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 really wish you had tried my Lendrum double-treadle! And, hey, I’m up for another weekend—the cabin is still there! But, I do think we should hire a chimney sweep! šŸ˜‰

  2. Looks like you all had a wonderful weekend! The Knitting Retreat should be a lot of fun…I have attended numerous counted cross stitch retreats and was always inspired by other stitches. Am looking forward to your retreat and hope I get signed up before it fills. Glad you are home safely.

  3. Well, your knitting weekend sounds just lovely – and getting to meet Miss Lucy… I must look into one of those… And, I think I know exactly what that might entail, just awaiting details… And, I will have to put in a request for time off in April so I can go to the Loopy retreat – I would love to meet everyone!
    Have fun with your spinning wheel research – I think I’m going to pass on learning how to spin – I already have too many other areas that are tugging at me (i.e. quilting).
    And, I’m anxiously awaiting the sneak-ups, as always… : )

  4. Yep. I’m thinking I need a spinning now as well! And a knitting/spinning weekend every month sounds very necessary! Oh, and I do think Lucy sat on your lap because she likes you. Really. Well, maybe. Ok, it probably was because of where you were sitting…but that’s ok. Can’t wait for the Loopy Retreat!! There will have to be room set aside for spinners! Yes, I can see why liking spinning creates a whole new set of problems!!

  5. I just started spinning this spring, but started right on the wheel. I got a Majacraft Little Gem and I love it. It is a double treadle, small and easy to transport. I bought it through Susans Fiber Shop – free shipping. She ordered it from the factory in New Zealand and had it sent straight to my house. Good luck and have fun! Can’t wait for the sneak up!

  6. Looks like it was a lot of fun.
    I so want to learn to spin. I keep threatening to buy a drop spindle. I think the DH would have a fit it I aquire another fiber addiction though. Rumor has it my yarn is taking over the house.

  7. It sure sounds like yuo had a great time. It is so much fun to get together with friends and knit!! Looking forward to your sneak ups!!

  8. Yeah! Loopy spinning šŸ™‚ dangle that carrot and before you know it you’ll be carrying roving! roving! roving! Not that I’m pushing the idea or anything šŸ™‚

    Looks like a great fun-filled weekend.

  9. Oh man…am I jealous! Knitting in the mountains…sounds like heaven to me!! Can’t wait for the details on the retreat – Sure hope I can sneak away from work for a few days!

  10. Oh, don’t get me started about spinning. I knew I’d like it. I did. Yeah, you can spin with a spindle…but a wheel…. And then when you get one, you’ll want a different one. Or accessories. More spindles. Different flyers. And then you spend all your time spinning, which eats into your knitting time. So you have more yarn and less time to knit it. But you don’t care, because spinning is so much FUN. And it’s kind of zen, you know? You and the fiber and the wheel and history.

    I need to spend more time spinning. If only I didn’t have so much to knit. šŸ™‚

  11. My advice on the wheel front is to make sure you try them out, and make sure you get a wheel that will grow with you.

    Now, I started with a Traveller, because she was dirt cheap on Craigslist. We have… very strong personality conflicts. I hardly spin because she makes me angry. I thought it might just be that wheel, but I tried another Traveller in the store… and I hated that one too. I’m buying a Matchless in January with most of my tax refund. I love spinning on it and it will adjust to do anything I want. Bite me Traveller.

    Also, Sheri, you’re evil. How much is the Zen String lace going to be? You get Zen String in so infrequently… I may just have to break the yarn diet for this one. Watch me wibble. I wibble with the best of them.

  12. Yay spinning! I’m hooked too after picking up my first spindle at a festival earlier this fall. What kind of spindle is yours? It looks like mine (a Kundert). Let’s hear it for the 2007 Beginning Spinning Cohort!

