For any of my readers who might be local, or even local-ish, I'm very pleased to announce that I'll be MCing a fashion show for Twist Collective at the Tigard Knitting Guild, this Thursday at 7pm.

Twist Homepage

If you are already a member, wonderful. I hope you'll be able to join us. But even if you don't have a membership to the guild, they graciously allow you to attend as a guest, twice, completely free of charge. So if you've been thinking about joining, now might be a good chance to give the guild a test drive.

You'll see pieces from all of your favorite Twist contributors including another local's work, Ms. Chrissy Gardiner, designer and author of Toe Up!

I can't tell you how overwhelmed I am with the beauty of the pieces I'll be showing and I only hope I'll do them justice at the event.

"Trunk"

I would love to have some friendly faces to cheer me on and maybe laugh as I try to pronounce Poffertjes, so if you will be around, do drop in.

Apropos nothing, here's Thea sleeping.

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Making the rockin' whorl go round

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The Tour de Fleece is going well. The first three days of it, I didn't have to work, so I got in a fair amount of spinning.

Spinning on the beach didn't amount to too much yardage, but who can focus on spinning when there is so much to look at and enjoy around you? Still, I was able to spin a bit of the Black Cherry merino/tencel I got from Amy's booth at the Fiber Frolic, and I confirmed my initial suspicion that the Spindolyn may not be the best match for me. It's a fine and well made tool but it just doesn't fit my spinning style.

For the two days after that I worked on a decadent batt of superwash wool, recycled sari silk and sparkle, that I got from the Enchanted Knoll Farms booth at the Frolic. Here I am spinning the singles.

I spun one bobbin on one day then the other bobbin and the plying the next to get about 422 yards of two ply at around 12 WPI.

My creation
1. Panda in sparkly skein, 2. Rolags make festive dreads, 3. Singles with sparkle, 4. Sparkly singles, 5. One full bobbin of plied yarn, 6. Bobbin and spindle, 7. 2ply on niddy noddy, 8. Smoochin my good dog, 9. Your head smells weird, 10. Girls with skein, 11. Girls with skein, 12. Girls with skein, 13. Finished red sparkly skein
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

The finished yarn was soft and got even softer when washed. I think it'd make a fantastic shawl or wrap of some sort. The red is intense and the sparkle makes it a little special.

Now that I'm back at work, I don't have as much time to spin so I've been fitting in little spurts of spinning on my spindles. On my smallest spindles, I'm working the Black Cherry merino/tencel I mentioned before and on my biggest spindle, some soft tan merino/tencel I got from Carolina Homespun on my trip to Oregon with Julia.

Two different Merino/Tencel blends spun on Golding spindles
1. Merino Tencel blends on spindles, 2. Black Cherry Merino/Tencel, 3. Black Cherry Merino/Tencel, 4. Pretty spindles and a pretty face, 5. Look what I spun, 6. The fiber appreciation society, 7. Can I eat it?, 8. Merino Tencel blends on spindles, 9. Merino Tencel blends on spindles, 10. Merino Tencel blends on spindles, 11. Merino Tencel blends on spindles, 12. Merino Tencel blends on spindles, 13. Cafe Merino/Tencel
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

We're only 5 days in but I can already tell that pushing myself to spin every day is also pushing me to try new things to keep it interesting. Also, it makes me think I might make a little dent in the ol' fiber stash. Of course, that means greatly increasing my yarn stash so it's probably a wash on that count.

4th of July

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I remember being a small child, my younger brother just an infant, and going to some large rolling field with our blanket to watch the fireworks. Every year I'd cry but this year, I was going to be brave. We'd sit down and get comfortable and my parents would coo a little bit, reminding me that it'd be loud and asking if I was sure I'd be ok. I thought I was.

And then the fireworks would start.

I felt like maybe it'd never end and I'd hear the fireworks forever. They seemed so loud, so piercing, so inescapable. I would cry. I'd feel horrible about it, my parents would try to console me but I also knew I was letting them down. I really wanted to be brave.

