Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bending the rules with Carol Rhoades

“Bend the rules, play with it and have fun,” is Carol Rhoades parting advice to the Illinois Prairie Spinners who gathered in Wheaton for a workshop. Carol showed us how to “take our yarn in new directions” and we spent the whole day experimenting/bending basic techniques like carding, whether we spin S or Z, and more. She walked us through experiments with these spinning basics so we can create the kind of yarn we need for a project.

Hand outs included a big zip lock bag full of fun and interesting fibers—including cashmere! We used many of them during the workshop, and I’ll be playing with the balance for the next few weeks. This will give me a chance to carry on the experiments Carol encouraged us to do.

As for me, I might actually know how to spin cotton! And one of the keys is that she showed me how to improve my hand carding technique so I could do it in a gentler, less energetic way. I don’t card wool by hand much anymore, but I think it would be a good way to process cotton. I’m still trying to decide if I like cotton punis or rolags better.
Carol also showed us how to put more air into our rovings as we spun (as well as the opposite of putting less air). She is shown demonstrating this in the picture below. That was one technique I enjoyed trying—okay, I enjoyed ALL of the techniques.

Yes, the rumors are true, Carol Rhoades does have you CUT FIBER as part of a carding exercise. I was so overcome with shock that my hands weren’t steady enough to snap a picture of her doing this—so I can’t prove it. You will need to sign up for one of her workshops instead. Just a hint: if you don’t like scissors, you might be better off combing/flicking really long staple length fibers.

Since it was an all day workshop, we also had a great lunch arranged by our workshop coordinator Jane Plass. She ordered in from a really good deli and the food was excellent! I’m looking forward to our next workshop.
Join me next week (and for Sundays to come), as I follow Carol’s advice to “bend the rules, play with it and have fun.” Thank you for visiting my blog!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Your reporting on the workshop sounds so very intersting! Looking forward to reading more!