Monday, February 25, 2008

The Victoria Spin-In

To start with, if you are not awake yet, why not have a look at this short little video. It's an excellent way to start the morning.

We arrived at the spin-in early to help finish setting up.

There is something about large amounts of fibre and/or yarn, when gathered together in one location which is also brimming with fibre people, I get a little overwhelmed and forget to take photographs. So, perhaps I can create with words a picture of what it was like at the Spin-in.

The people began to arrive quite early and almost all at once. As they entered and picked out their seats, the room filled with the bright humming sound of conversation. I met a couple from as far away as Winnipeg that migrate out to Victoria to enjoy our mild version of winter. People spied old friends and made new as they set up their wheels and then hurried off to have a look at what the vendors had for sale.

Ah the vendors. Those sweet purveyors of yarn and fibre treats. After everyone had got settled in and chosen their spot, and set up their wheel, the spinning room was surprisingly empty. They had rushed to the vendors in a joyful frenzy. One person commented that it was as if this was the last opportunity people would ever have to buy spinning supplies. Another talked of how important it was to purchase a souvenir to the day. Many spinners had brought nothing with them to spin, relying entirely on what the vendors sold to sustain them throughout the day. I too spent more than perhaps I should; yet, I came away with some lovely items.

Some corriedale silk blend, beautifully dyed from Hummingbird (whose website I can never find).

Some bamboo, also from Hummingbird. It's shines like copper in the sunlight. I have no idea what to make with this, but I think it will be exciting.

Two top knots from Aurelia (these are going to be socks).

A sweater's worth of wool from Honeysuckle Studio. I also bought Spinning in the Old Way, a book on how to spin with a high whorl spindle.

I didn't buy anything from Twist of Fate this time around, although she has some lovely things. I still have some of her fibres from the last fibre fest. and by the time I had a chance to see her lovely goodies, my budget was spent.

After about an hour, most of the shopping was completed. All but the most devote shoppers slowly re-entered the spinning room and took up their spinning.

How do I describe what happened next? Over fifty people sitting and spinning in one room together. The wheels where as different as the people who spun with them, and some dedicated individuals spun with their hand spindles. The conversation made a happy buzz around the room, and the plethora of spinning objects was purely hypnotic. There were door prizes, then lunch followed by show and tell. It was all so wonderful and it all went buy so quickly.

(My door prize, a lovely scarf made of hand spun alpaca novelty yarn.)

I think my own shyness caused me to miss out on a fantastic opportunity to learn more from the people in the room. I did learn all sorts of things, but to think of how much experience and knowledge was in that room at one time, and I didn't take full advantage of it... I'm selfish, but if I had my way, and more courage, I would have gone around to each and everyone of these wonderful people and talked to them all to learn what they could teach me. I suppose there wouldn't have been enough time in the day to do that, but could you imagine how much one could learn? There is something indescribable about seeing everyone together like that; it gives me a whole new respect for the craft and the people who create it.

And then, suddenly, the day was over. Just like that it was 4pm and time to pack up and go home. Wherever did the time go, I couldn't tell you. It was like time had no meaning when we were spinning. We were doing something that had been done by people for generations, and hopefully will continue to be enjoyed by people for many generations to come.


Josiane said...

That sounds like it was a great day! Your description is perfect, pictures couldn't have been much more evocative.
This corriedale/silk blend is gorgeous! And the color of the bamboo is simply stunning! If ever you find the vendor's website, please let me know, I want some of this lovely stuff too!

TinkingBell said...

What a fabulous day - and what lovely yarn porn - mmmmm - fibre-y goodness!

Miss Scarlett said...

What a great time!

Seriously your fibre! So gorgeous.
I thought I loved the 1st one until I saw the copper -- bamboo is so soft and shiny. Mmmm...can't wait to see how you spin it up.

And what fun to receive a prize.

It is so true - gathering with fibre and people who love fibre - it's pretty awesome.