Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Procrastination is an artform

That I excel at!

Now that the TDF is over, I took the opportunity to finish a project bag I'd planned out in early June. I wove this out of Noro Vintage. Have I mentioned my Noro obsession? Noro is my guilty pleasure. The warp is cotton blue warp.

This bag is um, unique. I was really on a steep learning curve here, but it's cute, and it's finished! A woven bag!

The perfect home for Rosebud, the little spindle, and my current on the needles Noro scarf.. I'll put in a magnet closure tomorrow, and maybe even a button (I love buttons) but hey it's off the loom. Which is a good thing cause the loom is now residing in the craft tote, waiting to go with us on vacation. Yes, the loom is going. It's surrounded by fiber and yarn, quite happy in there.

Nothing else is actually packed yet. Oh well.

Sky after the storm tonight

Monday, July 26, 2010

Introducing Rosebud

You know that thing about not getting to take Rosie. The spinning wheel I bought specifically to take with me to Seattle. My angst over what to do.. And what to take. And whether I could just leave the suitcase of clothes home and fit her in anyway..? (really, I still think that people could have just dressed in layers). Well, I did it.

I bought another spin- dle! On Saturday we snuck over to Detta's Spindle where she showed me some lovely drop spindles made by a man in Bloomington MN. Dragonfly spindles. They're lovely, beautiful wood, and after a quick lesson from Detta, I could even kind of make yarn.

So, Rosebud came home. Isn't she pretty? She's 1.1 oz and made out of spalted pin oak and red oak. I spent that day spindling around the Mall of America, and by the end of the day, I was doing ok.

Of course Rosebud would be lonely being an only spindle, others may mysteriously appear, but I feel fairly smug. The fact I couldn't drop spindle secretly bothered me.

And there is no WAY she won't fit in the van for the trip!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tour De Fleece Finale!

So this TDF,

I learned to Navajo Ply

I spun coils

I spun 4 pounds of fiber

into 8,600 yards of yarn

I finally learned how to drop spindle!!

I learned about the Tour De France

I became an Andy Schleck fan

And a biking fan

And I decided I must go to Europe sooner or later.

I love the TDF, but now I have to pack. For a little trip. It'll be fun, lots of fiber stops too...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Winter Project Idea

We have the yarn...

We have the piano... (though ours is an upright)

Why not?!

This is a crocheted Piano by Joana Vasconcelos a Paris born artist living in Portugal. Isn't it gorgeous? And big. Wonder how many yards of yarn?

Courtesy of: http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat/10/view/4650/joana-vasconcelos.html

In other news, The Tour De Fleece was represented yesterday! Go Sheep!

Photo: Bas Czerwinski/AP
Tour de France: An Epic Battle Amid Fog and Malevolent Sheep

French sheep are cute - yet another reason to visit (or possibly move to) France. Cute guys, castles, adorable sheep, and lots and lots of cheese and pastries.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The suffering Multitude

Or the family, who give up their bathroom to washed and dripping yarn, while the lovely aroma of wet wool wafts through the air.... Myself, I think it adds to the decor!

After you spin and ply your yarn, you see, you must wash it. This removes the oils and dirt from being handled and also sets the twist. First you start with a hot water soak, then a bit of fulling (a gentle squeezing typically) and finally a drip dry. I personally hang mine overnight to let some of the water drip out, and then I lay it out to finish drying before labeling and storing it away.

So far this tour has netted me 19 more skeins, 17 of which were washed today. That's 4.48 miles or 7.22 KM (we are doing the Tour de France after all!) of yarn! Or 7,900 yards. 4 more days to go! Wonder how many I can really get done?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Spinning While You Sleep...

Worked two, 11 hour days bartending and then serving or training new people. I am tired. I am still however, 100% for spinning every day during the Tour De France. Despite a broken chain of my own on Rosie tonight when I got home, clearly she was feeling sympathy for Andy Schleck's Bike yesterday, and decided to break her tension band. That's ok, we made a repair on the fly and I kept pedaling up the mountain. I could alm0st feel the warm French air blowing in my face as I pedaled (ok treadled, picky, picky!) up the hill. Ok, I was really watching the racers pedal up the hill, but I felt like I was there. And trust me - after 11 hours on my feet so did my legs!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Only I'd do this..

