Sunday, August 05, 2007

Galina and Beth and Kate - OH MY!!

I had the BEST weekend!

I left work Thursday at lunch time and drove to Howell to Beth's shop, where preparations for Galina's workshop were well underway by Beth and Kate.

We tidied, we rearranged, and we squeezed as much teaching space out of the shop as was possible. It looked good. Galina and George came, and set up their things, and headed off to their hotel.

The we went out to dinner. That would be Beth, Kate, and me in this fantabulous restaurant Beth chose. There were really six of us, but I don't have a picture of Beth's awesome husband Lou, or of her 2 youngest kidlets on the other side of the booth.

Beth spoiled us both to nearly rotten (cuz we're not rotten yet!) with gift bags full of all sorts of goodies, including soap, eye masks (forever known hereafter as Sleeping Goggles), yarn, filber, and oh-so-much more! We oohed and aahed and felt almost guilty for being so shamelessly indulged by our hostess!!

After chocolate, giggles, and much getting to know each other in person, there was sleeping.

Bright and early the next morning, we were back at the shop for a day of Orenburg-style spinning. It's a totally different kind of spinning than I had ever tried before, and there was plenty of dropping of the supported spindle. Here's Kate succeeding at her first-ever successful spindle spinning! There had been a little wheel-spinning lesson Thursday night, and she was getting the hang of drafting, but she was an awesome quick learner! She made yarn!!!

We got to play with so many different fibers - yak, buffalo, cashmere, quiviut (only a tiny snippet), silk, blends, pygora... Galina's goal was to get us to find something we enjoyed spinning that we could get locally. All three of us took to the pygora, but Galina was out, so Beth sent me home with a little buffalo...Galina was incredible! She's so outspoken and direct. She has very firm opinions, and you better be prepared to hear them if you ask. I aspire to be as comfortable with myself and my beliefs as she is! (Sorry for the unflattering picture! My camera batteries were dead, and all of these were taken on my cell phone!!)

Friday night Kate and Beth and I stayed overnight in the shop. (Isn't it almost a fiber fantasy?? To sleep overnight in a fiber shop? To go to sleep surrounded by wool fumes and sheepy goodness???) There was more chocolate, more gabbing, some spinning, and much fun.

By Saturday morning, we were getting a little slap-happy. Beth dug out a bag of random and somewhat damaged silk hankies and bells, and we played with stretching and spinning them. Kate even tried on a silk cap!

It fit perfectly.

All day Saturday was class on knitting an Orenburg-style shawl (it's not really an Orenburg shawl if it wasn't knitted in Orenburg, by a Russian, from an Orenburg goat.) It was wonderful. Galina would teach us something, then set us a task of knitting some, and the whole time we were knitting she would talk to us about Russia, herself, the knitting, the sheep, the knitters, and whatever else was in the conversation at that moment. It was a very interactive class. Worth every penny.

And to sum up:
Beth. In the total ecstasy that is the Orenburg cashmere.


Beth said...

I look like I'm on some kind of drugs - maybe too much chocolate.

Kate A. said...

We can attest that it was nothing more than pure, unadulterated Orenburg goat down that did that to you...

Is that better, or worse?


historicstitcher said...

It might be worse! To have been that affected by a goat??

Just kidding, Beth! I love that picture, mostly because I know how luscious it is to pet the Orenburg knitting...