Saturday, January 30, 2010

Off The Wagon

Guess who now belongs to me?


I'm very happy, if even more broke, now. I'm happy to have supported my favorite all-time local yarn shop in buying it, and I think the Ashford products are wonderful besides (and I have bobbins for them already! LOL).

Currently, I have one full bobbin of the BFL/Cotswold fiber that I'm carding up from the fleece I just purchased.

The plan still is to spin and knit that fiber into the Ravensong sweater from A Fine Fleece. The plan may just have to wait a bit longer.

Remember the lovely brown merino I'd started spinning when I first borrowed the wheel? Well, I'm now finished spinning that up, and that's only because I decided I was FINISHED spinning that particular fiber.

I've spun with merino before - in commercially prepared rovings, and very often in the "superwash" form that's very popular right now. Lovely fiber. No problems whatsoever, and I 'can' spin this stuff. This fiber, however, was very short, and required an immense amount of control from me to spin.

So much so, that I now have a bit of a trigger finger (well, thumb) because of it. I was pinching really hard to get the fiber to stay together long enough to spin the way I wanted, and there was a lot of it! I spun about 600 yards, but then did a 2-ply, so wound up with 301 yards. The rest of the fiber? I 'gifted' it to my sister. Since she and I split the fleece to begin with, this will help her to ensure she can do whatever she wants with the fiber - she'd have more than enough for a cabled sweater now.

But I'm through. I'm going to take a self-imposed knitting/spinning break for about 2 weeks. I may have to test out my progress to see how I'm healing by knitting a row or two here and there, but I really think I need the rest before I require a doctor! I'm already going to Drs and PT appointments for my back and hip pain, I don't need to add on any more ailments!

While resting, I think the first order of business will be to take my new wheel apart and stain it, get it (and myself) ready to go for the Olympics. 'Cause you know there are Olympic Knitting events as well, right? If not, clicky the linky and find out all about it. Join in the craziness. The more the merrier!! I hope to begin carding more fleece during the opening ceremonies for one 'event' geared toward spinning, and will work on a few knitting works-in-progress for another.

Until then, I'll be reading regular old books - returned my audio books this afternoon - and checking into how to disassemble and stain my wheel. That should leave plenty of time to cook up some new spinning and knitting plans!


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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Who Knew?

That my little Cub Scout (actually, he's a "Wolf", but all those designations confuse the nonsense out of me) would win his first Pinewood Derby race??

Apparently, he and his dad are pretty good at making cars that go fast! Considering Mommy tried to break the thing not once but twice (it hit the floor and off popped all the cool washers and such that weight it down . . .)I think their talents are remarkable.

Here he is after we hot-glued several washers and small lead weights to his car (but before it hit the floor the first time). He's smiling, slightly.

And here he is after his car won his "heat." Made even cooler by the fact that he was the only "wolf" in attendance from the pack, so he went up against the more seasoned "bears." Notice that now, he's too cool to smile at his Mommy.

When it was all said and done, his car took 2nd place overall, earning him a trophy, and a trip to the district race in March. Let's hope the car recovers as nicely as it did the first time, cause during cleanup, the car hit the floor again. Oy.

Again, much too cool to smile at Mommy. Sheesh!


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Monday, January 11, 2010

My Excellent Mail Day

The other day I had the best mail day. Ever.

I'd been doing ((ahem)) a bit of swapping on Ravelry and thinking that I was due a package. Besides that, I'd also purchased a fleece from Vermont to split with some of the ladies in my spinning group.

Sooooo, was I ever happy to see this in the living room when I came home last Thursday evening!!!

The big one was, of course, the fleece - 6 pounds of a silver/grey BFL-Cotswold cross. It's lovely.
I have the best, most handsome mail helper, too!

I washed it all in small bits last weekend.

Well, at least my 2 pounds of it!! Very nice to way to spend a weekend, if you ask me!!

Now I have this pile of wonderful, silvery fluff waiting for me!!

The other large-ish box contained more fleece that I'd ordered from Etsy. It's cormo that's been dyed in the fleece-y state. The result is like little clouds of color that are ready to be hand-carded (think really, really big dog combs)into "rolags" that are then spun up on my wheel (or a spindle!).
The colors were inspired by a fallen leaf in the woods, and I think they're just fabulous. Can't wait to card and spin it!

The last, small flat box was a nice surprise. It was my last shipment for the Intentions Yarn Club, which turned out to be a sampling of some dyeing techniques. There were 6 or so mini sock yarn skeins along with some yummy teas and a sample product from the dyer's OTHER/new business, I think. Smells wonderful.
I think I'll take the mini-skeins to my knit group on Saturday to see what they think of a possible way to use them all together. Either that or I'll be gifting them, which is more likely.


Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Hellooooo, 2010!!

No New Year's post this year - no real "resolutions" to make. I'm already in the middle of trying to get rid of some serious hip/back pain so there was no real reason to vow to get healthier. How about a day without pain? I'll take that in a heartbeat, which logically means getting healthier and more active anyway. As soon as I can walk without pain, I'll get right on that!! LOL

The holidays around here were great - lots of family time, The Boy had a blast, and I had three extra days off due to a lovely "blizzard" (I'm using that term loosely) that hit the weekend before the week of Christmas. Did that make sense? Basically, my county was planning on holding classes until December 23rd, which is crap, so Mother Nature did us all a favor. We'll see what the county says at the end of the year, though!!

During that week off, I made a trip up to my favorite LYS to rent an Ashford Traveler to test out. It's been entertaining me immensely, and I don't want to give it back on Friday, which is when my original rental was supposed to be up. I think I'll keep it for another two weeks, unless the shop wants it back. I'd already said that I had to pay off my one major credit card before buying a new wheel (and I doubt that's going to happen in the next two weeks). I may have to re-evaluate at the end of that time, because I really, really don't want to return it - I'm liking it that much! Here's what I've been spinning:

Some core-spun fiber in a colorway called "Butterscotch Sky" from Spincerely Yours I spun this for my contribution to the Handspun Revolution. If you're a spinner, you should spin, too. Then you can have your work dispayed in an art museum, too. A little party conversation pick-me-up, if nothing else, right?? LOL

I spun that small skein for the art show, and in preparation to spin the rest. I'll keep the rest for myself, thank you very much!! It's very, very pretty, and core-spinning just seemed the right thing to do with it!

And here's 125 yards of a BFL/scrap blend. The idea was that The Boy and I would work on this together - he'd card the scraps for me to spin with the BFL. I think he made 2 rolags. The rest was all me, while I tested out the borrowed wheel.

The brown that you see on the left is the merino top I had made from the fleece my sister and I shared from MDS&W, and the far right is a dyed corriedale blend. Lovely, but way overspun as I tested out the wheel.

Told you I'd been having fun with it!!

On New Year's Eve, the family and a friend spent time Wii-ing it up, and in between Dream Snowboard and Ice-skaing, I worked on finishing my Vine Yoke Cardigan. I love it, and have barely taken it off since washing and blocking it!!