Sunday, July 26, 2015

stage 20 and the ride to paris!

i finished the odds and ends. i was vacillating on what to do to finish them. have a super-yardage single? two ply in random color matches? or go with my original plan to navajo ply. i know that it's not the biggest problem in the world, but i just had to let it roll around in my brain a bit. i did spin yesterday, just finishing up some random stuff that had been hanging about. i wanted to wrap this tour up with completing those dang bits!
we did this..... an excursion tour on the Canandaigua Lady. we've lived here forever and had never taken the kids on this cruize. we are not doing any real travel/vacation this summer, so decided that this would be fun. it totally surpassed our expectations. captain holgar was delightful, sharing lots of interesting tidbits about the area. we learned about the early settlers (seneca's) the original swim school ( my dad remembers learning to swim there in 1929) squaw island, the original steam boats.... it was delightful.
my current knitting project has had quite the adventure. i'm finally making a set of 'knitted knockers' for the guild. it is perfectly mindless knitting that has been traveling everywhere with me. whoever gets these ta-ta's will have a well traveled set!
the canandaigua arts festival was happening, so we strolled about after the boat trip. i found several things that i needed, and even got a start on the holiday gifting.
at the end of the day i realized that i needed to stick with my original plan and navajo ply that yarn. i got going first thing this morning and had a brief distraction to do this....
yoga in the park. it's held at kershaw park on the last sunday of the month in the summer. last month is got rained out, so we were determined to make it today. since the festival was ongoing, we were treated to live music and the sounds of merchants as we worked through an hour of down-dogs and warrior poses! i even got a few more rows done on my knocker :)
but the real test of my stamina came on the ride to paris, i worked all afternoon doing this...
there is way more yarn than i imagined having to ply. but i made it! too dark for pics, so i'll get some tomorrow and wrap up this tour.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

stages 17-19

not a lot different on the spinning front. i'm still slogging along on the 'odds & ends'. the part that keeps me engaged and amused is the constant changes. the colors shift, the fiber is often different from bit to bit so i have to adjust my spinning. i've been on the road this week, and the first comment to the spinning is " wow, look at the color change".
today i'll be at the last bit, so i'll need to decide what to do next. i do have my anniversary fiber spun, so i may ply that instead.
i love checking out the official tour de france website to keep track of the real event. today i've been chuckling at the idea of being able to devote all that time to really being able to spin, play with fiber, etc. the reality is that life still goes on..... meals to prepare, lawns to mow, house to vacuum, dog to walk...... you know what i mean.
yesterday i did this......
re-certified for another year. it was a nice group this year. there was a wide variety of folks, and everyone was engaged. i enjoy this and truly hope that i never need to use the skills!
then there was this....
the last day of whitewater kayak camp. these are the locks on the canal. the water level is determined by boats in the locks, rain fall that leads to flooding, and course activity. the lock is quiet in this picture, and then active here....
the difference is crazy in person. the sound is what i always notice first... a gentle rush to a thundering roar! the course is long, curving over and around rocks and trees.
the idea is to make it between the markers as you race against another paddler. my paddlers skill set isn't at that point, but i think that the next level is in our immediate future!
it's a blast to watch them!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

stage 16 and a rest day

the dog booties were the cat's pajama's (how's that for mixing metaphors :) they fit perfectly and she spent the day swimming like a fish dog! so here's how this works. etta, our five year old yellow lab, adores the water. when we had the pool put in three summers ago, the installers told us that they let their dogs swim in the pool. the dog hair isn't the problem, you just have to watch out for nails penetrating the liner. so etta got a set of latex dog boots. it's like trying to put balloons on your squirming dogs feet. she does well for three paws, then squirms like crazy while two adults struggle to put on the last bootie. this year her dad found a set of neoprene dog booties online. the first swim they floated off because of those skinny dog legs. the repairs i did worked perfectly....
she can paddle away and we don't have to worry about an accidental liner tear.
she is stylin in her new foot-wear. are we nuts about our dogs or what?
onto the fiber.
still spinning on those odds & ends. i''m going to have to soon decide how (or if) to ply this.
i finished sarah's slippers....
i'll spend an afternoon at dad's felting these in the top loading, agitating washer!
today was dye day with amythefibergoddess. we're on the count down to the fiber fest. with all the major events behind us, she can focus on getting her products ready. we were in the groove...

