Revising my Tour de Fleece goal

Good morning and happy Saturday! How is your Tour de Fleece spinning coming along? I am not as far along with my 8 ounces of fiber as I had hoped to be. There’s just one week left of the tour, and I have about half of my fiber still to be spun.

My original goal was to get as much yardage out of this fiber as I could, and if I stick to that goal, I will most certainly have fiber left at the end of the tour. This a little baffling, because I only chose to work with 8 ounces of fiber this year, whereas last year I think I managed to burn through almost two pounds! Getting 15 to 20 minutes of spinning time in the mornings before work has been easy, but carving out spinning time in the evenings has been very difficult. Continue reading “Revising my Tour de Fleece goal”

Tour de Fleece – week one

Good morning and happy Saturday! We are now one full week into the Tour de France and Ravelry’s Tour de Fleece. How is your spinning coming along?

This last week has been a bit crazy here. The normal household routine had major disruptions because of jury duty. I did find myself with some extra time at home in the mornings and with the exception of Monday, I was able to make good use of that time for spinning my Tour de Fleece fiber. Most evenings this past week were far too hot and humid to even hold wool in my hands so it’s a good thing I did as much as I could in the mornings. Weekdays are difficult for me anyway, and if I remember correctly, during last year’s Tour de Fleece I did most of my spinning on the weekends. Continue reading “Tour de Fleece – week one”

Fun with blending boards

Good morning and Happy Independence Day! I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you have outdoor plans this afternoon, they will likely involve an umbrella. Rain has never stopped me from grilling up some tasty food though. Whatever you’ve got planned for today and tonight, please make sure to keep your pets safe. Brad Shear’s blog post from the other day talks about the dangers of fireworks for dogs, and provides some great tips for keeping them safe. A lot of the tips are certainly applicable to cats who may get a little freaked out by the noise too.

Last week I mentioned that I was playing with a new-to-me type of fiber preparation, and the tools for this are new to me too. A few weeks ago I got my first blending board (on the left in the picture below) made by Skip Watt of Watt Heritage Fiber Tools , and just last week I got a second blending board. This one came from Fancy Kitty using the the gift card/coupon code I won for my gradient yarn. Continue reading “Fun with blending boards”

The power of string – simple ways too get your spinning wheel to perform the way you want

Good morning, and happy Saturday! It’s a beautiful brand new day where all Americans in all fifty states are just a little more equal and that feels really great.

Last week I talked a bit about the cleaning and maintenance on spinning wheels in general, and the cleaning and maintenance I was doing on my Polonaise. This morning I’d like to talk about a couple of modifications I made and how they affect the performance of that wheel, as well as some easy changes that any spinner can make to their own wheels to change or enhance how it spins.

My Polonaise, like many wheels, is capable of spinning as either a double drive wheel, or a single drive, flyer led wheel with a brake band/tensioning system on the bobbin. The “factory settings” for that tensioning system are a spring and a rather thick and coarse piece of twine that attach to pegs in the mother-of-all and wrap around the groove on the end of the bobbin. Continue reading “The power of string – simple ways too get your spinning wheel to perform the way you want”

A few words about spinning wheel cleaning and maintenance

Good morning, and happy Saturday! Although it’s a day early, I’ll wish you all a happy Father’s Day and happy Solstice too. Even though we have no human children, we still get Father’s Day cards for each other from the dogs. It’s just a “Hallmark holiday” anyway, so that’s about as far as it goes for us.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned taking apart the Polonaise to clean and oil each piece and perform a little bit of maintenance before starting my spinning for the Tour de Fleece. I finally got the chance to do that last night.

Continue reading “A few words about spinning wheel cleaning and maintenance”

Sharing the Bliss and confirming my status as an enabler

Good morning, and happy Saturday! Take advantage of today while you can, because the next few days look considerably cooler and very wet. Not that I’m complaining. We really need the rain. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my lawn so brown and crunchy, even in the middle of summer.

Last week I promised to have more to say about the Bliss wheel. Let’s start with a little recap of how it came to me. Continue reading “Sharing the Bliss and confirming my status as an enabler”

MSKR 2015

Good morning and happy Saturday! I have written about the Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat so many times before. This year’s retreat was just as amazing and inspiring as always and there are no words that I could use to describe this year that haven’t been used to describe past retreats. We have guys who come just about every year, some who have been to other retreats in the summer and fall, and some who are there for the very first time. We have such a diversity in backgrounds, interests, and skills that we bring together every year into an awesome group of people that I am always honored to be a part of.

Our group got a tour of Battenkill Fibers again tis year. I love visiting the mill and the process of turning raw fleece into roving and yarn is something I always find fascinating. The mill also offers other tours throughout the year. Continue reading “MSKR 2015”