End and Christmas

Tour de Fleece is over for 2015, and I actually met my goal! Even though it was only to spin for 15 minutes every single day, it’s the first time I’ve actually done it. Most days I spun between 45 minutes and 6 hours, but a couple of times it was only about 20 minutes. I got this done on the Trindles.

trindletds

I FINALLY finished the Spotted Circus yarn. Got 1,170 yards of heavy lace/light fingering and holy shit it’s drapey and soft.

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And because I had been spinning super fine short forward draw for so long, yesterday I broke out the Babydoll Southdown and spun long draw for about 90 minutes.

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I used the Reeves Norwegian for the first time and holy shit she spins like an absolute dream.

Friday went up to Kellyville for Fiber Christmas in July. I think I was remarkably restrained, even though Jim doesn’t think so. I got one fleece, a gorgeous mostly black Shetland/Border Leicester cross. I wanted a Gotland cross too, but someone else got him first. Maybe next year I’ll be able to snag the one I wanted.

Got this interesting braid of Montadale. It’s considered a meat breed, but it looked interesting and was only $15. Even if I can’t stand it, who cares. It’s experience with another breed.

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Got these four gorgeous shades of Jacob. It’s much softer than the other Jacob I’ve felt. I’ve got a couple of ideas on what I want to do, and with 4 ounces of each color I should be able to play as much as I want.

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I think I’m almost done with the Ashworth Scarf. I’ve done 20 cable crosses, and I think I’m going to stop after 21. Or maybe 23. I almost always prefer an odd number of repeats, and the idea of using a prime number pleases me for some reason.

Until next week. :)

Posted in Spinning, Stash Enhancement, Tour de Fleece | 1 Comment

Summer Finally Arrived

We had such a wet spring the temps were kind of cool. Not any more. It’s definitely summer. How else do I know it’s summer? I went to Camp. As always, it was a fabulous time. And like a dumbass, I forgot my camera. I thought about it while I was driving from Minneapolis to Marshfield. I wasn’t worried enough about it to go buy one.

Speaking of buying, this is the haul this year.

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The bag, one of the sock blanks, one hank of yarn, and the Boku were not Camp buys. The Boku was my contest prize and the two yarns I ordered before I left. Oh, and the contest entry. The theme this year was “If I Had Wings” so I put my Oklahoma smart ass on and made this little guy.

frog

Not the cat, the frog.

You do know the saying “If frogs had wings they wouldn’t bump their ass every time they move” right? If you don’t, you haven’t hung around rural Oklahoma enough. I came in something like 13th place, which was perfectly okay with me – I was just going for the laugh anyway.

I did a little bit of knitting on the Meridien, but haven’t taken a picture because there wasn’t enough progress to show. Most of the knitting I did was on the Ashworth scarf. This time you get a picture because I suspect you think I just keep showing the same one over and over.

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The space distance between the orange marker at the upper right and the needle is how far I’ve gotten since the last picture. I did finally make it into the third hank of yarn. Not sure exactly how much further I’m going to go.

Because it’s Tour de Fleece I did a whole lot of spinning while I was gone. This is an 80 wool/20 silk blend that’s been in my stash for years and years. I’ve got one Trindle full, plus this much on the second one.

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I’m pretty amazed at how thin it’s spinning.

And while we’re spinning, I FINALLY finished the singles of the Spotted Circus yesterday.

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And today after several hours of the most awkward feeling plying session I’ve ever done, I finally have it finished.

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Not terribly even lace weight, but I have no idea how much. It’s about 7 ounces worth, so there should be a whole lot of yardage. I’m done messing with it for today, and don’t think I’ll have time to skein it tomorrow. This is the penultimate spin for my 2015 Spin the Bin challenge. The last one is my Sheep to Shoe kit from Blue Moon, and I’m still thinking about exactly how I want to tackle it.

Welcome to Summer!

Posted in Camp, Finished Objects, Meridien, Scarves, Spin the Bin 2015, Spinning, Stash Enhancement, Tour de Fleece | 3 Comments

Almost Time

Today is Sunday. I leave for Camp on Wednesday. Yay!!!

Tour de Fleece started yesterday. I spent a few hours spinning on the Spotted Circus braid, then a couple more hours today.

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When I was looking at the specs for my gorgeous new Reeves I realized everything said the bobbins would hold 4 ounces. I didn’t think they looked that big, but decided to go ahead and see if I could fit the entire braid on one. I’m not finished with this one yet, but it’s clearly going to fit with no problem. Funny how sometimes we can eyeball things well and sometimes we can’t.

Just been a little knitting on the Ashworth, and I figure you’re all sick of seeing it by now. I probably won’t show it again until it’s done.

I broke open one of the braids of Malabrigo Nube I have thinking I might want to use it for my Trindle spinning during Tour. I’d read a few comments that it tended to be very compacted, almost felted. Unfortunately what I read was right.

nubeugh

You can’t really tell from the picture, but it’s pretty hard core. I tried loading some onto my hackle and then dizzing it off, but once you break into it the comb tines go right through it so that didn’t work. It’s going to just be a slow process of opening it up and splitting it lengthwise. I tried repeatedly to pull off a chunk across the whole rope, but it just won’t budge. Not cool.

So I don’t know if I’ll do a post next week or not. It’s Camp, so whether I do or not you know I’ll be a happy human.

