These are the dog days of summer. Except usually the dog days are really really hot. We haven't had really really hot temps all summer long. And to tell the truth, I've been really enjoying it. Let's face it, Chicago in July and August is usually really really hot and brutally humid. This year - not so much.
I've been running all summer long. I have Jackson Browne in my head pretty much every day, and it's my own fault. I booked myself solid every weekend since probably 4th of July, and before that since I think about May. What was I thinking? I mean it's not like I'm that popular, you know? :-D Alot of the stuff was stuff I really wanted to do; I just planned to do too much of it.
But I did have a wonderful afternoon last Sunday with blogless Janet who came over to spin. Her yarn is lovely, and she brought zucchinis and cukes and even brought some zucchini bread which was wicked good. OMG.
And tonight I decided it was time to update my Ravelry stash as much as possible, so that's next on the list. I think I have most, if not all, of the photos taken and ready to upload to flickr. Oh, and I've bought more yarn. I mean, really. I must have a screw loose, but I was tempted by some Handmaiden Casbah and some Fiesta (LOVE their colors, love Boomerang!) Baby Boom. And then, today, for the first time, I stumbled on a Wollmeise update at The Loopy Ewe and there was stuff left. So I ended up with six skeins of 80/20. At least I think I did. My orders appeared to go through. Unfortunately, I was not able to get any reds / blues / purples, and the browns / greens / oranges I got are not really my best shades. I'm hoping I might be able to trade them for some colors I might prefer.
So, if you know anyone who might want to trade me Granatapfel, Pinie, Moses, Blaue Tint or Ballerina, for Frulhing, Wasabi, Gianduia or Birkenrinde, be sure to let me know.
There has been spinning - on my Lendrum and also on The Big Wheel. I never have named my wheels - I just call them The Lendrum (which is my original folding wheel) and The Big Wheel (which is my new Saxony). This is my first skein on The Big Wheel. Not my finest work, but still, not half bad for my first try and I think it's going to knit up really well. The feel of this wheel is SO different from the regular Lendrum. And it's miles faster. OMG Fast. Yank the fiber out of your hand Fast. It has already made me a faster spinner all the way around.
Here's a close up. You can see I have some thick and thin going on, but all in all, I'm pretty happy. My hands were drafting like the fiber was on fire :-D This was from some roving that I got in the fall of 2007 when I went to Lamar to study with Anne Field. It's 100% wool (which I assume means it's a blend of some sort) from JWrayco in the Harbor colorway. You can see Leslie's amazing color sense, can't you? She and Janet make some of the most beautiful stuff. :-) I got 265 yards, and I'm quite happy about that because it's more than I usually get from a 4 oz. bump of roving. Clearly I'm starting to spin more finely. At least on The Big Wheel I am. It wants to make thin, fine yarn at breakneck speed :-D
In the summer of 2007, when got my wheel from Toni at The Fold, she was liquidating the estate of a fiber artist. I got a lot of stuff that day, one bag of which was a sampler of rare British breeds. I wanted to play some more with The Big Wheel, and so I spun up this BFL. It was some of the best combed top I have ever spun. Just amazing. I'm really glad I have some more it - it's in other colors, but it's just as well-prepared. This is over spun, which I often do because I like to knit with sturdy yarn (less pilling, less fuzzing :-) ), and I didn't get much from the 2 oz. (only about 50 yards), but it's bulky weight and I love it. I can't imagine what I'm going to make with only 50 yards of it, but maybe I'll blend the other two bumps (one is bright white and one darker brown) and see what happens.
I've been spinning a LOT of Blue-Faced Leicester wool lately. I so enjoy it, particularly the stuff I got from Gale's Art. I picked up some more of it at Michigan :-) It's a wonderful wool to spin. It falls in the category of a long wool, but it's much softer than most while still retaining a beautiful luster. I highly recommend spinning with it. It's right up there with Targhee as one of my favorites!
Oh - one other thing to share. Here's a progress photo on my Two Hearts sweater from the book A Fine Fleece. The yarn is the Abundance that Chris from Briar Rose dyed for me. I'm loving it.
That's the update from The Third Coast tonight.