Spin-ins bring large groups of spinners together in one place at one time and sometimes are held in unusual places. Thank you to the new editor for the Over the Wheel Gang (Texas) who sent news sharing the activities taking place over the hot summer. A highlight was the group’s field trip to hold a spin-in and luncheon in the shop named “Fiber Circle,” located in a one-hundred-year-old three-story building being restored on the square in Farmersville.
In Washington, the Whidbey Weavers’ Guild celebrated its 36th Annual Spin-in over two days in Oak Harbor. A lecture, workshop, and demonstration on spinning camelid fiber took place. Handspun was displayed in projects and skeins, with a popular vote cast for prizes.
In England, the Lincolnshire Guild held summertime spinning sessions at the Woodside Falconry & Conservation Centre in Newball (near Langworth).
In Western Australia, spin-ins are a common way to connect those living in far-flung locations. The Inaugural August Spinners & Weavers Inc. spin-in coincided with the opening of the whale-watch season. Held at the historic Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse where two oceans meet, whales were the theme for raffles, displays, and articles for sale. The Dianella Spinners held their biannual spin-in at the Craft House in Menora. Participants were asked to bring 8-inch knitted squares to be made into rugs for wheelchairs going overseas to accident victims. Projects of homespun yarn were awarded prizes in four categories for any article woven, knitted, crocheted, or felted. The Swan Valley Spin In took place in Baskerville Hall with a competition Scarf Tree. A small admission fee included morning and afternoon teas, lunch, demonstrations, raffles, and a door prize.
Meeting to spin can become an opportunity to combine talents and treats. In the middle of the Russian River vineyards, the Sonoma Fiber Trails Guild (California) sponsored a summer picnic under the oaks between grapevines and the riverbank at Westside Farms near Healdsburg. By the lake at the home of Gunnel Oresjo, a member of the Swedish Weavers group, twenty-one members of the Northern Colorado Weavers Guild picnicked, spun, knitted, and painted watercolors to celebrate the end of summer. The Loyalhannon Spinners of Westmoreland County did a sheep-to-shawl demonstration for the Living History Weekend at the Compass Inn in Laughlintown, Pennsylvania.
An intriguing twist on the traditional sheep-to-shawl competition was held at the annual conference of the Kansas Alliance of Weavers and Spinners (KAWS) hosted by the Topeka Handweavers Guild. The theme was “Outside the Box” and was reflected in the rules for the competition. Each team had two to four members, but members could be exchanged as often as desired. Warp had to be handspun and could be ready to thread on the loom, but the threading pattern was not passed out until the beginning of the contest. A dry run was suggested to practice threading and sleying the loom at the same time, in particular to check that handspun would fit through the heddles. To avoid losing time spent while plying weft, spinning a thick singles yarn was recommended. Shawls were awarded as door prizes.