What did I learn?

What color does this look like to you? It’s supposed to be shades of purple. I think it looks “purple-like”, but I hesitate to call it purple. Hub thinks I’m crazy, but I think it looks more blue. This was the last of the Chasing Rainbows hanks that I had. The other 4 hanks spun beautifully. This one seemed to have clumps of silk that made drafting difficult. There are sections of slubby gray-purple silk that have tightly twisted purple wool wrapped around them. Not my favorite skein, but useable.

I had 2 opportunities to dye while the TdF was going on. Jillian and I took a Friday and got busy in my back yard and then the next Saturday, I worked alone with the left over dye. I’ll say that while it may be more peaceful dyeing alone, it’s not much fun. There was no one at my house to ooh and ahh over my color choices. There was no one to take a turn at rinsing out the fiber and there was no one to share a latte with. I had a bump of natural colored Polworth/Silk mix that I split into 2 oz bundles. These are my 2 favorites from the 6 I dyed. This mixture took the the dye beautifully. One thing J and I learned is that fewer is better. We both liked the bits that we had used only 3 colors on. The top bump is turquoise, mallard green, and grasshopper. I poured the colors on and then “encouraged” them to blend together. I did the same on the bottom bump with turkey red, paprika, and grasshopper. There are some very cool bright green spots on this roving. I plan on taking these with me to spin on my downtime when we’re at Stitches Midwest next week. Yes, it did sneak up on me thanks. At least I have some idea of what I’m packing, right?

Lastly, I am in love with cashmere and silk blends. This is some I bought on eBay last week. Isn’t it luscious? I love the feel of this stuff in the ball like this, but what’s amazing to me is how soft it is when it’s spun. I haven’t actually tried this, but have spun this blend before. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Tour de Fleece Fait Accompli!!

As Floyd persevered, so did I. My goal was to spin the equivalent of 1 oz of wool/silk fiber per day – 23 oz in total. While I didn’t spin 1 oz every day, I did spin every day of the tour, including the rest days. Yesterday, I woke up knowing that I had roughly 2 oz left to spin to complete the race. I spun it, plied it and rushed to measure. The boys were already circling the Champs Elysees and my time was running short. Twenty-three oz translates to 1.44 pounds. This is what I got – see the little turquoise numbers on the right of the picture? It says 1.42. What??? Back to the wheel.

I figured that there wasn’t enough time to spin and ply, so I had to come up with a compromise. I thought I could spin the rest of the weight I needed, but I’d have to leave it on the bobbin to count it as yarn. Not wanting to throw off the count, my tare weight changed a little.

I went back to the wheel, determined to make up the lost weight and complete the race with the maillot jaune. I actually have gotten fairly good at spinning while not watching my hands during this counter-clockwise tour around France, but at the end of the race with the sprinters rushing to the front of the peleton and my boys from Discovery, George and Eki, attempting the stage win, I had to stop spinning and just watch. When the action was over and Floyd had finally won, it was time for the moment of truth. Success!!

Favorite Color Swap Questionnaire

Favorite Color Swap Questionnaire

1. What are your top three favorite colors?

Orange, green, blue

2. What crafts do you really enjoy?

Knitting, spinning (both wheel and spindle), dyeing, scrapbooking

3. What products do you really covet?

an upgrade on my drum carder, Bosworth spindles, cashmere and silk fiber

4. What other activities do you enjoy besides your favorite crafty things?

Reading, Tour de France

5. Is there anything you collect?

Besides fiber and yarn? No.

6. What is your zodiac sign and/or Chinese zodiac symbol?

Libra

7.What are your favorite�

�scents/smells?
patchouli, vanilla, orange (nothing flower-y)

�types of music and/or bands?
Dave Matthews Band, Indigo Girls, Black Eyed Peas, Patsy Cline, Maria Callas, Pink, Will Smith, Queen Latifah, Bare Naked Ladies, Johnny Cash (almost everything)

�authors?
Sara Paretsky, Patricia Cornwell, Anthony Bourdain, Gregory Maguire, John Irving, Amy Tan, Barbara Kingsolver

�animals?
sheep, alpacas, musk ox

�places to shop?
a good yarn shop, SOAR market, Target

�season?
fall

�yarn/fabric/paper/other craft supplies?
online, locally owned, Michaels, JoAnne’s

�candies or goodies?
Scharfenberger chocolate, caramels, orange slices, peppermint

8. Do you have any wish lists?
Amazon

9. Are you allergic to anything?
latex, bananas, kiwi

10. Do you have any pets? What are they?
2 dogs and a cat (not really mine, but they live in my house)

11. Please include anything else you would like your secret pal to know about you- anything that would be helpful in finding you little gifts that you will really enjoy.

