Friday, July 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Harry Potter!

And JKR also, who I see in the paper this morning is 44. A good age, don't you think? Even though I have to wait 8 days to find out . . .

Here's a picture from about 2 weeks ago of the family with our 2009 cherry harvest! I haven't done the promised spinning & knitting post yet but have been staying out of trouble with domestic duties, seeing the HP6 movie with DH (we l0ved it), following the Tour in the newspaper, going to the geology museum's quarry fossil hunt, babysitting neighbors' pets, and the like. Only 1 month until school starts and I am both very keen for it and sad to see the summer race by. How did you do on the Tour de Fleece?? Was it fun? I'm thinking we maybe should form a team some year. More soon, love, Cindy, almost 44

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Spinnin' the Summer Away

Hi Cindy!

Glad to hear your weather has been treating you better than us. We've been hanging at over 110 for the last 10 days and it is getting really old. This weekend we hunkered down inside the house, trying to keep cool. We couldn't even hardly get in the pool since it faces full west and is pretty bright. I went grocery shopping on Sunday and it was 110 in the garage. Bleck!

Here is the Mountain Colors Lodgegrass I've been working on the last week or so. It was 4 ounces and I've been spinning for about half an hour each evening, longer on the weekend.

Margi finally got up the courage to sit on my lap while I spin. She's been circling me for the last 2 weeks. Finally on Sunday she jumped up and thought she should help me draft, with her teeth. Or maybe she just wanted to taste it. Yum, fibery!
This isn't a great picture of the plied yarn. It is really dark in this picture. I'll wash this and the last bit of Bill the Lizard soon and have better pictures soon.

As I hinted in my comment the other day I've learned a new skill. It was inspired by this library book. I love the knit flowers but there are even more crochet flowers. So, over the weekend I fired up YouTube and found a How-to-Crochet video called The Art of Crochet. It is actually a whole series of videos that covers the basics plus patterns, flowers and granny squares.

Here is my first bit of experimentation. The cloth on the right is all single crochet although I didn't do the chain stitch at the start of each row so it is a bit misshapen. The one on the left is a combination of stitches and done all around the edge instead of back and forth. It was almost free-form doodling but not quite.

And here is my first completed piece, it is a bag done in the round with single, double and triple crochet stitches, or at least my unlearned interpretation of what I was watching and reading. The bottom is Sugar N' Cream in chocolate ombre. The upper part is a Bernat Organic Cotton in mixed greens. It is a great size for projects.

Hope you've enjoyed the pictures. I'm still waiting on that piece of raspberry tart, looks yummy! Are you headed out on vacation around your birthday? I've picked up something for your birthday and I want to make sure you're around when it arrives.

Stay Cool! A

Summer update, part 2

Hi! Here's most of the handspun I've made so far this summer. The blue and purple are from a roving I got at the Sow's Ear. The greens are from samples out of the April Phat Fiber box. The grays, browns, and natural "whites" are from that lovely Jacob fleece.

I dithered a lot about what to make from my fleece. At first, I wanted a Kaffe Fassett vest but kept thinking that a multi-colored vest would be pretty hot to wear . . . not a bad thing in Wisconsin but toasty enough to limit its wearing to winter only. So I've opted to make a groovy Satchel instead. I'm going to knit a Kaffe multi-color pattern on the big blank space on the outside. This also has 2 great advantages: I can carry it with me everywhere I go year-round ;) and it hides the (ahem) many irregularities in my spinning from my learning to card and spin long draw.

We've been busy with the garden (doing amazing despite a cool dryish summer) and assorted family activities like going to the County Fair. Hope all is well there. How goes the TdF?? Love, Cindy

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Summer update, part 1

Hi Alene! Here's some of what I've been up to this summer. No, I'm not playing poker; those & the jar are for a Hogwarts-style points system for the kids. That's a raspberry dessert (yum!). I'll get together my spinning for a photo op as soon as a few skeins are dry. Hope your Tour is going well. May the Fleece be with you until my next posting, Cindy

p.s. I LOVE your Team's Oz-themed ravatar.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Here come the mountains!

Yay for you, Alene, in the TdF! I'll be at your water stops to cheer you on, spinning on the sidelines. :) Thanks for your recent posts, and so sorry to hear of your loss. Loved the pictures from the Navajo Nation and also the felting; made me itching to start another project LOL!!

I'm spinning up my Jacob fleece and some dyed merino/tussah from my LYS. It's a great stress reliever, and a progress report will be coming soon to a blog near me & you. Love, Cindy

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tour de Fleece

Hi Cindy!

As you know both the Tour de France and the Tour de Fleece began on Saturday. I've decided to take the plunge this year. I've joined the local team, Fred's Fiber Fiends from Tempe Yarn and Fiber. I love this Ravetar that one of the members created. What do you think?

Here is most of my fleece. My goal for the tour is to spin up as much of it as possible. I estimate that I have probably less than 5 pounds total. The only thing not show here is the fiber from the Mystery Spin Along from last fall. I've only spun two of those recipes so I'd like to finish that too.

Margi thought she'd check out the wheel. Of course the bobbin is off so she couldn't really spin all that much.

Here are two bobbins worth that I spun up on Monday and Tuesday nights. Tonight I plied them together.
The fleece was "Bill the Lizard" that I bought from Violet (of Lime & Violet's podcast). Half of the braid was green and half was purple. The first half of both I spun separately and then plied together. These I mixed the green and purple on each bobbin so I ended up with a mix of green sections, purple sections and combined sections. I really like how it plied together.

Here are all the hanks I've spun from the fleece. The top two are the earlier ones and I've washed them already so they've muted slightly. The bottom two are the new ones. There is still a portion on one bobbin that I'll either ply on itself or with a different single.

More soon, A