Ya know, Tour de Fleece was just wonderful. I did some handspinning every day, and I accomplished a lot, learned a lot, and had a lot of fun. But I also got ‘way behind on my posts, and I really didn’t want that to happen. But alas, it did.
So to recap, here are some TdF photos. Then we’re on to other exciting journeys.
Yes, Kalakoa jumped onto my lap while I was spinning and her fur got caught in the twist of the fiber! It came out easily though. Good thing!
I decided there’s no way I can play catch up, so if you’d like to see my July photos till today, try go here.
The Tour de Fleece is going on right now, same time as the Tour de France. Who woulda guessed, right? This is a time when handspinners all over the world challenge themselves to spin something wonderful. Some people elect to be on a sprinters team, spinning fast and furious. Speed is of the essence here. But it’s not for me. Others are on a breakaway team, spinning all kinds of wonderful art yarns. There’s a team for rookies, those who’ve never joined Tour de Fleece before. I’m not on either one of those teams.
Instead, I’m in the Peloton, spinning happily along with other spinners. I’m also on several wildcard teams, which are specific for things like the brand of spinning wheel we use, or the fiber we use from a certain company. One of my favorites is the My Knitting Has Cat Hair In It team.
Each day we spin, except on the designated rest days just like those on the Tour de France. Some people spin anyway. The main thing is to challenge yourself, and I’ve done that. So far I have two finished yarns, and while I was spinning them I really learned a lot.
I am inordinately pleased with this yarn. It was a challenge for me and it just makes me feel good!
This makes me feel good, too. My Bird of Paradise bloomed again out on the deck!
Yep! It’s that time again! Spinning along with le Tour de France. This is what I spun today… “Mountain Bluebird” Targhee fiber, dyed by Rickie of Raven Ridge Fiber Arts in Montana. This stuff is amazing! I’m spinning it on my Joe Jorgensen myrtlewood wheel.
I just finished washing this skein of Blue-Faced Leicester yarn after plying and plying and plying and plying and plying… for hours and hours. Which means that I took two bobbins full of singles (which means a single strand of yarn) and plied them together. Now this yarn is ready to knit with. So far I have 571 yards +/-, but I still have more plying to do. So really, I have no idea what my yardage will be; and I also have no idea what I’m going to knit with this. The name of the colorway is “Sailors’ Delight”, hand-dyed by Amber of Taylored Fibers.
But one thing I do know… I am extremely pleased with my spinning!
“Red sky at morning, sailors take warning,
Red sky at night, sailors’ delight!”
Red sky at night, sailors delight.
When we see a red sky at night, this means that the setting sun is sending its light through a high concentration of dust particles. This usually indicates high pressure and stable air coming in from the west. Basically good weather will follow.
Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning.
A red sunrise reflects the dust particles of a system that has just passed from the west. This indicates that a storm system may be moving to the east. If the morning sky is a deep fiery red, it means a high water content in the atmosphere. So, rain is on its way.
I have been looking forever for this shuttle bobbin with handspinning on it. It was hiding in plain sight. I can’t believe how I missed it. But now I’m spinning up the rest of this lovely colorway: “Berries” Targhee, but Sweet Grass Wool.
Tonight I went to the Aurora Colony Handspinners Guild meeting. I havenʻt been for years, but now that I have a bit more free time, decided to go.
It was a great evening; tonightʻs talk was given by Sue of Sudan Farms, on the Border Leicester breed of sheep. She passed around this pelt, which shows the incredible luster and crimp of the wool and I thought Iʻd share a photo of it here.
Spun up, this fiber is gorgeous and has a lovely sheen to it.
Today was a day I’d been looking forward to a lot: the annual Aurora Colony Handspinners’ Guild Spin-In in Aurora, Oregon, where members of the Guild gather for a day of fellowship and you guessed it, handspinning. There were about twenty of us there today, and it was wonderful seeing all the different wheels, methods of spinning, and fiber being spun. At one point or another, most of us wandered around the room ooh-ing and ah-ing at what we saw.
I knew a few people there and got to meet more and make new friends. It was a wonderful day; Suzette and I sat next to each other with our Ladybug wheels and enjoyed the day together. It was all very relaxing and enjoyable, and now that the days are longer, I will join the Guild once a month at their meetings in Canby.
Today I put together a collage showing what I bought this weekend at the Fiber Fair. Easy to tell I went tonal this time, and definitely bluesy.
So many of my spinning fibers are multi-colored and very bright; I love spinning them but they don’t work too well on lace or patterned projects, so I wanted to get something that would work well for my lace knitting adventures.
The undyed fiber? Well, Suzette and I are planning a dyeing day at her house one of these days, so I get to create my own colorways! I’m kinda scared about it, never having done dyeing before, but I know the colors that I love so it should be okay.
I got home from the fiber festival yesterday and suddenly realized that I’d forgotten to look for a matching yarn for a special knitting project I’m going to be starting soon. So I decided I’d just drive back up to Hood River again! Why not? It’s a lovely drive and I don’t mind going alone. So off I went, about 11 a.m. I figured I’d have plenty of time to look around because the marketplace closed at 4 o’clock. Wrong, wrong, wrong. It closed at 2 o’clock! No biggie. I had two hours to look around, talk to friends and enjoy the atmosphere.
