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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Getting back on the Blogging Horse

I wish I had a horse that would blog for me! Wouldn't that just be cool? Anyway, let's get more practical. I realized as I was watching Tucker stare at the tree they chased the squirrel from the deck to, and listened to said squirrel cuss him out in that little language of theirs, that I really needed to get upstairs and log in.
All six finished yarns, and the one still on the wheel from the 2014 Tour. 5827 total yards spun this year
So, the Tour de Fleece is done. I still have half a braid of my fiber that was set aside for it on my wheel, and I'll work on it over the next several days, though it has to take a back seat to more pressing matters. The house, still needs work, and without the Tour in full swing, I lack an excuse to place spinning above the house on my priority lists. Mainly though, it just needs a good cleaning which it will get this week before I have company this weekend.
One of the neighboring farms fields. It was just to pretty to not get a snapped photo the other day as I was heading home.
Painting is mostly done indoors. I promise, the next post will have before and after pictures. The downstairs hallway and kitchen need a paint job but they are both livable for now so are not a priority at this time. Before winter arrives however the dark kitchen will get a minor facelift as we save to make a more major facelift later on.

The dining room, was the only other room that didn't get a color over haul. Mainly, because the previous owner actually did a decent job in that room and we liked it. So mainly I just freshened it up, repainted the distressed chair rail before Bob lost it (not sure why he hinted it as much as he did but that was a quick and easy fix.), and replaced the maroon dog destroyed blinds. Why they would put maroon blinds in a grey and cream/white dining room, who truly knows, but they are gone now. In fact, all the maroon blinds are gone now. In the living room that formerly had a red wall, they made some sense, but all logic ends there.

Besides spinning, working on the house, and spinning, I've not had a lot to tell you all. It's been weeks since a real post but besides being busy with all the little things that need to happen around a new house I haven't had a lot happen. Or maybe it's just that I've not been in the mindset to brainstorm for subjects to blog about. Don't worry, I'll work on it.

Until then, here's the remainder of my tour progress pictures...
On this morning I drove up to Ludington with a couple friends to visit a shop for the West Michigan Yarn Trip'n. It was funny that as I walked by the lake, it took me a few minutes to realize that the lack of the smell of salt and that fishy smell that accompanies such shores typically was missing as we were on a really large body of fresh water.
I spun Masham for the first time on this tour and now I want some to try spinning for weaving purposes. I think it would hold up wonderfully.
This was challenge day as it was the toughest riding day for the athletes on their climb through the mountains. I set aside my drop spindle... yeah that one, with that fiber on it for the last two years, as my challenge day spinning.
And I got it all done, and even plyed on the following day! And I swore I'd never use the spindle again.
And just like the bikers, we have rest days, though I think few take advantage of them. Obviously I not only spun but also continued painting.
As you can see, my boys are very excited by this tour. Probably just as excited as you all...
I went to breakfast in Rockford on this day and on a little walk by the river, saw a whopping snapping turtle out sun basking. It was very neat. Alas, I really do need to get a better camera again.
This was one of my favorite fibers through the event, and one of my favorite finished yarns.
See, those colors just keep getting better and better.
And this picture really didn't do it justice.
So here's a better one.
And that was the end of it. The green stuff you see on the wheel there is the one I'm still working on. I have it over half done now but I'm spinning it very very fine and it will be a 4 ply in the end.

