Another Adventure, a Tour Update, a Tasty Treat

Yesterday was another family day here, so we decided to make the most of some beautiful weather with a day trip to a favourite park, Devil’s Lake State Park. Normally hiking is mostly off the menu especially if the hiking isn’t flat, but once and while I make an exception to climb the bluffs at Devil’s Lake. For Wisconsin this is a pretty strenuous hike and it is definitely difficult on my bum hip. I usually end up in a fair bit of pain during & after, but this hike is a guilty pleasure for me. As the condition of my hip has deteriorated over the last few years, giving up on hiking these trails has been difficult for me. To let go of these types of experiences & find a way to enjoy these wild places without the strain on my hip has been at times painful and almost always frustrating. Every once and a while it is a treat — even if it hurts — to be able to get back on them.

My husband did a great job of herding our brood ahead or behind me so that I could continue at my own pace. I took my time and studied the trail as I went — being careful no to jar my leg with a slip, deliberately choose steps to best balance my gait, moving at a pace that was comfortable. It also allowed me to snap a few photos.20130703-133357.jpgThe trail.

20130703-133429.jpgA wildflower.

20130703-133737.jpgA view.

All in all I walked away from this hike better off than I have in the recent past. I awoke sore this morning, but headed to the pool anyway for my laps. It was tough convincing my tired legs to kick, but I think it was worth the effort. The pool loosened me up. I feel good today & in fine form to continue on with the Tour de Fleece. Really, that’s was the biggest concern here, right?

As has been the case since the beginning of Le Tour, my husband understood when I went straight from the car to the spinning wheel last night and from the pool to the spinning wheel this morning. I am continuing to hit my goals which is huge for me — I really was unsure what was possible since I’ve never really challenged myself with these kinds of deadlines in my spinning. In any case, last night I wrapped up the singles portion of my double-marl.20130703-133440.jpgI can’t wait to see these plied. This is an insanely fun method of spinning & I highly recommend trying your hand at a marled yarn if you haven’t yet. I consider it the most substantial hands-on exercise in blending colors that I have had in my spinning so far.

I also began a braid of Cloudlover merino-bamboo-silk blend in the Decay colorway. For this project, I attempted to make and spin fauxlags. While my fauxlags are spinning just fine & the single is looking lovely, I am pretty sure I made my fauxlags too big. I am just now about to finish up the first 2oz of this braid. When I do the last 2oz, I plan to make the fauxlags smaller. This should help to break up the longer runs of color a bit, too, which I think will look good.20130703-133457.jpgThere really is no way to capture the depth of this colorway — at least not with the lighting currently available here. It is sure to make a beautiful yarn. This yarn I am spinning a bit lighter than the last couple yarns, so it will take some extra time. In addition to trying out fauxlags though, I am also spinning at a different ratio that has me moving a bit faster. It is mildly terrifying for me, but I think it is allowing me to stay on target with my spinning goals even while spinning this lighter weight yarn.

It is a cloudy, possibly rainy day here today. A great day to rest from yesterday’s hike, catch up on laundry — I think the laundry I hung outside may just beat the rain — and pick the fruit from our Nanking cherry bushes. I will leave you with a look at just part of our harvest. This bowl holds 36oz. We have probably eaten another 24oz already this morning. And this is about 1/2 of the ripe berries picked. 20130703-142144.jpgLike the strawberries I wrote about earlier, these berries are especially delicious this year.  Only one word can sum the chore of picking this fruit: Yum.