. Absorb tons of information. And then we are going to spin. And spin some more. I am a spinning prodigy.

I did some checking to see if perhaps this was a draft for another post. I came to find that yes it was. But I only posted up to the part about the chocolate cake. Knowing me, I didn’t have the confidence to post the rest. Well, I’ve grown since then. So to 2011 me I say “You’ve got this girl. Put it out there. People are going to judge and form opinions of you anyway no matter what you do. You’re not hurting anyone, you’re not saying anything bad about anyone. So give ‘er!” (I hope that 2011 me gets that message LOL)

So after reading the second paragraph, that has me thinking about doing another post along those lines. It’s so neat to see how I have continued this story. Did I think I was going to continue it the way that I have back then? I’m going to guess that I had no clue! But I do know that 2011 me would be beyond thrilled with how the spinning story has gone. I think she would be blown away. And chances are, she may not even believe 2015 me if I told her because really, my spinning story has been more like a dream.

This One’s for You, Da Mama

I NEVER have any trouble sleeping. In fact, I’m usually asleep before my head hits the pillow. Tonight I even have the opportunity to sleep in one of the most perfect places in the world… In the peaceful quiet of country, windows open, rain gently falling, breeze coming in the open windows, under a down duvet. Perfect recipe for me for a peaceful night’s sleep.

And I’m wide awake.

Maybe it’s because I got 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep the night before. That NEVER happens. I’m usually lucky to get 6 with my busy life. I think the real reason though is that I got some yummy fibre on my wheel earlier this evening. That would do it for me.

That, and the fact that I only have FOUR MORE SLEEPS!!!! Four more sleeps until I get to move on to the next leg of my dream.

Before Mom passed away in November, she told me she wanted me to have my Christmas gift early. She NEVER let us have so much as a clue in past years. But deep down she knew she wasn’t going to be around to give it to me. I was dumbfounded that evening when she told me from her hospital bed that she had paid for Level 1 for me. I knew she was supportive of me, but I had NO IDEA that she was so supportive of my spinning. I had no idea that she saw how much peace it brings me. She knew that I was going to need something to keep my fire going after she was gone. And she knew just what to do. As always.

She also knew that if she made me promise that I would finish all 6 years of the course, that I would see it through. She didn’t even have to tell me that she wanted me to go all the way and get my masters. That goes without saying.

She knew that I have intentions to do great things with this gift she has given me. When I get to kick back and look at the certificate I will be getting, it will be one of the greatest ways I can honour her.

Well played, Da Mama.

I’m going to put my all into it. I’m going to be the best damned spinner I can be. I’m going to continue to document my journey so I won’t forget a moment. I’m going to work hard to perfect my skills so that I can pass this knowledge on to the next generation. Mom has helped me help keep the art of spinning alive.

Every piece of yarn that comes off my wheel will have a piece of her love in it. She helped make this happen. She helped keep me going through one of the darkest times I’ve ever gone through in my life.

I’m dedicating this course to you. I’ll make you proud Da Mama.

Spinning: The Next Generation

I am honoured whenever somebody asks me to do a spinning demo. Especially for a group of kids. I love excitement of seeing their little faces when they get to experience something that is no longer “ordinary”. I think back to 6 year-old Kyla and how bright her eyes were when a teacher brought in her loom for the kids to try. That right there is why I do demos… How different would it have been if I hadn’t have got to touch that loom? Would that spark have ever got ignited?

I wonder how many sparks I’ve ignited?

I’ve had a busy week this week with 2 demos. Pictured below are the Kinmount Brownies. I also did a demo today for a group of parents and kids who home school. The photos below are courtesy of Lynne Kilby, leader of the Kinmount Brownies. She was kind enough to share them on the Kinmount Artisans Marketplace Facebook page. Thanks Lynne!

kinmountbrownies04_14 1
kinmountbrownies04_14 3
kinmountbrownies04_14 4
kinmountbrownies04_14 2

The Wheel Just Keeps Spinning!

After having such a wonderful week of spinning, I had the honour of ending with week with… More spinning! On Saturday and Sunday, I was at Gooderham’s 140th Birthday Celebration. I had such a great time! There was a lot of interest in the spinning process. I had quite a few kids asking me questions too, which is really exciting. They’re the ones who are going to keep this art alive. I met a lot of nice people and I made a couple of new connections as well.


I had put out a bunch of samples of fleece, yarn and tools as a part of my display at Gooderham’s 140th Birthday Celebration


A seldom-seen kind of photo of moi, in my attempt at 1800’s fashion

After I got home, I completed a pattern test:


The latest pattern test from Crochet by Jennifer, the Kate Bonnet.

And on the EXTREMELY AWESOME news front… The four Minion hats I put in at Kinmount Artisans Marketplace have all sold! I have been asked to bring in some more. So I dubbed today “Minion Hat Monday.” I’ve been making the bases for hats all day. I will start working on the features tonight. I will have some orders fulfilled and I will have a few extra to put in the Marketplace. It’s all so exciting!


Assemble the Minions!