  13. I’m so glad that you all had a good time. I would love a knitting weekend getaway.
    In September I went to a wool festival in Yellow Springs, OH with my friends. My husband mentioned that I’d come home with a spinning wheel. My reply was no, no, no….I can’t start any more hobbies! I just want to look at yarn. Well, I came home with a spinning wheel…an Ashford Joy single treadle. Luckily, two weeks later our LYS had beginning spinning classes – 4 classes. After the last class, I bought a Louet S10 double treadle. It will arrive in a few weeks. I’ll save the Joy for traveling to classes and guild. You and Janice will love spinning and all the wonderful roving. Looking forward to seeing which wheels you both pick out. šŸ™‚ Kristi

  14. Oooh I so want to get in on the Spring Fling….I can’t imagine the fun to be had….looks like and sounds like a fun was had by all. You certainly deserve it.

  15. Glad you had a break; I’m sure it was welcome after the busy-ness of the past few weeks!! No spinning here…..don’t even have enough time to knit and bake and homeschool and practice keyboard and work on theater sets and ………….. but it looks like you’ll be having a great time!!

  16. I have researched wheels too. I am leaning towards a Kromski Sonata (wanted something that was portable and comes with a bag to keep away from little fingers). I am hoping to get mine soon. Looks like you had a great weekend.

  17. I have no wheel advice as I am barely a novice spinner myself but I hope whatever you get you enjoy! And does this mean you’ll be carrying roving soon? If it does I need to finish repairing my wheel (I’m missing a few parts, like a mother of all and bobbins…).

  18. First of all, I would advise you to stay away from bears (except for the one on the wall)!

    Glad to hear you had such a great time (although, to be honest, more than a little jealous, too—Lucy sat in your lap!) and I’ll look forward to following your spinning progress. I’ll have to do it vicariously, there’s no way I could bring even a spindle into this house right now, never mind a wheel. Maybe someday….

  19. Spinning is great. hard to decide to spin or knit. But since TLE opened I have been doing lots more knitting.

    I have a Joy and a Jensen wheel. Both are double treadle. I figure if you have 2 feet you should share the exercise. I like them both but if i had to just keep one it would be the Joy. I love my Joy. But I am small and have heard people say that the Joy is too small for them. try as many as you can and you will find the one that loves you.

    Drop spindles are fun. I have a collection of Lollipop Spindles. I hate that they aren’t available any more.

    Can’t wait for the info on the weekend. I am going to be there for sure.

  20. Best advice from most spinners is to try as many wheels as possible. I wasn’t able to do that and it didn’t matter. I loved my first wheel and I love my current one. Which by the way is a Majacraft. šŸ˜‰ I am totally hooked on it. It’s a Little Gem, small, portable, huge bobbins, double treadle (personal preference b/c the single treadle gave me cramps after a while). There are really so many good wheels out there, you just need to figure out what you want in a wheel, and you’ll narrow it down. My next wheel is going to be a Majacraft Rose…someday.

    Spinning gets much easier on a wheel. If you had one to use, maybe a week or even less and you’d get it pretty fast. Like anything else, it just takes some time and practice.

    Watch out, roving is just as much of an addiction as sock yarn is, maybe more so!

  21. I have stayed away from spinning because of the very thing you seem to be experiencing: addiction! I knew if I started that I would be hooked and I want to spend all of my time and money on knitting. Maybe in a few years I will try spinning when I can afford to have a dual addiction. šŸ™‚ I am glad that you had a lovely knitting weekend. Can’t wait for this week’s sneak up.

  22. Your job is to do all the spinning wheel investigation work, I have be “itching” for a wheel and just do not know where to start. Have a couple of spindles that I can send your way…not for me!! Think the wheel would be more interesting and more fun!! Looks like a good time was had by all.

  23. Your job is to do all the spinning wheel investigation work, I have be “itching” for a wheel and just do not know where to start. Have a couple of spindles that I can send your way…not for me!! Think the wheel would be more interesting and more fun!! Looks like a good time was had by all.

  24. Isn’t Graves Mountain a great place?! I live about 20 minutes from there, and wish I could have come to the knitting weekend. You just missed the Graves Mountain Apple Festival by a weekend – which is also a great thing to go to. As for bears, yup, we’ve got ’em around here. We actually had one in our back pasture a few weeks ago.

