Spinzilla, the week-long spinning contest sponsored by TNNA, was last week. I signed up to be part of the Storey Publishing Team (partly because I like the team leaders, Beth Smith and Jillian Moreno, and partly because I was hoping to get one of the sponsor prizes--yes, I admit it).
I know that the key to becoming a good spinner is regularly spinning. Duh. This contest gave me the spur I needed, and it did, indeed, work out as hoped (even if I didn't win a prize...). My long-set-aside goal of making a Fair Isle-from-scratch project is now significantly more likely to be met! I spun yards and yards of white, light gray, medium brown, and indigo-dyed Shetland rovings last week. I'd already spun the dark brown, so now on to the moorit. Soon I'll be ready to knit! If you want to monitor my progress on Ravelry, I've named this project Arrowhead County, after the mythical Alaskan home of Northern Exposure.
I took breaks from my spinning efforts to read a fantastic new book: In the Footsteps of Sheep: Tales of a Journey Through Scotland, Walking, Spinning, and Knitting Socks, by Debbie Zawinski (Schoolhouse Press). The author's goal makes mine look puny: "a journey around Scotland spinning and knitting the fleece of the Scottish sheep breeds in their native haunts." She made her way by bus, ferry, and foot, camping wherever a spot made it possible, gathering fleece from fence lines and hedges to spin yarn for socks that would commemorate her travels and the people she met along the way. "Sock wifie" used primitive tools to spin on her travels, making an armchair spinner take a hard look at what is needed and what isn't. In the Footsteps of Sheep includes several sock patterns, but the main joy of the book is the text and the photos. Maybe your goals are less broad, maybe you feel yourself a little stuck in your life--if you need permission to get a little wild, read this book.