Thursday, April 22, 2021

Like riding a bicycle

 Monday I drove up to Sisters which is about a half hour north of Bend and met up with three other guild members in front of the public library.  From there we caravanned to Pine Meadow Ranch Center for Arts and Agriculture, which is a 260 acre working ranch.  Ana Varas, the arts projects coordinator of the Roundhouse Foundation gave us a tour with an eye on potential workshop locations.  We were recently a recipient of a grant from the foundation to promote the fiber arts.  The foundation takes its name from his round barn that was built to train and exercise horses.

Ana said that when they began restoration there was no central supporting pole and the structure was on the verge of collapse.  Because it's a working ranch, Oregon law limits groups inside this building to no more than ten.
The property is sprawling but interspersed are buildings in use for an artist-in-residence program.  Because of Covid-19 restrictions there are only two artists now, both potters, but they anticipate returning to their potential of eight after the pandemic.

This is one of the locations we looked at for a painted-warp workshop, but because of the lack of hot water for dissolving the eye powders, we determined it would be more appropriate for a spinning workshop.  it will be shaded by the canopy of cottonwoods this summer and ideal.

Whychus Creek runs through the property and will be the perfect environment for a spinning circle.
Ana really wanted us to take home a bag of fleece.  They're incorporating sheep into the ranch and she said they'd really like to see some of the wool spun and even better, woven.  So the three spinners among us obliged.  They have three Lincoln sheep and when we saw them bedded in straw, I cringed to think what was in the bag that I had accepted.  They're adding another 13 sheep to the flock soon which will also have to be shorn.  More wool!
I don't have a top loading washer any longer so have to wash clumps at a time in the sink.  I did a cursory skirting and am taking off more as I go.  It's one of the dirtiest fleeces I've ever washed, but it has almost none of the dreaded vegetative matter.  Glory be!
I'm flicking the locks and then spinning them which seems the easiest way to spin luster long wool, plus I'd like to preserve the variegations in the locks.  Boy is it hairy.  I can't imagine trying to weave this but I'll cross that bridge when I have a fulled two-ply yarn.  That might, just maybe get dyed with onion skins.  I've been away from spinning for a surprisingly long time and surprisingly my muscle memory can still make yarn.


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