In the days before this year’s Tour de France, I joined teams and prepared Hebridean – also called St. Kilda – locks. The dark fleece, and story in the Summer 2013 Wild Fibers by Margaret B. Russell egged me on.
Other spinners on Ravelry were also interested to see how this rare breed’s wool would spin up. I even had my sample card, and shared the problem with a break near the butt end of the locks, and dandruff.
However, raw enthusiasm was not enough. The rolags from this “tiny black sheep” with its many horns still await my spinning pleasure, and the Tour ends today. I say this without a stitch of self-reproach. It was a conscious decision to follow the Tour in private and on my own terms.
On a very personal front we are ending a long journey ourselves. Added pressures to perform got ditched. It’s as simple as that. To anyone also facing trial & tribulation of any sort or degree:
My Grandmother gave me her counted cross-stitch sampler to complete when I was a teenager. Arthritis of the hands stopped her work after only part of the upper flowers. It stretched me & took years, has a mistake in the fence posts, and the duck pond corner was fodder for a dog (hence the deep mat). There was as Laurel Thatcher Ulrich would say, “ego enough to sign their work” (“The Age of Homespun“, Alfred A. Knoph, 2001, p. 247).
I love this piece but moreover, I love the words. It hangs in my studio now, so I share this saying as we go through what we have to.
Fruits of the Tour
Has the 100me Tour not been thrilling?! Here is what I stopped to photograph – some but not all of my comfort work.
The strange & wonderful beast of opposing ply yarn is fast becoming a pair of socks. A pair of very marled socks that is!
Due to the extended period of creation from braid to sock, I named this after the town in Trelawny, Jamaica – Wait a Bit. See here for the iconic picture if you don’t believe me.
The extra-springy opposing ply makes for a very elastic 2×2 ribbed cuff. I also added my first sock-cuff gusset when it sunk in that I was getting a rather tall sock on the needles. This was where having Erlbacher’s “Twisted Stitch Knitting” book came in handy. I penetrated her chart on p. 119, and it worked!
Talk about happy-making fibre! This doorprize braid of BFL from FOAY, Musewings has gone everywhere with me since mid-April on my purpleheart Bossie.
Splitting the braid led to one obviously longer single, so I decided to chain-ply each on my Watson Martha. The skeins are 180.44, and 228.02 yards, respectively.
[Aside: one major advantage of winding outer-pull balls with no core is you can see the longer single = larger ball]
I’ll be watching Nicole’s store in case she comes off her dyeing hiatus. It was such a relaxing spin, and exactly what I needed to work with. Also very happy that I didn’t overcook the chain ply on the wheel.
Enting is another talented FOAY whose fibre has been in heavy rotation here since April. Naomi handcarded corriedale, merino & silk to create her Mixed Berries blend. They are no more.
No need to be coy about that new spindle in the back, right? A good 4 years on the Hatchtown Farm spindle list paid off with impeccable timing! It’s a Kaari in Rosewood & Maple, and gives my kind of spin. LOVE.
The other spindle is a Spanish Peacock in Flame Box Elder. It also spun the single in the plying ball, which I wound with a silk single. With the batts decimated, I need to spin more silk now!
The loom is dressed! I have done some weaving this week but hit some snags (literally – looking at the reed…)
I am flipping between Janet Dawson’s Craftsy class, and Peggy Osterkamp’s “Weaving for Beginners.” It has been so good to fold myself to the task of learning, and problem solving at the loom. Some days needed just that kind of absorption. Some more will too, I imagine.