and had major dyeing mojo! every color worked, the skeins were amazing......
and i came home looking like i dumped it in my lap! i was wet to the skin and have no idea how it happened. we were rocking the dye pots!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

tour stages 11-15

yes, there is spinning being done. but first let's look at the interruptions. summer is here, and you have to seize the fun when you can. we spent the night at the lake with grandpa. he's 93 and misses his girls.... all the noise, chaos and fun that five gals can generate. we did this:
with skiing, swimming, nail painting, game playing fun. i did manage to spin each day, but the progress was minimal.
yesterday was guild day with the annual farm visit. we all stayed in the shade, most folks were spinning. the company was fabulous, making the day wonderful.
amythefibergoddess had her garage all ready for us to take over. it was hot. so hot that i came home and immersed myself in the pool. once my core cooled down, i got even more spinning done. i love these little bits. i keep wanting to see what will be coming next. here's what i mean....

see the progression? i still haven't decided how i'm going to ply this, or even if i will. my goal today is to get several more on the bobbin. but i keep getting sidetracked. the latest was to fix these...
any guesses? those are neoprene dog booties. it seems that little red's legs are tooooo skinny to keep them on. why does she need booties? why to go in the pool of course. i had to take the velcro off and sew it back on which allows them to fit snugly. i just carried them out to her father, so we'll see how that works!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

stage 10

let's start with some pictures.....

here's some spinning. i'm doing a bit every time i walk by the wheel and since it is living on the kitchen counter that's often. i'll go out to make a pot of tea, spin a bit. make dinner? spin a bit. it hasn't gotten old, but i saw some beguiling new fiber at amythefibergoddesses and i will admit it took some luster off my bits.
and there is still quite a bit of bits. we were chatting and planning the preparations for her booth at the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival. it's going to be an awesome event. the fairgrounds has undergone a huge renovation (with more changes planned for the future). newer buildings, better lighting.... it will be a grand time.
want to see a something special? i spent the afternoon organizing and labeling for the gvhg display.
23 handspun, hand made pillows. festival goers can see them all and vote for their favorite in September at the festival.

Monday, July 13, 2015

stages 7-9 and a rest day

wow, summer is here. i've been spinning every day. not making huge, blogable progress, but spinning nonetheless. i keep working through the bag of little bits. it's completely addicting with my new response being... 'just let me finish this little bit'. it could really be just a little bit, or it could be the entire bit. it keeps the family on their toes.
so family. they got in the way of my power spinning this weekend.
the cornhill arts festival was saturday & sunday and my gal was a vendor in the emerging artist section. it is a long day to spend sitting in the sun watching the festival go by, so dad & i took shifts. he drove in and helped with the set up, hauling tables, product, etc. and i came up after lunch so we could switch. there was no way i could take the wheel, so i dug around for some knitting that needed finishing. i found the wool clogs that i had started back in april and knew they would be perfect.
 i could focus on the pattern, not lose my place with the counting and make some progress. by sunday i had finished one and made great progress it's mate.
the talent at this even is awesome. the young artist next to us (taylor smith)  had stunning paintings and prints. her colors were vibrant, i could just keep envisioning roving.
the chalk zone was directly across from us and sunday i arrived to find her sister creating this sea turtle.....
she worked all day in the blistering heat to complete it.
stunning! even the slipper enjoyed being part of the art!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

