Monday, July 31, 2006

What? No Airconditioning?

I have been reading a lot of blogs by spinners and knitters lately and am a member of several Yahoo groups for spinners and knitters. It is July 31st. It is supposed to be over 100 degrees this time of year and it will stay this hot until late September most likely.

From my point of view here in the Northern Neck of Virginia (where the Potomac River dumps into the Chesapeake Bay), it's normally over 95 degrees from about mid-June on...

I'm just wondering why all the folks are whining that it's too hot to knit? What happened to air conditioning? I live in a 100 year old farm house. It barely has central heat, but I have a window air conditioning unit in every bedroom, my kitchen and my sitting room. My house is very comfortable.

And I'm NOT rich. If I was rich I would have central air conditioning to go along with my central heat. I would also have a completed, functioning greenhouse; furniture that marginally matches and a decent set of pots and pans.

And quite frankly, I'm heading out the day after tomorrow (Wednesday) to go camping and will be teaching other folks how to spin on Thursday. Hot? You betcha... we are expecting a high of 99 degrees tomorrow and 100 on Thursday. After that, it's supposed to cool down to a lovely 88 for Friday and Saturday and Sunday. But we are taking box fans and renting electric sites. I'm wearing sarongs (and probably little else) all weekend. I plan to move slowly, drink lots of water and spend as much time as possible in front of a fan. All I'm actually dreading is a rain storm that will raise the humidity level. But that's a whole 'nother problem.

A few pix of a few projects

Here are a few pictures of my current projects:

Pipe Bag Nearly Finished. I'm working on doing decreases now. Thank goodness Ken is good at doing math!

Here is some homespun (just a tiny bit) that I decided to knit up as singles. I'm using it as an example in the spindling class I'm teaching on Thursday at Hoot-n-Any. I wonder how many folks will come?

And here are my second pair of Big Black Socks for Soldiers! I'm trying to figure out how to get them on two circular needles and still make it work. I have to study on this more. But for now, I'm making pretty good progress so I may not mess with success.

Friday, July 28, 2006

** Idea!!

Oooh, oooh! I've got an idea. I'm spinning up all these little sampler's of yarns (most of them 2 ply but at least one in one ply)... I'm thinking that if I save all these samples that eventually I will have enough bits that I could knit one of those triangular shawls that has a different yarn on every row (or couple of rows).

I will post pictures of all these little samplers soon. I'm very happy with them other than the fact I tend to overspin which makes plying a pain!

I could alter my lovely homespun with some really cool store bought stuff that I found in the stash my mother gave me or I managed to pick up somewhere or have left over from socks or little hats.
I will want to get some mohair, some alpaca... some silk, some fun stuff. Every row would be different and end in about four inches of fringe on either side.

I can do thick and thin. I can focus on all natural fibers perhaps... This could be very interesting knitted up on a big sized circular needle that would just grow gradually -- perhaps over several years -- until I have a whole shawl.

Yes, yes. This could be fun.

I'll have to buy a nice long circular needle in size 7 or 8 which is a nice mid-sized needle that I won't be trying to steal for other odd projects in between -- a dedicated circular needle.

I wonder if Ken would notice if another package arrived from Knit Picks?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Irish Ewe - Quality Yarns & Fine Irish Gifts

The Irish Ewe - Quality Yarns & Fine Irish Gifts

I think this is an awesome idea.

I wonder who I could get to buy this for me?

Wait! First I need my wheel... Ken is really nervous that I'm going to buy my own. I will wait until after Yule and see if I get one then. And I will be a very good girl and spin up all the wool (or most of it) that I have on hand now.

I really need to find a better way to ply, however, as a small sampler that I did for my class next week gave me small fits. I think the flower pot idea will work (sticking a ball under a heavy pot with the single coming up through the hole -- one ball under each pot) but I have to smooth out the edges of the pot hole so the single doesn't catch. I will work this out.

Or I may go ahead and make a spindle holder from which I can just ply directly off the spindles... Hmmm I have to think on this... Perhaps I can just stick the spindles into the pot holes.... I will report back.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Why stash?

Well, I've come to realize that if I have ONE skein/ball/sample of each yarn, when I spin, I can spin to that weight/ply/fiber content and actually get pretty close to what is called for in any given pattern.

The trick, of course, is keeping the labels...

Are other spinners/knitters organized? Do they actually keep notes of what they spin/knit and refer back to their notes?

