Thanks again for your kind words and condolences. The DC memorial ceremony was moved to Thanksgiving weekend, so this last week has been down time for me to just be, especially the weekend. I had Friday off and, despite the recent and sudden (pregnancy induced?) appearance of a strangely normal internal clock, I managed to sleep in until at least 11 am. Ahhhhh.

The weekend at The Gathering was mixed. I know I would have enjoyed it more under different circumstances: sometimes I really enjoyed the company of other spinners; other moments I just had to get away and cry.

Since I signed up a couple of months late, I didn't get most of my first choices. My backups were all spinning classes, since that's what I was most interested in learning. I shoulda known myself better. My first and third classes were Beginning Spinning and Hand Spindling, respectively. Now, before you start snickering, I'll admit... I guess I'm no longer a beginner spinner. And, I guess 4 months of spindling before I got my first wheel taught me a lot about spindling. Go ahead, you can laugh now.

In Beginning Spinning, I learned to Andean ply, which came in handy through the weekend. I spent most of the class practicing what I thought might be long draw with clouds of yak I had brought. In Hand Spindling, I took the opportunity to try out the myriad spindles she had on hand. (I really gotta get me a Golding spindle. Niiiiiiice.) And in both classes, I helped someone learn to spin. Which is always cool.

The second class was all I had hoped it would be. Building Your Spinning Repertoire with Bobbie Irwin. We covered a few short draws, point of contact, spinning from the fold, long draw, faux chenille novelty draft and tailspinning from locks. Turns out I had done many of these before without knowing specifically what it was called. And, turns out long draw is not what I thought it was. It was great to learn the specifics, see it in action, and learn tips for each. 

We used wools, including a really nice Finn top that made me love Finn and not hate inchworm true worsted short draw. We also used ramie, silk waste, cotton (for long draw), yak (with guard hairs), and a few others. What fun!

Friday and Saturday evening were Spin-Ins in the same room as the handful of vendors. I wasn't planning to buy anything, but then, well, you know how it happens. I'll just say it's Judy's fault. And Cindy's. I may as well have been following them around. I bought cashmere/silk from Foxfire, a pound of Montadale roving from Christopher Hall, and a light weight Forrester spindle that spins and spins.

The Spin-Ins were easily my favorite part of the weekend. Being in a room full of spinners and knitters, spinning and hanging out, was really lovely. I sat with Judy and got to meet a few of her RI spinning buddies: I sat next to Cindy and Muriel (see Cindy's photo); Marva was in two of my classes; and I picked Beth's brain about the Schacht Matchless. What a nice bunch.

I had zero signal on my cell phone and without it and Internet, I felt out of touch and far away. By Sunday I was ready to come home and get some hugs from Scott. And what a sweetie, he did some more cleaning while I was away. Clearly, spinning and fiber weekends are GOOD for me, aren't they?

It's been raining and grey since the weekend, dark when I leave work, and getting cold for green picnic table photo ops. I'm still trying to figure out what I'll do. Mebbe just go back to nighttime flash photos?

In the meantime, PumpkinMama reminded me I owe another bump pic. Here's what I looked like today:

  

And this one was to prove I still have a waistline:

But it didn't work...