Where have I been for the last week? At the world-famous Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival! I actually got to take a fabulous 3 day class with Robin Russo, on fiber preparation for spinning, and I now can actually comb and card and my spinning is SO much better too.
I can now produce an honest-to-goodness real hand-carded rolag:
We mostly used combs and drum carders, though. We worked with something like 10 different breeds worth of sheep wool, plus alpaca, llama, quiviut (!), angora, silk, mohair, and then blends.
Here are a few shots of my classmates; note all the different wheels. We had everything from a Merlin Hitchhiker to a classic Great (Walking) wheel.
Having learned all that, of course I had to shop for combs (I had already bought hand cards in the hopes of getting into a class with Judith Mackenzie McCuin which was full, but that worked out anyway). I wound up buying the Indigo Hound English combs, though I'd like to get either the Louet Dutch combs or the MajaCraft handcombs, both of which are quite dull. I know that sounds silly when I now have a set of lovely double-pitch sharp combs, but in a child-intensive household such as this I feel like I can only use the Indigo Hound combs when no one else is home, for fear that one or another of the kids (read: Feivel or Gilad) will seriously hurt himself).
I also got...drumroll...a 3' triangle loom from Carol Leigh. I've really wanted one for a while and figured this was my chance.
The best thing is that after all this time of focusing on fibers and spinning techniques most suitable for fine knitwear, I now have a hunger for fibers like Churro and Jacob which I would weave. You know, because I need more fiber obsession.
I also bought assorted dizzes and other little odds and ends, and a little fiber and about 1500 yds of medium weight yarn, nothing too much in that area.
Overall, it was, as always, fabulous!