I know I should do this... especially if I want to reach my goal of making a living selling and spinning yarn.

More rovings arrive...

My husband is a long suffering man, you know. He comes to work about the same time I leave and as I was leaving today, he arrived and said: "Two boxes arrives for you today. More wool stuff."
I smiled. He just rolled his eyes and took a drag on his cigarette.
"At least my addiction won't kill me," I said, heading for my car.

And sure enough when I got home I found a small box containing lots of the new Knit Picks Classic Circular knitting needles in sizes ranging from 0 to 2 U.S. There are two of each in both 16 inch and 24 inch. I am going to attempt to increase my sock knitting speed because I understand that it's actually easier to knit socks on 2 circular needles. At least I can have several pairs going at one time this way.
Later, I will report on how these new fangled circulars work compared with other circulars I have.

I also recieved the roving from The Sheep's Shed Studio. Oh, this is nice stuff! The black and white is more white than black but it is very, very nice to pet. The brown and white is about equally brown and white and will make a really nice yarn I think.
Carol also included a small bag of some unlabeled brown roving. Not sure what it is but it's a bit coarser than the Corriedale and the Merino I have. It will be interesting to try.
I think I may have to go for a plunge and order 10 or 15 pounds of their BALE of spinning fiber. It's grey but I think it would overdye nicely.

I went out and picked elderberries this evening. I have about a half gallon of them and Ken wants to make a batch of mead. We will see.

I am also going out this evening before it gets dark (and after I finish this) and pick a bunch of the hardy hibiscus flowers (all the ones that bloomed today) and see if I can make a dye bath from them. I will use Alum for mordant this weekend. But I figure a strong tea made from the flowers will be interesting.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Letters and Databases

We got two letters from John in a three day time period. The most important line, of course, is when he said, "I'm okay." He also apologized for not writing more often. In any case, it was good to hear from him.

I have spent most of the last two days teaching my co-workers how to use a database that should -- in the end -- make their work lives easier. The hardest part has been convincing them that it really is worth the time to data enter the information. These classes, I think, did the trick.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

In class tomorrow

I'm off to the Department of Corrections Academy for Staff Development tomorrow to take a class on criminal behavior. I enjoy taking classes at the Academy. I always come away have learned something so I really have never resented the two hour drive to get there.

I don't like sleeping there overnight. The mattresses are terrible and there seems to be something wrong in the ventilation system for I ALWAYS get sick when I spend the night. So I've stopped doing that even if it means I have to eat the cost of driving my own vehicle back and forth for two or more days.

But tomorrow is a one-day class and three of us are taking the same class so we are meeting at the prison tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. and heading out. I'm going to bring my knitting (probably the Big Black Socks for Soldiers) and see if I can make some progress while on the commute.

Still no word from John. But I do have reservations at a Fort Knox Hotel.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Haven't heard

I haven't heard a word from John since June. I'm getting worried.

What if he is sitting a brig at Fort Knox. Would someone let me know?

I'm a worry wort. I know it. But I want to hear something.

Would I be Mad????

I've been playing with a notion... what if I could find the time to spin enough yarn (lovely, designer-type yarn, of course) that I could set up a vending tent twice or three times a month throughout the summer at various farmer's markets and craft shows and sell yarn, roving and spindles?

It might pay for my new addiction. But would it eventually lead to enough income that I could "retire" from the state government job and do it full time? Open a knitting and spinning shop?

Could I also sell commercially made yarn (best quality, of course) and still make a profit?

Who knows?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Knowledge Acquisition

Ken bought me some books for my birthday. One on Celtic Design has not yet arrived but the others are really cool. The first one is Spinning in the Old Way by Priscilla A. Gibson-Roberts.

She's kind of funny in how she starts out stating that she is very opinionated and then proceeds to prove it. I like a lot of what she recommends but I do feel comfortable enough to decide for myself whether or not it should be spinning "LAW". Fact is, I'm learning pretty quickly, that there are very few spinning laws so long as your fiber stays together and looks good knitted or woven up.

He also bought me The Whole Craft of Spinning: From the Raw Material to the Finished Yarn by Carol Kroll. This is a basic book with some advanced information and includes a lot of information about spinning wheels. She does a good job of laying out the information we all need. I like that she suggests using some unusual fibers like dandelion fluff and feathers.

