I awoke yesterday morning at 4:38am and thought, “Whew-hoo! The Tour de Fleece starts today!” I poised myself to leap out of bed, throw together the coffee, and start spinning. I reflected on this idea for about 4seconds and realized the monster I would turn into by 3pm if I did this. I hadn’t gone to bed particularly early the night before and I am not the kind of person who runs well on little sleep — once my kids started sleeping through the night, so did I and none of us have really ever looked back. My husband had the day off and I was sure we’d be having some adventure. Reluctantly, I forced myself to fall back asleep.
At a more reasonable hour our whole family woke up and got moving. It was decided that since there were supposed to be on & off storms and rain all day that we would head to the Milwaukee County Zoo where there were plenty of buildings to pop in & out. The big draw for us this time was the Shark & Sting Ray Bay exhibit. It’s not every day you get to actually reach out and touch sharks & sting rays, after all.
It’s a 45-60minute drive from our house to the zoo, so — as I posted yesterday — I did some knitting in the car.
It’s Malabrigo Lace in the Velvet Grapes colorway. I’ve opted to make a Wispy Cardi for my daughter thanks to Hannh Fettig extending the sizes of this sweater to kids. It is going to be really beautiful & suit my daughter nicely.
When we got to the zoo, we made a bee-line for the Shark & Sting Ray exhibit.My son quickly found a shark to touch. He could not have been more thrilled!My daughter was a little vertically challenged for this tank, so she got a hand from Mr Knitting Sarah.Then we found a little outcropping she could lay flat on, so my husband didn’t have to dangle her over the side of the tank. The grey blur in the water is a ray — you can barely make out the white basically in my girl’s hand. Yep, she’s high-fiving a sting ray! (And yes, both children were soaking wet)
Unfortunately, my little girl cam down with a stomach bug and ended up getting sick. We were reminded that just because your kids get older, packing a spare set of clothes is never a bad idea — too bad we hadn’t as it would have saved us a trip to TJ Max. In any case, once things had calmed down a bit and my daughter was resting comfortably, my husband made a small surprise detour to Cream City Yarn Shop — only about 5 miles away from the zoo it is the perfect treat for this mom after a day at the zoo! I protested a bit at the idea since my daughter was under the weather, but she was resting and my husband insisted. We had discussed a small project for an upcoming blog earlier in the week and my husband decided to surprise me with the cash & time to pop in and grab what I need.
I was greeted with the bright smiles I’ve become accustomed to seeing when I walk through the door there and was quickly directed to the yarn I was seeking.I am pretty excited about this upcoming project. It was my first time seeing & touching Owl and it is as lovely as I have come to expect from Quince & Co. I would have loved to stay & peruse a little more — there were yarns from The Plucky Knitter I would have loved to spend more time with, but I had a tired family in the car & I was anxious to get my daughter home & to bed. I will admit that I also kind of wanted to prove to my husband that I could get in & out in 15miutes or less because I think that has never actually happened. My husband did also surprise me with this stop for yarn after non-stop yarn & Tour de Fleece talk over the last couple weeks. The Plucky Knitter yarns will just have to wait for another day.
I have had some incredible encouragement — as usual — from Kara at Suzy Sells Sea Shells as well as my team leader Natalie from Cloudlover Yarn & Fibers and thanks to them I had the courage to make my first spin a big one for me. A single.I have literally been afraid to spin a single. What if it falls apart? What if there’s too much twist? What if I just destroy my beautiful fiber? I sought and was blessed with many words of advice. I read & studied & watched lots of tutorials. And then the craziest thing happened. I did it. And then a crazier thing happened.It turned out. I had one spot where there wasn’t quite enough twist & I broke the yarn transferring it to my niddy noddy, but I can work with that. As far as these things go, I am chalking this up to a huge success. It is washed and drying on the line as I type and I am a pleasantly shocked by the fact that it seems perfectly balanced with a Malabrigo Worsted-esque twist to it. It is far from perfect, but it is still beautiful. More importantly, I conquered a major fear and I am really happy about that.
So elated with this success last night, I immediately started on spin #2 — a Cloudlover Polwarth in Haunted Vineyard.I received this as a Christmas gift and — to be perfectly honest — I am not a huge fan of the green in this. I respect it as a color, but I don’t really like it.Once I started spinning though…. wowza! I don’t just like it, I LOVE this colorway. I meant to just start it last night. Instead I spun through 2/3 of the 4oz braid. I just did a simple fractal spin, so it was pretty easy for me.I wrapped it up this morning in between loads of laundry. Now it’ll rest overnight & I will ply tomorrow. I cannot wait to see the result. I am so infatuated with the richness and depth of this colorway.
I am in the middle of prepping the fiber for spin #3 and have settled on a technique & colorway for spin #4. Hitting the ground running for this Tour de Fleece, I am fully dedicated to using this event to really push myself, to learn as many new techniques as I can, and to use the fiber I usually hoard for a ‘special’ day. This Tour de Fleece, I’ve decided it’s going to be a month of special days for me.