Sometimes, when I am not playing, I am a spinning teacher. Well, that is like playing with other people, but sometimes I also make money. Not much, but a little. And when my students "graduate" from my beginning class, they often become my spin buddies. We get together for spin days, show off our newest projects, chat about fibers and techniques, explore other machines.
Last week, my spin buddies and I went on a field trip. We went to the Riverside Convention Center to a spinners and weavers conference. We just went for the day, to shop and explore. It only costs $10 for a day pass and we got to go to the Gallery, try out every machine there, be in a spinning contest, fondle and drool over lovely fibers, and shop. Parking was free, we took our lunch and ate at the tables in the center.
At the spinning competition area, you could sit at the wheels and try all kinds of different fibers they had in a basket. Some were long wools or silk blends, they even had dog hair roving. Ok, stop laughing. It's true. Dog hair roving.
Because this was geared toward weavers, there was plenty of yarn for sale in very large quantities. There were some of the most beautiful woven shawls, all kinds of hand made wooden parts and tools, dyes, rovings, and specialty items.
So, I was bad. I shopped. The group bought some items with the idea that we would share some between us, but I also bought just for me. I bought 8oz of prime Cashmere roving-$35. I bought a package of Ashford merino/silk just because I wanted to try their stuff- $15. There was the cotton/linen stuff -$6 and three little bags of Fox- not real fox, it is cotton like Linen tow. Very fun looking. A bobbin, always need another bobbin, and Silk. We were getting the silk to split up. 1 pound of Bombyx for $60, 1 of Honey Tussah, $48. I ended up with 5oz of each and the others split up the rest.
After all the money changed hands, products were sorted, gas estimated, dinner finished...I had a $125 Saturday, and a lifetime of fun memories.
I love my spin buddies. And I am really interested in playing with my new toys.
Later, when we meet again, Maggi will be partway (or maybe done) with her beaded shawl, and Juli will have done some blending with the silk, and Jan will have spun some of the Alpaca she won in the contest. We will have show and tell, while we spin and chat and remember our fun field trip.
I don't remember school field trips being this much fun when I was a kid.