It's not about freaking out the muggles. That's just a bonus.
I took a much needed break on Saturday from paper writing to meet Jessalu at a Starbucks halfway between the two of us. I've spent months trying to learn chain plying, but without actual three dimensional instructions I was lost.
Friday evening Mr. C. was at a work networking-thingie (a Neil Young concert, go figure), so once Em was down I pulled my wheel into the living room, geared up the Tivo and finished up the Ravelry BFL I started a few weeks ago. The last few dozen yards were colored by anxiety over extra lateness and snow-covered roads. Nervousness causes some wicked over-spinning.
At 11 the next morning I met Jess at Starbucks. That location was PACKED, with a line out to the door more than once. We snagged a sunny (and hot) squishy couch and looked a lot like this:
It amazed me the number of people who came up to talk about the spinning. Many were led by small children unafraid of staring. Other's stopped their walk by the windows to watch from outside, much like we were inside an exhibit.
I've spun in public only at the Hancock Shaker village. There, it wasn't a curiosity, it was a demonstration. At Starbucks we were a bit of a sideshow (someone even asked if Starbucks hired us to bring in business). I had a lot of time to reflect how humbling it is to learn a new technique with an audience looking on.
When I got home I tossed aside hopes of finishing my paper in favor of plying the rest of the bobbin. I live on the edge, I know.
The picture above shows two different qualities. The foreground has my early attempts, with no continuity in the spinning as I stopped too often to clear tangles. The back of the niddy noddy shows the end of the plying, which has evened out some. It was still badly overplied, though.
Sunday morning I was stepping out of the shower when I decided to give the yarn a bath. I wasn't worried too much about felting as I thought some light roughing up wasn't much of a bad thing. A quick soak in the shower and then it was off to the sink with Eucalan. My sheepy smelling bathroom was a nice companion to my furious paper-writing on Sunday.
Here's the finished skein today. It's just under 200 yards and I haven't a clue what to knit with it. And I DO want to knit something right away. I don't have other details yet, like wpi and such, though I hope to soon.
This little skein holds so much inside it. Spinning it was freeing, as I threw "shoulds" out and did with it as I pleased. This is my first time spinning not for product, but for process. Instead of being embarrassed about and apologetic for mistakes, I love them. I see a new thought process in many of them.
My holiday request of Mr. C was a spinning lesson. Without knowing this, Jess offered to give up her Saturday and enter the retail hell the town we met in is. I won't be so cliche as to call it a Christmas miracle...but I may think it.