Sunday, July 27, 2008

Fiber, Fiber, Fiber, (And I Don't Mean Bran!)

Fun and exhausting day yesterday. Rachel, her sister and nephew and I all went to Charlevoix for a fiber festival held in a stone castle. Our buddy Jane was unable to come, as she was helping her hubby survive visiting grandchildren. (Same thing happened to her for the Michigan Fiber Festival last August. She must manage her social calendar better.)
What fun we all had. Spent too much, but it all fit in the car so I guess we are good. We couldn't get Rachel's sister to induldge in a spinning wheel, but she was convinced to try a drop spindle.
Since I am using the desktop and not my laptop with the available photo editing software, I am not sure if I can get pictures to come through or not. But we will try.
First here is a picture of Rachel and a Ravely user who met us there. I don't do as much chatting or lurking in groups as Rachel, so do not know as many people. But it was fun to meet someone to knew our Ravely names.
We wondered around aimlessly. I will admit to have been overcome by wool fumes almost from the start. My major finds were some more medium gray Shetland, a new Walnut spindle, about a pound of merino/tencel mix (I've never worked with the tencel) and, my big buy, a bundle of just over 2 lbs of peachy pink merino. So soft and yummy. In the spirit of the successfully Tour de Fleece, I have set myself the goal of having this spun up by the end of August. (Shooting for sport to worsted weight.) Failing that, I MUST finish it before the Northern Michigan Lamb & Wool Festival in September. I will not let myself buy more if this is not done. (Please do not hold me to that!!)
I also found the book 2-at-a-time Socks, and a locally made sock blank to try to dye and knit up on one long needle. I am so excited. I just may try kool aid dying yet. I am dreaming of colors/flavors that will look just right.
Fun continued on the ride home. We exchanged stories and laughed our way home. And, since Rachel and her hubby have a pizza party almost on the way home, we stopped for pizza. Heaven. And she sent the pizza home with me, since it is no special treat for her family.
Cold pizza for lunch and supper. I am so glad the boys are out of the house.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tying Up the Loose Ends

I promised some more info on Younger Son's party. While shopping Sandy and I found the perfect tee for him to wear. It said: Seriously. Can you believe I graduated? He had his own shirt in mind (I got out of bed for this?) so we displayed the new one with his cap and tassel. One of his teachers almost lost it when she saw it.

The cake was perfect and SO good. The friends that made it had the best frosting and filling. Half was yellow cake with Bavarian cream and the other half was chocolate cake with chocolate cream filling. Yummy. There were tons of people who weren't going to have cake, then changed their mind when they saw how much others liked it.

The Tour is Over.

My ride on the Tour de Fleece is done. I finished plying the last of my singles from my light gray Shetland, a total of 6 large skeins with a little left over that I plied on my drop spindle. I never really thought I would be able to finish the bag during the allotted time. But I made it.
Of course there was practically no knitting done in the past 3 weeks. So I will be backing my knitting, the socks or maybe the shapely tee to work on during the ride to Charlevoix this weekend. There is a fiber festival up there that I and a fellow member of the Michigan Spinners group are going to. A long ride with lots of time to knit along the way. Along with a little bit of time to spin with the drop spindle too.
Fun times.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Long Time--No Write

Yeah, I know it has been a while. I have been fretting about Younger Son's graduation party. Last Friday, my friend Sandy nurtured me through the shopping and on Saturday, other than the fact we still had way too much food (My fault, I was paranoid about running out!) everything went well.
Well aside from the fact I left my purse locked in side the hall and had to have to township supervisor come unlock to door to let me get it.
And...aside from the fact that I think I left a bucket or two of ice cream in the freezer. But I am waiting till Friday when someone is in the hall to get that.
But Son was happy. Cake was WONDERFUL. And life goes on.
Not much knitting done, but I have been spinning away. I hope to finish spinning the last of my light gray Shetland and plying it tomorrow.
And I will have completed my challenge for the Tour De Fleece. I think I will jump right into some of my October Sky will and finish up some more of that. I won't have it done by the 27th, but I can make a good dent in it. I knew when I set up my goal, I had to plan on missing this past weekend, but got a lot done in spite of that.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bunny Walk

I took Mocha for a walk yesterday. It was cool enough to handle him so I gave it another try. The first try last week went well. I left the harness on him over night so I wasn't getting him upset putting it on over his head. When I went out to feed him the next morning--He had chewed right through it. Needless to say, I won't leave it on him.
I did find one on sale through the Dr Foster and Smith (I think it is) website. I am waiting for that to come, but last night put my farm dog Gilbert's harness on and leash. It went fairly well until someone came who needed to use the phone. When Hubby got my cell from the kitchen, he also let Gilbert outside. Between his barking at Mocha and at the people who needed to make the phone call, poor little Mocha was totally traumatized. Back in the cage he went, but he does seem to have recovered nicely.
Maybe those Angora Girls of Jane's wont feel so smug. Mocha may not get to hop around the kitchen, but he does seem to enjoy a walk in the grass now and then.

Spinning for the Tour

I mentioned before that I was taking up the challenge for the Tour de Fleece. So far, I finished the last third or so of a bobbin and plied it with another that was already spun. I have also completely spun another bobbin and hope to have another ready to ply with it later this evening. I need to empty the bobbins so I can work on them again tomorrow afternoon. Here are some pictures of my progress, I am holding the bobbin I need to finish tonight so I can still ply it tonight. The flyer is from my Ashford Joy that I am using to spin this up with.

