Saturday, July 29, 2006

More Saturday Sky--Oklahoma clouds

Saturday Sky - drowning in the heat

We're in a heat alert until 7 pm Sunday night. When I was complaining about the everyday temps of 100-plus a week ago, the humidity was in the 20%s by the hottest part of the day. Not this week. The humidity levels are lingering in the 30-50%s, and that plus the 100+ degree temps is making it quite sweltering. We keep having threats of rain--Thursday night we had clouds and thunder and lightning and even a little rainbow--

but nary a drop of rain, at least at my house. So the weekend plan for me and Maggie is to lay low and enjoy the air conditioning.

After all the excitment of the Tour de Fleece finish and the Yarn Harlot's visit this week, plus two days of absolute insanity at work, I was ready to call it a week. I've not touched anything fibery since Tuesday night because I've just been too tired. But today I plan to work more toward finishing that beautiful superwash merino fiber, so I'm looking forward to that.

"Cupcake" :<) posted an observation about the new KnitPicks line for Fall 2006. I'm happy to see that they's expanded the "Bare" line, and this Superwash/Nylon/Donegal Fingering Weight yarn looks like it would be interesting to dye. I wonder how it would look after being natural dyed with someting like cochineal? Hmmm . . . I'm hoping to do some dyeing, but not until the weather turns cooler. I would be insane to try to do that now, even indoors under the air conditioning. I did finally find some stainless steel pots that I can use for dyeing. They probably aren't high quality, but I don't intend to use them a lot, so they should be just fine. Just thinking about this makes me want it to be Fall even more.

Think Fall . . . .

Oh look, the NWS just extended the heat alert until 7 pm Tuesday--joy.

A couple of people have asked about the stitch markers Missy and I gave Stephanie. No, I'm not selling them. I've made a few sets for me and Missy, and the ones I gave Stephanie were just made on a whim with some leftover beads and charms I bought at a local crafts store. The only photo I have of them is horrible, so I won't be posting it. Sorry.

Ina had asked about the stevia plant in my garden. Stevia leaves are extremely sweet, so I had planned on harvesting the leaves, drying them, and then grinding them into a fine powder to use as a natural sweetener. I may still be able to get some leaves, but the plant's future is questionable if this weather stays as hot as is it now.

Speaking of that, it's really late, and I still haven't watered. I'm off.

PS--look what I got:

Le maillot jaune!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Have you ever heard of Yarndex?

Yarndex - The Yarn Directory

I had googled a specific yarn name and color number, and this came up. It looks like it would be a good reference. I know I'm always looking for information on yarns, especially when I need to substitute.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Okay, I'm a little calmer now . . . .

I've had some time to catch my breath, and I'm all better now. But I have to tell you about last night.

Stephanie's fans are definitely dedicated, because they started lining up for tickets to get into the room around 430 pm. At least we had air conditioning! We came prepared, and once the room opened up and tickets were distributed, everyone found a seat and pulled out their knitting (I saw some great-looking socks). We were all really excited, and the time just flew by. Next thing we knew, the room was almost full and it was time to start. A lady from the library and the Knitting Guild (whose name I missed, sorry), was giving the introduction when Missy poked me in the side and hissed, "There she is!" I looked off to my right, and there she was:

About that time everybody noticed her and started giggling, and Stephanie just laughed back. The nice lady finished the introduction, Stephanie stepped up to the podium, and off we went.

I'm honestly not sure I've ever laughed so hard in my life.

Have you ever though about how you can watch somebody on TV, in a movie, or at a club, and while they're really funny, it's the people you know--your friends, your family, your coworkers--who can make you laugh harder than anyone else? I think it has something to do with familiarity and feeling comfortable with that person. Well, that's what this was like. It was like watching one of your best girlfriends get up and absolutely KILL. She had the room in the palm of her hand.

Stephanie, if the writing thing doesn't work out, you need to start doing standup. You ROCK.

The one thing I thought was funny (strange, not ha ha) was that I also felt proud to see someone just like me be so successful and beloved by so many people. Again, it felt like I was watching one of my friends instead of some strange writer person from another country.

We were able to ask some questions when she finished. I, of course, had to ask about the Latvian mitten incident, because 1) I'm impressed that anyone could knit Latvian mittens, and 2) as bad as I felt for her when that happened, I still laughed my head off. And yeah, she was definitely upset when she realized what she'd done. Who hasn't had a humbling experience like that?

She also had her Olympic sweater with her--wow, was it gorgeous. I can't believe she knit that in 16 days. It was absolutely amazing. She explained about steeking and how the sleeves for this sweater were constructed and sewn into the body. It was really impressive.

Once we were finished at the Library, we all went scooting down the street to Gourmet Yarn for the booksigning. We didn't have to wait in line long, even though Stephanie was taking the time to talk to everyone and take photos and all, and finally it was our turn. Somehow Missy ended up behind me, and there I was--face to face with the Grand Dame herself. I was so happy that I didn't have to spell my name for her (it's the capital of Saskatchewan, BTW), so that was easy. Then I had to give her the little gift I had put together. I was all tongue-tied and told her to just take it home and open it then.

Nope, she opened it right away.

I had made some Oklahoma stitch markers. They were just some blue and silver beads with charms--a cowboy hat, saddle, sunflower, windmill, an eagle feather, Kachina doll, a sheath of wheat, and a ball of yarn and needles symbolizing Oklahoma knitters. I thought it would be nice and kinda unique.

She loved them--how cool is that?

After taking some pictures, we stumbled back to Missy's house and absolutely collapsed.

We had the BEST time.

Thanks to everyone who put this event together--you guys did a great job. And Stephanie, really, I know people at the local Chamber of Commerce--I could hook you up for a job if you'd like to experience a little less snow in your lifetime.

An encounter with a Legend

So I was all set to go home tonight and write about Tuesday night.  I had this whole soliloquy in my head about how last night was like, oh, I don't know, say, meeting Paul McCartney when you'd had a crush on him since you were 6 (which is true, but I've never met him--yet).

Then I find out that SHE, the Grand Dame, the First Lady of the Needles, the GODDESS of Yarn, linked to me on her blog.

I'm speechless.


I'll try to gather my thoughts in order to write a proper response to such graciousness at a later time.

Once I quit squeeing like a schoolgirl.

Monday, July 24, 2006

A poem by KatyaR

With apologies to Henry Gibson*

A Poem
By KatyaR

Welcome to Oklahoma!

Land of Cowboys and Indians,
wheat and oil,
wind and sunflowers,
and KNITTERS galore!!!

(And crocheters and spinners and weavers and dyers, too!!!)

Thanks for coming to visit--
Ya'll come back soon!

Tomorrow's a big day for a number of reasons--Reason #1, it's Primary Election Day. I have a friend running for Lieutenant Governor (go, Petey, go!), and several acquaintenances (thanks to my last job) running for re-election. Election Day in Oklahoma is always interesting, to say the least.

Luckily, most of the returns won't be in until we get home from Reason #2, the Yarn Harlot will be here tomorrow!!! The above poem (or attempt at a poem--I suck at writing poetry) is on the gift card I enclosed with some Oklahoma-themed stitch markers I made for Stephanie (and no, you can't see them--I'm embarassed).

So I will either make a fool of myself in front of half the world tomorrow night or chicken out and not give them to her at all.

Odds are 50-50 either way.

*dated "Laugh-In" reference

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Champs-Elysees and the finish line

Well, it's done. The cyclists have made it to Paris, and as Floyd Landis crossed the finish line, I, too, raised my arms in victory.

It's been an interesting three weeks, but I stuck to my goal of at least 30 minutes of spinning per day, and here are the results:

Total completed - 1,188 yards

It's not anywhere near what some were able to complete, but I'm very happy with how things played out. I've learned a lot, both from my fellow competitors and from working alone. I kept going, even when I was feeling less than enthusiastic, and I now have a better idea of what areas I need to work on (and there are many) as well as having a great sense of accomplishment in that, yes, I can spin!

Congratulations to everyone, especially Katherine for organizing this event, and I hope we can do this again--it was fun!

La vie longue la Tournée de Fleece!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Le Tour de France - Day Nineteen - down but not out

"It was late in Day Nineteen when our competitor was nearly sidelined for the day by a cramp in both her left hand and her left toes while plying the absolutely yummy superwash merino. However, with a short break, she was able to complete the plying round in approximately four hours. The finished product is now resting in a warm lavender bath, and our competitor has collapsed on the couch."