I didn’t find the yarn I was looking for, but it was good to be there. I really enjoyed the afternoon. This was a fabulous fiber festival, and I am in awe that it was the idea of just one person who put last year’s first festival together. Kudos to Yvonne of Lavender Sheep for making it happen!
I love going to fiber festivals. I’ve found that the people who attend them couldn’t care less about what I look like or how much I weigh, whether or not I’m wearing makeup, or what kind of clothes I wear. That stuff just isn’t important. I never feel as though I have to dress up or impress anyone; we’re all connected because of our love of fiber. Kinda like being among all my friends and ‘ohana from da ‘aina. The outside stuff just doesn’t matter; what’s important is what’s on the inside.
But I digress. Here’s today’s photo, full of fibery goodness. It was a terrific weekend!
One photo couldn’t do justice to my day today. So you folks get to choose which one you think is the saddest, worthy of the photo of the day.
About a month ago I finished a really pretty cowl. I knit it out of my handspun. It was the first lace project I’d ever knit, the first handspun I’d knit, and I was mighty proud of it.
It looked really good when I wasn’t wearing it. The lace pattern showed up great and I loved the feel of it. Oni one problem: Each long edge rolled up toward the center so that I was left with this ugly coil-y something around my neck, despite some rigorous blocking beforehand. Every time I looked at it I got upset. It had taken me so long to knit it, so long to learn how to do lace, and now I was left with something I hated.
So I went into Littlelamb and Ewe today and showed Cindy the Knitting Destroyer my trouble, and after talking about it, we both agreed that frogging the whole thing was the best way to go. She’s a great frogging enabler when it just hurts too much to frog your own knitting.
Oh. You don’t know frogging? Well, rippitt, rippitt, ribbitt.
Now you know.
Here is the good nurse, finding the end of my knitting where I’d woven in the ends.
She starts pulling out my knitting. Remember, I gave her full permission to do so. It just hurt too much to do it myself. Hours and hours I’d spent on that cunfunnit cowl!
Here is the mad Yarn Nurse Kavorkian at work. She has put the end of the yarn in the electric ball winder, which is slowly pulling out all my carefully knitted stitches. Oh, da pain!!
The yarn ball is getting bigger and bigger, and my knitting is getting smaller and smaller.
Eventually it was pau. My cowl was no more. And here is the proof. Do you think she looks like she’s having fun?
I will find another pattern for my pretty yarn. After I’ve recovered.
Ho, I wen fall so far behind, yeah? Now stay pau da Tour de France and I stay playing catch-up! So today I going post da next three days of da Tour de Fleece.
Everyday I tried to get creative with my collages. Some days I had a lot of time, some not so much for that. For Day Thirteen, I thought it’d be fun to have the underneath of my myrtlewood wheel for the background. Joe Jorgensen made several hundred beautiful, myrtlewood wheels; there are several of us on Ravelry who are trying to locate as many of them as we can.
As you can see, the bobbin is getting a little fuller. Spinning a new fiber was a real learning experience for me, but the more I spun, the more consistent I was able to get.
This was my attempt at humor. I’d taken the photo of the Pileated Woodpecker right outside my office window and am really happy with it. I thought this could work well for my Day Fourteen collage.
For Day Fifteen, I did what a lot of handspinners do: put a coin underneath the singles to demonstrate how fine we’re spinning. I’m not spinning major fine, but as you can see, my singles is definitely getting more consistent. And oh, yeah, the bobbin is getting fuller. Hee hee. I took the sheep photo on one of our appraisal assignments near Jefferson, Oregon.
On Day Nine, I filled up the first bobbin!! Whoot! So, trying to be creative, I decided to put it on a daylily for contrast. A little bit of the daylily’s pollen da kine got on it; I think it’ll wash out when I ply the two bobbins together, but if not, I kinda like it!
Are you getting bored yet? Same old stuff on the bobbin, I know. But it’s getting fuller, and I am perfecting my craft. Ha! This is really challenging stuff to spin, and I’m having to figure out which spinning technique will give me the result I want. Long draw? Short forward draw? Something in between? Kamaʻāina draw? (I made that one up. How did you guess?) How do I get enough twist in the singles without making it looks all corkscrewy? How do I get more consistent in spinning this slippery fiber?
I am definitely being challenged! I’m glad I’m doing da Tour de Fleece, even if finding spinning time in my busy schedule is difficult.
Today I had to take ʻUkulele, my very special pōpoki, to the vet. She’s sixteen years old and may be having some kidney problems. It’s been a really hard day for me today. I get the report tomorrow.
I find spinning soothes me at times like this. It’s repetitive and rhythmic. It’s nurturing and creative. Some people like their wheels to be as quiet as possible, but not me. I love the clickity-clack that most of my wheels’ bobbins make as they turn, spinning fiber into thread.
I pray the report gives us some hope tomorrow. I will be spinning while I wait for the doctor’s call. It will help calm me down.
Here is the collage from Day Six… having sheep in it seemed appropriate.