Summer Slow Down continues despite the cooler temps and some really good “soaking” rains we’ve had over the last day. Truthfully, it was a welcome change from 90+ degree days. I understand that our heatwave was nothing compared to what many are experiencing, but still… too hot is too hot and for me temps in the 90’s (and upward) are just too hot! There is no rushing to do anything in the heat but the cooler temps are a very welcome break before we head back to those warm temps next week. All that heat means I have been spending lots of time indoors, but that is okay… I have plenty to keep me occupied inside! (And I don’t mean housework… although, I probably shout! Ha!) But how about some good things to close out the week and welcome in the holiday!
First up, I have had little Wiz K. a week now and wow! There was a very tiny learning curve on how to adjust it but once I figured it out, I was off to the races! I did a bit of trial spinning with some of the leftover fibers from my MDSW classes… I sorted out my “normal” spinning quickly, and once that happened it all just sort of fell into place. So I grabbed a braid of fiber (from my favorite Hipstrings!) divided the braid in thirds and started spinning!
One third of a braid, in process!
The Sparrow is completely silent, which is shocking to me, but I love it! It is easy to adjust tension and take up, and starting and stopping is a breeze! I have only spun with it plugged in and the “start/stop” speed control is genius. It is separate from the e-spinner, so I can have it closer to me for ease of reach. There is a slight delay on starting and stopping so there is not an abrupt yank of the fiber, but rather a smooth start and a smooth stop. I have the “speed” set to 40, but it can go much faster… much faster! Likewise it can go slower as well, so I think this could be an excellent e-spinner for a new spinner! Changing twist direction is as easy as the flip of a little switch, so easy! It comes set up in Scotch Tension, but can easily be switched to Irish Tension, if you needed to. I like that bit of versatility… and I don’t think you’d need an e-spinner to do much more than that.
One genius controller!
Now, let’s talk about one wee draw back, if you can call it that…. the battery. I have yet to spin with the battery because I need to plug something else into the battery to increase the output so it (the battery) stays on. Some people plug their phone in, but I think I will get a little USB light and use that instead. Why is this necessary? Because the Sparrow hardly uses any power – so little that the battery does not register anything using it so it turns itself off! Yep… that is right, it is one efficient little bird! I have not filled a bobbin yet to determine the capacity, but Daedalus says their capacity is 5 oz of fiber, which is larger capacity than anything I currently am using but I will update you once I have a full bobbin.
For the price, I think this is an excellent “starter e-spinner” but it is also would be an excellent addition to your wheel collection… (small foot print, silent, portable, and it spins incredibly!) The price for the e-spinner is $400, which includes the wheel and three bobbins. That price does not include the speed control, which is $110. But!! Once you have the speed control, it is interchangeable with all of the other e-spinners Daedalus makes… so it is a one time investment. The battery pack is an additional $110 and again, it is interchangeable with all the other Daedalus e-spinners.
Now let’s talk more about the footprint, shall we? It is minuscule! The space it takes up on my table is 5″ x 7.5″… yes that is it! So if you are looking for something that can get a good bit of spinning done and not hog up all the space in your room… this is the bird for you! I have two “manual” wheels, lol, a Schacht Matchless and a Schacht Flat Iron. I thought my Matchless took up a reasonably small bit of space, but it now feels like a behemoth in comparison! And as for that Flat Iron… well, I think it is time that it moves on to a new home (so if you know anyone who is interested in a wheel… let me know!)
I am impressed with the quality of the wheel and with the dedication that Dave and Rebecca have to customer support. They have a very active FB Group where questions are answered very quickly. This has rapidly become an invaluable resource for me, because you can search a question… and find an answer quickly without having to ask again. Plus, the community there is incredible! They are a helpful, supportive group! I love watching Daedalus e-spinner owners cheering on those trying to get their first e-spinner. If you are thinking about an e-spinner… a Daedalus product would absolutely be my recommendation!
But… it was not all spinning this week! I have another drawing to share! I was disappointed in last week’s attempt… but I thought I could do better so I tried again. This time I focused on just what I could fit onto my page… and I took my time. This outcome took me all week… I worked on it for probably 30-45 minutes at a time. I kept reminding myself that it was layers… not one and done. I am very happy with the outcome! Is there room for improvement? Yes… but, there is also a great deal of pleasure in my finished drawing! I also added some supplies to my arsenal… I got a box of semi-hard pastels, some charcoal pencils, tortillons and blending stumps! Summer of Art continues!
