Monday, July 13, 2015


Questions are a good thing, right? Well, since the advent of Facebook and the like, we can ask our fellow man anything and, more likely than not, get a lot of answers from a lot of people. I follow several groups on Facebook and on Ravelry (a site devoted to fiber) and there are lots of questions and lots of answers on both sites.

So, why is this a problem? Well, I think it is a problem on several levels. First, I have always believed that the more research that I do before I ask a question, the better my question will be and the more likely that I'll understand the answer. This served me well in my career as a Legal Nurse Consultant where I was often confronted with complex medical issues and had to find an expert to address the issue, potentially in court. If I understood a little more, I had a much easier time grasping the answers and even better, knowing when the answer that I was getting was just wrong.

That leads me to the second problem in failing to research before asking; not all who answer are right. I see this a whole lot in the forums on Ravelry and on Facebook. Folks ask a question and they get a lot of uninformed answers. When I first started spinning, I couldn't understand ratios as they apply to spinning wheels. A total mental block actually and I could have asked a million times and wouldn't have understood the answer. So, instead of asking I just kept spinning and kept reading. I read something spinning related every day; it is habit now and I learn something new all the time. I like to listen to other spinners too. I learn a lot that way as well.

And that is the third benefit to researching before asking. You need to find out who the experts really are. As a Legal Nurse Consultant, I accomplished that by reading the relevant literature, noting who wrote seminal papers, book chapter or whatever on the topic at hand and I called them first. The same holds true in the fiber world. There are experts out there and I'd rather get an answer from them than an opinion from non-expert.

 No, there aren't spinning police or knitting police or any other kind of fiber police who tell us that things must be done a certain way, and yes, questions really are great. But, I believe that to get the best information, you need to do some homework yourself so you can ask the right question from the proper source. Even better, you'll be better equipped to differentiate between good and bad information and opinion and fact.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

1st Annual Vermont Fleece Sale

The Vermont Sheep and Wool Association held the first fleece sale last weekend. I (and the DH) had fun! First, Randolph, VT seems like a great town and has made the short list for our retirement. There are fiber people there and there's even a fiber mill there owned by a super nice young man!! What more? Mountains! Farms! A cool little town center. Close to Montpelier. 

Anyway, the sale was held in an old red schoolhouse on the campus of Vermont Technical College. There weren't a ton of fleeces but more than enough to have fun picking out a couple that I didn't need. And the prices were amazing; the Border Leicester was only $19.00. Best, 90% of the sales go back to the farmer. I'll be there next year. And, yes, I forgot to take pictures when I was there but here is the fleece eye candy (the white is BL and the gray, Romney).: