Sunday, July 25, 2010

Goal accomplished!

When I started the Tour de Fleece, I had no idea what I would be able to accomplish. I didn't want to set my self up for failure, but I didn't want it to be too easy, either. I settled on a goal of spinning at least 2 or 3 (4) ounce bumps of my fiber stash on the wheel plus some spindle spinning each day, and I've reached that goal! That's not to say that I am stopping here, but I feel so good that I've reached my goal! I have spun more than 12 oz. of fiber on the wheel (I am probably at about 14 oz. right now but too lazy to take out the scale). I have to point out, though, that I have not plied any of it. That lack is due to the fact that I have to get some black dye and dye some fiber (8 oz) and spin it up to ply with the other fiber I've spun. These first two bobbins I spun up are going to be plied with a third ply of black:

Then this fiber

will be plied with this one that I am spinning now

and the third, black ply for another yarn. I think I'll get some interesting yarns with good yardage from this and am looking forward to knitting with them.

I am waiting for Amy at Spunky Eclectic to send my coordinating solid Wensleydale to spin up to be plied with the Perfect Storm for (I hope) some lace weight yarn for a shawlette. Meanwhile I am carefully spinning my beautiful silk fiber.

On the knitting front: The V neck cardigan sleeve is growing. I have almost finished another spiral square! The Mata Hari sock is back on track. The wrap/lap robe from hand spun yarn was frogged and started again with different yarn and I am happier.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A day on the water is not always the best way to spend a day

One of Mom's water lilies with a koi nearby.

We were really looking forward to spending yesterday n the water. The winds were forecast to be 5 to 10 out of the south. We packed up food and drink (non-alcoholic) and spare clothes and bedding (we were going to spend the night). We headed south. The ride was rough. The winds were stronger (as usual) than the forecast predicted and the tide was flowing against the wind, which makes for bigger waves. It was a rough ride.

I was knitting. I had cast on with my hand spun for the wrap/lap robe I've mentioned before. The f******ing KnitPicks cable came apart and my stitches ended up all over (not for the first time). I am sending them a nasty note and possibly the needles and never using them again. I am done with KnitPicks.

We moved around a few times, did some fishing, then later found a nice place to sit and have supper. soon, though, we had to move - we were sitting over someone's trotline for crabbing and didn't know that or that we were required to get out of their way even though we were drifting. The guy was a real PIA about it, too, coming way too close to our boat before saying anything. Anyway, we ate, then decided where to go next and headed in that direction. The wind decided to pick up at that point (instead of the predicted 10 knots, it was about 15) , and things became rather uncomfortable. We ended up heading in to the marina instead of staying on the boat and had a rather uncomfortable trip back, too. I felt like I wanted to escape my skin, I was so sticky and uncomfortable. Ugh. Altogether not a day to go in the records as a great day. I plan to spend as little time outdoors today as possible.

I spun for over an hour on the wheel this morning and this is my progress to date on this merino fiber, dyed with natural dyes and purchased at MD S & W this year.

Most of the week I spun on my spindles - here's the Perfect Storm Wensleydale.

And here is the silk. I have to admit, it's been getting most of my attention.

Here is a poor view (I just couldn't get a better shot) of the V neck cardigan I have been working on. I am on the bottom seed stitch edging.

The travel sock is shorter than it was. The foot was too long.

The Slinky Ribs top hasn't changed this week. I haven't had the time to concentrate on the instructions for the sleeve cap.

On the boat, as I mentioned, I cast on with my hand spun for a new project. There's not much to show, but here it is. The next color to be used will be a solid blue.

Mom seems to be doing well. She feels better each day though she still gets dizzy occasionally. I'll be glad when she gets checked out by the cardiologist. I'll share more photos of our visit there another day. Have a good Sunday and try to stay cool.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Spinning away

I don't have any new photos but I've been spinning as much as possible for the TdF. I missed spinning on Sunday. Monday was a rest day and I made up for my missed day and spun. I tried the black merino again but it was very frustrating and I put it aside. I moved on to a braid of a wool blend in red, grey and light brown. I plan to make a 3 ply with it, either by chain plying or finding something else in my stash to ply with it. Photos over the weekend.

Mom is doing better. Work was good and it rained enough today that we don't have to water the plants. That's good. Cucumbers are multiplying and I harvested some sweet peppers, too. Gardening does pay off, but you have to have faith. ; )

Sunday, July 11, 2010

It's been a heck of a week

It's been a crazy week. We got a call on Monday that my mother had suffered a fall on the 4th and hit her head badly enough to cause bleeding in the brain. She was in the hospital, wanting to go home, awake and alert. I spoke with her and 2 of my brothers. It turns out that she lost consciousness for an unknown reason and fell, hitting her head. She may or may not have a small brain bleed - they can't tell for certain on the 2 CT scans they did, so it's small if she has one. We left MD on Tuesday morning to drive up to Long Island, and arrived at her home just as she did after discharge. We stayed the rest of the week to care for her. She is badly bruised and they still don't know what caused her loss of consciousness. That is the biggest concern. She seems to be getting better, though still having dizzy spells, which is, of course, potentially dangerous. One of my brothers lives with her and though he's not a good nurse (his bedside manner leaves something to be desired), he will keep an eye on her and help her with what's needed.

Before that happened, and during the days I was there I continued my Tour deFleece spinning. It was both stress relief for me and a distraction for her (watching) once she was up and around. (FYI My mother does not believe in staying in bed. She spent 2 days in bed after discharge from the hospital.)


became this

I didn't ignore the spindle spinning, either. I've been working on spinning this Wensleydale

and I've gotten this far:

When I got tired of spinning the Wensleydale, I tried my hand at spinning the silk gifted to me for my birthday by Nancy. I need to go slowly - I want this beautiful yarn to be a true lace weight for a shawlette.

I finished plying the llama top but forgot to get a photo.

I plan to get in more spindle spinning today while on the boat. I wasted a good part of the day trying to make a collage on picasa to post on Ravelry and apparently it doesn't like Macs. So, no wheel spinning done today so far, though the wheel is set up and ready to go. I am struggling with the black merino fiber (intended to be the third ply of the yarn above) . The staple length is very short and it doesn't spin smoothly. I can't decide whether to get something else in black to use or to stick with it.

Have a good Sunday.

Monday, July 05, 2010

TdF day 3. Barely. It's 12:20 am

Llama top - the end of 2 oz. of fiber. Half of the two oz. is already plied. I finished spinning this yesterday and will ply tomorrow.

Perfect Storm - almost 2 oz. spun.

We had good food, good friends and wonderful fireworks tonight. (Even if the cranky guy behind us cursed at us for shooting off fireworks.)

Sunday, July 04, 2010

TdF progress. day 2

Yesterday and today's wheel spinning - Lame Duck Mallard. I think I have 2 oz or so spun up but can't get at my scale right now to verify.
Spindle spinning - a finished spinning the llama top and will ply that tomorrow, and have almost finished the first 2 oz. of the Wensleydale fiber.

We are expecting guests any minute to help us celebrate America's birthday. Have a great day.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Tour de Fleece

I started this morning after making my selections last night.
I'll be spinning 4 oz. blended wool top in champagne, 4 oz. superwash BFL in Lame duck Mallard and 4 oz. black merino wool, then plying them together for a 3 ply.

If I get this finished before the end of the TdF, I will spun some superwash BFL, undyed, that I was gifted last year of choose another 4 oz. bump from my Spunky Eclectic fiber club.

On the spindle I am working on my Wensleydale Perfect storm. I have some blue merino/silk on another spindle that I would like to finish and I want to finish spinning and plying the llama top that I was working on at MD S & W. I also have some silk hankies that need to be finished up, but I won't commit to that at this point since I don't know how much time I'll have for each kind of spinning.

We're heading out on the water today to enjoy a day on the water and to see some firework displays from there later on. I plan some spindle spinning, of course, and knitting on Slinky Ribs and the V neck cardigan, maybe the lace scarf I started a while ago for mom. It should be an enjoyable day.

Tomorrow we will clean and prep for guests coming later in the day for our own fireworks display. Good food, good company (I hope for no migraine - it would be a nice change of pace) - another good day.

Today is robin flying day. I saw one leave and will post pictures tomorrow or Monday. I'm going to check on them now. Have a great Independence Day