DSC01341.JPGShoot. I liked spinning. I knew I would. This is not good news. It means that I think I need to get a spinning wheel (any advice?). It means that I think I now need roving. It means that I get to look for pretty spindles (because I “need” one or two, even though I will eventually get a wheel. Know what I mean?) Here is my drop spindle spinning from my first attempt. I thought, “Oh, the wheel will be SO much easier than this!” But of course they made me learn on a drop spindle. When I tried the wheel the next day, I was having trouble getting the roving pulled out thin enough, fast enough. Everyone assures me that I will get better at this. (right?) I must say, Blogless Julie and Alice are such an inspiration. I could sit and watch them spin all day long, and get all of the relaxing benefits of spinning vicariously. They were amazing.

DSC01334.JPGBut back to the weekend in Virginia at Graves Mountain. First of all, Janice and I spent the night at Lucy’s house. (Ok, Wendy was there, too. But Lucy clearly rules that roost.) You might think that Lucy chose to sit on my lap because she liked me so much. The truth of the matter is that I was sitting in the KOARC’s spot and she was missing her daddy – so I was the stand-in lap. (She climbed into Janice’s lap when she sat in that spot, too.) But I pretended it was just because she and I bonded so well and she wanted to sit with me. Yes, she is just as soft as she looks to be in all of the pictures. And she has a lot of favorite places to sleep around the living room. She also has a fondness for bran muffins and plastic milk jug rings (or anything that resembles them.)

DSC01344.JPGFriday morning it was on to the mountains. We spent much of our time sitting right here, knitting by the fireplace in the lodge room. (At night we invaded Wendy and L-B’s cabin and knit over there. It also had a fireplace, although it was a little dangerous. L-B is such a good firemaker that she had sparks shooting out of the chimney one night. But I digress.) Do you see the package of St. Louis Bear Poop on the table? L-B had us so ready to see bears there that weekend. Apparently she and Wendy saw a bear by the dumpster last year, so we were forewarned about the possibilities. DSC01349.JPGWhen I saw this bag of St. Louis Bear Poop at the airport, it seemed appropriate to take with me. I’m sure you want to know if we saw a bear? The answer is YES, we did, actually. It was on our way down off the mountain, and we caught site of 2 black bears in the woods along the road. I did my darndest to get Wendy to turn her car around and go back so that I could get photo evidence of those bears – but she wouldn’t turn the car around. Something about us eating our box lunches and me threatening to feed food to the bears, and her being afraid that they might attack the car to get to our food. (I was just kidding about feeding them, Wendy. Honest.) So to make do, I had to insert this photo of the bearskin that hangs on the stairway to the dining room instead. Just to give you the feel for the bears in the area. L-B made us put our hands in his mouth every time we passed by, “for good luck”.

I love spending a weekend knitting. I’m trying to figure out a way to do this once a month. Shouldn’t we all get a “knitting weekend” at least once a month? I worked on my Chevron Scarf (I’m determined to finish it so that a) I can wear it this winter and b) so that I can start another one with two more colors that I have already picked out in Fiesta Boomerang.) I also finished a sock in a new yarn line that will be arriving soon (and I so love how it turned out. I’ll show it to you when the yarn comes in.) I also worked on two more socks in two more potential yarn lines for The Loopy Ewe, and both were winners – so we’ll be working on getting those lines in here as well! Lastly, I started a Moebius Shawl with some Wollmeise, that will take awhile to get through. (just 40 rows, but about 420 stitches. And I get tired of knitting in the round, around and around. It’s why I’m not good at making felted bags, although I love the look of them and love using them.)

DSC01352.JPGHere’s our group photo with the fireplace that we sat in front of all weekend. Somehow we were able to get this prime spot every single day, and we made the best of it. From left to right – Janice (who worked on socks and bags this weekend), Alice (who inspired us with the sweaters she was working on), Wendy (who designed and knit up two sock patterns this weekend), L-B (who worked on beautiful mittens for Wendy), Julie (who knit up some gorgeous snowflake coasters, did a hat for charity, started a cool coat, AND did a lot of spinning), and me. Maggie the sheep (with L-B) just sat and smiled at everyone all weekend. I want to find a Maggie – she was so cute.

