Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Woefully Underprepared

So the Tour de Fleece starts this weekend and I...am not ready. It's my plan to spin as much Spunky Eclectic fiber as possible (I haven't settled on a firm goal yet, largely because I fear failure) but I have a little problem.

Now. A moment of confession. I have 9 bobbins. That's a lot. I shouldn't have any problem with running out of bobbins. The only issue is, I'm kind of a slacker. I know without looking that I have at least three bobbins in my box with fiber already on them, where I spun half of something but never spun the other half, and so never plied it, and so it's sitting on the bobbin. I also haven't gotten any spinning done on the little color puffs I started last weekend, so those are sitting on a fourth bobbin on my wheel. Which...still leaves me with five bobbins left. Maybe I'm not in such bad shape. Since the point of this whole exercise is to spin and finish, and since I usually only need two bobbins per bag plus one to ply on, I'm probably okay. Maybe.

I was going to finish the color puffs this weekend, but I neglected them for Evenstar. I wanted to get through as much of the border as I could, so I cranked on it all day on Sunday. It takes me 40 minutes to do a repeat if I don't make a mistake and nothing interrupts me. I set a goal of 1 hour per repeat (using the extra twenty minutes to do housey things here and there, like tending the dog, switching out the laundry, eating dinner) hoping that I could get to 36 total repeats by the end of Sunday night. I made it (though at 10 instead of 9, which was what I was aiming for) and last night I put on two more, so I'm feeling good. The end is in sight.

Or at least it would be, if it weren't for the Tour, which I expect to suck up a large part of my long weekend. Sunday is looking like it's going to be a wash unless I take a drop spindle with me, and frankly...I suck with the drop spindle. Absolutely terrible. I love the look of drop spindles, some of them are really beautiful, I'm just really, really bad at it, and truth be told, I don't enjoy the process all that much. I don't know, maybe I'll give it a shot. I might like it more now that I'm more experienced at drafting. Anyway, I have church in the morning and then in the afternoon we have plans. I might let the SO go without me, though, because the host has a cat. I adore cats, I think they're sweet and beautiful and cuddly and soft. However, I am horribly, horribly allergic. Eye-watering, nose-dripping, skin-itching allergic. So unless the host can be convinced to relocate the festivities somewhere other than his cat-ridden basement, I think I might have to decline.

If I can go, though, I don't know how I'm going to fit any spinning in at all. Maybe I can take my wheel with me. I could spin the cat.

Okay, I'm kidding. Besides, he also has two sweet, well-meaning, large, clumsy, and slobbery dogs. No wheel for me.

Anyway, I'm going to have to spend Saturday and Monday making up for lost time on Sunday. I want to get a good start!

The other thing I have not done is sorted through my fiber and pick what I want to try to spin. I have a lot, more than I could possibly accomplish during the Tour. I should go through and sort it out and figure out what I really want to attempt. I also need to figure out what to spin for the challenge days. I'm thinking I will attempt merino on at least one of these. Why merino?

Remember this?


Yeah. I've largely avoided merino since then unless it was blended with something like bamboo. Sounds like the perfect challenge, right?

One of the great things about the fiber club is that it's not the same type of fiber every month, so part of what I want to try to do is spin some fibers I've never spun before. These are things I'll be thinking about when I go through the stash. I'll let you know what I come up with.

There's a physical limit to how much I can spin at once, so I don't expect to neglect knitting entirely during the tour. I'm waiting eagerly for the next installment in Romi's 7 Small Shawls to Knit to come out. I finished Merope, the first shawl. I ended up buying yarn since I didn't think I had anything in the stash suitable for the second shawl, Maia. I got another skein of Schaeffer Audrey, this one in colorway Diane Fossey. I'm actually a little ambivalent about this choice. One of the things I love in the sample Romi knit is the great stitch definition she got, and I'm not sure I'm going to get that out of Audrey. It's got good sheen with its silk content, but because it's a single, and not a particularly tight single, I'm not sure it's going to give me that definition. But, it's what I've got, so I'm going to make do. I'm still on my yarn diet after all, so while cheating with one skein here or there isn't too bad, I don't want to go overboard. (Also, I'm a little bitter about the summer heat, which will prevent me from triumphantly wearing Merope until such time as I would not pass out from heat stroke.)

Of course, I still have Evenstar to finish, and I'm really looking forward to having it done. I'm so close I can taste it...and yet, you can do the math. 40 minutes per repeat at best, and 18 repeats to go. If only the Tour started a few days later! I only need one really dedicated weekend to finish this thing! (Do not point out to me that it would be finished if I hadn't dedicated last weekend to finishing Merope. It is a fundamental law of vacation knitting that your knitting must end as soon as possible after your return from the vacation, or it loses its vacation magic.)

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