Posted in Spinning, Tour de Fleece | 1 Comment

Executive Decisions

We’ve been making them like crazy around here. But first I want to celebrate a few judicial decisions this week – first the one upholding the ACA. I agree it’s not a perfect law by any stretch, but it has helped millions of people get health insurance who couldn’t before. Since I can’t see the US ever implementing single payer, it’s probably as close as we’re going to get to providing health care to everyone. I believe that’s a basic right, especially in a country as rich as the US. Next happy decision is the one upholding the Fair Housing Act. After SCOTUS gutted the voting rights act a couple of years ago I figured they only took this case to do the same to Housing protections, so it was a happy surprise.

And of course the huge one, we finally have marriage equality. About damn time. To quote Rachel Maddow, “The thing about rights is you’re not supposed to vote on them.”  Besides, nobody has ever actually been able to tell me how two other people getting married has ANY impact on my marriage at all. Because GOD as a reason is beyond worthless.

So – on to the Executive ones. Last week we got new carpet in the front room and in both bedrooms. Actually got the exact same thing we put in the living room last year. It looks really good and we’re very pleased with it.

frontroom

Sorry about the blur.

As you can see the front room is our exercise/fiber room. Behind me when taking the picture is a south facing bay window. You’ve seen it before, it’s where the boy’s cat tree lives. Anyway, because we had to tear up three rooms for the carpet, we took the opportunity to go on a major decluttering tear. I know it doesn’t really look like I’ve removed anything with my fiber stash in the picture, but two batches of stuff have already gone to Goodwill or Habitat or wherever Jim has been taking it. There’s more to go. It’s been cluttery stuff this time, although there was a little bit of clothes out of the spare bedroom closet. I’m still going through a couple of shelves and I need to go through the bags in the yarn room, but it’s almost finished and the rooms look so much more open. It’s pretty awesome.

Next decision deals with Tour de Sock. I have an overflowing sock drawer. I can go a month between handknit sock laundering and not run out. So I don’t feel a pressing need to make new socks. Nor do I have a snowball’s chance in hell of knitting a pair faster than the majority of knitters in Finland. So while I’m going to keep registering every year to support the cause and get the patterns, I’m done with trying to knit them. I’m still not finished with the ones that released last Sunday, even though I like them.

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The next pair releases on Wednesday and they’re beaded. I have a meeting and probably dinner with my friend and financial guy that night. I’m still working on the house. Mom comes in the next Tuesday, and I leave for Camp the day after that. So stage four just isn’t happening for me. I’m pretty sure stage five will release while I’m gone to camp. So why am I killing myself and not knitting what I want to? Good question. The answer is I’m not any more. I’ll probably finish these this week just to clear them, but I’m still debating whether to finish the second stage (see last week’s post) or reclaim the yarn for something else. Right now I’m leaning towards the latter.

Plus Tour de Fleece starts on July 4, and I’m serious about spinning every single day of the Tour (except the two official rest days and the one day I’m traveling) for at least 15 minutes. There are four wheels living in my house now and while Jim is not one to complain about my hobbies he has mentioned once or twice how I have four and can only spin on one at a time. I figure him seeing me spinning on four different wheels in a week will be a good thing. Oh, and using the spindles too. I haven’t decided yet what sort of project is going on them.

Posted in Camp, General, Socks, Spinning, Tour de Fleece, Tour de Sock | 1 Comment

I’m A Terrible Human

No word for two whole weeks. Not so much as a peep. But I don’t think anyone noticed, so it’s all good.

Why the break? Tour de Sock started up, and while I’m not even trying to compete I’m still trying to knit the socks. The first one I got finished before the deadline, but it wound up being exhibition only because I made a BIG mistake and by the time I saw it I wasn’t going to go back and fix it. Can you spot it?

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Also a crappy cell photo, sorry.

The second stage is an absolutely gorgeous sock, but being stranded it’s very slow knitting for me. I worked on it pretty steadily for a while, but I finally decided I wasn’t going to worry about finishing it and I had other things I wanted to work on anyway. So here are my Forest Fire socks (or sock since there’s not even half of one done yet).

forestfire1

I really, really wanted to spin so I’ve done some of that. I’m almost done with the first of the Spotted Circus braids, but don’t have a new picture to show you of them. I gotta tell you though, I don’t think I’m going to want to give up my 19″ Reeves. He’s just such a sweet little spinner.

I also took his new big sister for a spin. Denise is going to be releasing some Shetland patterns in the next few months, and I want to spin for one of them. I did this just letting the fiber do what it wanted and plying from a center pull ball. I know I’ll be able to get thinner more even yarn when I’m really trying – this was just starting to play with the wheel/fiber combo.

shetlandsample

I actually have a Camp Contest entry this year! Obviously I’m not going to show it until after Camp, and it’s also not quite finished yet. I leave in only 17 days, and I can’t wait. When I first started going it was all about the knitting. While the knitting is still important, it’s come to be all about the people. I can’t wait to see my Camp family again.

I knit a little more on the Ashworth Scarf. It’s such nice plain relaxing knitting that it’s kind of become my go-to when I’m not competing with something.

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And finally a wee bit of Stash Enhancement. This is the May RSC shipment, called Loopty Loo. It looks pretty Christmasy to me, but I’m sure I’ll find something to do with it.

loopity

Happy Fathers day to anyone who celebrates it.

Posted in Camp, Scarves, Socks, Spinning, Stash Enhancement, Tour de Sock | 2 Comments