One happy drawing, which is not really as grainy looking as this image appears.
The other amazing and incredible and very good thing is that my sweet Winston turned one this week.
Cute… but where is the cake???
I know I am entirely prejudiced, but he is just the most beautiful boy! (and he looks so much like his momma!) (Also, what is not to love about a first birthday when no one cares if you have anything on but your diaper! LOL)
And the final good thing this week? Well, it’s all about going from winning at the “Pandemic look” to suddenly public ready… yes, I finally found the courage to make an appointment to get my hair cut… and I could not be happier that I did! (and thank you all for your incredibly kind words on IG… you all are just such wonderful people! XO
Oh… and as for the Great Makeup Debate? The winners are a tiny bit of tinted moisturizer, a tiny swoop of brown shadow, a couple of coats of mascara, a little pop of color on my cheeks, and some lip gloss… simple, easy, and it is just right! I feel ready, and not at all made-up or overdone!
Winning Loosing Post-Pandemic look… oy! lol
A fresh coiffure does wonders for a body!
That is all I have for this week… I will be back next week (but maybe not until Wednesday!) Have a very Happy Forth, everyone!
Gentle Readers… we have arrived at the final day of June…sigh. It gives me a tiny pang in my heart to say that and despite a week of 90+ degree days…life is just so good!
On the making side of my life… I am progressing on my Test Knit… this week the three tubes shall merge into a sweater! I am loving the fabric of this sweater so much that I am contemplating knitting another one… perhaps pale grey and pinks this time! This will be the perfect layer for fall/winter/spring weather! (and fall will be about the time I can reveal it to you all!)
But never fear! I do have a little something to share with you all today, I just eased into the third clue of Anne Hanson’s mystery shawl. I had forgotten how much I love to knit Anne’s patterns. They are truly a wonder… and it has certainly been magical to see the “honeycomb” come to life in the knits, purls, and twisted stitches! I was looking for a “neutral” shawl and I could not have picked a more perfect pattern! It is a joy to knit!
But let’s close out the month with a bit of a Summer Bingo update, shall we? I read 17 books in June!! (which is just insane!) No new bingos this week, but I just have seven squares left to fill my card… and it is not July yet! (at least not quite July yet!!) I have some excellent finishes this week though! And a couple of books that will be with me for a very long time and one of which will quite possibly be the best book I have read all year.
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“I realised that the search for the Knowledge has encouraged us to think of the House as if it were a sort of riddle to be unravelled, a text to be interpreted, and that if ever we discover the Knowledge, then it will be as if the Value has been wrested from the House and all that remains will be mere scenery.” ― Susanna Clarke, Piranesi
This book. Oh.My.Gosh! I don’t even know where to begin to describe to you this story, but it is incredible! A book that is a labyrinth about a labyrinth… reading it was like working peeling an onion layer by layer…And just when you think X is happening, you discover that it is really Y and there is not one second of disappointment! But rather joy at the brilliance of the writing! If you read no other book this summer, read this book! I highly recommend!
Summer Book Bingo Square: Originally published in the 21st century
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“This story is about a lot of things, but mostly about idiots. So it needs saying from the outset that it’s always very easy to declare that other people are idiots, but only if you forget how idiotically difficult being human is.” ― Fredrik Backman, Anxious People
I did not think it was possible for a Backman book to surpass my love for Ove, but Backman has made the impossible possible! This book is just so good… no one does character development like Backman does! And then when he weaves these tiny threads to connect the characters to each other, and then reveals the connections with each page of the story.. it is just a joy to read. But I warn you… this is a book that requires a box of tissues and involves some ugly crying (I cried for the last hour of listening!) This just might be my favorite book of the year thus far. I cannot stop thinking about it! I highly recommend it!
Summer Book Bingo Square: Translation
The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
If you think this book is just about a pandemic, you’d be wrong. It is full of so much more and has incredibly beautiful twists and turns. The ending was beautiful, but getting there had me in stages of disbelief… but still the ending made up for that.
Summer Book Bingo Square: An author from a country you’ve never visited
I am going to take a wee break from Book Bingo next week (and probably the week after as well!) because I just got Beach Music from the library and I want to settle in, listen, and not feel any pressure to rush through it! (It is 31 hours of listening!) I was inspired by Bonny to find something to re-read this summer and I think Beach Music will be the perfect thing to listen to in July! (so I might not have many book updates next month! Be warned! lol) I have one book to finish before I can start it, but it is a good bit shorter than 31 hours! Ha!
