Since readers have asked what happened to those batts and braids… I thought I would give a partial report at least, since that is all I can really do. The difficulty with creating a report is that I took photos in the first hour, and then forgot about pictures altogether. There were other more exciting matters to hand, and there were a large number of passersby as well. The braids and batts went to my Guild Hall for a workshop on textured spinning. Here they are set out on a table ready for people to arrive, with batt makings at the far end (we made yet more batts at the workshop).
I decided to start the workshop with getting people to try letting loose and spinning something that they normally wouldn’t spin. There were many Guildies in this group who can spin fine, smooth, regular yarns with ease. They are superb spinners with years of experience. There are some who never spin anything above 5 ply (sportweight), some who spin for weaving (say no more) and some who have wheels that are not very well suited to spinning lumpy, bumpy or even simply plump yarns. So our first exercise was spinning a fat singles. I supplied batts that I hoped would make it hard to spin something entirely smooth and even because they were full of texture.
I decided to break with tradition and play music for this part… I put on Fat Freddy’s Drop (a superb NZ/Aotearoa band and awesome live too)… and off we went.
I got lucky and saw Fat Freddy at Womadelaide years back and then again when they came through my town and did a gig. Unfortunately I couldn’t persuade anyone I knew to come to the gig (!), but it was so good… that… I danced. You don’t know this about me, since you and I usually talk about craft and trees, but take my word for it. I danced, enough said! For the curious and those who indulge in digital music, I was playing Based on a True Story.
I am sure few of the Guildies present have ever used ‘fat beats’ in a sentence, but frankly, I wouldn’t either, if I hadn’t discovered that is what other people say about the music of the Freddies. I was hoping that the music might have people out of their usual groove and trying out a new one… with their fingers dancing. It seems to me that some of the bigger barriers to learning new skills involve the need to be patient while the pull to the familiar exerts itself, and this can be especially difficult for very skilled people, who are accustomed to being very good at a related skill. Of course, some people get lucky and find it comes easily or that they can immediately understand how to transfer what they do know into learning what they can’t do yet.
We moved on to corespinning and coils and all kinds of exciting stuff after this, but I have no pictures to prove it!
Some people went with texture right from the start…
There has been some chat on the Guild’s Ravelry forum with pictures of further adventures in making wild yarns and nonplussing the (non-spinning) muggles… which makes me very happy!
And… here we leave the workshop even though really, it had just begun at this point 🙂