He also ordered Diet for a New America by John Robbins. I haven't started reading this one yet but I am a little concerned that when I do read it, my family is going to undergo some radical diet changes. I may hold off for a while.

Then I ordered a whole flock of books! I was very bad but if I'm going to try and teach others how to do this, I need to know something about what I teach... right?

So I got:

A Dyer's Garden: From Plant to Pot Growing Dyes for Natural Fibers by Rita Buchanan. This one fits in nicely with my herb and flower gardens and all the wild stuff we have growing around here. In any case, there are a lot of yellows available to me and I think I will have to plant woad again for some blues.

Spinning Designer Yarns by Diane Varney. This is the book that is going to give me permission to do just about anything!

Spin It: Making Yarn from Scratch by Lee Raven is a thin book but nicely illustrated and offers patterns for several things I can make with my homespun.

Finally, I got A Handspindle Treasury: 20 Years of Spinning Wisdom from Spin-Off Magazine edited by A number of folks from Spin-Off with an introduction by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts. This book, too, contains some patterns but most importantly discusses a wide variety of different kinds of spindles and describes well how to make them for myself and use them. This was a good purchase.

Wondering if anyone out there who might read this blog from time to time can recommend additional books I should get?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Blacksmithing and other old ways

Went up the Farmer's Market in Heathsville yesterday which is sponsored by the folks who saved Rice's Inn from the ravages of time and termites.

They have done some really cool stuff up there including renovation of this inn, the construction of a blacksmithing shop behind the inn and what I think is a community meeting room/teaching facility which is also behind the inn . They run a small museum and a restaurant out of the renovated Rice's Inn and now are taking on even bigger projects.

I learned that they are currently teaching blacksmithing to anyone interested for FREE! They want to build up a small army of volunteers who can teach other old skills as well. They have ladies who do quilting and hand sewing of garments. But no spinners.

And yes, you know I went and talked to them about spinning. I was sort of hoping there was someone already teaching that but I know if I stick my neck out there someone will come along who DOES know more than I do and can then be arm-twisted into teaching ME! But I can see where this could easily spill over into other areas like dye classes, knitting, tatting, herbalism and even mead making or soap making. It's kind of amazing how many old skills I really do have... even as a dabbler, I'm ahead of a lot of other folks.

You know, I haven't done any tatting in a long while. I wonder if I could spin fine enough to make thread for that... hmmm... later perhaps.

I've been very bad

Ken is going to kill me, but I've ordered more fiber... from these folks: Sheeps Shed Studio.
I placed my order and within 10 minutes Carol had emailed back to me that she had received the order and would be mailing it out on Monday! And we chatted back and forth in email like we have known each other for years! How delightful!

I wish I had the resources to travel out there and take a class or classes with her. Maybe someday when I'm independently wealthy.

Anyway, in addition to some other brown and white fiber from Carol I ordered this:

I got a whole pound of it in the black and white colors. Isn't it cool?

While waiting for this order, I dyed some more of my white Corriedale with KoolAid in some bizarre colors. The plan in my brain at this point, is to spin up a strip of each color (to make a long single of multiple colors which will be separated by stripes of white then ply it with the black and white). It will either be hideous or wonderful but in any case, I think the kids will like it.

I made some lime green, and some cherry red (which is not deep red but nice) and then I tried the lemon thinking I would get yellow. This was not to be the case. So I added some extra Citric Acid (yes, I'm experimenting here) and a tablespoon of yellow food coloring. I got a really wild orange but not yellow. And I'm not real sure how colorfast this food coloring is going to be. I think I will rinse it again and let it dry before I spin with it just to make sure... and who knows some of the orange may die down and I will get yellow.

I used my crockpot this time and it was really easy.

I would have spent more time rinsing last night but Ken was trying to rack mead and cook dinner and was just generally getting in my way... silly man. He still hasn't learned that hobbies take priority over chores. But he may get there soon as he found a really good deal on a wood lathe and going on Monday to check it out. I hope he buys it. He needs to spend more time doing something fun.

Yes, I suggested that he could then turn spindles for me and he looked at me like I was mad. But I will convince him eventually.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Knitting Obligations

I've got another inch done on my Big Black Socks for Soldiers. Now up to total of 3 inches. The Opal that I bought for this pair through the Socks for Soldiers group is much thinner than the Dalegarn Baby Ull that I used for John's socks. The cuff on this first pair seems almost lace-like and I'm using #1 needles! Maybe it's supposed to be like that. I hope so anyway.