That is all I have this week… how about you? What made your June sing?
As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!!
If you’re always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one you’re in? Slow down and enjoy the moment you’re in and live your life to the fullest. ― Nanette Mathews
Carolyn’s prompts for June included a Blast List, which I struggled with… I was stymied by what to put on this list. Or so I thought… soon the idea of an Un-Blast List was rattling around my brain. As in… releasing the idea of “must do’s” and reimagining a truly slow summer. One not full of things to accomplish, but rather full of something very different.
Finding joy in the slow moments of the day… and intentionally creating more of them.
And so June began and each moment I felt some urgent desire to hurry to get on to the next thing, I stopped and contemplated why? What’s the rush? It was the beginning of a lovely experience… stopping and enjoying the current thing. Purposefully. With intention.
Summer is a finite time… fleeting… all too soon over…and rushing to fill the days with all.the.things. seems so very wrong. Releasing the idea that more is better… and embracing each moment has made for a really wonderful month! (Although, not rushing to fill the days is not as easy as it sounds!)
Slowing down allowed me to sit quietly with my thoughts as well. This, my friends, is never a good thing… except this month it was different and I could not put my finger on what was different until I listened to this…and these words especially struck me… deeply: “…Have patience with all that is unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves”
Yes, slowing down has been very good. The days still feel as if they are racing on, but each day feels more full… memorable… lasting…
I want to thank Carolyn for hosting us as we share our word updates! Be sure to stop this week to see how June was for everyone else!
See you all back here on Wednesday!
“How did it get so late so soon?”
Today I am one with Dr. Seuss. It is the last Friday in June… and all I can do is wonder where the heck the month went?
But it is still June for a few more seconds and so let’s slow down and savor some things that stood out for me this week.
First up, a very good listen… Ibram X. Kendi and Ari Berman talk about voter suppression. Voter Suppression is my new “constant worry” and if it is something that worries you as well…. the latest episode of Be Antiracist has some frank conversation and even some things to think about, to read, and ways you can support groups that are fighting voter suppression! PA is not immune to voter suppression and there is a bill making its way through the State Congress that will make it more difficult to vote here and despite the promise of a veto from our governor they forge ahead. Sadly, 48 states have a 389 restrictive voting bills that have either passed or are in process so chances are that this will have an impact on how you vote as well.
I had a very slow (and yes, painful) journey with my summer art project this week. Full disclosure… this little pastel drawing was just a bit of a much bigger photo I found online. It has more wrong with it than it has right… but I am proud that I did not give up, I did not start over, and I kept working at it. I am even going to try again next week because each day as I worked on it I could see how I could have improved it…what I should have done…placement on the page, etc. So… here is my first attempt… I hope next week’s attempt is better in all aspects!
Tomorrow starts the Tour de Fleece… which ironically coincides with the Tour de France, LOL. Generally, it’s all about how much you can get spun during the Tour… yards and yards and yards of singles that are then extrapolated into miles… in other words, it can be as competitive as the actual Tour! Not so for me this year… I am going to worry less about my “mileage” and focus on savoring these gorgeous batts that I got from Hipstrings! They are so soft! I am going to set aside 30 minutes each morning to do some spinning meditation at my wheel. I am not on any “official” team, but rather this will be a solo ride of discovery!
Finally… a wee little Animal Crossing update. This week I achieved a big milestone! I have managed to “cultivate” all the different colors of flowers! My practically impossible final flower… the elusive Purple Pansy sprouted this week!
That is all I have for this week. I will be back on Monday with an update on my word! Have a great weekend everyone!
Greetings Gentle Readers!
Apparently sofa’s have a great desire for AirPods…and yes, I found them deep inside in a place I did not know my sofa had. I also found one pen and, curiously, just one stitch marker. The Single Stitch Marker surprises me because I am very confident that I have lost more than one stitch marker in the sofa. And so this morning my ears are happy, the pen is put away, and the stitch marker is back with its pals. All is good in the world and with my list…if you don’t count “finding a new physician” that is!