.. Spend a large amount of money on a spinning wheel specifically to travel with and then realize that fitting 5 people, 2 dogs, a waffle iron, and clothing in a mini van may not actually leave space for the wheel. Note, I do love my Rose though, by far an amazing wheel and now my constant spinner.

But I have a vision of spinning at the ocean. What to do? Well, watch the Princess Bride while spinning lovely Falkland fiber and ignoring all the packing to do is the first step.

Trying to figure out whether I have time and money to buy and ship a Roadbug wheel out to my sister's house is another step.

The last, is looking at drop spindles. I have only spindled once, on a heavy bottom whorl spindle. Could I actually spin on one? I don't know. I have 2 weeks to figure it out. I have no coordination to speak of, I can barely managed to knit. I am not sure that I have the capabilities to use something that according to it's name drops. And then there is the problem of which one to get. There are a zillion of them, and it's ultra confusing. Touring Etsy stores leaves me befuddled and torn between which is best. But, they're all cheaper than the Roadbug, though the Roadbug is incredibly adorable and little. I don't know.

Still spinning for the TDF though, and still watching - GO ANDY!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer Days Flyin' By

I don't even know where July is going. It's getting lost in a stream of yarn, bartending, and generalized work. Though this does not equate with house cleaning. Oh well, Creativity outranks cleanliness.

On Friday, I worked an 11 hour shift in the bar, which is fairly unusual for me now. Typically I'm working an 11 hour managing shift. But it was someone's birthday, and her best friend needed to go celebrate. It was actually really fun until a glass from an overhead rack dropped down, shattering glass all over me and the bar. It took forever to clean up (you have to replace all the ice, all the fruit, and anything else uncovered glass could have fallen into. Made more difficult by the amount of glass that fell into my shirt. The rest of the night was a rather startling experience, I'd move and feel the prickle of unseen glass everywhere.

Then today, I worked there again, only to have a cooler break, and Ron the repairman hang out all day using a blow torch. There's nothing quite like pouring a margarita with a blow torch 3 inches from your leg. Not to mention, there is only one way in or out of the rail, and the blowtorch was blocking it. Made for a long day.

And on the Tour De France side of things, even though Lance looks to be out of it, I'm now rooting for Andy Schleck and Levi Leipheimer, along with Sylvain Chavenell. And I'm still spinning yarn. So far, haven't missed a day, and my hard work is resulting in super pretty yarn being produced. So onward up the Alps we go.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tour De Fleece (2)

More facts:

Biking is a gentleman's sport (Literally - WHERE are the women?) where sportsmanship is important.

They ride in teams and will defer to the team captain. (The GC)

My GC - Bella

The main group is called the Peloton. The people riding in front are the Breakaway. They're followed by the team cars, which are positioned in order of the start (ie the first place car first etc).

There are around 650,000 people in Brussels. Reports say that 500,000 of them turned out to watch the TDF ride by.

But all of this is immaterial to the fact I have decided I want to live in a castle! Or actually by a castle! Why don't we have castles in the US? I mean, we don't even have a Tour de Americas or anything. Wouldn't that be cool? But not as cool as in Europe because they have beautiful castles everywhere. Can you stay in a castle? I think I want to do that. I want to go to Europe (anywhere - not particular) and stay in a castle. Possibly during the TDF, so I can cheer as they ride by. But then I couldn't participate in the Tour De Fleece. Speaking of:

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Tour De Fleece, er France

Did you know:

  • Le Tour De Fleece started in 1903
  • The first Tour was rife with cheating, the winner thrown out for taking a train part of the route.
  • Several people have died on the Tour, including a competitor who plunged down a ravine.
  • The tour is over 2000 miles long, and is on a different route every year, but it always ends in Paris.
  • The last place finisher is awarded a red jersey and called the 'Lantern Rouge'.

Lance Armstrong is competing in his last tour, and I'm watching and learning about it. After all, I named my dog partially after him! At the same time, I am participating in the Tour De Fleece, where spinners spin yarn for each day of the tour. I'm competing on several teams, and hope to spin through a good part of my stash.

I'm also taking pictures to show each day..