Sleeping, Spinning, Hiking, Spinning, Sleeping

I have so many great things to share with you this week, but first I kind of want to share a little bit about my weekend. It started here.

IMG_0905With a sleepy Moose. That’s where most of my days start, of course, but this was extra cute as he covered his nose and every breath sounded like a deflating balloon. He’s such a goof.

In any case, last week I had some pretty epic yarn mail that included no fewer than 4 projects that I am dying to get working on (and include some special deals for you!), not to mention the sweater I’ve been knitting for my son. After writing the spinning post on Friday and then doing the little spinning Periscope on Saturday morning, however, I was really inspired to do a little spinning myself. So I did.

I had just a few minutes after the ‘scope before I had to take the kiddos to a fall festival, so I grabbed these ‘puni style rolags’ from naturallyknitty.

IMG_0920I got them back during the Tour de Fleece when my expectations for how much I would spin were well beyond reality. They are a cormo-cashmere-falkland-firestar-merino-other-silk-corrie cross blend in a colorway called Grumpy Rainbow.

IMG_0896Using the purpleheart sperm whale Turkish spindle I picked up from Snyder Spindles at the WI Sheep & Wool, I instantly became completely hooked on this fiber and the new spindle. The rolags are beautiful and just really, really easy to spin. Wow, do I ever recommend them! In the interest of full disclosure, they caused me to immediately seriously consider getting myself a blending board to make my own rolags for spindling. I think I’ll put that on my Christmas list, for sure.

The spindle is excellent, too. At 1.3oz it was a little heavier than I’m used to, but it spins really nicely and I have to admit I just love the novelty of the sperm whale. The kids and I once watched the coolest documentary on sperm whales in which they dissect a beached whale and a comparative anatomist talks about its coolest features. It was so incredible that even though it’s been more than a year since watching it when my kiddos see me spinning with this spindle they immediately start recalling all these amazing sperm whale facts. It’s pretty awesome. And it makes me want to watch the documentary again. And maybe spin while watching it.

After a morning of fall festivities with bouncy houses,  wagon rides, and apple cider kettle corn (it sounds weird, but it’s delicious), I thought I’d earned a stop at The Woolgatherer’s. A family store that originated in Germany and then relocated to the US, this shop is where I got my very first basic spinning fiber so it seemed appropriate that I stop back in after having just taken that trip down memory lane of my early days of spinning. I was looking for a spindle to replace the one I’ve been letting my daughter use and I found a beauty…

IMG_0900It’s 1.65oz and made by Tracy Eichheim and it was love at first spin. It was recommended by Sara and Hans, the owners, complete with instructions that I be very careful with the hook which is slightly and strategically bent to make it spin longer. They were wonderful to chat with and I learned a ton — from how these spindles are somewhat rare right now since the Eichheim’s relocated to how commercial linen yarns are made vs traditional methods to how Icelandic Lopi is spun (so fascinating!). And of course, I asked about a good starter loom — something I’ve been toying with trying for a while now and will also be on my Christmas list — maybe not for this year, but for a ‘someday’ Christmas.

Alas, I just walked out with my new spindle and got right to spinning with it when I got home.

IMG_0902It’s a pretty simple spindle, but I kind of love it for that. The signature on the bottom is such an endearing touch, too.

The rest of the weekend involved a lot of sleep. I’ve been fighting a pretty sore throat and just generally feeling under the weather, so I’ve been trying to rest a lot. On Sunday, I did take the kiddos and pup out for a hike though to Horion Marsh. It’s a beautiful time of year, after all, and I was raised on the idea that light exercise in the fresh air is an excellent way to fight colds and other non-serious respiratory ailments.

IMG_0908It’s that time of year that all the colors are vibrant and the kids were happily bundled, running and playing despite a stiff wind.

IMG_0910Moose was a little confused by this trail since he had to 1) stay leashed and 2) not go in the water. He is actually an excellent off leash dog, so we tend to take him places where that’s ok, but I needed something a little more low-key so the easy, must-stay-leashed trail was it. As usual, he was pretty happy just to be with us.

I got home and spun a little more in between a bit of knitting.

IMG_0916As you can see I started to get a little braver, flexing my spinning muscles and changing up the yarn weight at will and creating a thick & thin single. This is the original fiber I started learning to use the spindle with this summer, so nothing about it will be uniform anyway. I thought I’d embrace that and use it to my advantage and really see what I could do as far as controlling the yarn I was making.  It’s a blast and I’m loving the range of weights this spindle lets me create with ease.

All in all, it was an awfully nice, mostly low-key weekend that even though it involved an insane amount of sleep it was pretty productive. I could not be any happier with my little acquisition and even though I’m still not feeling 100% yet, I’m glad I was able to do some spinning and that we got a nice hike in, too. Oh, and of course there was some extra fun knitting that happened, as well. I’m totally addicted to my latest project and I even have a new coupon code for you should you want to try it out, too. I’ll be sharing that soon– I promise! — So stay tuned!