Sunday, September 14, 2014

Speeding Up and Slowing Down

Lou Ann and I spent the better part of the weekend at the Museum of Appalacia.   We were demonstrating Spinning and Weaving for the Antiques Show, a 2 day event.  We left home early Friday morning and  were in place at about 8:30, I was on the porch of the Peter's cabin and Lou Ann was in the Loom house.  We are close enough that we can easily keep up a conversation between visitors.

The day progressed as these days usually do,  groups of people coming up to us, they will listen as we talk about spinning, and weaving and whatever else comes to mind,  usually they stop by my set up before they go visit Lou Ann, but sometimes they see her Loom House first.   Sometimes there will be several groups that overlap, and you are not quite sure what you have said to whom, but usually there could be as many as 20 minutes between visitors.  This is especially true the first day of the show, when most everybody is here for the Antiques in the booths, and they don't wander the grounds of the museum.

After couple of hours, I realized that I would have to spin really slowly for the rest of the day, because I was going to run out of prepared wool if I wasn't careful!  I have been trying to spin the wool from the Museum sheep while I am demonstrating there.  I had prepared what I thought would be enough for a couple of bobbins, but I underestimated how much I would need. (I had previously stashed some prepared wool at the Museum, but nobody knew where it was.)  Anyway, I knew that I could get at least one bobbin, and if I was really careful, I could make that bobbin last all day.

(The Museum wool is really springy, really fun to spin, and the yarn will be wonderful for hats, socks, mittens and scarves.  My Antique spinning wheel behaved herself really well, and inspite of the heat and high humidity, she did not give me a moment of trouble.)
 While I was slow spinning,  Lou Ann was making sure that she got her rug finished the first day, so that she could cut the 2 rugs on the cloth beam and take them home to finish.  
 Part of slow spinning involves not spinning when there were no visitors around,  I happened to have brought a little knitting, so I worked on that for awhile.  This hat is going to be for the Shepherd at the museum, I am using the wool that I spun during a previous demonstration day.  This is wool from some of the black sheep that graze the grass here at the museum.  There were even a couple of times during the 2 days, that I was able to show a couple of little girls how to knit.  Anything to slow that spinning down!

At the end of the day Lou Ann did indeed finish that rug and I managed to make that bobbin last all day long!  On our way home that night we discussed our plans for the next day.  I wanted to bring enough wool to be able to spin all day, at a more steady pace, (I have a fleece I am working on at home) and she wanted to bring strips to start the next rug, and she also wanted to make sure that she had enough warp on the back beam to make it through the rest of the Fall demonstrating season.  We don't weave on the loom in the winter, the humidity even this time of year causes the rugs to smell moldy really quickly, and also, it is usually way too cold out there!  During the winter time, we do our demonstrating inside the Peters cabin, with an Inkle Loom and a Rigid Heddle loom, with the fireplace to keep us company.

On Saturday, we were again in place by 8:30, me on the porch, at the spinning wheel, and Lou Ann at her loom, across the path.  It wasn't long before she came over to tell me that she didn't have as much warp on the loom as she thought she did, but she had come up with a plan, she was going to have take up slow weaving, just as I had done slow spinning the day before.  We need this warp to last through the Homecoming  next month, that is a 4 day event, there will also be a couple of school groups coming in before winter sets in.  Slow weaving is the name of the game, and instead of trying to get 2 rugs from what is left on the loom, she is going to weave a runner, really, really slowly.  I don't think I can tell you how difficult that is to do!

By the end of the day, I had managed to spin 2 1/2 bobbins full of a black wool, and Lou Ann had managed to get a whopping 7 inches woven for the day!  She will have to continue to slow weave through the remaining events this Fall season, I don't think the visitors even noticed!

Until next time, Happy Spinning, Knitting and Slow Weaving, Tina

1 comment:

LA said...

And just to think that I was SO proud of only weaving 7 inches!!!