Yeah, four hours--I am so slow! But in four hours we went from this:

to this:

I absolutely love it. I think I've ended up with about 324 yards using about 4.3 ounces of fiber.

Here's a closeup:

Remember how, in an earlier post today, I muttered something about the whole thing falling apart in my hands? Oh yeah, I heard Toby Ziegler in my head saying "You don't want to tempt the wrath of whatever from high atop the thing!" when I wrote that, and I should have gone outside, turned around three times, and spit (sorry, it's one of my favorite West Wing references). It DID fall apart--twice, but I finally got it back together in one piece. There's a couple of bad spots, but on the whole, it's pretty good. And it looks gorgeous!

I definitely understand now how important it is to try and keep your singles consistent when spinning, otherwise you get uneven results. I've gotten better, but I need to concentrate on this more in the future.

I had a little bit left on one bobbin, and I'm just going to put that back on the wheel and start adding to it--but not until tomorrow.

This is too cute!

Feline felon suspected in glove thefts -

My sweet Molly kitty would steal rolled-up socks from wherever she could find them and carry them around, caterwalling all along like she was carrying her baby. I always knew if I heard her in another room that she was "playing Mommy." We had to put clean socks away right after they came out of the dryer or we'd never find them.

Saturday Sky - new cooler version!

Saturday, July 22, 8:45 a.m., 66 DEGREES--a beautiful start to the day:

I'm happy to report that there will be no meterologists' severed heads staked on a pole in front of my apartment--we have lower temps! In fact, if you were standing in the shade this morning, it was actually COOL. What a relief!

Unfortunately, now it's time to deal with the consequences of the horrific heat and the accompanying mega-watt UV rays. Here's some of the damage to my garden. Much of it looks like it's been blowtorched.

My stevia plant:

Some of my flowers:


And my beautiful eight-ball squash plant, which two weeks ago looked like this--

now looks like this:

That one hurts most of all. The tomatoes may actually come back, and they seem to be trying to put on fruit, but the squash was my baby--I had raised it from a seed. Hopefully some pruning and TLC can help the others, but I'm afraid this little one may be a gonner.

Most of my flowers still look pretty good, but I know they are happy to have some relief. I guess they are better suited for higher temps, and many of them didn't get as much direct sun as others--my poor hanging plants have suffered horribly. Although it's supposed to get back into the 90s next week, hopefully this 100+ degree heat is over.

As for Tour news, I'm almost done with the second bobbin. I should be able to complete it this morning and then it's plying time.

The whole plying thing seems to be harder for me than the spinning. I think it's because so much of the finished product depends on how well the plying's done--that and the fact that you don't ply as much as you spin, so in my case I'm not as familiar with it as I am basic spinning. I want to do this yarn in a nice two-ply, and I think I've learned enough to be able to achieve that with only a little bit of fanagaling. (I say that, and now the whole thing will probably fall apart in my hands.)

The most important thing I've learned about plying is to pay attention. When I first started spinning, I tended to rush through the plying because I wanted to "get to the finish line," so to speak. As a result, my yarn wasn't as nice as it would have been had I spent a little more time paying attention to what I was doing. Consequently, I'm a horribly slow plyer, but I'm happier with my results, so that's what matters. Speed will come later.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Le Tour de France - Day Eighteen--Get out the longjohns!

Temperature at 515 pm - 99 degrees
Temperature at 847 pm - 86 degrees

WOO-HOO!! I take back everything bad I ever said about our weathermen--I think they may have gotten it right this time. It actually looks like we could get a little rain. I don't care either way, just stop this heat.

Spinning will commence here as soon as I can stop the dancing.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Le Tour de Fleece - Day Seventeen - dragging myself toward the finish line

I know I sound like a broken record, but IT'S HOT! 107 again today, and at least that tomorrow. That cold front had better get here tomorrow--I swear, if the weathermen are wrong, I can guarantee that there will be a public lynching shown on all the local channels, and it will be considered heat-induced homicide.

