Rejoining the Flock

Last weekend was the annual Black Sheep Gathering here in Oregon.  I was lucky enough to attend with my pals Carson & Val. 

I got to watch my first fleece judging, which was tremendously informative, and lots of fun.  The downside to watching all those fleeces be unrolled and discussed is that no matter how much you don't need one, you will fall in love with at least one of them and become determined to make it your own.  And making one your own is not necessarily easy at Black Sheep, because lots of other determined spinners are probably also in love with that fleece, particularly if they saw it win a ribbon, too.

We did all right though:

Imagine how many we would have had if we didn't have such great self-control?  Carson is going to process his Corriedale and his Shetland himself.  We elected to send the Merino and the other Corriedale out for processing before splitting them three ways, since each of us already has raw fleece(s) waiting for our attention at home.  And then we decided that our next adventure together would be a fleece processing party, rather than going to the next event (where we might accidentally acquire yet more fiber). 

And when I got home, I spent some quality time with Wheely:

I've been on a self-imposed spinning diet for the last year, while I wrote a book.  I hated to do it, but I had to in the interest of limiting my distractions.  I had no idea how badly I'd been missing it.  Yesterday I made this:

Huckleberry Knits Falkland roving, in a colorway called "Catching Fire". 

Spinning is so good for me because I have intentionally lowered the bar for myself.  In knitting, everything has to be as close to perfect as physically possible.  It's all about precision and control.  There are a million rules, because every time I knit something, the idea is to be able to tell others to make the exact same thing.  With spinning though, I don't give myself any rules at all.  I let the fiber be whatever it wants, however it wants, and focus on the delight of discovering what the wheel wants to give me.  Denying myself that space of freedom was harder than I realized.  I'm not going to do that again, if I can possibly help it.  I'm so glad to be back in the flock of spinners again.