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Yarn School

There is a school for yarn, I kid you not.  I have recently returned from my pilgrimage to The Harveyville Project Yarn School.

My effort in Dye Lab.

My effort in Dye Lab.

Imagine, if you will, a summer camp full of adults doing all the naughty things kids can only dream of…  Late nights, indulgent food, our favorite activities, all the friends at which a person could shake a drop spindle.  Cookies, cheese, booze and sheep.  You can’t swing a ball of yarn at Yarn School without hitting a small clutch of people laughing, talking and creating.

Yarn School is perhaps best described as a small spinning retreat hosted in the Harveyville, KS school-turned-residence-sometimes-camp owned and operated by Nikol Lohr. 

The spirit of Yarn School can be seen in this bathroom decor.

The spirit of Yarn School as seen in bathroom decor.

I went to a place for spinning and I don’t spin.  Much.  I certainly didn’t (erm, things might have changed when I fell, swiped my credit card and bought a Fricke) own a spinning wheel.  Yarn School for the uninitiated can be a bit intimidating.  There is a bit of a cult following here – people who have been to many, many previous Yarn School weekends.  When one walks into the old gymnasium there is a circle of spinning wheels whirring contentedly while their operators chat merrily.

I was at a loss.

That didn’t last.  Once I got over the chilly temps in the “Seven Dwarfs Room” where I was sleeping, once I acclimated to dinner at 10pm, once I let go and got okay with no schedule that was easily discernible I learned to LOVE Yarn School.  People cared.  They asked why I wasn’t spinning.  They offered to let me try their wheels.  They helped.  One lovely attendee even sang at me once I’d made my first yarn.  I had my own personal sound track and I loved it.

There was dyeing with Adrian Bizilia of Hello Yarn.  There were alpaca courtesy of Alpaca of Wildcat Hollow.  There were bunnies thanks to Little Angora House on the Prairie.  But really there was just a tiny fiber of life, plied tightly with people who had found their place and dyed with the experience of a lifetime.

*cough* So, in a couple of weeks you might be seeing a post on my new spinning wheel.  What can I say?  I’m a sheep.

The sheep of Cupcake Ranch (the Harveyville Project herd) are a delight.

The sheep of Cupcake Ranch (the Harveyville Project flock) are a delight.

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Stashdown 2012 status report

I did it. I’m proud. A bit tired (no, not really). Very much surprised.

I promised to use up at least 7 out of my 10 different winter yarns. It happened, actually, I used up 8, in 16 different projects. osszeall2Strangely enough my stash refused to shrink significantly, due to some accidental or even planned purchases. But the composition of the said stash got much better, there are more hanks from each type of yarn, and overall, the yarn is younger, less depot-like, and that was the aim of the whole project: to have a more useful stash that can provide real choices.

I am so very proud. Not only that I performed my promise, but also that I enjoyed the process. I chose projects for the yarns instead chosing yarns for projects, but I successfully avoided compromises. Most of the time. I just dont want to talk about that vest-thingy, let’s just pretend it never happened.

Now I’ll have to decide on my 2013 stashbusting goals. Summer yarns need some serious re-organisation too, I’m afraid. I think, this system will work for me, to appoint 10 yarns and try to make something out of them. It leaves enough moving space to buy some yarn when necessary, but it would also help to maintain circulation and avoid letting yarn sit in stash for ages.

It’s like all other big circles of life, yarn comes and goes and all we have to do is ride the waves and keep ballance. How poetic.