This weekend made me anxious to get our Loopy Spring Fling Knitting Retreat pulled together for next year. It was fun to meet all of these knitting friends that I’ve gotten to know over the past year, and it will be fun to meet YOU, too! I have some more research to do before I lock into a final hotel and can share details, but for those of you who keep asking, we will probably have it either the third or fourth weekend in April of 2008. I’ll share more information and start sign-ups as soon as I can!

Lastly, this week’s Sneak Up will include: All of the Dream in Color Smooshy colors, all of the Dream in Color Classy colors, Zen String Bellissima Lace, and Yarn Nerd. Next week’s Sneak Up: Oceanwind Knits, Wollmeise Lace, Duets, Woolly Boully, and some fun accessories. So far. More expected. šŸ™‚

Sheri nowgoingofftodosomeresearchonspinningwheels.Darnit.


  1. I’m glad you had such a fun weekend! Looks wonderful!

    Spinning is a big can of worms! I just got into it recently and I’m already totally addicted! I got a used Lendrum DT which spins really well and is probably all I’ll ever need – well, maybe a Woolee Winder some day.

    I would love it if you start carrying hand-dyed rovings!

  2. UhOh!! Sheri loves to spin! lol It looks like you had a wonderful time on your knitting weekend–yeah! I was sure to check out the feet in the photo of you all by the fire and was very disappointed that you weren’t all wearing hand knit socks!
    Smiles, Karen

  3. Ohhh, it sounds like it was a wonderful, wonderful weekend! A friend has some sheep (Suffolk and Dorsett) so I could have some raw wool to try, buuut, I’m afraid to get into spinning. First of all, I can barely afford my yarn stash, let alone new equipment. Secondly, I think DH would have a cow or maybe a sheep. Maybe one of these days.

    I just snagged me some Dream in Color in Dusky Aurora. I’m really into colors that blend together in short spurts. I can’t wait to see it in person!!!

  4. After reading the comments and about your weekend, I’m really afraid that I, too, could become addicted to spinning. I already want to raise a sheep or two, and a friend has alpacas, so spinning may be in the future.
    Your weekend looked so fun, and that spot is lovely. Knitting with friends by a fire is the BEST.
    Love that Lucy, too.

  5. You met the famous Miss Lucy!?!?!?! I am just pea green!

    Glad you all had fun and I will have to keep an eye out for the retreat – will it be in St. Louis by any chance?

  6. I’ll add my voice to the chorus recommending the Lendrum double treadle – probably the single most versatile wheel out there, plus requires little or no maintenance, and suits both beginner and experienced spinners. I love mine to pieces! My Kromski Polonaise, not so much – spins well but I’ve never been able to get it to ply properly, and needs to be oiled frequently. The Lendrum will minimize that novice spinner frustration that everybody goes through. Have fun, Sheri!

  7. Spinning is a blast! I suggest trying a lot of different wheels before buying one, since they are such a personal thing. It’s like test driving a car (only not nearly as expensive!). I really loved the schacht matchless but it was a bit out of my price range. I ended up with the Ashford Kiwi, figuring it would be more of a starter wheel, and if I really get into spinning, I’ll get the Matchless later. My 3 and a half year old has already “claimed” my Kiwi as hers, so when she’s old enough to learn, I’ll turn it over to her and buy a new one for me.
    It’s so addictive, and relaxing. Hmm….maybe this will lead to carrying hand-dyed rovings?

  8. Although I don’t have one yet!! I’ve been reading up on wheels. Ashfords and Louets seem to be the best suited for beginners – with the Ashford Joy or Traveller more preferred. I’m sure I’ll get a Ashford Kiwi because of the affordable price point and! I can spin a variety of sizes (ha! once I get better). So with that in mind, I understand that being able to add onto your wheel as you learn is a good feature to go for. Good luck and have fun shopping for one!! Look forward to seeing what you choose!

