Ragtag rolags.

I made rolags today!

Actually, I made rolags and then made other stuff from the rolags, but let me back up.

Another item I came across yesterday in The Great Office Reorganization of 2017 was the blending board that Dale made for me a few years ago.

Back in 2013, my friend Kim and I went to the Midwest Fiber and Folk Festival near Chicago. We were sharing a booth. She sold her handmade soap, and I sold my handdyed spinning fiber. It was a wonderful time, and occasionally, one of us would wander around from booth to colorful booth checking things out while the other manned our station. On one of my jaunts, I saw something I had never seen before: a blending board. A woman was doing a demonstration of one, showing how you can make these long, skinny batts of spinning fiber using something other than a drum carder.

I was sold. Well, except that I wasn’t because those suckers cost, like, $300. I mean, I own two spinning wheels; I’m not above dropping a big chunk of change on a fiber tool. That price tag just didn’t seem to match what I was seeing. So I came home and told the husband about it. We found a decent DIY how-to online (I would link to it, but I don’t remember which one it was), and he agreed to do it.

He’s a keeper. I know.

Yep, that’s a cutting board with a carding cloth tacked to it. Also pictured here are the knitting needles I used instead of dowel rods—and a dog brush that I tried to use as a burnishing brush, but nope, that didn’t work.

I tried to use this board once a few years ago, and I don’t know what I did wrong, but it didn’t work. And that was during a rough time, which has only recently subsided, when I felt like I was so busy I couldn’t do anything other than be a teacher and work on graduate school.

Well, today, I mended things between me and the ol’ blending board.

I got into my newly organized closet and the newly organized spinning fiber tub, and out came these.

That’s undyed merino, brightly dyed mohair locks, and a mystery bag that I think might contain a silk hanky. I also mixed in a handful of the merino/tencel from Fiber Optic.

What I didn’t take a picture of was the blending.

I was spraddle-legged in the floor with the blending board, and fiber was flying every which way. I was having so much fun that I didn’t think to snap any pictures. However, you can watch this video to see more or less what I did. It’s what I, myself, watched this morning to brush up on blending technique.

Here’s what the blending yielded!

For that first photo up top, I coiled them into neat little buns, but this is what they looked like when I pulled them off the needles rods.

I immediately started spinning.

As I spun, I listened to Brené Brown’s talk “The Power of Vulnerability.” Over the course of the last year, I have been listening to snippets of it here and there. Part of what I heard today was about creativity and play.

She says that creativity is making something that never existed before.

 And that sharing it requires us to be vulnerable.

And willingness to be vulnerable is the defining characteristic of people who live whole-heartedly.

She also referenced a quote about play, which is also so important for whole-hearted living. It said that play isn’t the opposite of work; it is the opposite of depression.

Brené Brown also mentioned Stuart Brown (no relation) and what he calls the properties of play. He says that play is time spent without purpose,

something that you don’t want to end,

and something during which you lose self-consciousness and all sense of time.

Today, I played.

Today, I was creative.


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