...if you have a backyard and a kitchen, this blog might be for you!

a chronicle of tips and recipes on everything from gardening to canning and baking your produce, even if you're planted in suburbia...in fact, especially if you are planted in suburbia.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Workshop Pilgrimage: Winter Woolen Festival

Where can you go and find such happy people on a grey, sooty-snow day in winter? A Winter Woolen Festival, that's where. (Or are they just slap-happy, made giddy by hours of sitting in front of the dulcimer players?) Kidding aside, I made an impromptu trip--not a garden or kitchen pilgrimage this time, more a festival pilgrimage--one dedicated to crafters who work in textile arts.

A friend blogger invited me to it when she spotted my drop spindle post last week. What an odd thing it is, the world of blogger friendships. This festival was my first opportunity to meet her in person, although I felt like I already knew her blogger persona pretty well, as she knew mine. Still, it is an added richness to interact with cyber friends in a more tangible setting.

What's more, she's a gifted spinner, and took me to the point of more often looking like this (see above) than looking like this (see below) as I was still focusing too much on the "drop" part of using a drop spindle.

The workshop was essentially a benefit for the community's historical society and thus was held in a local museum/historic mansion. Both buildings of the estate were filled with booths catering to the supply needs of every woolen craft specialist. Dining room tables were surrounded by knitters, felters, embroiderers, rug punchers...Stairwell corners had musicians and spinning-wheel spinners tucked into them, and the third storey ballroom had large scale workshops running throughout the two-day event. Everyone was wonderfully supportive to a newbie like me, as I took my "lesson" in spinning right in front of a roomful of woolen craft experts. At one point, the roving provided in my starter kit was proving to be difficult to manage. A man selling roving and homemade soaps at a nearby booth reached out with a handful of gorgeous turquoise wool. "Try this," he said, knowing that in this setting, eavesdropping was the norm; and his wool was, in fact, much better for the task at hand.

So that "new thing to try" I mentioned last week has already led me to a bonanza of enjoyment, and I'm not even good at it yet! What's more, Cindy Bee introduced me to another new hobby that uses the same roving wool I use in spinning: felting. I bought a felting needle and made a mental checklist of the other supplies I'll need to get started on it.
As a last word, I'm hoping Cindy shows up in this blog again. She's a master gardener who intrigued me with a description of her tea garden--an herb garden dedicated to a variety of ingredients geared toward homemade teas. I can't wait to make that garden pilgrimage soon!

Happy spinning!


  1. Great post on the WWW. I'm so glad you had a good time. I'll work on that tea garden for ya.

    Cindy Bee

    PS - Keep practicing with that spindle!

  2. Deb,
    It was so great to meet you! Thanks for coming to The WWW...if you need anything let us know! Tootles...

  3. Beth...it was great to meet you, too, especially after reading about you on Scribe's and Bee Lady's blogs. And, I really look forward to receiving notifications of other events like this one!