But I have come to the conclusion that I MUST be more committed here. I got the first pair done for John from yarn I purchased from Got Yarn BEFORE I jointed Socks for Soldiers and I used their enthusiasm and encouragement to get through that first pair. These are some BIG BLACK SOCKS! But there are some members of the group who have already knitted and mailed in three pairs! I'm just starting pair two.

I'm discouraged. A little.

But I also see improvement in my knitting work. I've only had to rip back once on these so far... (hopefully no more).

I'm also working on the second Soy Silk hat (I think this one will be for my youngest step-granddaughter). These hats are really quick... when I do sit and knit and I'm sober...

Oh, on that note. I'm going to make a button that says: "Do not let me knit while I'm drinking" Then I'm going to wear it when I go camping... because I tend to drink when I go camping and I like to knit when I'm camping and ... well, I end up frogging a lot after I go camping.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Pee U

Maggie, my 12 year old Manchester Terrier, never ceases to surprise me. Considering the vet thinks she should have BEEN DEAD, I guess that shouldn't surprise me any.

Maggie, you see, contracted heart worms when she was a wee little pup before I adopted her. While we probably could have put her through the chemo-therapy -ike treatment for heartworms, we were risking her death and quite frankly, we could not have afforded it and would have been on the installment plan with the vet for several years. Instead, we opted to let her live as long as she would and put her quietly to sleep when it became painful for her.

While she will on occasion cough a bit (especially after running after one of the boys rolling down the road for a few miles on a bike), she seems to have no particular problem keeping up or acting as if she is in any discomfort.

I believe she is one of those rare dogs that actually was able to fight off the heart worms using her own immune system.

But given her age, living in the country, and being allowed to run whereever she pleases, this dog has really out done herself. This dog survived being shot by a crazy neighbor about 8 years ago. (And yes, I called the sheriff's department on him for cruelty -- and he sold his house and moved away not long after that). She has tangled with ground hogs and won. She has fought with other dogs and come away unskathed and fears not even the snakes that roam my property.

A couple of years ago Miss Maggie started getting a little grey around the muzzle and then developed an incontinence problem. If she fell too deeply asleep, her bladder just let loose. So off to the vet we went. He put her on estrogen. I bought her a new dog bed. We have a perpetually renewing 3 month prescription. I figured, as did the vet, that I'd be buying the little purple pills for about a year. As of this week we are into year 3.

She's also one of those dogs that doesn't seem to ever slow down. She still jumps up high enough to dive into the car window when I pull into my parking spot in the front yard. She still runs down the road after the kids on their bikes.

Today, while I was at work, Ken was sleeping and the kids were out in the yard goofing around, she found something dead. We have no idea what it was. But whatever it was clearly smelled lovely to her and she rolled in it so thoroughly that her collar was caked in decaded flesh and had to be put in the burn pile and torched. She has had two bathes so far today -- the kids took the initiative to do this because she stank so bad. They called me at work and I purchased those little dog wipe sheets on my way home. She still stinks.

She's not going to like it, but Miss Maggie will be relegated to the laundry room tonight and I will bathe her again tomorrow before I go to work. I'm thinking tomato juice or lemon juice even though we aren't dealing with skunk. AND somehow, I need to brush her teeth... ewwww.

Monday, July 10, 2006

No News.. I hope is good news

I'm a little worried because I haven't gotten a letter from John in over a week now. I'm concerned he is really struggling. The whole concept of asking how high to jump on your way up is very new to him.

We have a visitor with us this summer. I will not reveal his name becuase his mom is very protective of him, but he is a friend of my youngest son, Matt. His sister has had to undergo a number of surgeries in the last two years to repair her heart and a cleft palate. This young man has managed to keep the home fires burning (literally) while Mom and Dad had to be at the hospital with his sister. He got fairly good grades but Ken and I just really felt this young man was over stressed, so we talked to his parents and his step-dad brought him down in mid-June to stay with us until August.

He went to the beach with us. He has completely charmed by mother and has been a wonderfully positive influence on my youngest son.

If I could I would take this one on as a foster child. I wonder sometimes if I will ever be given the opportunity to help raise a step-daughter or a foster daughter. So far, all of Ken's grandchildren have been girls, so perhaps we will end up with one of them for an extended period of time.

