Spiraling Notions


Insubordiknit Spinning Workshop

Insubordiknit Spinning Workshop
Princeton, New Jersey

Please note: you may think that some of my pictures are blurry... but you’re wrong. That is just time itself trying to compensate for Jacey’s spinning awesome-ness!

I was lucky enough (to be annoying enough) to get Jacey Boggs to agree to a New Jersey Workshop here in Princeton. The workshop was this past weekend, April 21 and 22. I can’t speak for everyone, although I’m going to anyway, and say it was a blast. There was fiber and wheels flying everywhere. It was one of the coolest things I have ever gotten to do. I met amazing ladies and learned a lot. And I do mean a lot. It is only when an advanced spinner (and by advanced I mean anyone spinning for 10 minutes more than me) or expert points out that you have been doing something “wrong” for the past two years that you learn and move onto more effective spinning.

I still feel like I got away with something because I was able to obtain a room at my husbands office they use as a Conference/Community Room at no cost to the workshop. Here is a picture of it before we got our weird fibrous fingers on it.

After the workshop though, the angelina was everywhere and I do mean everywhere. It is still probably there because I could not get some of it out. (snicker, snicker - I can see some professional meeting after us and all the participants leaving with glittery butts. It brings me joy.)

Day one covered a lot & day two covered even more. We did Core spinning, Cocoons, Coils, Beehives, Super Coils, and more. Here are some photos:


Joe-Bob (who’s really Robert by the way) fixing the air conditioning because it had the misfortune of sounding like a wounded animal throughout most of the first day.

Discussions on tasty soldiers...

Spinning Ladies!

Ah, yes, and here we come to the fiber table. These are the batts & combed top that Jacey brought for the class to use while learning the techniques. See that fabulous orange batt in the lower left corner... I covet that batt.

Some of Jacey’s example yarns.

And a close up of the heavily coveted batt, sigh. When it was my turn to get one I almost hip checked someone like a grandma christmas shopping at wall-mart.


Here is my sitting post outside the door. It’s not because I was bad, I just needed to make sure everyone got back in after lunch.

Jacey talking about how the outer wraps interact with the core in core spinning.

Spinning Ladies!

Discussion on how the inner core affects the yarn you are core spinning.

This one is Jacey warping time & space or it could be that I had the camera on the wrong setting. I prefer the former because it sounds much better and physics are involved.

Evil, Evil, Sadistic Cocoon/Beehive demonstration.

Here is the “class photo” with all the ladies in the workshop.



Dear Lord,

I have received three yarn catalogs and umptyfour email “newsletters” in two days. I can barely stand it. Don’t these people understand how weak willed I am? Perhaps they do understand and that is why the constant barrage of email sales and direct mail catalogs seem never ending. Well these pushers have another thing coming, I am determined. I will not be swayed! My course of abstention is resolute and unshakable. I am not going to submit to their temptations...

OOOOH look at that one...

Never mind.

Sorry to have disturbed you.


Best Yarn Tool Ever

This is the greatest yarn tool ever.

I have started using my kids Bilibo constantly. In fact I use it so much I had to buy another one. The bowl is fantastic for keeping yarns in place and there are two holes that are great for plying. You can use it upside down or right side up and then throw everything in it and move to another room...

I am constantly using this thing...

Lorna's Laces

So I did a little digging. I started to get really angry about the costs of yarns. I just could not understand, and still don’t, why someone would charge the amount they do for yarns - hand dyed or otherwise. Lorna’s Laces has no real details on their site about who they are and who does there work. Knit Picks has some vague reference to “good works” and “politically correct” terminology on their site... (and as far as I am concerned that should make it clear where their products come from).

But again - Lorna’s being about double the cost. Who are they? Who does their work? Where does their yarn come from?

I asked.

They told me.

And while I am still gonna grumble at the costs I feel a whole hell of a lot better about buying from them now that I know who they are and what they are about.

Great Expectations, um yeah...


I started knitting socks. I am really annoyed about this for a number of reasons, actually. Although they are nice to wear around and if the pattern is simple you can bring them anywhere. But they are a pain in the ass. For the amount of time you spend on one pair of socks you probably could have knit an afghan for a king sized bed.

And don’t get me started on sock yarn... too late!

I am disenchanted with spending 20-30$ on 4 ounces of yarn when the make up is identical to every other yarn out there. That is to say: 80% wool 20% nylon... But this is special nylon that was hand spun by Peruvian temple virgins and came from the elusive nylon goat native to the slopes of Macchu Picchu and can only be harvested at 8pm on the spring solstice every four years. And each goat has its own personal masseuse following it through the mountain trails to make sure the resulting nylon is exceptional... oh wait nylon comes from wood chips and vegetable waste... made in a factory from digested sludge.

But apparently this nylon/wool combination is from exceptional sludge.

I went a bit off-the-handle and bought about 10 skeins of sock yarn so that I could satisfy my current binge. It got a package from Knit Picks - the enemy - with 5 different Stroll Tonals. And from JimmyBeansWool, I decided on Lorna’s Laces shepherd sock yarn. Upon arrival I instantly tore into the packages and closely examined my 10$ skeins and comparing them with the 24$ skeins... aside from the label there does not seem to be much of a difference in quality... and really, both labels were made of paper...

But then Lorna’s Laces is Kettle Dyed, by hand, right...? OOOOhhhh. Well so is the Knit Picks stuff, apparently by hand as well. Course that hand is probably also an unpaid peruvian child... but then again... maybe Lorna’s is too... Their website is a tad obscure about such things. Don’t get me wrong. This is not an advertisement for Knit Picks. It is an exhaustive missive about yarn snobbery. What makes this child-labor-violating-animal-cruel yarn better than this non-fair-trade-slum-originating-hand-dyed?

I only wish I had the balls to add an extra 10$ to my yarn because I sneezed near the dye pot while I was in the kitchen.