Bounce

The last of the singles that have been sitting around for five months or so have been plied. These are from a fleece I purchased a few years ago. CVM Romeldale which is grey. I dyed some of the locks in greens and teals, then blended those with the undyed grey locks on my drum carder.

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This made for a crazy bouncy yarn once spun on spindles and plied on the wheel. This is a two ply, I’d say DK weight. It is soft and fluffy, and really interesting. I think that I am constantly amazed at just how bouncy wool that I process from fleece turns out to be. I have 130 yards here, and a bunch more dyed locks and batts I’ve made in different colors in my stash. This was a test, and it tested well.

More Plying

I continued on my mission to ply all the singles laying around the house with this pink dyeabolical batt from a grab bag. While the last one was rather sloppily done, on purpose, this one was a more even yarn and the plying was naturally more even as well. That being said, the yarn happens to match the last one pretty well, so I plied it a bit loosely to mimic that.

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It’s a rather bright pink, but I don’t think it is quite as pink as this picture shows. However, it’s tough to get a good picture of a shiny pink, and this one is pretty shiny.

I have 150 yards of 2 ply laceweight here, and I do think when I get around to using it, it will be combined with yesterday’s yarn in some unforeseen way.

Continuing

I plied that huge hank of yarn this week, and then realized I had various bits of singles hanging around as well, so I decided to get those plied too before working on any newer spinning. These are not particularly large hanks, but it is still fun to finish them up.

The one I have to show off today is a dyeabolical batt that I received in a grab bag style. I don’t know how many ounces, maybe 2? The batt was fun, as batts are, but I did not spin it particularly consistently. Thus, when I plied, I was purposely careless. I figured the interest of the slubby yarn would just be enhanced by a less than perfect plying job. I ended up at 190 yards of 2 ply yarn. It’s pretty thin, ranging from lace to fingering weight ¬†yarn.

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I love the different colors and fibers in this one, it’s quite an interesting piece.

 

Finished

You know, the spinning of a full 8 oz is a long process, and sometimes it really wears me down. However, once I finish it, the really large skein of resulting yarn pleases me so very much!

I finished my 8 oz. of Crown Mountain Farms superwash merino in Sultans of Swing colorway. It took quite awhile to 3 ply it all, but the resulting yarn is pretty stunning.

890 yards of 3 ply laceweight yarn.

While I am not really into the idea of deciding what a handspun yarn will become before finishing, or even after, I do think this, paired with a plain brown laceweight, would make a fabulous striped sweater.

Finishing this one has made me eager to continue to finish. I’ve had a few sets of singles hanging around not done for quite some time, so I am determined to work on those and get them off my dresser in their holding pattern.

Weekend Weird

For the last few years, I’ve wanted to attend the Pedaler’s Jamboree in Columbia, MO. This bike ride is on the MKT and KATY trail, every memorial day weekend. On Saturday the riders leave Columbia and make their way the 32 miles to Boonville, MO. Along the way there is live music to stop and enjoy. In Boonville that evening there are more live bands, and then on Sunday the riders head back to Columbia, again enjoying live music along the way.

This year, Mr. Ink and I were able to attend. It was very exciting for me. To be honest, I had anticipated that the bands would be local, and only marginally good. That was not the case AT ALL. The bands were fabulous, and the trail was flat, and it made for a great weekend. The ride brought out all types of riders, which was also great fun. In addition to the great music, there was fabulous people watching to be had.

We started out rather late, as it was raining on our ride over and we didn’t feel the need to start riding in that. However, we drove through the storm and out the other side. We got on the trail and it wasn’t many miles before we saw a random stop with a bunch of local friends who had traveled to the ride too.

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While there, it began to rain, so we decided to ride on after donning rain jackets. We wanted to make it to Rocheport in time for William Elliot Whitmore.

In Rocheport, my feet looked like this:

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Thankfully, I have fenders, so unlike many people on the trail that day, I lacked the telltale grey stripe up my backside. Our bikes were pretty dirty too, as were our faces.

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But, our mood was high, and there were smiles all around. And we were there with plenty of time to see William Elliot Whitmore, up close and personal.

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After the show, everyone got on their bikes and rode away, so we stuck around to meet him. And then off to the KATY roundhouse for Dirtfoot. Not only was Dirtfoot our favorite show of the day, being as it was very different than most of the bands available to see, very punky, but it also had such characters!

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This guy was hoola hooping all over the place, in quite shiny shorts. In fact, there were a ton of hula hoopers, but not all of them were right out front constantly.

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Then there were those in costume, fighting each other.

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After Dirtfoot, we cruised on through to Boonville, where 5 more bands were playing. However, we only saw a small portion of SHEL, after we got showered, changed, and had a picnic dinner in the hotel. Then we saw about a song from the headliner, but we decided we were just too tired to even deal with being out anymore, so we called it a night quite early.

And up early the next morning as well, where the day dawned hot and humid. We headed back to Rocheport to see Old Salt Union, which was a band I was impressed with when looking them up. Great musicians all, and a fun show.

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The characters were out again, and I was glad because I’d been trying to get a picture of this helmeted character all day Saturday. He wore his helmet through every show, and on Saturday had a rubber lobster pinned to his jeans.