I don't really believe in karma, though I think that genetics tends to give you back in children, what you gave your parents. I thought I bucked the system by opting never to have kids, but Panda gave me what my mother faced every 4th of July, for much of my younger childhood. She's absolutely inconsolable around fireworks. We hoped that a full day of running on the beach would quell the fear a bit, and the cool ocean air would calm her fragile nerves but the close proximity of those boisterous noisemakers were more than she could manage.

Still, the day was wonderful and the bad parts were brief. We headed out just before the show really started, giving our campsite up to an incredibly thankful wedding after-party, and drove home during the best (or worst, as the case may be) portion of the show.

4th of July, 2009 -- Manzanita, Oregon
1. Fireworks, 2. Setting up the tent, 3. Spinning on the beach, 4. Panda goes for a roll, 5. Can we come in?, 6. Miss Bear looking sweet, 7. Thea zonks out, 8. Silly dog hug, 9. Panda finds a safe spot to hide from the firecrackers, 10. Making a fire while the sun sets, 11. Carrying a bad little dog, 12. Leo in front of sunset, 13. A very sleepy Thea on my lapCreated with fd's Flickr Toys.

Panda is no worse for the wear having had a largely great day at a beautiful beach in weather much cooler than the 90+ degrees back home. All in all, a great day.

See all the pictures from our trip here.

And a little video from right before we left.

Lovely locks

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I couldn't help myself, I had to spin up all those gorgeous cormo locks I got in Maine.

Extreme closeup

I spun the locks up semi-woolen, by simply loosening the locks lightly with my fingers and spinning them from a very lightly held fist. I tried hand carding them, but cormo is really delicate and the carders tend to snap the fibers. It's really unnecessary to card them, anyway and hand prepping the locks lets you pick out any random second cuts and VM (of which there was very little.)

Cormo green sea

I spun up three bobbin and plied them together into a three-ply. With all it's sproing and bounce and just a wee bit of halo, it should make spectacular cables; perhaps on a warm pair of mittens. I chose to ply off of three bobbins instead of chain plying because I wanted to blend all the tonalities as much as possible and minimize any strong striping. I'm really happy with the end result.


Two skeins of cormo

In the end the 4 ounces worked up into about 230 yards and about 10 wpi. Now all I need is more time to knit my spinning.

In training for the Tour de Fleece

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I've decided to join the Tour de Fleece (also, on Ravelry) after Mary-Heather invited me. As you can see, I started my own team, Fleece Bottom Girls. If you want to join my team, the thread is here on Ravelry, along with some buttons and a ravatar.

In light of the upcoming event (or just because I love spinning) I've been honing my skills and cranking out some yarn.

Deep Sea fingering weight 2-ply
1. Bobbin--Deep Sea merino/tencel, 2. Schnoz--Deep Sea merino/tencel, 3. Dime for scale--Deep Sea merino/tencel, 4. Skein--Deep Sea merino/tencel
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

I picked this up over at Etsy and I love it so much. The bottom two images are closest in color. I should have dropped the red a bit in the top two.

The finished yarn is about a fingering weight. There are ~430 yards and it's a 2ply, plied off of two bobbins until the end, with the remnant off of one bobbin andean plied. The tencel ads a great drape and gives the finished yarn a real shimmery quality.

I also decided I needed to try to spin a little novelty yarn, mostly because I've been reading about some of the techniques and while I don't like novelty yarn, and I don't have any desire to knit it, it seems like it'd be fun to spin.

So I took some cotswold (which is a lot like mohair) and spun up some singles thick and thin.

The fiber came in batts so it is super floofy and hairy and the thick and thin really just looked like messed up dreadlocks. It probably doesn't help that my thick and thin intervals were pretty uneven.

So then I spun up some very fine singles in the same fiber, and worked them semi-worsted (as much as I could with carded fiber) to get a smooth and sleek singles. I plied both singles together and got this.

Novelty yarn

Yah, I won't quit my day job.

I've also been spinning some merino/tencel on my new spindle.

Black Cherry spun on Goldings

This fiber is from Spunky Eclectic and the colorway is Black Cherry.

Lastly, also from Spunky Eclectic, is the Cormo I got from the Fiber Folic.

Cormo Cross on the bobbin

I've professed my love for cormo, here, before, and having it dyed so beautifully only makes the heart beat faster.

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