Fibrearts with Actual People: Better than Youtube!

IMG_6615For those who know me, this may sound strange, but it has been so hard for me to meet other fibre artists in my community.
I have spent the past number of years learning my craft from Youtube and books.  I have a few friends who knit/crochet and I often ask them out for coffee or to come over for a visit to chat and play with yarn but we’re all busy so get togethers are rare.
I am so much more creative when I’m socializing and sharing ideas.
For an extrovert, though, I somehow find myself having a hard time taking that first step and meeting NEW people in the community.
Perhaps it’s because I still doubt my skills.  Maybe it’s because I feel kind of nerdy and awkward….but it has been a struggle.
In the past few weeks however, things have started to turn around!

A couple of weeks ago, I visited the Purple Purl on Queen St East in Toronto ON for their knit night.  It was my first time actually attending a knit night in a shop and I had a fabulous time.
The week before, I had wandered in to purchase some yarn as their knit night was getting started.  The group already sitting round the space was so friendly and so welcoming.  They encouraged me to return the next week, so I did!
This is the only picture I took of the evening, mainly because it was spent knitting and chatting.  Awesome experience and I hope to be back there this week 🙂  Thanks so much to the group for the encouragement!
A week later, I headed up to Kitchener ON to visit an old friend of mine, Scary Kerri of Black Orchid Designs.  We have been friends for over 15 years but hadn’t seen each other in quite some time due to conflicting schedules and distance.
Kerri taught me to sew and we generally get incredibly creative every time we’re together.  This past weekend was no exception.  It resulted in me creating my very first freeform crochet project…but that will be explained in a future post.
So, due to my successful experiences with Kerri and at the Purple Purl, I found myself spinning with some lovely ladies at Gemini Fibres in Mount Albert, ON this past Saturday for a good part of the day.
My experience at the Purl gave me some confidence, but the additional piece was that I was invited to the Gemini Fibres spin-in by a regular who saw me crocheting at a viola concert downtown and took the time to come and say hi.  (Never underestimate the power of fibre arting in public!  You meet amazing people that way!)
Gemini Fibres is a lovely shop with an amazing choice of books and roving.  (Oh and the looms!  I can’t not mention the fantastic table looms and spinning wheels that were available!)  Tanis, the owner, was incredibly warm and welcoming.  I felt comfortable the moment I arrived.
So, on Saturday, I sat in a circle with 6 other women and we spun for four hours.  I hadn’t been spinning much recently and it was so incredibly relaxing and fun to get back into it!
For the first time, it wasn’t just me, my spinning wheel and youtube.  Instead, I was sitting with actual people, which I much prefer!
I asked questions and got some advice on techniques.  It was a 50 minute drive to get there but it was well worth it!

I took a few shots of the gorgeous yarn being spun.  The two pictures above are of the same roving spun over time.  Kept changing, but it was always so bright and colourful!  Would love to see it knitted up.
This gorgeous purple variegated roving was being spun by the lady who invited me to the group (Thank you!).
I didn’t manage to get a close up of the spun yarn, but I was in love with the bucket of wee little rolags.
She told me that she rolled them around a thicker set of knitting needles.  Definitely going to try that.  My rolags work well but are always long and unwieldy.
One of my hand carded rolags
I was still working on my red/turquoise blend which I blogged about before and I got quite a bit done on Saturday.
About to run out of red though so I plan to 2-ply the yarn I have spun and then move on to a new project…
New roving that I purchased at Gemini Fibres on Saturday!
These last three weeks have been so incredibly inspiring.
Thanks so much to all those I have met so far in my knit and spin circles!  Looking forward to many more!

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