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Sunday he was sporting a rather long plant from his helmet as he danced with random people.

After the Old Salt Union show, we decided we were rather tired of the music, and ended up climbing up the bluffs to a winery off the trail.

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I am not going to tell you that the wine was good, but the walk was absolutely beautiful, so it was worth it despite the humidity.

Id’ say that this ride was completely attainable for anyone who wanted to give it a try and has a bike appropriate for a rails to trails type trail. (A road bike in the rain would have been a miserable thing.) The trail is very flat, so the challenge is simply the miles. It was nice to be on a ride where all levels were clearly included, and there were so many children in trailers or tagalongs, or riding on their own. The event was pretty fluid overall, the bands didn’t exactly start on time. So, if you are trying to maintain a certain schedule it might not work perfectly. In the end, we picked a few certain bands to see, and then concentrated on getting there for those shows. It worked well. I often tell newer riders that when riding an organized ride, you ride the day you get, not necessarily the day you want. That was certainly the case with Saturday. Riding in the rain really isn’t something I love, but thankfully it was warm enough to stay enjoyable. But, to some extent, these types of rides are a gamble. You sign up, and hope for the best. We may not have had the best, but we had good enough weather to make for an enjoyable day.

Conclusion? I need a helmet like this:

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Revolving

After beginning this post, I had an experience that floored me. And yet, the title of the post still stands. This experience is something I immediately wanted to post about.

There’s a guy I’ve been working with for the past 7 or 8 yrs. I have to admit, I don’t care for him, and on multiple occasions I’ve been quite difficult with him. Whether that difficulty has been because I’ve felt the need to set boundaries or because I am feeling obstinate, well, the reasoning might change, but I was often aware that I was being difficult. Often, I was certain that he too was being deliberately difficult. So, my relationship with this person has been tenuous at best.

However, a few years back his wife had twins, and they were born very early. I don’t remember the stats, but early enough to be quite alarming. In empathy of such a difficult situation, I knit premie hats for them. While I was knitting, I was certain that those hats would be too small. No baby could ever be THAT small and survive. I gave him the hats, and he reported back that the little girl’s head was far too small for the hat at that point. That tiny little hat was just too big.

Fast forward a couple years, the kids are growing up and doing well and thriving despite their early start. And it is now time for him to move on, so they are packing up all their stuff. He’s revolving out of this work and on to something new. Today he came in, itty bitty premie hat in hand, sat down, and said “We were packing stuff last night and we came across this. I just wanted to bring it in to show you. Do you remember this? Do you remember how tiny she was and how this hat was too big for her? Do you remember that time?” And I knew. I knew that this was his way of saying “I appreciate the care you showed me during that time. I appreciate that gift.” It broke my heart, in a good way.

There’s so much talk about selfish knitting, and knitting for only those who deserve it. And, I often agree with it. I am not going to go out and knit large items for people I barely know. But really, premie hats? It took me an evening to make them. But the gesture was so much bigger than my time spent on them, and so much more appreciated. It was so nice to have that come back to me in some way. It was nice to realize that.

OK-enough with the navel gazing. On to business.

My life has revolved around a couple things this week. Cleaning up from previous trips, prepping for the next, work, and plying. I feel like I’ve had very little time to devote to the plying, but still managed to fill a bobbin in two days, so there’s that.

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This seems to be showing a lighter section of yarn, though there are some deeper areas buried underneath that top layer. I can’t wait to get it off the bobbin and finish it. However, I know that I’ve got another bobbin full of singles sitting around, so it may be awhile.

It is nice to feel like I can spin again. I was so involved in knitting there for awhile, that spinning just didn’t get done. I’ve got at least 3 other yarns to ply after this is done, which means I’ll actually have spinning content if I just get down to business.

Have a lovely weekend all!

 

Off Again

Only a few days after our Utah trip, we were off on another day trip. We drove about 2 hours to a state park for a local unsanctioned mountain bike race. Mr. Ink raced, and while I’d considered doing so myself, chose not to due to a really poor performance on the local dirt trails a couple days before. My body was shot from the Utah trip and I hurt all over.

However, we decided to make a day of it. First the race, then a picnic, and then some hiking on the trails. We took Miss Bug and the dog, who is an old boy at 16. But, he’s still quite spry despite a bit of arthritis, and he’s a gentle sweet thing.

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Into the car he went, in the back seat with Miss Bug, who decided to allow him to play Barbies with her. She’d hold up two outfits, and whichever outfit the dog would put his nose on would be the chosen outfit.

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And thus, she was royally entertained on the drive.

Now, this lovely dog, while always patient with Miss Bug, hasn’t been overly loving toward her. He’s kind of skeptical toward her. However, Miss Bug decided he was “her” dog during the race, and walked him around for over an hour, where ever he wanted to go.

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Meanwhile, I did some spinning, and watched the racers come through.

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After that, Miss Bug was rewarded wholeheartedly in the car by a dog that wanted to get all the way up on her lap, though he only managed about halfway. She couldn’t have been more thrilled.

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And thus, their friendship was solidified before we even headed out to hike.

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On the ride home, I fought to stay awake, while Mr. Ink snoozed and Miss Bug doted on the dog some more. Once home, I was in need of one epic nap.