Last year I had a lovely day out at the knitting and stitching show organized by Twisted Thread so I was looking forward to this years one. I was planning to go on Thursday and meet up with some ravelry friends but alas I was struck down with a cold. I recovered enough to go to the show on Sunday. It seemed to be a good idea as the crowds weren't so bad and I got to meet a friend there too. There was a corner of the show with bargain bags of wool so she dove in and got a bargain on some lovely Rowan. I'm glad I didn't pass that stall later in the day as I'm sure there were fights breaking out as ole wans fought it out over the last few bargain bags of Sirdar Crofter.
There was much to see in the show and there were less irrelevant stalls this year. Although I'm not sure what was going on with the man who was demonstrating mops. Were they thinking it's a craft show so there will be lots of women there and they like cleaning? He wasn't getting much attention as This Is Knit's fabulous stall was across the way with plenty to distract any passing shopper from the joys of mops and cleaning. There were many Irish based shops exhibiting this year with The Yarn Room having a much bigger stand this time. Stephanie who runs this shop is such a lovely lady so I hope she did well. I convinced my friend's friend to buy a bag of merino for felting from her. The Feltmakers Ireland stand convinced her to take up the hobby so I can't be blamed for that. Lola Rose were there with some yummy Colinette yarn, I thought the mohair was especially lovely.
Texere stall. They had lots of fiber and thread, dyed and undyed. The guy on their stand was very nice and helpful too. I got some glitter thread for plying and wrapping yarn, some lovely dyed silk noil fiber and some guanaco fiber. A guanaco is an alpaca relative with lovely soft hair. The bag from Texere was quite cheap so it may not be exceptional quality but hey it's worth it just to try it out.
I had an interesting conversation with another shopper at the stand who was also buying guanaco. She looked at me askance when I said I intended to spin it on a spindle. She seemed quite shocked that someone with a spinning wheel would even think of using a spindle. She also stated that as the guanaco was a short staple length fiber it would have to be blended before it was spun. I attempted to explain that I'd seen a good article about how you needed to spin really fast to draft short stuff like guanaco. Spindles are great for spinning fast and for spinning fine, even though I'm not a great spinner yet I can spin much finer on my spindle than I can on my wheel. Tahkli style spindles are always recommend for spinning cotton, cashmere and guanaco type fibers. People don't generally believe you when you say this and the lady I was talking to didn't seem to either. It's a pity really, I think lots of people have it in their head that wheels are the only way to spin and that spindles are inferior and fiddly and difficult.
That isn't true. Spindles are cool and people have been using them since we became people pretty much. Abby Franquemont has a wonderful article here about the history of spinning and why people shouldn't lose the ability to spin. When you have a small amount of a luxury fiber I think it makes more sense to spin it on a spindle. I think you'll get more value out of it as you'll learn more about spinning it and challenge yourself. Spinning these days isn't about speed and making yarn quickly because if you don't you won't have clothes. It's a hobby and done for pleasure. Wheels are great but they're not the be all and end all, there's a whole world of spindle spinning out there to master.