I can’t think of anything. I recently have been dyeing fiber and now have the black fingernails to go with it. I can’t find anything to get rid of the dye (even nail brushes). Since I can’t wear latex, all the kitchen gloves are out.

I don’t like cartoon-y things. My favorite scrapbook papers are from Close to My Heart or Basic Grey.

I blew out 3 hand-knit socks this winter and haven’t the heart to replace my stash. Since the winters here are cold, I need to get busy and make some socks for myself.

Thanks Secret Color Pal!!

SHUT UP!!

After cracking in yesterday’s stage, losing a little more than 10 minutes and all hope for a podium finish in Paris(and breaking my heart into more pieces than an impressionist’s dropped vase) Floyd took the stage win today and came out in 3rd place. Hub had to call me at work to tell me the news. Unbelievable!!

Empath?

I rarely do these quiz thingies, but this one makes sense to me (okay, except for the kind and merciful).

You scored as Judge. You are a Judge Empath, one who is a “truthsayer”. You can tell truth from lies, good from evil. You do not tolerate wrong doing. You are a defender of the good and the innocent. You are kind and merciful but do not play foolish games. (from “The Book of Storms” by Jad Alexander at MySilentEcho.com)

Judge

95%

Artist

80%

Fallen Angel

75%

Healer

70%

Traveler

60%

Precog

60%

Universal

50%

Shaman

45%

What Kind of Empath Are You?
created with QuizFarm.com

And a shout-out to Emma: Girlfriend, if you want to be thought of as a pain in the ass around here, you’re going to have to work a little harder!!

Lush Summer

With the wet spring we’ve had, everything is taller, greener, and fuller. These are some tiger lillies that I moved ages ago and every year they fill in with more and more flowers. I love coming up my driveway at the end of the day – all that orange and green. It’s gorgeous!

Mmmm, raspberries!

When we moved into our house 14 years ago there were lots of plants that we either didn’t know were there or knew they were there, but didn’t know what they were. At the end of our driveway was an old wooden fence with a bunch of spiked vines all twisted around it. Hub hated the way it looked and pulled it out, vines, fence, and all. Turns out they were raspberry plants. Fortunately, he didn’t get them all and every year we have a couple handfuls of raspberries. This year, it’s a bumper crop. Sassy and I went down this morning and filled this container with the luscious little things and gorged ourselves on the way into work/field hockey camp.

They were so good, it makes the 73 mosquito bites I’ve been scratching all day worth it.

Spectator on the Course!!

I sat down on Saturday ready for the Prologue of the Tour and had my wheel and roving in place for a quick breakaway when the race started. Then chaos busted loose. I was blithely preparing my roving and had quite a large pile of fluff on the floor next to my chair. The next thing I knew, Hub was mildly announcing that someone was making off with my pile of fluff in her pointy toothed mouth. I started screaming at the thief and she took off running … with the fluff in her mouth. Hub chased her down and brought it back, “Um is that technical difficulties? No, it’s a spectator on the course.” And then proceeded to laugh himself sick. Who me?

I set a goal for myself of spinning 1 ounce per day of silk/wool blend. What I’ve been spinning so far is 50/50 merino and bombyx. It is so gorgeous that I may have just ordered more on line, despite my fiber spending moratorium. I have to have enough to last for the whole tour don’t I? These are the skeins from a 2 ounce bundle of Chasing Rainbows. The lighter is brick and the greener one is forest. I’m pretty consistent with 50 yards in each skein. I think they’ll be lovely accents for something. Maybe I’ll just put them up for sale in the guild Fleece Fair in September. Any suggestions?

Since I only have one more bundle of it left, I decided to spin that little purple bump. Turns out that it’s short staple wool carded with multi-colored silk noil. It’s an interesting yarn, but not what I like to spin. I really prefer smooth yarn and with all the short bits in the roving, it’s very bumpy and uneven. Someone will love it, I’m sure. It will definitely be going to the Fleece Fair.

Tonight, I’m hoping to finish up the purple bump and move back to the blue Chasing Rainbows that I have. I have been meeting my goal of 1 ounce/night. Five down, 18 to go!