Sunday, July 13, 2008

All hail The Facilitator

I've been thinking a lot lately on the nature of enabling. And, generally speaking, I've decided that in my life it hasn't always been such a good thing (perhaps this can be discussed another time; I have more important, fibrous, matters on my mind today). I have also decided that it is a different thing to facilitation. While enabling often "helps" people to do what the enabler thinks they ought to do, or ought to want to do, facilitation seems to be more about being available to help with what the facilitated person actually wants to do. It's more about the desires of the facilitated, while enabling is more about the desires of the enabler. Discuss. (Kidding.)

Therefore, this post is dedicated to a facilitator par excellence (hi, Stella!). Thanks to her, I came home close to three pounds of fiber richer, and with a new wheel to boot. Look at this beautiful Pipy she found for me.
She had it all taken apart and wrapped up, and had put together the most amazing set of instructions, with pictures of the wheel at each stage of assembly (as an added side benefit, having spent time putting this baby together, I know have a much better understanding of the inner workings of wheels). I've been spinning on it all week (this is from the first session, I'm on the second bobbin of this fiber now),
and I love the way it feels. Among other very nice features, this wheel has little weights inset on it, so that it always resets at the right position to start treadling. How nice is that? And it came with eight bobbins. Eight. I feel rich, and very spoiled, in the best possible way.

Of course, a wheel without fiber is no fun, but Stella had that covered, too, in the form of 500 gms of undyed merino, and another 200 gms of black merino, and some lovely fiber that turned out (to both of our great pleasure) to be a merino/silk blend.
I know it's hard to see there, but there's enough of the unbleached merino to make a sweater. I'm not sure I can spin that much evenly enough right now, but soon...soon... I'm thinking maybe a real, live Aran? Or maybe I'll spin it and get someone with more color talent than I to dye it before I knit it up. The possibilities are endless. And I'm completely in love with the black. I have fantasies of plying it with the Jacob fiber that I got from our famer's market, which is a heathered blend of black and white; between the two, this might also be enough fiber for a sweater. We'll see...

Then, when we went to Touch, I had to get some yarn, right?
On the left is a merino/alpaca laceweight; I know it's hard to see, but it's got little bits of purple and green in it, and is wonderfully subtle. It has very little halo, so it's going to show up lacework beautifully. In the middle is a merino/alpaca blend boucle. Now, boucle is not generally my style at all (can't get the accents to show up on that word as they should), but I saw it knitted up, and it was so crisp and light that I thought I'd try to make a light cardigan for work out of it. And on the right is a merino/possum blend (I was in New Zealand -- I had to try at least one skein of possum, right?) that is destined to be mitts and maybe a hat for Rick. I figure this should keep me busy for quite a while.

Especially when added to this.
I bought all of those at Ashford. They're all merino/silk blends. Are they not absolutely stunning? The orange one on the right is not a color I generally wear, but it was so cheerful (just like orange sherbet) that I was incapable of leaving it behind. I might just keep it like that and pet it when I'm having a hard day.

So, I do believe that the New Zealand stash enhancement went well; thanks in no small part to Stella's facilitation, I got a wonderful mix of fibers and yarns, all of which are right up my alley and each of which will be used (it makes me fretful to buy things that I don't have some kind of planned use for). I figure I now have enough spinning fiber to keep me busy for a while, and since spinning increases the yarn stash in the long run, I have plenty of knitting fiber to keep me busy as well. The only hard part is deciding, when I do have free time (lol), whether to spin or knit. There are far worse decisions to have to make, eh?


the boogeyman's wife said...

lovely yarn and fiber! i like knowing what i'll make with something before i buy it too - even if i end up doing something else with it.

Anne said...

Facilitating! I like that. I'll use it, for sure, when I go with friends to WEBS ... and that orange is just delicious. No way could you leave it behind. Just curious, though--did Older Daughter have any input on the fiber stash enhancement? When I go anywhere near my LYS with either one of my girls in tow I come home with materials and patterns for THEM. Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Facilitator/Enabler: the important thing is that we get what we need.

Spin the roving, knit an Aran.

Juno said...

Oh, that's a lovely wheel. Does that make - TWO?

And i have been told that spinning a sweater's worth of something is the way to BECOME a consistent spinner. I haven't quite made it myself, but committing to a large amount of something has made me better, that a bit of this and a bit of that.

Though that's fun too.

Willow said...

Definitely facilitation! I think I want a friend to 'facilitate' for me, to remind me that I must help the economy and keep yarn and fiber shops in business!

All that fiber goodness! I am hopelessly, helplessly, horribly envious!

Kelley said...

As I suspected, you got some beautiful stash enhancements. The rovings are so pretty I can only imagine how soft they must feel. And there is nothing wrong with keeping the orange around just for petting purposes...we all need something a little bright in our lives.

Anonymous said...

Facilitating for sure! Lovely Wheel, beautiful fibers and yarns too!
One small question, where did you put all this with the very limited luggage one is allowed these days? Curious me :)

EGunn said...

Wow. That is some serious facilitation. The fiber and wheel are beautiful!

Nana Sadie said...

Ooohhhh! And I won't be "enabled" into spinning, but ohhhh!!! Pretty! And the wheel is a work of art!

Rachael said...

Sounds like an amazing trip & look at the goodies you brought home - fantastic!!

Anonymous said...

I just kept drooling more and more as I read further. That alpaca/merino stopped me in my tracks before you even described it.

The wheel is sweet, too, but I am trying my best to avoid getting bitten by the spinning bug, so I will appreciate it in the abstract. Please do not facilitate a spinning inoculation for me.

Marianne said...

Yowza! Congratulations on your new wheel, she's a beauty! and ooooooh, that fibre, and yarn, of course you needed that orange, and absolutely you had to bring home some 'possum... which tickles me considerably :^)