Now that I have plenty of time, I am getting around to some of the domestic projects that have been requiring my attention. I have spent several hours a day for the last two weeks or so cleaning the basement. (I know, the glamour never stops.) The prior owners of our house ran a wood shop out of the largest room in our basement (which has 4 rooms), and they did not clean the shop when they left. Add to that the general ick of a 99 year-old basement--eew. In typical Chicago-style architecture, about 2/3 of the basement is actually below ground and 1/3 is above so there are windows which allow for natural it light. We're also fortunate that the basement is dry, so storage isn't much of an issue. In fact, the stash is housed down there (in many, many plastic bins) and I am about to set up a sewing area and a dyeing/felting area. It isn't the most aesthetically pleasing place to be, but it will be nice to be able to leave the sewing machine up and to have a workspace for messy projects.
This past weekend I went to the Midwest Fiber and Folk Fair in Crystal Lake, IL. It was a somewhat strange set-up, with booths in hallways (it was at a community college), in the gym, and outside. It felt a bit disjointed, but there were a lot of really good vendors. Since I was also there to take an all-day spinning class on Saturday, I focused primarily on spinning fibers. I picked up some really soft alpaca batts,
tussah silk from Miss Babs,
wool and seacell from Creatively Dyed,
and merino/silk from Redfish.
I couldn't resist the colors of the Plain & Fancy singles,
and I can never walk past Brooks Farm without having something follow me home. This time it was their new bamboo blend in two colorways.
I also got a few ounces of wool courtesy of a sheep named Peanut from Jennie the Potter's booth. She and her mom Lucinda had both been on the SeaSocks cruise and it was great to see them again. I added a few of Jennie's buttons to the notions stash. I'm looking forward to visiting with her again at Michigan Fiber Festival.
The spinning class was worthwhile. I learned a few new things and continued to sharpen my developing spinning skills. I've got the S10 working pretty well now despite its wonky beginnings. It was an Ebay purchase that came directly from the Netherlands. It is an old model and didn't have directions for assembly. (The newer S10s have a different mechanism, so the PDF on the website wasn't all that helpful.) It took a few tries to get all the washers in the right places, and for a while the nuts on the moving parts would unwind themselves as I spun. That seems to have resolved itself and it is working pretty well now. I need to keep practicing because I somewhat impetuously ordered a Bosworth Journey Wheel. It won't be ready for delivery until March '09, so I have time to get my skills up to the level that piece of machinery deserves. (Don't get me started on my lustful yearning for a Golding Flock of the Shepherdess Triple Flyer wheel. I may never spin well enough to justify that, but it is gorgeous to look at.)
I finally finished the Magician Scarf.
I am not a big fan of the Alchemy Silken Straw (splitty stuff), but I did buy the materials to make two, so I will have to deal with it again in the near future. After jackrabbit starts on both the Ribby Pulli and Mr. Greenjeans, things slowed down. I am about 2/3 finished on both.
Tomorrow it is back to the basement. I need to tackle the three smaller (and icky-er) rooms before I can call it good. I can haz Shop-Vac...