Tag: spindles

There and Back Again 8

I’ve been spending a lot of time in Texas with my mom lately. It’s not easy to get there from where we live. Bad weather doesn’t help. On the most recent trip, there were several hours of this:

A couple of hours of this:

About half a day of this:

One very late and frustrating night of this:

Before a new day finally allowed us to make our way around the storm:

And arrive in Texas with the next set of thunderclouds on our heels:

While I was there, I knit and spun amid lots of busyness and running around. I pulled out my spindle at one particularly crazy moment in the car, and lo and behold, not thirty seconds later, we pulled up to the mailbox, and there was a package waiting for ME!

My friend Cari knew I’d need a touchstone. She’s the best.

I’m back in Tennessee now, finally binding off my second The Rain Outside shawl.

Lola is expressing solidarity by snuggling in the edge part.

Hoping to be back with something new on the needles soon! Take care, my friends.

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Spindle Love 9

I haven’t talked about spinning here in awhile, but the scent of spring–which in my brain leads directly to summer and the Tour de Fleece–is in the air, and I’m getting the itch. Plus, I was lucky enough to get several new Jenkins Turkish spindles recently, so that’s probably another reason I’ve got spinning on my mind. These are my absolute favorite spindles, and they can be ridiculously hard to come by.

One of the new spindles is a tiny purpleheart Kuchulu. My idea is that this one is going to make an especially nice travel spindle, so since yesterday was errand day, I decided to take it for a test drive.

By the time we made our usual stop for coffee at Jemima’s on the Laurel River, I’d managed to start the leader and wind on a tiny little cop.

I kept spinning as we drove to Asheville.

As I’d hoped, the Kuchulu is perfect for spinning in a confined space. There was no awkwardness at all as I spun in the car.

It turns out it’s also super convenient for dropping in a bag or purse and pulling out when there’s a bit of down time. I spun for a few minutes after lunch while we figured out the game plan for the rest of the afternoon.

On the way home, I was needing to knit, so I put this little guy away and pulled out my Inlet cardigan. I love it, though, and I can see taking it with me everywhere so I’ve got it when I find myself in the mood to spin.

If you like the idea of traveling spindles and want to see some great pictures, check out this thread in the Jenkins Ravelry group for instant happiness.

Does anyone else have spinning on the brain these days?

“I hope fireflies remember to do exactly what it was they used to . . .” 16

Birthday Cake 1

I think I’ve mentioned that soon after we moved to the mountains, my father moved up from Texas to be near us. We love that, and I think he does too, but he misses his Texas friends. Well, for his 84th birthday this past week, a couple of them came up to visit him.

We went with him to the airport to pick them up, and I knitted on a new pair of socks while we waited for the plane to land.

Airport Knitting

For Daddy’s birthday, I made Smitten Kitchen’s Triple Berry Summer Buttermilk Bundt Cake. It might have been the best cake I’ve ever made. Instead of using three kinds of berries, I used all blackberries. They were some of the ones we picked this summer. And I added birthday sprinkles.

Birthday Cake 2

It was a happy cake for a very happy occasion.

 

Birthday Wish

With visitors in town and a lot of work insanity going on, there could not have been a better time to come across this post on Wool n’ Spinning about getting your knitting in when you can. Wise words right there, folks.

I took the advice to heart and ended up working on Paul’s Checks and Balances sweater in ten-minute spells here and there to the point where the progress on it started to actually offset some of the frustration that’s been going on with work lately.

 

Knitting 1

Knitting 2b

Knitting 3

Another yarn-related thing I read this week was this post on the huge number of spindle whorls archeologists have found buried with female skeletons. Some are from as far back as Neolithic times. I knew about this in a vague way, but the article made me think more specifically about what it means that women were taking their spinning with them into the afterlife. I’m still thinking about it.

Here are a couple of other pictures from my week.

Chocolate

Work was hard. Paul brought me chocolate.

Our little friend Shanti stayed with us while her mom and dad went on an end-of-summer trip. She and Lola alternately played until they couldn’t play anymore and then passed out.

Shanti and Lola

Even though it’s only mid-August, the air is starting to feel like fall. I’ve been working on the porch when I can. Rasta likes to help.

Rasta

The title of this post is a line from Josh Ritter’s “Song for the Fireflies.”

With intermittent rain and shine
the sky re-started six or seven times
It’s blue because it sees
All our infidelities
We both know that it’s been so long
I’m not sure what to say so I hope
Fireflies remember to do exactly what it was they used to

I’ve been listening to Sermon on the Rocks non-stop.

Getting Fleeced 2

Today, I have been spinning “in the grease”!

The course I’m taking has us begin by spinning raw, completely unprocessed fleece. That’s fleece that has come straight off the sheep. In addition to the lanolin that’s still in the wool, there are twigs and dirt and other bits of what is referred to as “VM,” or vegetable matter.

Lucky for me, the two friends I joined in taking the class both have lots of resources in the fiber world, and they each put together a package of different samples for me to try.

Raw Samples

I’m not sure I’ll have time to work through all the samples for the course module, so I picked one and just decided to see how it went. The one I chose was from a breed of sheep called the Tunis. It’s one of the oldest breeds indigenous to the United States. As it happens, they’re also super cute. I really want to meet one now. Anyhoo . . .

Tunis 1

The feel of the dense mass of raw wool is very different from that of processed fleece, and I wan’t quite sure how to get started with it. Soooo, I just pulled off a little bit and decided to see what happened.

Tunis 2

 

Tunis 4

Things went surprisingly well once I got used to manipulating the sticky tufts.

Tunis 3

Tunis 5

Here’s what I ended up with after about an hour.

Tunis 6

It was fun!! And interesting! By the time I was ready to stop, my hands were literally slick with lanolin. I love having put this piece of the puzzle in place. It’s the missing step between the animal and the processed fiber I’m used to spinning.

In other news, today included guacamole made with peppers from the garden.

Guac

And to show you what I meant about the Thin Edge of the Wedge shawl coming in handy, I took a picture of myself wearing it at last night’s Bee Keepers’ meeting. Handknits in action. Yes ma’am.

TEotW Action

Oh, and I almost forgot. I laid out this weekend’s newspaper to spin over since I figured there might be some debris involved. Look at the editorial page I opened to. I didn’t even notice it until I’d been fooling with the fiber for a few minutes and the word “fleeced” caught my eye. Ha!

Editorial Fleecing

Keepin’ On Keepin’ On 2

Lots of work going on here. At the end of last week, I had a bit of extra time which was divine. I did a little organizing and planning while taking frequent knitting breaks.

1

Everything changed, today. The final installment of a big editorial project arrived. In some ways I’m glad. Knowing it’s been out there about to appear in my inbox at any moment has been like waiting for the other shoe to drop. It’s also a good thing in that I can work like a crazy woman this week and hopefully have only a regular workload starting next week—next week being the first week of the Tour de France and the super-amazing-big-fun-for-spinners Tour de Fleece. I’m a little excited.

In the meantime I’m taking hourly breaks to try to keep from getting computer neck. One of our hens is broody, so I check on her.

3

And our sweet Eudora is still getting medicine to help with her thin-shelled egg problem, so we take care of that.

4

5

Back at my desk, Lola provides moral support.

2

On a fun note, this came in the mail today:

6

7

Be well, my friends. I’ll check back in before the week is out. Hopefully, by Saturday I’ll be over the work hump and ready to share lots of Tour de Fleece pics and progress.

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