Test Sweater Knitting is moving right along… I like knitting a sleeve as a gauge swatch and that is what I did for this sweater. I did have to rip back my swatch and reknit to get gauge… which I would not have had to do if I had listened to my head and started with a bigger needle. Oh well… one sleeve is done and the other is well under way. I should be starting the body no later than Friday! This sweater is one of the most fun knits… you get the sleeves out of the way early because this is a bottom up sweater so you have that magical moment when you join the three tubes and suddenly, you are almost done with you sweater! This is a steeked sweater and I am leaning toward doing crochet steaks and I think I am going to knit the button bands pre-steeking to try something new! Steeking is a long way off though, I will wait to join in the Zoom Steek Party next month. What fun… I mean only knitters would be excited about that, and I am very excited about it! Ha!
I do have one HUGE thing coming very soon. For months now I have watched with interest the progression of Daedalus Spinning Wheels… they are a hot commodity in the fiber world. HOT! I have tried, with no success, to purchase one when they do a drop of product but they are literally sold out in minutes from the time they open sales up. However, this month Daedalus tried something different…a lottery. I signed up and hoped for success… and I was successful!! I will have one Yellow and Black Sparrow making its way to me… and I can’t wait! I have never spun on an electric wheel so I am expecting a fairly large learning curve… but maybe not? One can hope! LOL I am not a person who names my wheel, but this somehow seems different… more car-like almost and cars always had a name when I was little. So I think this motorized wheel needs a name… and I think the perfect one is Wiz the Sparrow! After all… I hoped that I would have some Steeler luck with my color choices and obviously it worked!
Now let’s get on to the reading, shall we? It was a most excellent week for reading! And, thanks to The Dark Vineyard, I have my first bingo! I am close on a couple more bingo’s and it feels like I am standing at the apex of my card and one or two more reads and it will all fall into place. Feels like being the operative term there…Reality is that I have some hard squares left open so I need to do some serious work (or some outlandishly creative thinking) and find some books to fill the squares!
Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space by Amanda Leduc
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I wanted to like this book, but I did not. I wanted to learn from this book, but I could not get past the fairy tales. I am not a fan of fairy tales and this book is heavy on the fairy tales. I might have liked it more if I had not just listened to Ibram X. Kendi’s new podcast and a conversation with Rebecca Cokley (https://www.pushkin.fm/episode/ableis…) on ableism, disability rights, and advocacy. It was much better with no fairy tales. Skip this book and listen to the podcast instead.
Summer Book Bingo Square: With a beautiful cover
The Dark Vineyard by Martin Walker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A series that grabs you by the second installment is good… and this is that series! I want to move to France and settle into Bruno’s little village, Saint-Denis. I want to eat his truffle omelets, sip his wine, eat the local cheeses, and join everyone for a Ricard at the day’s end. An added bonus would be to help him solve the mystery. If you want to spend your summer in France… get started on this series. It is wonderful!
Summer Book Bing Square: Set in a place you’d like to
Becoming Duchess Goldblatt: A Memoir by Duchess Goldblatt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“Any asshole can make a mean joke. It’s harder work to reach out further for the joke that’s funny and can’t hurt anybody.”
― Duchess Goldblatt, Becoming Duchess Goldblatt
One of the greater finds on the Twitterverse is Duchess Goldblatt’s account… and this quote is the exact reason why she was such a great find. She is witty, funny, and kind… something that is quite lacking in the Twitterverse.
This is a quick listen and it is just as fun as her twitter account… but it is more, it also has a bit of a memoir woven though. It makes you see the Duchess in a new light… a very lovely new light.
Summer Book Bingo Square: Inspired to read because of a
TV show Twitter account
The Dubliners by James Joyce
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
If one is in doubt at the sheer genius and brilliance of Joyce’s writing, they but need to read The Dubliners. Fifteen stories… glimpses into the some of the lives of the residents of Dublin. A collection of short stories…who am I? I thought that short stories were my least favorite thing, but that is obviously not true! Although the last story is the longest of the 15, and the most poignant, and perhaps my favorite! Perhaps the most amazing thing of all is that how this collection of stories, published in 1914… is so relevant today. If you have read no Joyce… start here! I highly recommend!
Summer Book Bingo Square: Originally published in the 20th century
Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“There’s a particular kind of close you get when you find someone you can trust in a space you don’t.”
― Mira Jacob, Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations
This book! AMAZING! Fun! Hard! EXCELLENT!! I think the best space for learning is by listening when it matters. This book is full of things that matter that you need to listen to! Conversations you likely won’t hear unless you read it! I laughed, I cried…lots, I cringed at reading things I have done, and this book will make me better. It will make you better too… read this book!
Summer Book Bingo Square: Protagonist with a different ethnicity from your own
That is what my week looks like, what about you? What are you excited about?
As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!