Friday, July 31, 2015

Tour de Fleece 2015

Since I always seem to be traveling during the Tour de Fleece, I end up focusing on spindle spinning. This year was no exception. I had started a very fine thread spin last year during the TdF and didn't make much progress on it during the year. I continued with it during this year's TdF

 This was the starting point. That little Trindle is about 5" long and weighs 4 gms empty. I am spinning Corgi Hill Farm camel/silk in the Deep Purple colorway.
 Along the way, I took a little detour and decided to decorate some of my spindle storage. I had bought some washi-like tape at the dollar store and found that the lace trim (on the right) didn't stick to anything. So I put it away discouraged. Then I finished up some awful powdered greens that I had bought years ago. One adds it to smoothies but it is gritty. Anyway, I slowly finished it up and the container seemed like a good size for a spindle case. But no matter what I did, I couldn't get the remnants of the glue off the outside. I tried solvents and soaking and scrubbing to no avail.

Then the lightbulb moment happened! The trim that wouldn't stick! I pulled it out and it worked beautifully. The other trim - the colorful one - is sticky. I used it to decorate a plain white cardboard box in which someone had given me Japanese cookies. My little Trindle has been living in it for a number of years. Now it is colorful. I used the rest of the colorful tape to finish off the greens container. I haven't found the spindle for it yet but I am sure I will.
 I made progress on the camel/silk, almost finishing the first half of it. However, somewhere along the way, at Camp, the top part of the carbon fiber shaft splintered and the hook fell out. After checking with Trindleman that I could super-glue it and not affect his ability to make repairs, I did exactly that. The wonderful thing about Camp is that there is a hardware store right across the street so the glue was easy to come by. I continued spinning till I got back from Camp and then I mailed the shaft out for repairs and started spinning another project. Trindles are warrantied as long as Trindleman continues in business so he is going to fix it and send it back.
 I had another spindle project going on my Jenkins Delight. I continued that project on the Turkish spindles till I was done with the first single. It ended up being four turtles. This is alpaca/silk from Lisa Souza.
After that, I started spinning the second single on my standard Trindle. This is a waterfall mahogany shaft. I picked arms so that the weight would be the same as the 16 gm Delight. I filled one shaft full by the end of the Tour (on the right). Now I will start with another shaft and continue. Once it gets too heavy, I don't enjoy spindling so it is better to move to another spindle.

And so ends my Tour 2015. I think I will be spindling a bit more this year outside the Tour than I did last year. Somehow last year was a Hansen spinning year.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Knitting Camp!

I have missed going to Meg Swansen's Retreat 2.75 for the past 2 years. The Campers are like family and going back was exactly like going to a family reunion.

I got there a day early and so Linda and I went to Jurustic Park on the Thursday morning. That deserves its own blog entry so I won't talk about it yet. The retreat starts with dinner on Thursday evening and ends with breakfast on Monday.

I completely forgot to take pictures till the last day but I more than made up for it. I won't bother you with all the photos but here's a sampling.
 I caught Meg taking a picture of me!
 That's Jane the devilish dragon who was a hit at the contest - theme was 'If I had wings"
 People looking at the immense array of donated goods during the raffle. Our retreat holds a raffle with items donated by the attendees to raise money for scholarships for the following year's Camps. This way people who can't afford to go can attend.
 Amy Detjen - our fearless leader in all things technical looking cute.
 The Schoolhouse Press room with all the goodies for us to look through and play with. We don't really play. Just drool. No, we don't drool either. Just walk around with glassy eyes. I can't believe the room is empty!
 In the evenings, we mill about and chat and knit and spin and visit. We also get to look at the marvelous samples that are placed on tables around the room.
Another view of the evening sessions. There is also a small market on Saturday but since I didn't pull my camera out till Sunday, no photos of it.

I didn't buy much this year. I have too much stuff. I got a small book of Turkish colorwork patterns, some alpaca roving, a scarf, yarn for a pair of socks for DH and some cards. I also won some yarn for my contest entry and a couple of needle cases in the raffle.

It was a lot of fun meeting everyone. These are my people, my tribe!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Beading fun and redux

I am sorry for the long silence. I have been very busy with work and travel and getting settled back in the house and have neglected my blog. But no more. I will be posting more regularly.

There were a lot of things to do around the house after we came back. There was the clearing of space to make room for what we brought back, the putting away of the duplicate things that we didn't need on a daily basis, decluttering and organizing stuff and, once the weather warmed up, the tackling of the weeds. Two years of unfettered growth meant that there were weeds every where and it has taken us most of the spring and summer to get control of about 3/4 of the beds. There is still a large area on the north side of the house that is weedy. DH is tackling it as he has more time than I do.

But enough about boring stuff like weeding. Let's talk about fun. You may remember that I bought a bead from Sheila Ernst of Glasspens. Here is the old post where I actually did something with it. Well, the necklace came apart when I wore it as the knots came untied. :-( I put it away and ignored it till it popped up in my organizing and decluttering.

I did some googling and came up with this design to really showcase the bead.
This weekend we had a bead show where I have successfully bought beads in the past. It isn't very big but there is a good variety of beads. I went through my stash and found the beads that I thought would work but I still needed a contrast accent color.  I recruited a friend, got some advice from the ladies who happened to be in the local yarn store yesterday and went to buy the beads.

The trip was a success. I was not only able to buy the beads, but I also got the rest of the materials I needed. I had most of them but I couldn't re-use the wire I used to make the wrapped loops and this necklace needs some beads right before the big bead to organize the various strands. Plus, I thought I would add a chain in the back to make the length adjustable. I got everything I needed except for some flexible wire but I can get that at the local big box craft store.

Ready to see what I got?
 The turquoise, amazonite and the other aqua beads are the ones I bought this weekend. I am not too sure about the AB beads in the background - on the black. The cuboid ones in the front are definitely in.
I forgot to include the fresh water pearls that I had in the previous photo. They are definitely in. I will have to see how the AB beads in the previous photo work when I am actually stringing them.

I am mentally fired up to finish this as soon as I am done with my current knit. I am knitting a sweater for DH that is about 90% done. Once that is complete, I will start on this.

And I will be posting at least weekly. I have travel stuff and spinning stuff and so much more to talk about.