    Anytime that you are in the area you are more than welcome to stay at our place – and I’ll even let you take a picture of a bear (or fox, or deer, or whatever else happens to wander into the yard…)!

  25. Your weekend sounds like it was fabulous!!! I have a Lendrum Double Treadle, a Journey Wheel and just got a little Louet Victoria which is my travel wheel. If I had to have just TWO wheels, I’d pick the Lendrum DT for it’s versitility (it comes with a plying head and a lace flyer) and the Victoria for it’s size. It fits in a backpack (it only weighs 6.5 lbs.) and has large 4 oz. bobbins. My Golding spindles are my favorites and you can get less fancy ones that aren’t as pricey as the bigger carved ones.

    It is so great that you have learned to spin. I KNOW it will open up a whole world to you! And, YES, roving IS as addicting as sock yarn!!! And it multiplies in the dark, so WATCH OUT!!!

  26. Yay, spinning! Now you’ve really joined the dark side! šŸ™‚ Your weekend sounds fantastic – so glad you got a chance to relax and have fun.

  27. Easy peasy recommendation. First, try as many wheels as you can. Find out what fits your body and your hands.

    Then buy a Schacht Matchless. You will never outgrow it. It has both double drive and scotch tension options for versatility. It is smooth, effortless, portable. It keeps up with you as your skill grows. It was my first wheel (yes, I gulped at the price) but it has been worth every penny. Any other wheels I’ve bought have been optional purchases, because the Schacht does it all.

    Spindles: Bosworth, Forrester, Spindlewood.

  28. Your weekend looks like it was so-o-o much fun! Yarn is such a progressive addiction, isn’t it? Starts with a harmless little scarf, then you find cables, then it’s sock yarn. That was my experience, anyway. Then you’re not happy with just buying yarn, you have to make it, too. Actually, I haven’t taken the plunge with spinning, yet. But I have a potential enabler close by. I have a friend who has sheep. She’s not a constant knitter, but sometimes, like if a friend has a baby, she’ll get the wool, spin it, and knit something. So, spinning is really just a matter of time for me.

  29. Well, that looks like a perfect weekend – knitting in the mountains, bear-watching, Lucy-cuddling… I am living vicariously through you for now…

  30. Well, surely this means that you’ll be coming up north to visit The Fold, now, right? Right?? šŸ˜€ Toni really is fabulous, and she’ll teach you how to use every wheel in her shop (and trust me, there are a LOT of wheels to choose from there!), and you can look out the shop windows & see her lovely flock of sheepies staring right back at you. And, it’s half an hour from my house. šŸ˜€ See how convenient? I’ll put you up for the night, and we can get you all hooked up with a wheel of your own. And you can bring Wollmeise with you. Yay! šŸ˜‰

  31. Hi Sheri,
    I’m so glad you enjoyed your retreat (and learning to spin). I do two spinning/knitting retreats each year and two just is not enough!!

    My advice on choosing a wheel (I have been spinning twenty years) is to go to Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival and try them ALL. Really, try as many as you can. I do highly recommend a double treadle.


  32. Sounds like a great weekend! Does this mean we all need to order more yarn so that the Loopy Ewe will bring in enough extra to cover the wheel? šŸ˜‰

    I haven’t tried spinning yet; I think my son would be too interested in shredding the roving (anything where he can pull off bits of fluff and blow them throw the air is in danger), and I’ve already got weaving to be a time & equipment sink! Maybe after the boy’s out of the house, though.

  33. I noticed that all of you had on really nice sweaters in the fireplace photo. A nice advertisement for hand knitting.

    I do so long for a vacation, but contract workers only get them between jobs, when they can’t afford to spend anything! Grr. Your retreat with all those nice people really sounded wonderful.

    Count me in among the number of commenters “afraid” to start spinning due to addiction issues. I barely learned and am now afraid to touch the roving I bought! I can’t knit all the yarn I have already!