I left work at 1130 today and ran three errands, went through the McDonald's drive-thru, and was back in the office in a little less than an hour--and I was absolutely exhausted. I had a training session to conduct this afternoon, and I had trouble revving myself up to do it. I swear I was dragging my ass during the entire thing. I know I was when it was over with. On the way home I stopped to get a haircut, and by the time it was done, I wasn't sure I could get out of the chair--I was just tuckered out.

Anyway, so now it's 930 pm and I need to go spin--yay. Actually, it's not so bad, it helps me relax some before going to bed. I had just hoped to be able to get to bed before 10, but oh well. At least tomorrow's Friday, and I can sleep in a bit on Saturday.

Saturday and Sunday will be my big push to get this last bobbin full and plyed with the other--keep your fingers crossed!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Le Tour de Fleece - Day Sixteen and a local news update

Well, I'm pooped, but I ended up spinning for about an hour tonight. It's just so darn hot and muggy here that it's hard to get any enthusiasm to do anything, even with the air conditioning going full blast. 107 again today, at least that hot Thursday and Friday, and then the weathermen PROMISE there's a cold front coming in that will drop the temps into either the 80s or low 90s (depending on who you talk to). They'd better be right--we're all just about done in.

One of the biggest water lines in OKC busted again for the third time since April, and now we're on a mandatory water rationing until further notice--at least a week. This means I'm now sneaking out to water my plants under cover of darkness. At least I don't have to worry about being seen from the street--my apartment is situated so you can't be seen at all. Not that the water's really helping much--I'm probably going to lose all my vegetables, and some of the flowers are not looking too good either. But what can you do?

Missy remarked on her blog that one of our friends called this weather "the breath of hell." I think that's totally appropriate.

I hope to have my second bobbin of the superwash finished and the two bobbins plyed by Sunday. On top of that, I still need to prepare my sock for Stephanie's visit next week--I'd like it to look like more than just the toe that it is right now. I am bound and determined to get this sock completed in a decent time frame so that I can start some of the abundance of sock yarn that seems to have appeared in my apartment--in between spinning, of course!

The big news for the last 24 hours here or so has been the purchase of the NBA's Seattle Sonics by a group of investors from OKC. Not to blow my horn, but I know most of these gentlemen (from my last job--the guy who put the group together was the chairman of our board), and my first thought was that they must have cleaned behind the couch cushions last weekend--$350 million--wow! While I'm not much of a sports follower, many of my friends are (this IS Oklahoma, after all), and they're quite excited. The Hornets have done much, much better than I ever would have thought possible here, and while it's not a done deal yet that the Sonics will come to OKC, the prospect of having our own NBA team is pretty appealing.

For me, the fact that a WNBA team goes along with the deal is the best part. Oklahoma has a large number of schools as well as our colleges and universities that have women's basketball, and I think there's definitely a market for a women's pro team. We'll just have to wait it out and see what happens, but this news was a bright spot for us after the GM plant closure and learning that we would lose Kerr-McGee's international headquarters. I just hope it doesn't turn out that we have to build a new arena for them to play in--we've been on a ten-year tear in developing the downtown area through the MAPS projects, and we already have a new baseball park, a sports arena, and a large convention center. I can't imagine building something else, but I guess it's a possibility.

And that, folks, is about the sum and total of my knowledge about the state of sports today. Aren't you impressed?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Le Tour de Fleece - Day Fifteen

Yesterday I took the rest day because I had to get ready for the Bug Guy. I'm lucky he comes once a quarter, or I'd never clean house--ha!

Anyway, I don't know if it was cleaning house until 11 pm or the four small squares of dark chocolate I had with dinner, but I couldn't sleep worth a darn last night. So today's spinning was done at midnight last night, not the best time to spin, but it wasn't bad.

As I wrote previously, I intended to spin this current fiber into a three ply for socks. However, it turns out the Keyboard Biologist is spinning the exact same fiber (in a different colorway) and has done some experimenting. If you look at her photos, the two-ply yarn looks much better in terms of striping and color. So I've changed my mind--two ply it is.

I love this fiber so much I want ALL the colorways--is that bad?

I'm going to blame my current "buy all the fiber I can get my hands on" behavior on the heat. It was 106 yesterday, 107 today, and it's supposed to stay this hot until the weekend, when it should drop into the mid-80s (can't wait for that!).

