That’s OK. That is life.

I had high hopes for keeping up during the Tour de Fleece this year, but as it so often goes, life happens and things don’t always work out according to plan. And that’s OK. That is life. Time spent away from this space and goals unmet in the TDF were time traded for adventures with my family and that is always a trade I am happy to make.

I am glad to have taken this hike…

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Where the woods broke open to reveal a pond with a perfectly reflected sky…

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After which my foursome squeezed onto a bench and ate peanut butter crackers in the sunshine. Mr. Knitting Sarah tried to extol the virtue of trying new things by creating and eating a cheese & peanut butter cracker. It was not a good example, but I applaud his effort and his optimism.

I would not have rather been spinning than take this hike…

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Even though I lost a couple pints of blood to mosquitoes despite being covered in deet. I saw these beauties…

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And then found myself here…

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How could I complain?

We spent a week with family celebrating my dad’s 75th birthday with salmon fishing on the Big Water and loads of fireworks. And I did a bit of spindle spinning…

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And we ended our week in another heavenly spot, just a few miles from home…

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In the tall grasses teeming with monarch butterflies…

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And wildflowers…

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And puddles with more perfect reflections of the billowy clouds delivering rain everywhere by where we stood. We even got to share a few minutes with a Black-billed Cuckoo, a rarity for our area and a true beauty with its mysterious chortling song and bewitching red eye-ring.

Somewhere along the way, I spun…

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At a park while my girl swam…

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In the evening while we watched movies…

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And in my little spinning corner in our room while the coffee held out and Moose grabbed some extra z’s in the mornings.

And I made a bit of yarn this Tour de Fleece, even if I haven’t been the world’s best record keeper of it…

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This pile, plus another 3 skeins that were just washed and set this afternoon. Don’t fret, I’ll introduce you to each skein just as soon as they are all dry and I can take proper glamour shots of them, to let them sing their own individual multi-colored glories.

There are also some singles that I’m plying now that I’d hoped to finish yesterday. But the trail had called and I had listened, twice. And that’s OK. That is life.

And I wouldn’t rather have that skein of yarn a day earlier. I’d have missed this moment captured by Mr. Knitting Sarah…

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While we walked along a breezy trail watching Pied-billed Grebes and talking about how best to prepare our kids for their futures. Sure, the Tour de Fleece ended yesterday and I missed plying that last skein, but I can finish it today. It may not be the TDF any longer, but that’s OK. That is life. And the trade-offs I made, I will always be happy to make.

Tour de Fleece 2018 – Week 1 Recap

This year my Tour de Fleece experience did not have the most auspicious beginning. After aiming to wake early, I actually woke up late after a fitful night of sleep. When I finally pried myself from the clutches of slumber, I found Mr. Knitting Sarah had set coffee out next to my wheel. Things were starting to look up! I started spinning and after a few minutes my drive band broke.

As I find is most helpful at times like this, rather than get upset over something as easy to fix as a broken drive band, I got up and walked away. I stretched a bit and had some breakfast and another cup of coffee. Then I tracked down my drive band belting and got to fixing it. Within 15minutes or so I was up and running again. Since then, despite some travel days for mini-vacations visiting family and all the stuff of playing cards and outdoors with my family, I’ve managed to spin a bit each morning and then again in the evening. Some days I make more time than others, but I thought since week 1 had come to a close I’d share my progress thus far. I’m a co-captain on Team Three Waters Farm, so fair warning all my spins for the TDF will be of the Three Waters Farm variety.

First, I began by finishing up the singles for my June Top of the Month Club, Flying Home.

 

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This I spun on my Jensen Tina 2 using my new hi-speed bobbin. It may be my favorite wheel set-up yet. Eventually I will circle back and chain ply this bobbin, but as it’s the Tour de Fleece, I hopped right on to my next round of singles…

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This is Mighty Incentive on a 40/40/20 Merino/Superwash Merino/Silk base.

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I’m working toward a bigger project with most of these spins, so I am splitting them more or less the same. I’m dividing each braid into it’s 3 color repeats. Then each repeat I divide in half lengthwise. Of these 6 pieces, 3 I leave and spin as they are and the other 3 I divide further into 6 or so pieces. It should make for a nice, random barberpoling. I’m aiming for a worsted weight and am using my control cards religiously to do so, but overall the skeins may wind up a bit on the light side. On a whole, I’m just aiming to stay consistent across the board so as long as all the skeins for this project are roughly the same I should be in good shape.

Next in this project, I have Living Color on a 60/40 Polwarth/Silk base…

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Again, this is the same as Mighty Incentive…

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You can see both of these spins are held on metal rods. It’s because I’m letting them ride on-board my Tina 2 as I spin…

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This is a favorite feature of mine. They look pretty, allow me to reference these spins while I keep going and also it keeps my spinning area very nice and tidy instead of strewn with bobbins.

Upon finishing up Living Color, I turned to Summer Heat on that beloved 40/40/20 Merino/Superwash Merino/Silk base…

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I am so into this one.

On my downstairs wheel, the Schacht Reeves, I’ve been working primarily on singles. I started with the Three Waters Farm Tour de Fleece 2018 inspired tonal coordinate, Race Splash

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And then went straight on to Racing through Puddles

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Both of these spins are on a 100% Falkland base which is dreamy. I’ve never really been that into Falkland, but this base has changed my tune! I’m still learning how to work within the bobbin constraints of my Schacht Reeves. When working worsted and bigger singles, I find it pretty impossible to fit a full 4oz braid on the bobbin. On Race Splash I filled up bobbin one has full as I could and then put the remaining on a second bobbin. On Racing through Puddles, I switched bobbins roughly at the halfway mark and I think it’s going to make for a more consistent yarn. We’ll see how that theory plays out when I wind off and finish these skeins!

Anyways…. after finishing up these two singles, I hemmed and hawed about what to spin next. I wanted something different than Summer Heat, but since I was in the worsted weight groove, I wanted something to fit in with my bigger scale project. I picked Cave at Hug Point or is it Hug at Cave Point? I confused this all the time in my mind, but I promise it is the former and this 75/25 BFL/Silk blend is beautiful.

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I love the muted colors — they feel brine-y, like an ocean lagoon to me and I am all in with it. I got through almost the entire first 2oz in just an hour or so last night and with any luck I will finish it up tonight.

My spindle spin is Still Water again on that 40/40/20 Merino/Superwash Merino/Silk blend and it’s coming along, slowly, but surely…

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As spindle spins do in my world. After finishing my last spindle spin, I am totally into the long term commitment approach to a good spindle spin. If it takes a year, I’m A-OK with that, i’m just going to enjoy my stolen moments with it in my everyday life.

And that, my friends is it! Week 1 of Tour de Fleece 2018 is in the books! Time to get back to my Summer Heat spin before the day gets busy!