For those of you who spin, thou know you often have little left overs from the plying process. I picked up a Schact Spindle Company's Zoom Loom yesterday because I had an idea for my little plying ends.
Coasters... As you can see, the first try wasn't so successful. Instead it looks as though I was trying to create my own mosquito netting. Which led me to realize that most of my singles are to small for this project, and the plying toughens them up for this little business. However, with that tiny little stuff that I'm scared to tear on the wheel, I didn't have anything with which to ply with. So out came the spindle...
That's right, I used it. Again! And I have to say, it worked well for this little task though I had never navajo plied on a spindle before. And I'm going to apologize for this little POS camera that still as you can see, won't focus. Or rarely. And when you look at the photos on it's screen, they look okay, until you drop them to the computer. And I of course still can't find my receipt to return it. Oh, wait, look at the edge of the spindle. It focused on the reflection through the front window on the polish. Because that is of course what I was wanting to focus on.
Anyway, back to business. As you can see, I got quickly into it once I had useable yarns. It's a little time consuming, but quite easy and as you get the hang of it, it goes quicker and quicker. And the plying makes the yarn much more easy to handle. My singles are spun with the intention of plying, not being used on their own so they have a bit more energy in them than is needed.
Though I still need to work on getting something slightly bigger in yarn gauge for the coaster idea.
But I'm happy with this mix of cheerful blue coasters. All four are made out of three different yarns. That's how little I have left of each single from the spinning process. I send up pretty darn close on all bobbins, and after the plying process, I end up with just enough.
I love the fact that the two above that are the same yarn look the most different as to how the color change happened in the single. Whereas the two below almost look like the same yarn when they are not even close to the same fiber or color way.
So, another little project to work on. Just what I need, right?

Have a great day everyone. It's good to be back. Now I need to go do some trim work, bake brownies, and replace electric outlasts in the dining room.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cheaters Post

Just a quick video I made yesterday. Still paining and spinning away. I promise, when it's all done I'll have a better post.
Until then...

Okay, off to do some paining. You all have a good night.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Latex and I

Latex paint that is. Firstly, I am so sorry I haven't made timid to get on the computer to blog nor keep up with other blogs. Life just gets carried away sometimes, and it seems blogging is the one that suffers when it does. I promise, I will try to be better about it.
So, here it is, a third through July and this is my first blog of the month. Where has my time been spent? Well, in two main pursuits this last two weeks when I haven't been at work, which my hours did increase this month due to others being out of town. Mainly though, I've been at home. Painting or spinning at home that is.
We finally dug into the job of repainting the interior. The good side is that last weekend we got the upstairs almost completely done. There is still the matter in the loom room of the green that just refuses to cover, but all the pink is gone! Yay, that makes me happy. I promise I will have before and after photos.
In fact, I was hoping to have more photos for you today but the little ELPH camera that I bought to replace the stolen ones, sucks. I truly hate saying that. I have always loved my canon cameras, but this one is possibly the worse camera ever to be in my hands. My phone takes better pictures. It refuses to focus on anything. I am now trying to find the box for it because I will be taking it back to Best Buy. I'm thoroughly done fighting with it.
As for spinning, it is the 2014 Tour de Fleece. We are on day 7 today. One whole week of spinning everyday down.
Some of you may remember what the Tour de Fleece (TdF) is from last year.
But every day the boys in France spin, we spin at home, just not using a bike.
I know, it sounds a bit hokey, but it's fun.
Well, for us spinners anyway.
So, now I've bored you with the spinning I've gotten done so far. You also saw a touch of our painting. I promise, we're going to have a before and after sequence here when I get down with the dining room and living room. In fact, I need to get off the computer and go do some more.
I am still loving it here. Who can't love a place where the sweet peas and morning glories grow wild in the ditch?
The flower photos are the few I got to turn out decently yesterday on our walk before Sullivans vet appointment for this ear infection.
None of the cool bug photos came out because the POS camera kept focusing on stems and distant objects no matter how I tried to zoom in, stand back, get close. AARRRRGGGGG!
As you can see here in the mulberry bush, this is what most of my photos came out looking.
Yep, kind of crappy. I do have a couple mulberry bushes on our property. I've been munching on them a bit.
Then there are the wild grape vines. None that provide grapes that I can tell. And plenty of wood vine too. This picture if you look close has wood vine, grape, and an ivy vine of some sort too.
I love how some of the plants seem like you're in a tropical zone.
I have no idea what these are, but are all along the trail we use daily. They just appear to me to belong someplace with no winter. The way they move into areas I'm sure they're a weed of some sort.
And I just thought this tree as I walked under it in Caledonia yesterday was neat looking.

Okay, I'm off to paint. Have a good day.