Poorly Spun, Results

Well, here she is. My poorly spun loop bump. She’s 551 yards of 2 ply. Most of it is about light fingering weight. But that entire section of blue is quite a bit larger, perhaps a DK. My big consolation is that I’ll be able to divide the yarn into 2 skeins to get usable yarn.

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The good news is that my Autumn Lake bumps are plying up very nicely. The yarn I’ll have from those will be amazing. The process is long though, I am on bobbin #2 of what I suspect to be 4 bobbins total. I bet it takes me through the weekend to finish up!

Amazed

I am amazed that I managed 3 days of posting in a row here. Considering my recent track record, that’s impressive.

Summer is always a bit transitional in our lives, with school being out and so on. It is also my biking season, the time I most want to be on the bike. So, it is true that my crafting suffers.

This week marked a major milestone for me. After spending a ton of time this spring and summer working on my mountain biking skills, I’ve finally got to a point where I am comfortable. Never has something bike related come so slowly for me. Never have I worked so hard for so little reward. I’ve had moments of pure frustration where my brain just won’t allow me to do what I want to do. I’ve had major moments of frustration when my brain wants to do something my skill level won’t allow. Some days my lungs and legs won’t catch up, and suffer later on in the evening. There have been times when I am just sure it isn’t for me, and that I’ll never get it.

And then every once in awhile, there was that moment of bike bliss, where everything came together for a moment or two, making me feel like perhaps these skills are attainable for me after all. Usually that would be followed by a trail that would take me down a peg or two, quite literally. I could not even begin to count the number of spills I’ve taken on my mountain bike this spring and summer.

But then something changed. It started over a week ago, with a typical thursday night bike ride, on a regular bike. I rode so strong, and felt so strong, and never had that moment of not being able to keep up with my group. I immediately knew that I was feeling stronger and more aggressive than ever, and that I really needed to get out on the dirt trails at that point when I felt strong and aggressive. But it didn’t happen.

Instead, that weekend I rode a 50 mile gravel ride overnight. It took all I had in me to complete that ride. With muscles aching and my exhaustion and attempts to get back on an appropriate sleep schedule, I didn’t bike again until Tuesday, and that was a regular ride again. I started that ride feeling weak from the gravel ride, but ended the ride feeling strong and comfortable again. One day off and I *knew* it was time for a mountain bike ride.

Which I took, at a park I’ve never been to before. I’d been told that this new trail was far more technical than what I was used to riding, but instead, I just had no trouble with it at all! I felt strong, and comfortable on my bike, and really nothing tripped me up. I blamed it on the new trail. So when we planned the next night to do a group ride on the trail I have been practicing, I fully expected my self confidence to waver yet again. Except that didn’t happen. Instead, I owned that trail, having no problem at all with it. I didn’t do all of it, but I again knew I was riding strong and confident. And now? We’ve created a monster because I want to ride dirt All Of The Time.

And now for the spinning news. I won a new spindle! A tahkli style spindle with 2 oz. of cotton. It is a lovely little piece, from hipstrings. Very fast spinner and nice and lightweight. While cotton spinning is a learning curve, I am enjoying the learning!

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Poorly Done

When I started spinning my first loop bump on spindles, it took quite awhile to get the hang of it. Since loop fiber doesn’t precisely act like commercial top, I struggled a bit to get it even. And then as I got it more even, I spun thinner. And then I realized how thin I’d gotten my singles, and started thickening them up a bit again. So, as I am plying, I can tell that this skein is just plain poorly done. That’s ok though, I am sure I can find something, or somethings, to make it into for Bug, since these are precisely her colors. What I am proud of is that plying is happening, which means progress is finally being made!

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Over but not done with

Tour de Fleece may be over but as I’ve not a skein of yarn to show for it, I am still plugging away at all my TdF projects. I’ve managed to finish spinning the singles of the Autumn Lake and Autumn Lake coordinate bumps, more than 10 ounces of singles on two bobbins. They are just lovely, fat, full bobbins with such gorgeous colors on them. Plying may take some time, but I suspect it will be more than worth the time spent.

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Spindle Spinning

Tour de Fleece ended this weekend and I have NO skeins to show for it. However, I did manage to spin about a pound of singles. Those yarns may not be completed, but they are on their way toward it. ┬áThat being said, since we are right in the middle of summer, I am right in the middle of biking season and my desire to be inside and crafting is pretty much gone. It just isn’t my season and I cannot get motivated to do it. When I am forced to be inside, I choose other activities anyhow. Cleaning, organizing, purging the house of useless items. Not crafting.

Of course, this kind of means I don’t have much to show you, so instead I am going to attempt to start a series of posts I’ve been considering writing for quite some time.

You see, my good friend Marja decided she would like to try to learn to spin. She does not knit, crochet, or weave. So this was my opportunity to work with a blank slate. Someone who knew nothing about yarn and the terminology for spinning and associated crafts.

I started her out with one of my trindles, the drop style not the support style. Then I asked her to please choose some kauni “preyarn.” My hope here was to get her accustomed to the idea of spinning a spindle clockwise without throwing her for a loop by teaching her how to draft as well. The pre yarn is great for this, as the only thing required is to add twist to it.

This then gave us the opportunity to explore plying methods before drafting was even learned. With the preyarn she was able to create a 2 ply, a 3 ply, and a chain ply with little trouble at all. And also learn terms like hank and skein and how to wash and finish her yarn.

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This was her first yarn, a 2 ply. We didn’t try to make the colors do anything at all in particular, it was simply a learning experience.

I believe our next was the rainbow, which was logical to chain ply.

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We then discussed 3 ply yarns and she ended up with some very lovely 3 ply yarns.

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I believe that getting the feel of a spindle and learning to ply even before drafting gave her the confidence she needed to learn to draft. It also gave her yarn that immediately looked like yarn, rather than struggling through a mess of stuff that just doesn’t actually look very nice or usable.

I don’t know that learning with preyarn would work for everyone, but I think I can prove in future posts that it did work for Marja.

Busy

Doesn’t even begin to cover it.

This morning I put Miss Bug on a plane for her annual trip to spend time with my parents. It will be a shorter than usual trip this year, but she will love it even so.

I’ve been busy biking and training myself to ride differently. I am at the strongest I’ve been all year which is exciting. So tonight I embark on an all night gravel ride which should be good and challenging fun.

Not as much spinning as I would have hoped, but I do have all my singles on the daydreamer bump spun up. I just don’t have an empty wheel to use for plying.

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Weekend Progress

This weekend was full of biking, live music, friends, and crowded events. I also spent most of my free time working around the house, rather than crafting in any way. This sets me up for what feels like a pretty successful weekend. I did manage to take some time out for some Tour spinning as well.

I spent some downtime yesterday working on some spindle spinning, this is coming right along.

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And I had a phone date with a girlfriend, during which I did some wheel spinning, so that feels like it is coming right along as well.

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That bobbin really is filling right up. I rather hope I may have time to finish this one during the week actually. Then it will be the very long task of plying more than 10 oz. of handspun singles.