Spinning At the Nevada County Fair
Although this photo absolutely does not do it justice, here is Amy's hand-painted Ashford Kiwi wheel, making its world debut at the Nevada County Fair, where our Foothill Fibers Guild has staged demonstrations in spinning, weaving and knitting throughout the fair's five-day run.
Here, Amy is spinning some of her "life-time supply" of fiber.
One of the best parts of being a demonstrator was watching the very young take an interest in the fiber arts. Children were fascinated with spinning, and I could honestly tell them that I had only been using my intriguing spindle for two weeks and here I was producing yarn from lambswool. Several children took to spinning like ducks to water, and these lovely little girls were engrossed with the rigid heddle looms.
Sharon had gotten this young man hooked on spinning; he headed over to have Jan teach him how to use her Turkish spindle when his aunt (a year younger than him) took his place at the wheel.... she was a natural and we sent them both home with instructions on making a CD spindle, resources to check on the web and a bit of practice fiber.
I believe that children are just yearning for the chance to touch real fibers and find their hands at work, making something, a chance that is sorely missing in their daily lives and our current mainstream educational experience. I also greatly enjoyed the conversations I had with children, wearing "Mutton Buster" t-shirts about the snakes painted on Amy's wheel, or the mechanics of spinning wheels, or how they did in the animal competitions with the goats, sheep or pigs they had raised.
And a very entertaining and educational display about silkworms and spinning silk.
Here, Jan is showing Amy how to wind off her spindle to get set up for Andean (also called Peruvian) plying... their hands are too fast for my lens!
The competitions included fleece and spun skeins.
A display of entries
The best part of working at the fair was getting to know Sharon and Amy better... we had discovered each other through blogging, and they have been friends and members of the Carson Sierra Spinners and Weavers, I had never met either in person. They were both so delightful and invited me to attend their guilds retreat/camp-out at the end of September, so it is on my calendar now... Sharon and I share a passion to get a different color than yellow from natural dyeing and Amy is a very skilled spindler, along with her magnificent production on her four wheels. She was able to point out some postural adjustments to my spinning technique that would make it more ergonomic and more effective at producing yarns, as well as gave me lots of encouragement yesterday, as I worked my way through about an ounce worth of CVM x Merino lambswool, a lovely thing to be spinning on a soul-satifying summer afternoon at the fair.