This year has been a whirlwind so far and the last two weeks just continued the crazy busy.   I’m writing this post from my comfortable bed and that’s were several of the photos were taken just moments ago.  But I can’t wait any longer to tell you what’s been going on.
The first week in May we flew off to Salt Lake City for the oldest daughter’s graduation.

 Brittney left home at the tender age of 18 and started her college career at Southern Virginia University. About a year and a half later she transferred to Brigham Young University in Provo Utah.  She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English with a Philosophy minor.

She immediately began to pursue her Master’s Degree at the University of Utah.  On May 6th she walked in her graduation ceremony and after one more class this summer will have her Master’s degree in Secondary Education.  There is some more beautiful title for what she has but I can’t ever remember it.  All I can say is that she’s worked hard and I am very proud of her.

The last week of June we will again be flying to Salt Lake City to see her married to a fantastic guy who we already love.  Here are a couple of their engagement photos.

 They look very happy and are so cute together.  Something else that is an interesting tidbit is that Brittney is wearing 5 inch heals in these photos.  Mark is very tall.  VERY TALL! We like him anyway.

So, we flew back home on Sunday the 8th.  I repacked and packed up the car and off I went on Monday morning for the Spinning Loft Spring Retreat at Pheasant Field Bed and Breakfast in Carlisle Pennsylvania.
Here’s a bit of a blog post from the owner of the inn.

 Here are all of the spinners except the two I couldn’t fit.  We were studying the spinning of laceweight yarns each morning.

Each afternoon we were instructed by the fabulous Anne Hanson of Knitspot fame.  We were doing an advanced lace class with her.  She did a couple of really nice blog posts about the retreat.  She’s a fabulous blogger.
Here’s what I have to say about class with her.  Anne is a really great teacher.  Enough instruction, enough practice time, lots of samples and demonstrations.  I loved her class and I think everybody else felt the same.  I came home with no knitting done as I was having trouble focusing and had to rip it out but I learned a lot.
One running theme in the spinning and the knitting parts of the day was the importance of sampling and swatching to make good decisions.  Anne brought a portion of her swatch library.  the library brought home even further the importance of swatching.  She had swatches that were the same needle size, the same gauge, same size yarn but they looked so different from one to the other.  Swatching not only can help us get gauge but can give us other information about the fabric we will be making.  I have, in the past, done just the size swatch that I felt I needed to get a measurement of gauge but will from now on be making the full 5×5 inch swatch so I can feel the drape of the fabric and see how the yarn acts and how it spreads or contracts or has dimension or lays flat.
On to the next topic!

I got a sidekick to play with.  There have been some delays as one of the pulleys needs to be changed so the drive band doesn’t pop out when using the large whorl.  This wheel that I have in my hands has the original pulley that may cause trouble and so I will need to change that out eventually.  In the mean time there has been spinning.
This is 4 ounces of Corriedale naturally dyed by Pico Accuardi.  It will be a light worsted weight yarn when I ply it.  The spinning on the Sidekick was lovely.  The treadling feels very much like my Matchless and the wheel is very stable on most surfaces.  I love it very much and will be dragging it everywhere with me from now on.  It folds pretty easily with a few practice tries.  It sets up even easier.  I love it. LOVE IT!
Also while in Pennsylvania we visited a little yarn shop in downtown Carlisle called the Yarn Garden.  I haven’t bought any yarn in a very long time but there was some yarn that screamed at me in this little shop.

 It’s 100% silk singles.  I got a pattern recommendation from Anne and ran with it. It’s the Neckdown Summer Cardigan from Knitting Pure and Simple.  It’s a perfect pattern because this year will not get any less busy and so I will need some simple mindless knitting with some very lovely yarn.

And finally:

 I have a very lovely and thoughtful friend.  It helps to know people.  I don’t know why she loves me but it is mutual. First I got a paper/plastic cover advance copy of the book I have been so excited about for more than a year.  Then today a hard cover copy.  I am just as in love with this book as I thought I would be.  It’s big. 438 pages including the index.  It’s hard cover.  It’s affordable (just $35). It’s full of color pictures and swatches and all of the info you ever wanted about different animal fibers.  Mostly sheep but there are also goats and camelids and bison and bunnies and more.  This is a book that EVERY spinner should own.  I don’t say that about every book.  But this one!

preorders and have some sampler packages that go with it if you want to play.  Until then, if you want to come in and paw mine I will allow it:-)

And now for a bit of bragging:

That’s me.  Beth Pink Smith in the donors and supporters list.  Listed with the likes of Cat Bordhi and Nancy Bush and Abby Franquemont.

And then, when you look at the Acknowledgements, there I am again! I am honored to be included here. As I have written before on this blog, I love Deb Robson and admire her greatly and to have a bit of a mention in her book makes me squeal a little bit.

Now I will sleep a bit before I tackle a huge list of things to do tomorrow.

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