Saturday, June 30, 2012

Tour de Fleece: Day 1

I spent most of today with my husband taking care of my friends' 3 month old son, which I might add, was an awesome way to spend a Saturday together :-)  After that we went to my favorite Italian restaurant, Polcari's, for dinner.  We then wended our way back home where I had to sit down to prep some music I'm singing tomorrow.  Finally around 8pm is was time for me to get spinning!

My spinning setup & Dr. Who on Netflix
Day 1 Progress - 1oz
Because I had such a full day, I wasn't able to spin up a whole 2oz bump of fleece as I had hoped.  Nevertheless, I am a happy camper for actually sitting down to get Elphaba, my wheel, up and running and also reclaim my spinner's mojo.   It always takes me a bit of time to get back into the steady rhythm of treadling and drafting, but it's kind of like riding a bike (ha ha ha, Tour de France, do you see what I did there? Yes, I can hear you groaning at my horrible joke) so you don't forget how so much as need to reacquaint yourself with the mechanics of things.

I was hoping to be able to spin my singles pretty thin so I could ply two or three together to get a DK or worsted yarn for the final product.  So far it looks like that might actually happen - HUZZAH!

Anyway, just a quick update for you.  I'm hoping to get way more accomplished tomorrow.  Although, I've got a pretty full day planned again.... /facepalm.  Anyway, g'night!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ready? Set? Wait!

My Romney fleece before processing
It's that time of year again.  The time for some friendly competition.  Our weapon of choice? Spinning wheels.  That's right, it's Tour de Fleece time!  I think this is the third year I have taken part in this fun spinning competition organized by volunteers on Ravelry.  It's a great way to challenge yourself and find some motivation at the same time. Fortunately, three of my fellow knitsibs will be taking part in the games, so knit night should turn into a veritable wheel-a-palooza for the next three weeks. 

My team for the Tour is Team Sasquatch, which consists of knitting and spinning podcasters and their listeners.  It's nice to be on a big team of people with a common interest (well, other than knitting).  Competitors cheer each other on, offer advice and encourage those with spinning injuries or equipment failure.  Having your drive band snap just when you are just getting your spinning groove on is just not cool.  You need moral support for that kind of tragedy!

My goal for this year's Tour is to spin up a beautiful Romney fleece that a friend and I bought at Rhinebeck a year and a half ago.  We sent the fleece out to be processed and split what came back, each getting about 2.5 lbs of gorgeous wool, which is the most fiber I've ever purchased at one time. I want to spin all of it up on the 23 days of the tour and if I have time I'm going to try to ply it as well. 

Weighing one of my Tribbles!
While the Tour doesn't start until Saturday, there are things I can do to get ready.  Yesterday, I started prepping my roving and gathering all the various bits of equipment I'll need to spin and ply my yarn.  I split up the roving into 2oz bumps so that I could pace myself throughout the Tour.  I ended up with 20 of them, so that means I could spin just a bump a day during the tour and meet my goal.  My little bumps of roving look suspiciously like tribbles according to my husband... What do you think?  So, what I need to do in the next two days is check over my wheel and do any regular maintenance that I probably haven't done recently, like oiling all the moving part and tightening up the joints that inevitably work loose as you spin over long periods of time.  I already gathered up all the free bobbins I had available to me, so I think I'm doing pretty well. 

Now I just have to be a patient little spinning and wait until Saturday evening to get my spin on!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hexipuffing Along!

Back in November I started work on a project that I know is going to take me quite some time to complete.  I know I know, I am the queen of long term abandoned projects, but I don't think that will happen with this one.  The pattern is the much loved Beekeeper's Quilt by Tiny Owl Knits which is made up of hundreds of small hexagonal puffs (dubbed hexipuffs) that are stuffed with fiberfill so they are all smooshy and skooshy.  The beauty is that the yarn for the project is just leftover sock yarn scraps.  Lets see if I can manage to use said scraps rather than letting the quilt be an excuse to just acquire more sock yarn, lol.

I really like the Beekeeper's Quilt because its a large project, but at the same time, you just work on it one puff at a time.  In the words of two of my favorite podcasters, the Knitmore Girls, it's "potato chip knitting,": You can't just knit one.

Let me tell you, over the past few days I've found out just how addictive knitting these puffs up can be!  I've made about 12 of them so far and did a good 8 of them in the past two days. I'm guessing I probably make one in about an hour, which isn't horrible, but not exactly quick either.  That's ok, since the pattern is so easy to memorize and it is quite possibly the tiniest project to carry around ever; perfect to stuff in a purse and go!

Anyway, I'm off to knit some more hexipuffs and enjoy all this lovely weather we are having.  Ta!