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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Hansen E-spinner Retreat

I flew into Seattle on July 4 at night a was treated to fireworks blooming on the city!

I sat next to a handsome young Australian and learned that Australia still has a draft, but also that the military are not supposed to wear their uniforms off base.  I guess it makes them targets.  In the light of the recent senseless murder of 4 unarmed Marines, I ponder how we got to these times and how do we get out of it.  About 22 vets commit suicide every day as well.  Perhaps it's the muggy weather that makes me dwell on such serious topics.

So, on to my summer adventure. These not so little rascals( Bonnie, Toni and Rudy) live with Jan, a classmate from high school.  Bonnie did not bark as much this time.  Perhaps it was because I gave her treats.
She has the best of both worlds, living close to the city all the amenities it brings but also living in her own private forest.  Seattle was having record high temps but at least it cooled down at night.

I took the Rocket Shuttle from the airport to the Bishop Victorian in Port Townsend.  This worked out very well and I would recommend that service.  The shuttle goes south  around Puget Sound  back north to Port Townsend.  It drives over the Hood Canal.


The Bishop Victorian  is a quaint hotel in and equally quaint town.

It has no elevator so I'm happy I was on the second floor.  That's my room above the flag. My room even had a kitchen.  The hotel kindly provides ear plugs to ward off the sound of screaming seagulls.  Some idiot decided after dark to set off a firecracker which woke them all up, so I was prepared!

I had two days of intense spinning with a very knowledgeable spinner, Judith MacKenzie.  She is a wonderful storyteller as well.  I'm still thinking the "silkworm tickler" job is urban legend although she swears it is a true occupation.  The ticklers cannot drink and must be celibate.  After the worms have eaten to the point they are ready to go to sleep and spin their cocoon, the ticklers stroke them with a feather and wake them up so the can eat more and get even fatter, and spin more silk.
I learned how to take apart my woolee winder, clean it and put it back together.  Judith provided many different fibers for us to practice on. I got out her book, The Intentional Spinner, when I got home and it made a lot more sense.

A few things I learned:
1.  Winding a ball toward your heart puts in right twist and away from your heart puts in left twist. Left =S twist for sinister. 
2.  It's best to know what project you want to spin for,  so you can select the right fiber, the right fiber prep,  and the right spinning technique.  I'm still in the reactive spinning mode. 
3.  Adjust the wheel for diameter control.  Adjust take-up or tension(side button on e-spinner) or pulley size to make the yarn thicker.  To spin finer, take tension off your wheel (cross-lace flyer), or reduce pulley size.  If spinning woolen, slow down long draw to allow more twist into the web and make the single thicker.  
Kevin Hansen gave the group a guided tour of his factory in Port Townsend.  I was so impressed with how clean it was!  He has many fascinating machines that are computer operated and dedicated to certain jobs.  
Judith MacKenzie says she can do all her spinning on the e-spinner, except for paper.  I get the feeling she prefers the jumbo and lace flyers for most of the spinning, She did not encourage me to buy them yet, just fool with the woolee winder for now.  I'm all for that.  I did buy two more bobbins and an orifice reducer.  Who knew I needed one of those?

I had fun walking around the town and some great food.  A very spicey Tom Yum at Asian Noodle, the best BLT at The Courtyard Cafe (called a BLAST), a nice ribeye with the best roasted cauliflower! at Sweet Laurette.  They make great breakfast as well.  

I found some yummy Berry Sangria tea at the Spice and Tea Shop downtown and the cutest rubber ducky tea ball.  It just made me happy.  Unfortunately the website is sold out of the tea, so I hope the shop in town responds to my email request.

 My friends and Magic picked me up and we rode the Edmonds Ferry back to Seattle. 


kbrow said...

A lady from our spinning guild just took a class with Judith at John C. Campbell Folk School. She gave a talk on her experiences; the class was on spinning for knitting, emphasizing knowing what you want to knit before you spin...planning involved!!!!

Looks like a wonderful trip. I am dazzled by how much you get around!!!

susanne said...

last time I saw any spinning going on it was this spring at my first yarn and fiber show. I do believe it is a relaxing hobby and it is hypnotizing as well. I have always thought that part of our country to be beautiful although I have never been west of the Mississippi River. Sounds like you had a nice visit. It sounds like the dogs enjoyed you too.
Susanne :)