Donna has come up with a great idea that I'm TOTALLY on board with:

Since I've been buying stuff like the world was coming to an end (and aren't there some that think that it is right now, with all this stuff going on in the Middle East?), I think I definitely need to join this movement.

Although I've heard through a little bird that someone has a belated birthday package for me . . . .

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Le Tour de Fleece - Day Fourteen UPDATE

I've filled one bobbin with superwash merino and have started a second. I'm trying to spin a little thicker. This fiber is VERY spongy, and I think it will make a nice tight three-ply yarn.

I'm taking the rest day tomorrow and not going to the spinning guild--I'm not ready for the Bug Guy on Tuesday. :<(

Le Tour de Fleece - Days Thirteen and Fourteen

The merino/silk blend was plied yesterday, and looky here:

Isn't it pretty? And it's so squishy--I love it!

My "official" totals thus far are:

Skeins #1 and #2 - 1,146 yards of singles, 382 yards triple plied
Skein #3 - 768 yards of singles, 384 yards double plied
Totals - 1,1914 yards of singles, 766 yards finished yarn

For the next stage, I chose this:

Eight ounces of superwash merino pencil roving from Crown Mountain Farms in the colorway "It Takes 2, Baby." It's so cushy, it feels like a big pillow, and spinning--oh my! Spins like a dream, again so soft and pillowy, I think it will make nice, squishy three-ply yarn for socks.

And yes, it does have pink in it (sigh)--I guess I'm turning into a 6-year-old girl. I don't know why I'm so into pink all of a sudden, but I think this looks like roses:

And now, since it's 8 am and I've already done laundry, watered the plants, refilled the birdfeeder, and caught up on the news, I think I'll go spin for a while before I have to drag myself up and start cleaning--yuck!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Le Tour de Fleece - Day Twelve and other stuff

Firstly, here's today's Satuday Sky:

It's nothing but clear and HOT here--highs today are supposed to be 100 and above.

Last night's spinning wasn't too productive. I decided to do a little test with the alpaca and stopped and double plied what I had. I'm having trouble drafting it--it's so hot that the fiber's a little hard to handle. I also can't decide how I want to spin this--thin or thicker, I don't know. I ended up with about five yards, and it's okay, but I think I'm going to put it aside until it's a little cooler. It's just too hot right now to work with something this soft. So now I have to pick something new to spin.

How hot is it? My poor garden is just barely hanging on. It was about 86 degrees when I took Maggie out a little before 9 this morning, and the walkway was boiling hot. Now, realize that my walkway faces east and gets full morning sun, plus it's concrete. This was the temp out there this morning:

Yup--103 degrees before 9 am. No wonder my plants are burning up.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Le Tour de Fleece - Day Eleven

Finished the merino and silk last night--yay! Will start the alpaca in a few minutes.

It's hot, hot, HOT here right now--100 today with heat indices in the southwestern part of the state around 108 and really high humidity. My poor plants are struggling to survive, and that's after we had another really good rain early this morning. I'm going to have to drench them in the morning and keep my fingers crossed that they make it. It's supposed to be 104 both Sunday and Monday. Truly miserable . . . .

My plan for the weekend is to clean house (the Bug Man is making his quarterly visit next Tuesday), spin, and knit--all indoors with the air conditioning and a fan if needed.

Stay cool!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Le Tour de Fleece - Day Ten and some observations

Tonight I should finish my pink merino and silk, then it's on to something else. I'm still leaning heavily toward the alpaca, but I guess I'll have to see what strikes my fancy next.

It's funny--I'm at the point where I'm buying fiber for fiber's sake, not with the intent of making anything out of it. Every time I show a nonspinner some of my stash, they always ask, "What are you going to make with it?" Am I becoming one of those spinners who spins just for the sake of spinning and not with any other intent? Maybe--I don't know. All I know right now is I'm loving the colors, the textures, the smells, the feels, everything about fiber. Whatever comes of it will just come. Right now I feel like I'm creating ART.

I'm thinking more about what I need to do to make the fiber spin the way I want. I'm evaluating, rethinking, and trying new things with little fear of doing it wrong. I think this is where I went wrong when I started spinning a year ago. I was so afraid to "ruin" my fiber that it froze me up and made me afraid to try. For some reason I feel much freer this time around, and while I still have those fears of ruining something, I feel confident enough that I can produce some pretty good yarn even at my beginner level.