  9. Sounds like a fun weekend!

    I just got a Lendrum double treadle that I love; I never used a spinning wheel before I got it and I’m doing ok.

    I have a great Maggie spindle that I don’t use anymore, if you’d like it I’d love to mail it to you. (I just want it going to a good home.) If you’re interested, just email a shipping address to me. ^_^

  10. I spin on a Louet 2-75 double treadle. I really like it. They also have a folding one with a bag, the Victoria. I plan to have one some day as well. Louet makes very nice stuff as you know.

  11. It sounds like so much fun! I think everyone should have a knitting weekend once a month… in fact, I think there should be a national knitting holiday every month, one with an official beer sponsor…

    Spinning… ummm… dangerous…

    (Apologies to the world for excessive use of …)

  12. i would love to have a knitting weekend – you’re so lucky to have the time for one and with such good knitting friends! i heard spinning can be addicting, but i just can’t get the hang of it – maybe that’s for the better….i think my husband would shudder at the sight of rovings…..can’t wait to see how you progress to a wheel….

  13. that’s funny, i was in the same boat last week when i went on a huge research jaunt about what to buy for my first wheel. i must say that this collection of wheel reviews on ravelry is fabulous:

    also, i tried to find a wheel that will be able to grow with me, one that will quite good for spinning sock weight two or three ply yarn eventually but will also have a slow enough whorl for a beginner. lastly i wanted something that was semi-local, at least made in europe because it would be silly to order something from new zealand or canada if we had something great closer to germany. in the end i went with a kromski minstrel because they are made in poland, have relatively large bobbins, and have 6.5:1, 8.5:1, 12:1 and 16:1 ratios. i also asked around to see if anyone near me had one i could try. in the end no one did but several blog friends had tried kromski’s and confirmed that they were good solid wheels and would last me a long while. my new wheel is slated to arrive in a few days!

  14. I have a Louet S10 wheel and I LOVE it… and yes, it does take practice to spin thinner. I admit that I’m not at laceweight level yet although I’m getting better!

  15. Weeeeee!! I saw a lady spinning at Stampede, and have been daydreaming about learning to spin ever since.

    I bought a louet kit last week. I opened it, closed it and signed up for the next class I could find. I start tonight!!

  16. Cool! I am taking a spinning lesson on a wheel on Saturday. I am so excited. I have been researching wheels since May, and I have it narrowed down to a few contenders. My top choice is the Majacraft Rose. The other two I am considering is the Lendrum DT and the Kromski Sonata. I really think I will end up with the Rose. I decided to sell a few things that I am not using around the house, and I raised enough to cover the cost of a nice wheel and some roving.

    Now, I think that Loopy Ewe should start carrying roving. šŸ™‚

  17. I told you you were doomed. I have a Jensen Tina 2 that I love and a Columbine that I also love. I’ve spun also on the Ashford Traditional, Traveler, and Joy wheels and on a Schacht double treadle. I liked the Schacht more than the Ashfords but everyone is different. And the compact nature of the Joy is certainly a plus.

    You really should try to sample wheels yourself before you buy though. Look for a guild in your area. They will undoubtedly be willing to let you attend a meeting and most folks are generous enough to let you try their wheel. Every spinner I have ever met was always keen to get another victim addicted to the process so they’re usually very willing you let you try out their wheel. Possibly not if they are spinning an expensive difficult to spin fiber but otherwise, they’re usually more than willing. Handweavers conferences are another good place to get to try wheels by different manufacturers. And I don’t know about Stitches MidWest but at SW a local spinning guild had wheels and offered lessons.

    You’re totally doomed. But it’s nice to know that eventually I’ll be able to get fiber from you as well. (Huh. Hubby is downstairs but I still think I just heard a moan of dismay.)

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