The trip to Mendocino was lovely but long–six hours of driving through some of the most fantastic landscape imaginable. I keep forgetting I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world! I stopped by several fiber places on the way, and fell victim to fiber tourism–bought two skeins of a beautiful pale pale green/pink (reminded me of the inside of a shell), and a skein of Mountain Colors 50-50 mohair/wool yarn. Mendocino Yarns has one of the best collections of yarns I’ve seen–packed with yarns of all varieties. I wish I’d had more time there, but I was running late for lunch with a friend, so had to scan and run. Too bad!!
On Sunday, I ran up to a friend’s place and got to drive their tractor!! It was much like riding an elephant (which I did in Thailand)–the same feeling of slow, lurching, yet inexorable progress on the back of a giant beast. The main difference is that elephants have soft, bristly hair on the tops of their heads that feels much like sticking your feet in a warm lawn.
Anyway, I’ve decided that tractors are WAY cool and that I must buy a farm just so I can have one. Added bonus: there are way more attachments for tractors than you can shake a stick at. I think of it as a giant Kitchenaid mixer that trundles along. (Kitchenaid elephants? What will they think of next?)
It’s now looking like my southern California trip isn’t going to work out after all, so I will probably be going to the California Wool & Fiber festival in Booneville instead. I have no idea what to expect–from the looks of it, it’s a pretty small festival, but Jean Near will be there with her fantastic fleeces, so I may wind up buying one. Or some skirtings from her fleeces–she charges $20/lb for her top fleeces, which are worth every penny but out of my price range, but even her skirtings are better than most people’s regular wool. And they’re only $4/lb, if she’s selling them at all. Probably not, at a show, but worth checking out anyway.
Work is closing down into the last few days, i.e. I have nothing to do, so it’s a very pleasant little vacation. I’ve been spending most of it spinning–I’ve decided that I don’t like wheels as much as spindles, but they are definitely a LOT faster. I’ve also tried spinning some heavier-weight yarn (lace to sock-weight). Ironically, I can spin a threadweight yarn perfectly, despite being unfamiliar with the wheel, but am extremely clumsy with thicker yarns–thick and thin slubs despite fierce concentration. It just goes to show, I suppose.
(It’s not too surprising considering I’ve done nothing but spin threadweight yarns for the last three years, but still amusing considering how difficult threadweight is supposed to be, compared to thicker yarns. I still can’t bring myself to spin any thicker than sock-weight.)
Anyway, thus far I’ve spun a lovely skein of dyed merino top (which will one day become socks), and have sampled some for a gray silk-black satin angora shawl. If I can ever get the mixes right, it should drape gently like a gray mist around the shoulders. If I can figure it out!