It would be fun to have a kid who was interesting in something other than shooting things and eating.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Spindles for friends

Looky at what I've been up to!

Ken helped me screw the hooks into about half of these... The wood of the dowel is really hard!

I weighed them and right now, with this length dowel, they are 0.9 oz. I'm going to cut them to different lengths and weigh them again and write the weights on the undersides.

But these are very easy to make. I paid less than a dollar each for the materials. The hard part, of course, is getting the screw in. Before I knew how easy and cheap these were to make, I paid $15 for the one I'm using to spin fairly fine singles.

I may have to tweak some of the hooks with a rounded-nose plyer when I test drive them. But I'm happy so far and feel the folks at Hoot who come to the Friday workshop on spinning will at least go away with a useable tool.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Simple Spindles

There is going to be a spindle exhange entitled "What I did on my Summer Vacation" in the Spindler's Yahoo List which has me intrigued. Even if I opt not to join it because I'm already booked beyond sanity with other obligations in my life; it did give me ideas for options so I can fill in that last pesky workshop slot at the Hoot-n-Any.

I will be teaching a class on spinning from a Pagan perspective (magickal aspects of spinning and Goddesses of spinning) at the Hoot. I will remind them that part of the reason we have been called to be Wise Ones and have the skills we have is because we are obligated to give back. Once lots of yarn has been made it should be used and at least one of every three things you make should be given to someone in need. Now that could be a family member who needs a warm pair of socks. It could be soldier who needs a warm pair of socks. It could be a child in China or Afghanistan who needs a warm hat or vest.

I'm going to get going and see if I can do some recruiting for the Socks for Soldier's by intriguing people with spinning first.

For some reason folks who say things like: "I can't knit. Knitting is boring." are drawn like chalk dust to a black wool suit to Spinning. If I am sitting in public somewhere with my little spindle, I always have lots of people walking by and gawking (which is sort of weird but kind of fun, too). Several will ask about what I'm doing and finally, I'd say 1 in 20 will stop, plop down next to me and say, "Oh" (with one of those voices filled with awe) I've always wanted to learn how to do that. Is it hard? How long have you been spinning?"

When I tell them how easy it is and that I've only been spindling since Memorial Day Weekend I can see their hands start twitching. I understand. I've been there too. I reach into my bag and pull out (Ta Da!) a second spindle. This is the larger, heavier one and it spins a heavier yarn, but within a few minutes I can have these folks rocking along. They want to know where they can buy one and get the roving. I direct them to the internet. I tell them it's cheaper to make your own yarn from roving than it is to buy yarn already made (by more than half in most cases).

For some reason they never say, "oh, I don't need yarn" even if they don't knit or crochet. I just know that once they get to spinning a lot, they will look around and wonder what to do about all that yarn. Well, eventually they will have quite a stash and they will either weave it, crochet with it or learn to knit. Knitting seems to be more in vogue these days than crochet (although crochet, I think, is easier to learn) but crochet uses three times as much yarn for a project as knitting ... so knitting is more economical. Weaving has it's pluses and can be a lot of fun but it can lead to some very expensive purchases and can take up a lot of room and unless you are limiting yourself to the very little, portable looms; really isn't very portable. It makes sense that a new spinner could easily turn into a new knitter.

But what better way to really get someone hooked is to let them "borrow" my "extra spindle" and hand them a fist full of roving and say, "Don't worry, just keep it. Keep practising and order more off the internet when you are ready", then walk away.

So, I'm going to go to Michael's today with the boys and look for some wooden toy wheel type things in the section where they have wooden boxes for painting and such and find some wooden dowels in the same section and buy a nice tube of wood glue and locate some brass hooks or wire and then I'm going to come home and put my husband to work making give-away spindles. I'm thinking 10 is a good number to start with.

Then I'm going to order another pound of roving...

Richmond or Bust

Well, I'm taking the boys to a Mall today. We live two hours from the closest shopping mall and the boys are bored out the their minds. I'm not particularly interested in wandering around the Mall with a couple of teen boys for two hours (after a two hour drive) when I know they cannot afford to buy a thing in the place... but NEAR the Mall is a Michaels and a Borders and a Krogers! I'm planning on tossing a cooler in the trunk of the car before we leave in case I find some nice cheese or meat or other keep cold product I can't get here at home.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Pooling and other oddities

The gal who has her blog at this site Taueret actually is feeling blue because as she read more about knitting written by some seriously anal-retentative people she began to feel that her knitting quality was below standard.

