Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend always starts out with the Mid-Tennessee Fiber Festival. I attended the Spinning Art Batts class with Gail from Ozark Carding Mill.  Gail is great! So willing to share her knowledge. While I don't knit with art yarns, I thought it would be good to learn some of the techniques she was teaching. Such as incorporating locks at the plying stage, adding beads at the plying stage, drum carding vs hand cards, etc. She also provided some beautiful batts for class along with a plying thread in gorgeous colors. She showed us how to interchange the use of the plying thread as the dominant thread and at times the spun batt as the dominant thread. Pretty cool stuff. Here's a picture of the small art batt I spun.  This isn't the full 4 oz but let me tell you, art yarn EATS UP 4 oz very quickly. 

Spent some time in Christina's booth chatting, did some shopping (I was good, not much stash enhancement), and then LeAnn and I spun for about 30 minutes. LeAnn recently bought a Kromski Mazurka off Craigslist (she got a BARGAIN too), so I had to get a pic of the woman spinning. Yep, one of the ones who said I'll NEVER spin. :-)  Wait....I said the same thing 3 years ago.  My how time flies, just like my spinner.

After that, attempted to get my haircut but they were very busy. Must be getting the kids haircut before vacation or before they spend the summer at their grandparents. Do kids still do that??  Then on to the grocery. Bought some rib eyes for grilling out on Sunday. yummy!

Sunday......I spent time working on my spinning closet. I hadn't intended for this closet to be for spinning stuff, but that's what it has become.  I was organizing my tools for better access and looking over my fiber stash. I have quite a lot of fiber and I had no idea I had accumulated that much.  Do I hear a challenge for the Tour de Fleece???  However, I don't want to mindlessly fly through the stash "just because".  Spinning my fiber must have purpose of some sort.  I have been spinning some corriedale and it is not next to the skin soft. Since I'm not ready to tackle spinning a sweater's worth for an outdoor warm cardigan, I have been spinning it to wrap around my bowl that I have been slogging through.  The yarn wrapping is actually quite fun, it's just a long process. I haven't touched it in awhile, it may be time to pick that up again.
Since I have been working on charity projects for Alive Hospice, it was time to take a picture of them before I hand them over. It's a mixture of lapghans, baby blankets and one wrap. I went a little crazy on the wrap and made it way too long, but maybe it will also keep their lap warm in addition to their back and arms.
That's it for now. Today is for laundry and other general stuff I would normally do on Sunday. I need to weave in some ends on some shawls and get them blocked, but I won't block them today.
I also have a little collection of Koolaid packets and I have my bare merino yarn from Knitpicks. I will be experimenting very soon with the Koolaid dyeing and the ice cubes. I've also been looking at some YouTube videos on dyeing with Koolaid on the stove and microwave. I can't wait to try it.

Back at work, spinning, knitting and fiber festivals

I know, it's been a while since I posted. I kept intending to, it just never happened. So, today, I thought I would at least start composing.

I started back to work on May 1 and so far all has been good.  The right knee feels great, while the left knee is yelling at me. :-)  I went ahead and had another gel injection treatment in the left one to tide me over until August when I've planned for its replacement.  It's still hard to believe the difference in how good the right knee feels, it's like night and day. I don't dread going to the grocery store anymore, I just can't say enough good things about it.

On another issue, last weekend I noticed some things floating in my right eye. At first I thought they were gnats and I kept swatting at them. Next it looked like a cat hair or gasp, some loose fiber had gotten into my eye, but I could never remove it, blinking or nothing.   I wasn't quite sure what happened so I went to my eye doctor and he informed me that I had a torn retina.  Apparently you have to fix that right away or it could develop into a detached retina at which point you very well could lose your vision. We don't want that so he immediately sent me to a retina specialist. WOW!! Who knew there was such a demand for a large medical practice of nothing but retina doctors and lots of assistants. The place was huge, several waiting rooms and they were very busy!!!!  I had laser treatment that same day to seal up the tear.  Unfortunately, unbeknownst to me, the contraption they put in your eye to hold your eye open, scratched my eye. I've been back to them twice since the laser treatment to treat the scratch. argh!!! I had to go in again this morning, on a Saturday no less, and while the scratch is repaired, their is still an abrasion which is causing horrible irritation to my eye. I still can't see very well out of my right eye and it's still very sensitive to light.

I've been mainly spinning these last couple of weeks as I wanted to empty some bobbins.  I finished plying the Tutti Frutti mentioned on the previous post. I love the way it turned out and it's oh so soft, gloriously soft.  I ended up with about 560 yards of a 2-ply fingering yarn, so I should be able to make a very pretty shawl with it. 

I also had spun a single of Cruize Night, purchased from Etsy's Fiber Fancy.  This was an 85/15 Mixed BFL/silk blend.  I decided to try my hand at a 4-ply and I like the way it turned out.  With only 4 oz to play with, I only ended up with 248 yards, but that's still pretty good.

My next project is to buy some different wool from the UK sheep and play around with those. Maybe 4 oz of 4-5 different breeds. I haven't made any decisions as to which breeds yet, but I'm targeting at the moment Teeswater, Wensleydale, Masham, Gotland, Manx Loaghtan, Suffolk and Southdown.  If any of you spinners out there have any experience with any of the above, I would love to hear about it.

As for knitting, I've done a little. I finished knitting the Summer Flies Again Shawl in Lana Grossa Evento. I still need to weave in the ends and block it, but the knitting is complete. Pictures will come after it's been blocked.  I've got several things to block actually but I'm waiting for my island to be cleared by DH. His stuff needs to go out to his shop but it's currently residing on my blocking board. :-)

The Middle Tennessee Fiber Festival is next weekend!! woohooooo. I am taking a class on Spinning Art Batts. This is only 2 hours and I hope we cover everything that was on the description. I'm excited about it.  Obviously I'm also excited about seeing friends that I only see once a year as well as checking out some fiber and having some follow me home.