  34. That sounds like a terrific knitting and spinning weekend in a fabulous place! I am really glad that a great time was had by all! It has been fun to see everyone’s pictures of the event; they are all just a little different viewpoint! I especially love the lodge and the fireplace pictures of some people that I consider to be knitting friends that I have never met. I am glad that Wendy would not turn her car around if you had food in the car! My parents had a brand new 1952 Chevy back then, that they took to Yosemite for a weekend trip. A huge bear got on top of that car, and there were scratches on it, until the day it was sold! And, I have seen pictures of cars that have been totally destroyed by bears–windows broken out, seats shredded, you name it. Wendy, you go, girl! Bears are terrific, from a distance. (Ironically, bears live within 10 miles of our mid-Michigan home.)

    I’m glad you’re working on your Cheveron scarf, Sheri! I absolutely love how my Chevron scarf is coming along, with my two colors of Fiesta Boomerang! I can just sit & look at the colors in the scarf & how much I love them together! My only worry is if I will have enough yarn with two skeins total of Boomerang?

    I can’t wait to see more Smooshy & the new Classy! I really love Dream in Color. Does it come in dye lots, so that I might dream about knitting a sweater in Classy? (BTW, while it is interesting to watch spinning, I am really not interested in learning to spin, which is a great thing because we have no room at all in our home to add a spinning wheel. Oh well–I hope TLE’s carrying roving does not cut down on any of the great yarns that you carry!) šŸ™‚

  35. Sounds like you had a great time – but how could you *not*?! I’m totally avoiding any attempts or dabbling at spinning. Too little room in the house, too little time. Maybe some year/decade! (I know I’ve got plenty of enablers if I ever decide to try my hand at it.) – Sheri, I hope that you *know* to count me in for the Loopy Retreat/Spring Fling!

    Looking forward to more Yarn Nerd (loving the skein I’m knitting up now in RPM pattern), & also looking fwd to trying out Oceanwind, so I guess that means 2 orders (one this week, one next week)?! …Also looking forward to seeing the 8 new colorways that Dream In Color is coming out with in December. (Sheri, you’ll have to be sure to get those in when they come out! )

    In response to Marianne’s post, I’m not sure if DIC CLassy is dyed in lots or not, but one way to approach a sweater is to use 2 skeins at once & alternate rows or pairs of rows between the skeins. (I’ve got 7 skeins of Classy in my stash waiting to be knit into a sweater, probably Mr. Greenjeans.)

  36. Lendrum double treadle, hands down… smooth, easy, and it’s tilted so you can see your bobbin filling up. I also recomend a Woolee Winder for a truly exceptional fiber experience!

  37. I am getting an Ashford traveler for Christmas, but I went and tried it out before I told the hubby about it. I definitely recommend trying different ones, you will be surprised how different they are. I tried the Louet and another one but I am a slow newbie spinner and the spin was too fast for me.

    Sheri spinning only means that we will (possibly) see roving at the loopy ewe sometime in the future because that’s how the store started with the whole sock obsession. šŸ™‚

  38. Sheri –

    You have to try the wheels to decide. What works for one person is awful for another. I have three wheels – and Ashford Tradtional Double Treadle, an Ashford Joy, and recently a Kromski Sonata. I started with the Ashford Traditional – for the price and the add ons you can get – it was the best place to start for me. As a novice spinner – you will change and evolve a huge amount in our first months and first year – depending upon how much you spin. At that time – you will know which ones of the more expensive wheels might suit you before investing in them. You will find that spinners can be very opionated about which wheel – listen but don’t get overrrun by their comments.

    By the way – the Kromski Sonata spins WONDERFULLY and beautiful to look at to boot – offering turnings on the spokes and a beautiful walnut finish if desired.

  39. What a fun weekend! Looks like a lovely Lodge too. Sign me up now for the Loopy retreat!

    Now, Sheri…do you remember what we said to James when he was threatening to start spinning? Do ya, do ya, hunh, hunh??? I just mean do you need to think about this??? Will you still have time to be Ms. Loopy, knit, spin, eat, sleep, and… Oh, I dunno…you do everything so well it’s hard to know. Whatever you decide…enjoy! Do what makes you happy!

    See ya Thursday in Loopy Central…OK?

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