I also believe that getting together with other spinners, both online and in person, has helped me immensely. They give me confidence, bolster me on, and feed me with fiber (darn them). It's fun to talk and laugh and share, and I am enjoying the experience immensely. I love seeing people take time out of their busy lives to enjoy the things they love best. It's definitely something we don't do often enough.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Le Tour de Fleece - Rest Day #1 and Day Nine

Well, yesterday's box of alpaca fiber gave me an extra boost--that and a really big thunderstorm that came through last night around 8 pm. I love to sit at the window and listen to the rain fall, and fall it did--in buckets. So I was able to get over an hour in last night on the official rest day.

Today I hope to complete at least an hour. I'm almost finished spining the singles of the merino/silk blend, and I'll probably pick up the alpaca to start next. The plying will happen on the weekend.

Another fun thing came today--the carry bag for my Lendrum! Now I can stop worrying so much about hitting my wheel on something when I go to guild meetings.

PS--I just realized I've had my Tour days misnumbered from the start, so from here on out I will be in synch with the actual race days.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Psst--come 'ere a minute--

Go to "To Knit, Perchance to Dream"

look at the upper right hand corner--under "spotlight on a new fave knitblog of the week" . . . .


How cool is this? Suzie is a fellow participant in "Le Tour de Fleece," and she was nice enough to offer to "feature me." Thanks, Suzie--what a nice thing to do!

Today's a rest day for Le Tour de France, and I'm thinking I may take a break--or not, we'll see what happens later tonight.

I think I may have decided on the next fiber to spin. I came home tonight to a package from Alpacas d'Auxvasse. I can't even remember how I got to this website, maybe from the Spin-Sales Group on Yahoo Groups? Anyway, the fiber looked gorgeous and the price was right, so I placed an order.

Now this is not just plain old vanilla alpaca, but suri alpaca, which is apparently more everything than "regular" alpaca. I had no idea there were differences, but WOW--this stuff is incredible. It's softer than soft and the colors--oh my, I'm really, seriously, dangerously in love. In fact, I emailed the owner, Ann, and offered myself up as an indentured servant if I could just have more of this stuff.

Ann loves her animals, and you can tell by the care she puts into processing the fiber. She hand washes it, drys it in the sun, and then hand picks it, and it is pure luxury. So go over to Alpacas d'Auxvasse and check it out--the stuff is amazing. (No, I'm not making a cent off this--the stuff is AMAZING--trust me.)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Le Tour de Fleece - Days Eight and Nine

Not much spinning yesterday--I wasn't just feeling my best. I think I got about 45 minutes total.

Today I've put in a little over 2 hours and am almost finished with the second bobbin. I've had trouble keeping my spinning consistant all weekend, but it seems to be better today. I believe Monday is a rest day for the real "Le Tour," so I may take tomorow off and see if that helps. When I get this merino/silk finished, I'll probably wait until the weekend to ply it--it's easier to finish it all at once.

As for what's next, I don't have a clue. I've been on a fiber-buying binge since I bought the Lendrum, and I have stuff coming out of my ears. I keep telling myself I need to stop, but somehow I still have boxes showing up on my doorstep. I think I'm compensating for being a little down lately, mostly likely from summer heat, tension at work, and feeling kinda draggy. Example--I mailed my rent check on June 27. Thursday night I came home and found that it had been returned because I had written the wrong address on the
envelope--the right building number but my street number. Panic ensued, but I was able to go down Friday morning first thing and get it paid (with a damn late fee) without any problems.

I swear I need a keeper.

Anyway, I can still buy groceries and pay my bills, so it can't be too bad, right? (Okay, I can pay bills but just not correctly, and maybe I need to check my bank balance . . . .)

I'd say I was going on a fiber diet, but that would just be a big lie, and who wants to lie to their friends?

