TdF Progress (or in this Case, Not)

So, if I were the repentant type (which some probably will argue that I should be), I’d be here with all sorts of apologies for my Tour De Fleece performance. I could lie and say I’ve been sick or I fell off my spinning wheel or I was too busy at work or…well, you get the picture. But I won’t. Truth be told, this is my third year spinning in the TdF and my third year of falling off my bike somewhere at the end of the first week despite all sorts of good intentions. I don’t know why it is that I can’t focus my attention on a single task for a month, but I can’t. So, there you have it, the truth…Team Captain and all.

That said, we’ve had a blast so far, some sangria was made (and enjoyed), some good eats were gobbled, and some pretty darned good yarn was made (albeit not a lot by me. I think my total output so far is two skeins and on one of those all I did was ply).

It’s not like I was totally slacking. I did manage to make 18 jars of jam and spent the requisite number of hours scrubbing sticky stuff off the kitchen counters afterwards. I managed to replant the veggies in the garden that had either bolted due to the crazy June heat or pelted by hail or that just plain didn’t get a good start in the first place. And for some reason, I randomly decided that it was time to start practicing the piano again and I’ve been tackling some old pieces which were much harder than I remembered them.

So I guess the lesson here is that life will occasionally overtake you and you may set a goal and not stick to it. It happens. The important thing is to keep finding that next thing that gives you joy and do it, even if it means a few hours with scrubbie in hand removing the results from the kitchen counters.

Happy summer, everyone. I hope you are all still spinning. If I get a whim to, I might just join you.

 

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Tour De Fleece Progress – Days Three and Four

So, if you’re counting, you’ll bust me for not riding on Day Two because I totally spaced it off. (I blame the sangria from the kickoff party). I managed to spin on Day Three and got a bobbin or so. This is Blue-Faced Leicester, which I can no longer name without hearing my husband chant “B-F-L! B-F-L!” cheerleader style.

In any case, day three saw some progress, about a half-bobbin of BFL, spun on the Kromski Polonaise, which is a beautiful wheel but much fussier than my Ladybug.

Day 3 Progress - 1/2 bobbin of B-F-L!

Day 3 Progress – 1/2 bobbin of B-F-L!

Day four saw continued progress on the same fiber, this time filling the bobbin. There’s a bit left but this stuff is lovely for hand-spindling so I think I may go ahead and ply.

Here’s the day four output:

Same BFL, this time with a full bobbin.

Same BFL, this time with a full bobbin.

How about you? How’s your tour going? Have you fallen off your bike yet?

Tour de Fleece Progress – Day One

So Team Knitorious had an awesome kickoff party last night. In addition to consuming a metric tonne of food and a sizable quantity of sangria, we also spun quite a lot of yarn and taught at least one new spinner. That’s my favorite part – I love to bring new people to the craft!

Here’s my progress from last night – a nice bobbin full of BFL singles. I love to spin this stuff, it’s lovely.

Not a bad output considering I also had a glass of white sangria in hand most of the night.

Not a bad output considering I also had a glass of white sangria in hand most of the night.

And, for fun, a few pics of the festivities. I love these folks, as my friend Jean likes to say, they are my tribe.

Our Jean manning the drum carder.

Our Jean manning the drum carder.

Brady spinning up a storm on his new Majacraft wheel. I have serious wheel envy now.

Brady spinning up a storm on his new Majacraft wheel. I have serious wheel envy now.

SAMSUNG

Joy with a Turkish spindle. One of the best self-taught spinners I’ve ever met.

SAMSUNG

Donna (left) on her Louet and Melissa (right), our brand-new spinner, with a drop spindle. She is an amazingly quick study.

Tour de Fleece

It’s that time once again! The Tour de France begins on Saturday and with it, the Tour de Fleece! It’s a fun concept – for every day that they “spin” on the Tour de France,  we spin along on our spinning wheels and spindles.

This will be my third TdF and I’m looking forward to it. My local group has created Team Knitorious and we’ll be spinning together and cheering each other on. One big advantage to participating in TdF is that it spurs you on to daily practice of the craft, which builds skills really fast.

We’re holding a kickoff party tomorrow night and we’ll be spinning daily throughout the next few weeks, taking rest days when the Tour De France riders rest. I’m also hoping we may have a few new spinners from our group, those that have wanted to learn but put off doing so. This would be a great chance to get started and build skills quickly.

I spent a little time last night “warming up” by refreshing my spindle skills in case we have any spindle-spinning newbies who want to get started. I think most of my spinning will be done on this “bike” however:

My Ladybug. I own several wheels but she is still my favorite.

My Ladybug. I own several wheels but she is still my favorite.

So here’s to a month of challenge and fun!

Monday, Monday, Can’t Trust that Day…

So, if you’re old like I am, you’ll remember that song. Was it the Mommas and the Papas who sang it? Either way, it’s a favorite of mine because it expresses that Monday morning feeling so well. Even if you love what you do, Mondays are always a bit of a jarring start to the week as you go from the fast pace of the weekend (trying to get all of your home chores done in a couple of days) to a pile of things to do at work. Luckily, since there’s a holiday this week, I don’t have a lot of urgent things to get done, since trying to hurry (or even concentrate) is a bit of a slog right now.

It was a pretty quiet weekend around here. We did a lot of housecleaning and washed some windows, largely to help alleviate my allergy issues. We shopped for patio furniture for the new deck and mostly I apologized for not feeling well enough to do any of the things we really enjoy on the weekends, like go to the farmer’s market or hike in the mountains. But, we can see the end, since we see the allergy specialist on Thursday and hopefully they can put me to rights. My apologies, in the meantime, to anyone I have ever said “It’s just allergies” to. I had no idea what I was talking about.

There is good news in Colorado today on the fire front. The High Park fire (near Fort Collins) is now 100% contained, thank God. The Waldo Canyon fire (near Colorado Springs) is now 55% contained and many of the evacuees are being allowed to return to their neighborhoods to assess the damage. Utility crews have been working non-stop to restore electrical service and people can begin to return to ‘normal,’ whatever that is. So, things are getting better. It will still be a long road home for those whose homes were destroyed, but at least the needed resources (such as insurance company catastrophe claims teams) are hitting the ground and starting to help. While I hate to see these types of things happen, I’m always a little proud of my industry because our claims guys really do show up and fulfill the promises we make.

Saturday was the first day of the Tour de Fleece, which is a fun spinning event based on the Tour de  France. It’s actually a fairly simple challenge; for every day that the tour rides, you must spin. You rest on the same days that they rest and spin on the days that they ride. (Although luckily not for the same amount of time. I can’t imagine climbing the alps on bicycle but I also can’t imagine spending several hours a day spinning. The old time professional spinners certainly did it but I would need to train for it, I suspect). In any case, I missed two days already because I wasn’t feeling well, so I will try to spend some time spinning this week. I probably won’t catch up, but any progress made on the mountain of unprocessed fleece should be appreciated by my husband.

My work continues on the Tappan Zee sweater. I’ve finished the third section of the yoke, so I have one more section before I bind off the arms and start into the bodice, at which point it’s pretty much stockinette all the way.  It’s a lovely blue alpaca, not a color that I usually wear, but it’s been time for me to branch out and add some color into my life for a while anyway. I’ll post photos soon.

Well, thanks everyone for reading. I’m sure I’ll have more interesting things to write about soon.

Happy Monday. (If there is such a thing!)