stage 6

well, it's raining. again. while it makes it easier to rationalize being indoors spinning..... i'm just so very sick of the wet. i should have known this was coming, i washed the kitchen floor yesterday and started prepping the deck for paint. i just heard how nice it was going to be this weekend that i completely overlooked the monsoon that was coming today.
spinning.... yes i did. i thought it would be easier to understand the 'odds&ends' with a photo -
how sweet are they? i grab one from the bag.... and this is the part that just KILLS me. i don't look, try to match color, match fiber, match anything..... i just grab one, fluff it up and spin. it turns out great, but it is a stretch for me to let fate take a hand.
okay, i will admit that when i pluck one out i do try to make sure that it goes with the one that i'm attaching it to. okay, i will even admit that i may have, just maybe, thrown one back and grabbed a different one. maybe :)
since i want to navajo ply this, it is going to be a long time spinning this bag. stay with me!
amythefibergoddess has been hip deep in party preparations this week. we haven't even chatted, but she is keeping track of my posts. today she sends me this:  Im pretty sure that was english shetland and remember u saying u wanted to try something different.

hmmmmm. i'm glad she identified the fiber and i do remember saying that i wanted to try something different, but here's the quandary......
it was supposed to be romney. i'm okay with the shetland, but my fingers were needing the romeny!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

stages 4 & 5

yesterday was summer! hot, sunny, humid.... perfect for swimming. so i had a pool full of gals and lots of spinning time.
i plied the singles making sure to not have lots of twist. i estimate about 125 yds of aran/bulky yarn. it's stunning......
not what i wanted or expected. i may have some commercial yarn that will complement this nicely in a felted pattern. i'm leaning toward a bag.
so what to spin next. since i was on an 'itw' phase, i decided to stick with it. i purchased two bags of their odds and ends several years ago. i spun one bag as my first spinning project with my hansen. i pulled the remaining bag out and started to randomly pull out bobbles of fiber. i chuckled when the first bobble was exactly the fiber i just finished (that i know is not romney:) my thought is to spin this super-fine to navajo ply. that way i'll have long bands of color in a nice, round yarn.

Monday, July 6, 2015

stage 2 & stage 3

so now that i'm doing the tour, it will be all tour related talk.... not! let's look at how the first stage ended on july 4th,
sunset on canandaigua lake. it was a summer day with boat rides, game playing, picnic dinner, great friends, kids, kids, kids and spinning. i was glad that i had taken my wheel and my funky fiber as there were three fiber gals who took a look at it and agreed that it is not romney. i think it's icelandic as i keep finding guard hairs in it. the consensus is to spin it thick and loose to felt. i may make a booga bag ( haven't made one of those in years) or slippers.
yesterday i kept spinning but was interrupted with cuteness. how cute? behold~
a pumpkin hat, with a brown stem and leaves. it just makes me smile every time i see it....
isn't it even cuter up close? two leaves, brown stem, pumpkin sides, this is a winner. it's going to a little fella who is arriving at the end of october.
here's the second bobbin. i'll start plying this tomorrow. then i'll need to pick something, got lot's of choices which will make the choosing hard.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

tour de fleece

yes i am going to do the tour this year. it just feels wrong to not embrace it. i started blogging for my first tour and i'm the type that just can't leave that history in the dust.
so, day 1. i have been salivating over a lovely ITW colorway for a few years. amythefibergoddess bought it at one of the festivals, and i didn't. big mistake. friends should not let friends not buy the same colorway ( and if you were around this year in maryland, i believe we all did buy the same thing). i had to make due with a similar color, and decided that this would be my first spin.....
it wasn't until i pulled it out of the bag that i realized this is not my usual romney. not at all! it's course, rough on your hands and really not appealing. at first i stood there in shock.... i've been waiting and dreaming about how awesome this would be. i remembered a comment from the sheep study that kathy shared. even though it may be a breed you know and love, every fleece is different. i had it at the lake for our fourth celebration and there were many spinners around. they too fell under the spell of those lucious colors then touched it and their faces were priceless.
i'm going to keep going, spin it thick and loose for felting. maybe a bag or even slippers.
yesterday in preparation for the event, i knit and read by the pool. wanted to be fresh for the start of the tour!