Abundance

As I’m guessing you’ve noticed, blogging here has been happening in fits and spurts. A friend actually texted me last night to be sure I was ok because the blog went quiet — a sure sign that I really do need to start managing my time better. And really, that’s my problem over here. It’s not lack of material — I have a literal stack of handspun from the Tour de Fleece sitting here to share with you, a new-to-me wheel acquisition to tell you about, another new wheel shipping in 16 days (not that I’m counting), our weekly family adventures, preparations for both a family vacation and the trip to WI Sheep & Wool in September where I’ll be getting to meet some knitting friends for the very first time. There is just an abundance, a wealth of things to write about. And yet, my days go by and I’ve not been carving out the time here.

Shame on me, right?! Not just because I leave you hanging, but it’s an important outlet for me, too, and it wears on me when I’m not exercising it. It’s really been since the move, I’ve just not yet got fully back on track. I’ve found it to be a lot like working out or staying on a healthy diet, once you’re out of the rhythm of writing it can be really difficult to find it again. Identifying the “right” time of day, eliminating distractions, and most of all, just making it a priority.

I originally thought that I’d just dive in with finished projects to start to cracking away at them, but after pondering for a bit where to start in that pile of FOs I started to feel a bit overwhelmed and it just felt like going from nothing to this bounty of FOs would be disjointed. I decided it might make more sense to catch you up on the things I’m working on now. Then my “Today on my needles…” and “Today on my wheel…” posts will make a bit more sense.

So what exactly am I working on these days? Well…

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I have my second Zigzagular Sock with my Three Waters Farm Hand-dyed Yarn in Storm’s End started. I’ll admit, it’s going slowly because I’m kind of savoring it.

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I’m continuing on this spindle spin — this is the Three Waters Farm 60/40 Polwarth + Silk in the Giant Celosia (the link is for a different blend of Polwarth + Silk , but the same colorway) colorway that I hand rolled into rolags. This is still my first spindle, but it’s a Bosworth Midi, so there’s a lot of room on it. I have no idea how much I have spun and I’m not really inclined to figure that out. I’m just going to keep spinning, keep taking it with me where ever we go, and spinning here and there with it. For me, spindle spinning isn’t at all about getting things done quickly.

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My Spring Dream Kit from Heart of the Mitten took a bit of a backseat to the Tour de Fleece. The TDF distraction was further aided by the fact that I’ve been helping another local knitter branch out into more projects and one of her projects called for using the size 13 needles in this project. Since I was neck deep in spinning, I was happy to lend them out and I’ve since tracked down another set of size 13s so I’m aiming to get back at this and wrap it up shortly. It’s really a super fun, squish-tastic knit and I’m excited to get it finished. Additionally, I’m planning to give it to my daughter and it’ll be the perfect little wrap for the occasional cool mornings we’ve been having here.

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Also thanks in part to the knitting lessons, I started this very simple toe-up sock. I’m using a limited edition gradient colorway called, “Clever Girl” from Dyeabolical. Most significant in this knit is that I turned my first ever Fish Lips Kiss heel. It was pretty fun and it seems to fit well. I skipped the whole making a foot form part though and now I’m eyeing the priority mail box from my last Three Waters Farm order to make the cut-outs for the second foot just to see if there’s a difference in the quality of the fit. I’m also thinking about maybe trying this pattern out for the kids. Usually I’m a top-down kind of gal, but I’m just… I’m welcoming something a little different these days.

And last, but not least…

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Technically I suppose I could count this as part of the Tour de Fleece. It was how I spent my last evening of the Tour, after all. But as I’m not quite halfway through the singles I’m going to consider it an ongoing endeavor. This is — almost unbelievably — 100% Organic Polwarth from Three Waters Farm in the Old Stone House colorway. They’ve recently changed up how they are shipping their fibers and this Polwarth is spinning like butter.  I’m attempting to spin super light so that I can chain ply for socks and have enough for socks with just 4oz of fiber. I’ve only ever managed it once before, so I’m not holding my breath, but a girl can dream!

I also have that handspun Find Your Fade lingering about… somewhere. The only thing I’ve done with it lately is accidentally knock a couple stitches off of it. It’s big enough these days that it’s just not lending itself too well to summer knitting, so I’m thinking I’ll get back at it this fall.

And that, my friends, is where I’m at with current WIPs. Tomorrow, let’s dive into my Tour de Fleece spins, shall we? It’s time to turn the abundance that surrounds me into words!

Places You Can Spin

It was a little over a year ago that I really started to deep dive into spindle spinning. My hip was giving me some trouble and sitting at my wheel was uncomfortable and I was not in a position to get a different wheel, so a very wise person said, “Sarah, have you tried the spindle?” And the rest, as you know, is history. This week, I was reminded why that simple question was instrumental in changing the course of my everyday life. Because, you see, I now carry a spindle almost everywhere with me. I still bring knitting, of course, but there are certain moods and certain spots that are more favorable for one or the other. And this week, it was all about my best spindle spinning spot yet.

Can you believe it?

I was able to sit up on a ledge, so I had a long area in which my spindle could drop. Right next to the waterfall, the kids playing below in some puddles and Mr KS lounging and photographing on some rocks up above. It was just grand and in this moment and in this place, the spindle was just the perfect match.

And the spinning was pretty sweet, too. They are lightly textured rolags so they are super fun to knit with little slubs spun into them. I’m trying very hard to get this spin done and spindles emptied before the Tour de Fleece opens at the beginning of July and this day of spindling definitely helped.

For anyone who might be wondering, for a year or so I had an empty water bottle that I used to transport my spindle project, something super cheap I got on clearance at a local box store. And this spring I upgraded to this…

The other bottle had a huge top and this one is a little more easily portable because the top isn’t quite so bulky. In any case, since I’m often around water, this protects my spinning if I should drop it and it keeps it dry. It has plenty of room — You can’s tell from the photo, but I actually have 2 Golding Ring Spindles and 4 rolags in this thing. I usually don’t carry a ton because I’m not a super fast spindler, but after almost burning through my usual 2 rolags last time we hit the trail I took 4 along with me on our latest outing.

The best part, however, is that it fits right in my backpack side pocket.

If you happen to run into a lady on the trail or around town with this set-up happening, it’s most likely me. Or someone else who is very brilliant and fashionable. OK, I’m kind of joking there, but seriously give anyone you see with a bottle of spindles a hi-five for me because they clearly deserve it.

So if you’re wondering if you should pick up a spindle — whether you aren’t a spinner or you’re proficient with the wheel –I’m thinking the answer might be yes. Because it’s a pretty fantastic way to spend a few hours in a beautiful spot where ever you might be!