Tonight I need to work on my second sock, 'cause I'e got to have a sock to take to see Stephanie--going without one would just be wrong.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Saturday Sky

Saturday, July 8, 2006, 958 am CDST - a lazy sky with the promise of lots of heat to come:

Summer does have SOME benefits - I picked these this morning:

Friday, July 07, 2006

Le Tour de Fleece - Day Seven

A litle over 30 minutes compleed on the second bobbin of merino and silk. It always takes me a bit to get a new bobbin started, but once I got going, it went pretty quickly.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Le Tour de Fleece - Day Six

I finished the first 2 ounces of the pink merino and silk--pretty much filled a complete bobbin. I'll start the next 2 ounces tomorrow night.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Le Tour de Fleece - Day Five

It's late, but I did manage to get 30 minutes in tonight on my merino/silk blend. I waited way too late to get started, but I'll do better tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Le Tour de Fleece - Day Four

Still spinning away on the merino and silk. I'll probably do about two hours today.

Here's the completed sock:

I did something funky at the heel because it won't lay flat, but it fits, so that's all that matters.

I really like the gradual color changes in the Trekking yarns, but trying to figure out where they start is challenging to say the least. I think I may have found where I need to start to match them up, but I wouldn't bet on it. Oh well, they can always be fraternal.

Happy Fourth!

Back to work tomorrow--poo.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Le Tour de Fleece - Day Three FINAL

I've finished spinning quite a bit of the merino and silk, so I think I may go ahead and spin the entire eight ounces. It will be interesting to see how much yardage I get.

I spun at least 90 minutes today--yay!

In other news--I finally finished a sock! Maybe with the second one I can beat the two months it took to knit the first one.

Photos tomorrow.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Le Tour de Fleece - Day Two FINAL

Well, Skein #2 is done and drying as we speak. No photos because if you've seen one, yahda yahda yahda . . . .

After some serious consideration, this is my next project:

Is this not just yummy? Four ounces of merino/silk blend in a HOT pink (again, what is it with me and pink lately?) from Louet. I bought this from Wanda at the Mountain View Weavery on our last spinning night. It is so soft, it just begs to be petted. Honestly, it looks so beautiful just like this, I could have put it on the table and just stared at it--it's that pretty.

I have eight ounces, so this is half. I thought I might make enough two ply to make a scarf for the little girl who lives downstairs. She is 7 years old, a real "girly girl," and loves pink.

Or I might just keep it for me--who knows?

Le Tour de Fleece - Day Two--Pregame Update

Here's yesterday's skein, all completed and ready for inspection:

Now I'm off to ply the second bobbin--my goal is to finish before The Two Towers does!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Le Tour de Fleece - Day One UPDATE

My skein's out of the wash, but look what it left:

I quickly stuck it back in with a bit of vinegar to stop this from happening again. Luckily it didn't seem to harm the yarn at all.

So here's a closeup:

Not too bad!

Le Tour de Fleece - Day One

Well, it was a hard-fought battle, but we have a victory today on Day One--one completed bobbin of Navajo-plyed yarn! Hard fought in that it took me almost 3-1/2 hours and a full viewing of Fellowship of the Ring to finish the one bobbin--yes, I'm very, very slow. I've done this before, but this was the first time to ply on the new wheel, and I wanted to experiment a little bit. I re-read an article in Spin-Off last night and again today, and it helped me get a better idea of what I need to do, so I was trying some different things. I think I have a better idea of what it's all about now.

The skein looks pretty good considering I had several consistency problems spinning the single. There are some dead spots in it, and lots of inconsistency in the size, but the colors held together really well--I'm pretty impressed with that. There were several breaks along the way, but I was able to put everything back together with few problems. This was a good learning exercise for me, and hopefully the second bobbin will go more smoothly--and faster!

I may ply the second bobbin tonight, or I may wait and do it on Day Two--I don't know. Right now, it's time for dinner and a break.

Photos tomorrow after the skein's out of its bath . . . .

Saturday Sky

Saturday, July 1, 2006, 810 AM CDST:

Clear as a bell and getting hotter by the minute!

I have two bobbins of singles ready to ply today:

I've finally decided to Navajo ply these to try and keep the colors together as much as possible. What to spin next? I have no idea, but lots of possibilities!

Even though it's really hot, the garden looks good:

Pretty red hibiscus:

My Eight-Ball Squash is blooming:

Yummy oregano:

Peppers are coming on:

Mandavilla madness and a zingy zinnia:

Can you tell I'm really into pink this year?

Oh, and just a reminder . . . .