My post about our Spinning Sunday let you know where I am heading in purchasing half a fleece, but not where I have been... I actually have spun quite a bit this month and le Tour De Fleece is only about 1/3rd over! I tidied up several bobbins last week, clearing space to get down and do some spinning for this sporting event, and so far I haven't missed a day. My Navajo plying has been steadily improving, while I chew my way through the 12 ounces of Romney-Coopworth roving. I can't say it's all that much to look at, though it is a lovely shade of silver and my mind wanders down pathways of overdying possibilities while I am spinning.
I am getting a collection of little skeins like the one at right, but haven't had a chance to check the WPI on them and am not sure what kind of total yardage I will end up with... though I am guessing that this is worsted weight. I do keep a notebook on my spinning results, but just haven't updated it with information about all the recent work; I did arrive at Anna's on Sunday with all of my bobbins empty, though.
I have also been musing about ways to increase my spinning knowledge, and ordered a copy of Judith Mackenzie McCuin's book, Teach Yourself Visually, from Carolina Homespun, along with a tune-up kit for my wheel. I figure that I can maximize my skills by working on two different areas simulaneously - I can fine tune the settings on my wheel to gain the most cooperation and I can work to improve the human skills I apply to fiber handling as well.
Besides filling a bobbin and a half with more Coopworth, I also managed to work some more on my Angel's Rest socks at a water board meeting last night. Sigh, I do feel for those on the board, faced with raising our rates by 50% next month, but I also was shocked that I was the ONLY customer concerned enough to show up and raise my voice (well, figuratively; Mama taught me to be polite, even when disagreeing with people). As you can imagine, the vote didn't go my way.... and those few inches of sock knitting had to serve as consolation.
Spring Things has gotten to the point in the design of things where I will need to sit at a table, working in the beaded border design in the next few rows (alternatively, some people made nupps in this pattern section). Unfortunately, I don't get much table-sitting time this week. DH left again early yesterday morning, this time to serve as a line archaeologist on the Birdie Fire outside of Flagstaff, AZ. Turns out that the fire, near Mormon Lake, is in a desert region where there were relatively unsuccessful settlement attempts, therefore not so much in the way of historic and prehistoric artifacts to protect; he walked bulldozer lines all day today and will probably do the same tomorrow, then be sent somewhere else in the mountain west. More chores for me, so Spring Things will probably have to wait a bit.
Seraphim also made it to a pausing point on Saturday, as I truly did use up all the yarn I had... lucky for me, Anna had more. The yarn was milled for her and mislabeled as laceweight; it is actually DK weight, which has proven to be a good choice for this warmer shawl with a lovely, lacy border. I hadn't been so sure I would get to finish with the same type of yarn, so began to come up with some 'design modifications'....
Even before I could check with Anna about what she had in stock of the yarn I was using, I had been inspired by a new design from Fiber Trends, and had come to the conclusion that the two narrow border charts, all that remains between me and completion for Seraphim, should be done in a different color.
Amy encouraged me to try Kool Aid, something I had been thinking was "silly" until a few people from the two fiber guilds got into a conversation about the chemicals in food coloring and how similar they were to some of the mordants used in natural dyeing. I think I will mostly stick to alum mordanted natural dyeing, but picked up several packets of two flavors yesterday so that I could at least try this method once. I will be solar-dying the lovely silver-cream yarn, hopefully with vivid results. There's more, but I will reveal it later .... gotta keep ya'll curious.
I am also spending some time this week getting ready for a circular sock knitting machine gathering that will be held over in Esparto at West Valley Alpacas on Friday. As I gathered up notes, yarn, and other needed materials, I realized that I have a large amount of theoretical knowledge about making socks on the CSM, and also a large amount of fear about diving in and making it work. Now, fear is just not like me! I am processing how that came about and why... and thought it wouldn't hurt to employ a charm to help me past this fear.
Nothing like sale sock yarn to make a knitter feel positive! I had to go down to Auburn to pick up a new vacuum for our child care center and I had heard that there was a sale at the LYS; this Mega Boots yarn was 50% off... music to my ears. If I could have afforded it, I would have bought more!
My other great find of the week was this lonely skein, the last hand-dyed skein from Anna's dye classes last summer. I couldn't bear to think of it, lonely amongst all the natural colors and brought it home with me. 300 yards should make a nice little something!