Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.

Ashley Smith

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bear Paw Spin In

Ok, so the spin-in was almost 3 weeks ago.  What can I say?  I've been busy enjoying this beautiful fall weather.

For those who don't know, a "spin-in" is not like a "sit-in" or anything.  It is an opportunity to spend time with a bunch of other fiber fanatics doing whatever fiber activity you were able to cram into the car that brought you there.  Depending on the size of your vehicle, this ranges from knitting (you can even bring this on your bike!) to needle felting (also highly portable) to weaving (definitely need something a little bigger than a bike...) to the main featured activity at this event: spinning! Yay!

This is Kristie weaving on painted warp

Look at all the different kinds of wheels!

Oh yeah, shopping opportunities as well!
This yearly spinner's retreat is organized by the Pend Oreille Fiberarts Guild of Newport, WA.  It is super fun and is held at a camp (I told you I was going to summer camp!) right on the Pend Oreille river.  The setting is simply fantastic and you don't have to actually camp, there are cabins and dorms with bunk beds.  
You can stay for the whole weekend for $50!  This includes meals from Friday dinner (potluck) through Sunday brunch.  Yes, truly a screaming deal and sooooo worth it.  You do need to bring your own sleeping paraphernalia (I brought my summer weight sleeping bag and favorite pillow- worked perfectly) and the bathrooms are campground bathrooms (yes, hot showers!!) meaning communal. To clarify, the bathrooms are communal, not the actual showers.  Unless you want to share, but we don't need to talk about that here...

This particular spinning event also promised something mysterious:

with equally mysterious instructions:

I had no idea what any of it meant, but imagine how delighted I was to find out it meant this:
silver, white and purple...

two shades of blue...

fluffing the fiber- I helped at this table for a couple hours and it was so delightful.
Isn't it lovely?
and finally- the picker!
 I found out the way the throw down works is you bring CLEAN, ready to spin fiber which gets weighed and added to the appropriate pile (purple/white/silver or blues).  Then the big piles are fluffed some more and the picker is used to gently blend them all together!

One of the many boxes filled between picker and scale.
Then everyone who put in some fiber, gets the same weight of mix back to spin.  Luckily, I had some freshly washed and picked white fleece from Snowball, so I was able to participate.  I have started to spin my take and it looks great (even if I do say so myself...)  I would show you a photo, but I forgot to take one (yeah, I know -BIG surprise)
I am not positive this is Snowflake (photo was taken at Skylines), but she looks just like this.  But dirtier now.
 All in all, it was a great weekend and I met lots of friendly and interesting women.  I would highly recommend this for anyone who has even the slightest interest in spinning or knitting or felting.  I am definitely going back next year!!

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