I should have plenty of time. There is a good Marx Brothers movie on Turner Classic Movies channel tonight: A Night at the Opera. I never knew that Kitty Carlisle did anything but appear on 60's game shows and marry some playwright. But she is the love interest in this moving so I can't wait to see it. It never sunk in last time I saw it that she was in it. Those who are young whippersnappers probably have no idea who I am talking about. so just disregard this last paragraph.
Any way, you can see I don't have much more to do to finish that bobbin. Here is the fleece I have left to spin up, not a lot--it weighed up at 13.8 ounces last week before I started the above bobbin. (I think, maybe it was before the other bobbin...the old brain cells ain't what they used to be after all.) I figure about 2 or 3 more bobbins to go. If I end up with an odd number of bobbins, I may have to ply off my plying tool. Hopefully I can manage without tangling it too badly. My tendency to over-spin evens out in the plying process, but if I have to wind it on a plying tool or into a ball, I still have to have some patience with it.

Anyway, here is a final picture. It shows wool, bobbins and the two skeins I plied last week. Piled all together, it does still look like a challenge. I still think it looks do-able since I have almost 2 weeks left.

I also did some shopping today. I needed to get a cooler for the refreshments for Younger Son's graduation party this Saturday. Probably not much spinning the end of this week because of that. I need to go shopping again Friday with Sandy. She had a reception last year so since I have never done a party at all, she is going to help me know what to buy. I hope he realizes this party will probably replace a birthday present.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Tour de Fleece Update

Got about a 3rd of a bobbin of light gray shetland spun up at knit night last night.  Since I have a meeting tonight, I probably will fall behind some.  Hopefully the meeting won't be too long at church.  Before I started spinning last night I weighed the roving I had left.  Out of the original 2 lbs, I still have 13.8 ounces.  (Please don't ask me to convert to grams!)  So before the tour started, I probably was a little over half done with the 2 lb bag.  I still think this goal may be doable.  Especially since I plan to spend time spinning every evening on it.  With Friday morning spinning group and spinning outside the former yarn shop/guilde building 2 days next week during the Baby Food Festival, I should have lots of time to whittle away at it. 
I will loose a full day just before the end, if a group of us decide to go to the Fiber Festival in Charlevoix.  Maybe I can clear off one of the drop spindles and spin in the van, if need be, when I don't have to take a shift driving. 
Other news--both sons came by last night to spend more time clearing out their old room.  They need to get out everything they want to keep so that Hubby and his brother can re-do the ceiling in there.  Important things first, Older son basically ignored clothes but packed away 2 boxes of Ertl toys. For the uninitated, these are scale models of tractors and other farm implements that no farm boy can do without.  These probably represent 20 years of birthdays and Christmas presents--over and above his own purchases.  Younger Son basically sorted and through out old clothes and assorted other discard items.   They may just get it cleared out yet. 
And when Hubby is done--Craft Room.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Tour de Fleece 2008

I spent some time working on my challenge for the 2008 Tour de Fleece. It is a spinning challenge to set a goal to accomplish during the time of the Tour de France. I had a 2 lb bag of light gray shetland that I started some time ago, probably over a year now. I had done maybe half of it. I have set myself the goal to finish the entire bag by July 27. I dug out the Ashford Joy on Saturday, and between Saturday and Sunday finished the last quarter of my second bobbin and plied it off on my Louet S17. I got about 200 yards or so off of those two bobbins and am ready to go for the yellow jersy. Tonight is knit/spin night at my LYS and I plan to weigh the bag to see just how much is left. If I run out of this bag....well, besides the stash at home, I also have a trunk full of wool to work on.
The yarn seems to be about a DK or sport weight. I haven't used my WPI tool, just compared to other yarn.
One thing I have discovered, now that my house is minus a couple farm boys. I get drafted into farm wife chores more often. So far, in the past week, I have helped restrain calves for de-horning, and help clean some of the willows out of the ditch. I remain firm however in my stance to not clean pens.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Busy Saturday

With only 2 weeks left until Younger Son's graduation party. I finished the invitations and need to go to town to make copies and get them in the mail. If Hubby comes back soon from getting work done on his truck, I hope to go yet this afternoon.

I have been getting a lot done on the shapely tee sweater. I managed to take a picture, but I like taking them outside. This picture was taken on the trunk of the car because when I took it on Wednesday, everything else was damp from the rain the night before. It looks a little funky, but at least you can see the length I have gotten to. Actually it is much farther and I am on the increases after the wast shaping.

I want to join the Tour de Fleece, a spinning challange. I wanted to work on getting my light gray shetland all spun, and planned on getting a good start while spinning and the Grand Opening for a friends craft store. Unfortunately, my friend Jane and I were going together. She forgot she had to work today and then got sick last night anyway. I couldn't afford to got by myself, now that I am down to just a half time job. I will have to try to join late and still entered into the challenge.

Later today Hubby wants me to help cut willows from the ditch between the hay fields. It does work better with one to cut and another to stack. I maybe should just go to get my copies made and work on address for invitations.

See ya later.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Idle Musings--What Happened to the Fire Flies?

Now that our hay is in, and July is here, where are the fire flies or as I like to call them: lightening bugs? I usually see them in the tall grass of the hay field before we cut it down. Or later in the tall weeds and around the garage.
This year, so far the only one I have seen was one laying by my feet in the grass and it only blinked twice.
Weird weather? Late summer? Fluke fly fever?
Hmmmm. I miss them.