I beg to disagree.

I LIKE pooling! I love to watch the colors play against each other. I like it very much when a garment fits! If I like the color combinations together, it doesn't matter if they come out as strips, pools or polka-dots.

I also don't understand who came up with the idea that something MUST be striped simply because the yarn label says it will. The yarn manufacturer might be having an off day or you may have unusually large calves or a particularly small head. So long as I'm not knitting something that comes out looking like mud (unless that's the look I want) and the item I'm making fits. Who really cares?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Charitable Gift Giving that Makes a Difference | Heifer International

Charitable Gift Giving that Makes a Difference | Heifer International

Learned about this from another knitter's blog. I really like this idea and will probably start pushing it among my group members. Many of us feel a need to contribute we just haven't found the right organization yet. This may be it.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Le Tour de Fleece

Le Tour de Fleece

I think this sounds like fun.

I don't think I will join officially but will attempt to complete my spinning of the undyed Correidale and get it plyed by July 23rd.

Spinning at the Beach

Just back from the wonderful Outer Banks of North Carolina. We had a wonderful time and the kids got in lots of both pool and ocean swimming.

We arrived on Sunday. Initially the weather was pretty poor.

The surf in bad weather is facinating to me but discouraging to those who want to be swimming and fishing. Note the guy in the lower corner with a white shirt with hands in the air. That's my youngest brother apparently appealing to his God for mercy.

In fact we had a rip tide warning flag outside our house for over 24 hours from Monday until Tuesday evening.

But Wednesday morning the sun came out and by Thursday afternoon all the sun worshippers in my family were fairly well burnt.

Most folks I know cringe at the idea that 20 people could live happily together under one roof for a week but we have three things going for us: 1. the house is huge! and 2. Nearly everyone who has married into this family has also grown up with a large family. and 3. All the grandchildren enjoy each other's company and even the oldest will play happily for hours with the youngest.

Each adult child of this 3 generation collection, is responsible for cooking one evening meal for the rest of the family and so the food costs are spread out pretty well. The night you cook, you are free from clean up chores. One sister and a sister-in-law work for a company that packages food for the restaurant industry so we are able to secure lunch meat, huge bags of pasta, frozen meats/fish/poultry at deep discounts and we pitch in to cover. Everyone tries to pay attention and keep the alcohol and soda coolers filled with beverages and ice. Mom and Dad cover the cost of renting the house (obviously the largest expense and the one the rest of us could not manage at this point in our lives).

So what has this to do with spinning and knitting? For one thing the division of labor (not having to cook or clean all the time (or go to work for that matter) gives you time to knit and spin.

For another, there is an awesome knitting shop down there just as you cross the bridge and turn north on Route 12 at the light headed towards Duck. It's called Knitting Addiction and is staffed by the coolest folks.

I purchased from them at reasonable cost some Karaoke Yarn, a 16-inch Addi-turbo circular needle and some double-pointed ones in birch (sized 7). I got a free pattern for the cutest little hat and I managed to knit one up in about 3 days. See:

It's even cuter on the head of a child and will have to order more of this stuff and knit one for all three granddaughters and my youngest niece for Christmas.

In addition to that I finished the little bag I was making from left-over sock yarn and gave it to my niece who just graduated from high school stuffed with some money as a gift (as I didn't make it to her graduation).

I made good progress on the pipe bag.

And I finished spinning the purple grape Koolaide scented yarn and started on the white. I'm going to ply the two singles together and get a very nice purple tweedy effect when knitted together. I really like the smaller spindle and I think I will end up with either a fine sock yarn or a heavy lace yarn. In any case, I hope to have enough to make something with it.

I think I have my sister's friend Dorcas intrigued by the spinning. She wondered at the simplicity of the whole drop spindle concept and so I let her use the polymer clay spindle to play with some of the wool. I have to say, she's a natural and while I failed to take her picture while working her wonder, I will post a picture of the outcome of her work because for a beginner, she is awesome!

I also splurged on myself at the beach and got a massage, manicure and pedicure. Such luxury! Ken about died when he saw the bill but I'm thinking the manicure thing is not such a bad idea as I've not had my nails or rough fingers snagging on yarn all week.