Hi. My name is Matt, and I’m a fiberholic.

Anyone out there who’s addicted to anything and finds that offensive, I’m terribly sorry. No offense was intended. But you do have some idea of what to look for, so you tell me… am I addicted?

I always said, "I don’t have time for spinning," and "who on earth would bother spinning yarn when it’s so much fun to knit it?" A dear friend even went so far as bringing over a drop spindle and a bag of fleece. It hung in the closet for at least six months.

Then, another friend started a local get-together for spinners. Now, there have always been venues for spinning, and as I said, I have very good friends who are spinners. But because this particular group was started by a friend, Rob and our friend Helen (not of High Helen infamy) decided to offer their support and went to the first meeting. They came back with a glaze over their eyes that I haven’t seen since college. They had that geeked look, but I remained steadfast.

Then Patsy, the friend who’d been so kind as to lend me a drop spindle that remained sadly unused for so long, invited Rob and Helen, April (remind me to tell you about April later), and me over for dinner and some spinning. I packed up my knitting, and went along for food and moral support.

Then they put me in front of a wheel.

Now, I really should have known. I’ve always had what some people refer to as an addictive personality. As a teen, I did it with alcohol (though by the grace of God, I managed not to develop alcoholism). In my late teens/early twenties, I did it with um… shall we say physical affection? Ahem… <blush> Not long after, I did it with um… herbal remedies. <wink> When I find something I like, I tend to go whole hog. A few years ago, I found knitting again (real knitting this time, not the hack stuff I did as a kid), and a few weeks ago, I found spinning.

Where’s the hook and line? I know I’m the sinker.

Drop Spindle and spun Irish Fog Wool/Silk

And did Rob help? Oh, no. Rob is, as many of you already know, The Great Enabler. My birthday last week? (Thanks for all the birthday wishes, by the way) Rob called Brown Sheep and purchased ten pounds of Beast roving. I’ll definitely need a wheel to spin it, but he’s already called Ashford and Schact, and we have orders pending. <single tear> God love him. <wink>

lol… Ok. Enough of the drama. I love it. It’s so not a problem. Is there enough time for it? BWA-HYEE-HYEE!! You’re kidding, right? Hell, no, there’s not enough time for it, but I’m doing it, anyway, and I can’t tell you when I’ve been so excited. (Yes, Joe, I’m still working on the colorway, too, but this is fiber. I’m sure you understand.)

So here goes.

First Blood: Patsy's roving

This is first blood. This was the roving that Patsy brought over sometime after the Jurassic Period. I let it sit forever, then spun every inch of it over the course of about fifteen hours on the drop spindle pictured above. I got up the next day and plied it (two-ply) on the same spindle.

My understanding is that the lumpiness is typical of beginners’ spinning. Eh… I enjoyed doing it, and I’ll always be able to look back and say, “look at this.” Beyond that, it’s mostly my grateful tribute to Patsy and her quiet patience in my stubborn unwillingness to try to do something that I now find both fascinating and fulfilling. Thanks, Patsy

Helen's Pink, White, and Blue Bump

When Helen stopped laughing at me, she gave me a bump (a ball of roving—I’m not sure if there’s more specific meaning, but I’m sure I’ll learn) of a pink, white, and blue space-dyed roving. That took me about a week of spinning a little less manically, but it’s plied the same way.

If you’ve paid attention to the calendar at ThreadBear, this past weekend was Fleece Fair in Greencastle, Indiana. I busted Putnam County Fairgrounds wide open. If I’d been rich… or even moderately wealthy, I could have cleaned them out, but as it is, I came home with several buttons, sixteen bear fetish beads for stitch markers, and three more bumps of dyed and carded roving. The difference here being that space-dyed roving looks like Lorna’s Laces hand-dyes… or Noro. Dyed and carded rovings look more like Cascade Quatros where you have colors side-by-side along the strand instead of in blocks of color across the strand.

Wool/Silk Irish Fog

This was the big surprise of the day. I bought all three bumps from a single vendor, and I really didn’t pay attention to the fiber content until I got home and was ready to spin. While the other two bumps are all wool, this one—called Irish Fog—is 85% wool and 15% silk. It’s incredible to spin, and because of the strength of the silk, it’s very easy to spin very, very fine. This is what’s on the drop spindle above.

Seafoam Bump, 100% Coopworth wool

This is 100% Coopworth wool in Seafoam. I haven’t spun any of this yet, but the sample yarn that the vendor had of this roving was beautiful. I’m waiting for the wheel for this stuff. I’ve never heard of Coopworth wool before, but all of the wool that I saw at this vendor’s booth was of this breed. If the Irish Fog is any indication of how nice this will be, I’ll definitely enjoy spinning it.

Autumn Oak Bump, 100% Coopworth wool

Called Autumn Oak, this is also 100% Coopworth wool. I love the woody tones and the little pop of pale green. As Rob would say, this is very typically my palette. Any of you who have worked with me on color know that I do prefer rich tones, and rich earthy tones are particularly easy for me to work with. What most disturbs me, though, is that Rob has also decided that I need a fall of this one. The brown’s a little light for me, but the reddish tones work, I guess. The green? Let’s hope not. Denise? Please, tell him this is not to go on my head.

So there. That’s where I’ve been. And now it’s tax day and ad day on the socklist and that means I’ve got updates to complete at ThreadBear. Wish me luck, folks. Love you much!

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