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Very Good Things | 6.25.21

Very Good Things | 6.25.21

“How did it get so late so soon?”
Dr. Seuss

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!

 

Fiber Friday – Stage 13

Fiber Friday – Stage 13

Tour de Fleece continues to be in the forefront for me this week, today is Stage 13 for le Tour and it is the first time-trial, for those that are following along with the riders.

As such, I am pacing through my Montadale singles, having 2 bobbins spun – I will start today on the third so I can begin plying this weekend. My goal is to finish the bobbin today, and I have Doc queued up on Audiobooks, so I have no excuses!

Then, I can begin my second bump of fiber…No worries though, with over 18 hours of Doc to listen too and rain in the forecast, I should get a good bit of spinning done this weekend!

Now for the Friday Links:

As I spin today, my thoughts will be centered on the citizens of France – especially after last nights horrific tragedy.

Have a safe weekend, Gentle Reader.

 

Spinning and Listening

Spinning and Listening

It’s Wednesday and that means it is Ginny’s Yarn Along today!

I am completely immersed in Tour de Fleece this year and enjoying it far more than I have in previous years. This year I am not keyed into logging miles of frenzied spinning, rather I am more focused on fiber and creating a yarn to highlight that. I finished spinning up the vintage batts from Deep, Deep Stash. My goal was a lofty, tweedy yarn and I think I achieved that! There is some sheen from the silk in the batts and the bits of silk noil have created the loveliest tweedy effect. The yarn is as squishy as the batts were and I wish you could feel it!

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I have started in on the Montadale, which I am spinning for socks, so this will become a 3-ply fingering weight yarn. Slow going, but enjoyable none the less!

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I am looking ahead to determine what to spin to finish the tour out – I will have this done this week and I only have the Coopworth remaining from my original selections.

I have 2 gradient bumps from Amy at Spunky Eclectic that I think I will finish out with. I am not sure I will get them both finished, but I will certainly try. My goal will be to spin this in a lace weight 2-ply.

I am almost finished listening to The Summer Before the War, which I am enjoying tremendously! Once I am done with this, I have Doc queued up, thanks Carole for that suggestion. I finished reading A Man Called Ove. What can I say about this book, if you have not read it – do so right now! Ove wormed his way into my heart and by the end of the book, I found myself longing to live next door to him. I did not want the book to end, despite the tears that would not stop through the last chapters. Fantastic writing! The reading this summer has been absolutely spectacular. I am still working through Big Magic, though it is losing that rosy glow it had when I started. It will be some work to finish it, but I will try. I should get a good bit of reading done again this week as Steve will be away for work from Thursday through Sunday.

I am knitting a row or two at night on the Mystery Shawl. I am almost done with the set up rows for the final clue – so the end is in sight! My goal remains, finish this by month end!

I would especially like to thank Kate Larson for the shout out today on the Spinning Daily Blog. It is truly an honor and deeply appreciated!

How is your summer reading and knitting (or crafting) going?

Fiber Friday: In Search of a Yellow Jersey

Fiber Friday: In Search of a Yellow Jersey

yel·low jer·sey

 noun

  1. (in a cycling race involving stages, especially the Tour de France) a yellow jersey worn by the overall leader in a cycle race, at the end of any one day, and ultimately presented to the winner.

I have been spinning up a storm in week one of the Tour. I have spun up the Columbia rolags, the Merino/Yak roving, and the Gotland roving. I am working through the vintage batts, and I have to tell you, while I was skeptical about how this would look at the start, I am LOVING how this looks spun up!

Still to come: Montadale top and Coopworth roving.

I am not sure how much time I will get to spin this weekend, and day one of “rest” comes on Monday.

The next rest day is July 19, but there is plenty of time yet to spin.

Let’s talk about spinning and plying for a minute. I think that I have been in a real spinning rut – same kind of yarn spun every time had pretty much been my modus operandi. However, I broke out of that shell significantly over the last year in the Sheepspot Fiber Club. I tried new things, spun fibers differently, and generally learned that not all fiber should be spun the same way. While, in theory this might make sense – it did not to me. I had my preferred rhythm and drafting method – don’t move my cheese, right?

Well, it moved and I found I liked it in the new spot!

I envisioned this Merino/Yak spun in a worsted weight yarn that would be soft and squishy, like the fiber was. I think I nailed it. I wish you could feel how soft it is. I have not set the twist yet, because I think I am going to re-ply, it could be better and more uniform.

That gets me to plying…that was truly my log jam in spinning. I can spin a nice single, however plying is a hit and miss prospect for me. More misses than hits. I have tried plying with Scotch Tension, but it really is awkward for me. The take up is sometimes too hard, and I think that does not allow enough twist into the yarns.

But, I watched a couple of videos last week that really were huge “aha” moments for me. One by Rachel Smith, aka welfordpurls (which will be available to the public in a couple of weeks) and one by Sasha Torres, aka Sheepspot.

So, I sat down at my wheel and left it in double drive and tried the things that Rachel and Sasha talked about. And, guess what…THEY WORKED!! I am so excited by this, you just cannot imagine and it has really spurred me to finish up the spinning project for my sweater. I have the singles spun, but I have been holding off because of my inept plying abilities! I will definitely be plying those singles up ASAP. The fear has been vanquished!

Update on TTL MKAL – I finished clue #4 – I know! YES! I have not started clue #5 but I am sure I will at some time this weekend.

All in all, it was a fantastic week in fiber!

Friday Linkage:

That’s all I have for this week, I have miles to go in search of that elusive yellow jersey!! Have a fantastic weekend! See you back here on Monday!

Save

Save

Kat in the Catalpa with Lance?

Kat in the Catalpa with Lance?

In a few short days, June will be over and July will be upon us, and what does July bring? The end to my allergies that is what! The Cottonwood trees have finished pollinating and the Catalpa trees blooms are dropping like flies!

Ahhh, I am ready to breathe pollen free air once again!

In addition, hopefully July will usher in more warm weather, the sunny days of summer, and the celebration of July 4.

One very big event happens every July as well. It is a competition in which the participant’s goal is to wear the coveted yellow jersey!

That is right; July brings us the Tour de Fleece!

Yes, you read that right, the Tour de Fleece.

That is right from July 4 through the 26th I will be spinning with Team Suck Less!

suck less by kelrota.

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