Last weekend, Lou Ann and I got up really early and headed over to Dickson, Tn., for the Middle Tn. Fiber Festival. There were many classes offered throughout the weekend, we chose the Tablet Weaving class held at 9:00 am, Saturday morning, taught by Melissa Goodwin. Both Lou Ann and I had had a secret longing to try just one more ancient form of weaving! When we looked at the class schedule for the conference, we discovered this common interest, and signed up on the spot. All we had to do then was wait the 2 months til we could take the course. I did a little research and tried my hand at it, with little success. Lou Ann, on the other hand, was a good girl and chose to not muddy the waters, and came with a clean slate.
We had the best time! First, traveling to and fro, I haven't talked and laughed so much in a long time! Then, the 3 hour lesson was very good. There were 6 in our class, so plenty of one on one time. Melissa started us off by having us design a draft that we could utilize at home after the class. She then had several decks of 12 cards already pre-threaded, so that we could concentrate on keeping the tension, and remembering how many times we had turned the cards forwards or backwards. I met with mixed success on the memory part, so I will have to come up with some system to keep track.
After class I bought more cards and a book from Melissa. Then it was time to hit the vendors. There were 66 in all! I bought many things that I had intended to buy already. Susan's Fiber had many, many items, several of which, I was interested in: a double sided hook from Harrisville, bobbins for my shuttles, shuttle for my new Tablet Weaving/Inkle loom obsession, and some white silk hankies, to spin. The Yarn Harlot recently had a post about knitting a baby bonnet from these silk hankies, it was beautiful!
We then proceeded to the next building. (There were three buildings just full of fibery goodness.) We bought some shampoo bars......
Then halfway down the aisle I spotted it! Be still my heart! At the Deer Trace Farm booth there was......
the absolutely cutest little spindle wheel you can imagine! Now you must understand, I have 3 wheels at home, one of which is a Great wheel. The Ashford traditional has a wonky wheel that needs to be fixed, the Great wheel has some loose spokes in her wheel, the only wheel I have that I can use right now is the Louet S10, which works wonderfully, thank you. I however, came to love spindle spinning with the Great Wheel, in fact it is my preferred wheel to teach on.
I looked at it longingly, got a brochure and moved on, knowing that the price, though marvelous, was not in my egg money. (Though I do have an "emergency fiber got to have it fund" at home.) Lou Ann and I finished touring the vendors and left to have a bite to eat and head home. While we were there, I called DH to let him know we were on our way home. I casually mentioned the wheel, he told me to go ahead and get it, I can always pay us back from the fund!
So back we went, so excited! I sat down and tried her out for about 20 minutes, and she spins like a dream. I love the fluidity of spindle spinning. As a gift, they include a Diz made out of a shell with each wheel. I can't wait to try that out either!
On the way back home, the wheel sat in one of the baby seats I have in my backseat, strapped in for safety. She travels well and I will use her for my demonstrating this fall. She has a metal spindle that is quite large and should hold a large cop. She came with 2 whorls, one ratio is 11/1 and the other 4/1, and a drive band for each. It will be fun experimenting with them, always something new to learn isn't there.
Back home I am working on an idea Lou Ann and I discussed on our trip, I think it will be a good project, I just need to weave off a couple of looms to get started!
Happy Weaving, Tina