All spun up!

This will be a bit of a quick one, as I didn’t take a heck of a lot of photos of singles or anything as I was going along. Working the night shift this past month, while it has given me more time with the husbeast, has kinda sucked time away from some of the other stuff I would normally do.  Anyhow…remember this?

3 colours of fluff

Well, it’s all spun up now!  The amounts needed for the project, that is. Those are all Louet Merino-Silk 80/20. Somehow I came to be in the possession of 2oz of the Princess Blue (in the middle), and about a pound each of the Black and the Pink stuff (I’m still not sure if the colourway is Fuschia or Garnet). I spun each colourway separately with the intention of doing a 3-ply. The fun part about it is what’s left over…

Leftovers

I started with the blue, and worried that I hadn’t spun it fine enough to get enough yardage. In comparison to the amount of pink & black singles, the blue looked deceptively…sparse. Well, I wound up running out of the pink & had to spin up another small batch of singles (which is why I have such a small amount of singles left over). The black?  I must have gotten pretty proficient with the spinning by that time, because I had weighed out the exact same amounts for the pink and the black. I have a surplus of the black singles, and a little of the pink. I’ll likely wind those off into yarn cakes on cardboard tubes so that I can save them for the next merino-silk project. I’m thinking what I’ll eventually do is spin up the rest of my pink & black and 2-ply them.

Waterfall of Merino-Silk 80/20

Here’s the finished product. Approximately 648 yards in a 3-ply. Absolutely gorgeous. Up close you can see each ply, and how thick/thin the strands are. I love that I can see the black, the blue and the pink.

Merino-Silk 80/20

And then you look at it all skeined up or from a distance, and honestly? It looks more like a blackberry colour. After all, what’s blackberry? Black and blue and pink. Very sweet.

I have an idea of what I’ll use it for, I just don’t know if it will be anytime soon. I guess that if you see it all knit up on the blog again, you’ll know  😉

It’s a secret to everyone

Well, we’ve gotten through the morning and afternoon of Wednesday and are now looking down the barrel of evening/night. The day isn’t over yet, though, and that means a WIP Wednesday is still possible!

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So!  What’s in the Tardis Bag and my Skully bag?  Um…I can’t show you those. They’re designs-in-progress that aren’t for public consumption yet. Yes, I know that’s annoying, but it’s better than the two pairs of stripey socks that you would see otherwise.

Well…not exactly two pairs yet. I have about one round and a bind off to do on sock #2 of the violently-striped socks on the bottom before I put both heels in. The other “pair” is really only a toe plus a bit extra on another pair of socks that I’m considering giving the afterthought treatment. Seriously, it’s the best way I’ve found to do a heel on socks that stripe that predictably.

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And didn’t I claim that we were staining the deck? Well, you need things to be dry to do that. Since we bought the stain, the weather has been extremely unco-operative. Downright belligerent, some might say. We’ve had rain, hail, wind…you name it. About the only thing we haven’t had is snow, and I’m sure that’s not for lack of trying. In fact, if Calgary could have a heat wave *and* snow, it would find a way (I’m pretty sure that’s where the hail is coming from. Valiant attempt, Mother Nature!)

I would show you what’s happening with the fluff, but I’m still in the middle of spinning singles. Like, literally in the middle, as I’m about halfway through the pink stuff. It’s spinning really nice and fine, though, and I’m also trying different things. I’m finding that I can just pull off a hank of the roving and start spinning, or I can divide the hank into about four pieces and pre-draft. I’m not sure which I like better, to be honest. The first method, where I draft as I go, has been pretty straightforward. It’s not like there’s a colour repeat to worry about or anything, and I don’t have to stop and prepare anything. The second method seems to go a little more smoothly when I get going…though I have a few more instances of stopping because I was spinning so thinly that I snap the single. The pre-drafting has been giving me a slightly more consistently fine single. Makes me a little concerned that I’ll have more pink than blue (and when I get there, more black than either) when I’m plying, but that’s something I’ll deal with when the time comes. It’s all practice, and the fact that I’m getting better and learning while I go is a great feeling. Besides, I’m sure I’ll be able to use the leftover pink and black singles when I get around to making the pink-and-black 2-ply that I’m thinking would make a lovely shawl or possibly a hat-and-mitt set, depending on the size of the ply. Maybe all 3, if there’s enough yardage!

Ten on Tuesday: TV!

It’s time for the Ten on Tuesday yet again!  This time the subject is one I can get behind…’Ten TV shows from your Childhood”.  As a member of the very first generation to have that much exposure to TV during early development, this one should be a breeze.

I grew up mainly in Ontario, where most of the kids programming came in through TV Ontario. I don’t really recall us having cable until I was a teenager, and even then it wasn’t like we were getting “Pay TV”. That was for rich folks. That said, there was plenty of other programming on the Tube. Since there are so many shows to list (more than 10!), I’m just going to list them in related bunches.

Commence Wall Of Text! (No, I don’t have any real images. Sorry!)

Sesame Street / The Electric Company (and anything with Muppets):
Once you graduated from Sesame Street, you got to watch The Electric Company. Electric Company seems to have been revamped and modernized, but when I was a kid, it was a place for stay-at-home-Moms to watch Spiderman and hear Tom Lehrer songs. To this day, my mother can and will still sing the song “We are the kids known as whimper and whine” when she thinks my brother and I are acting out. Yes, in our 30’s. And my brother has kids of his own to warp. I wonder if Mum sings that song to my niece and nephew?
I had to tack on the “Anything with Muppets” on the end, because obviously Sesame Street was developed as Jim Henson was developing The Muppet Show. I still miss Jim Henson and his humour. Seriously, I cried when I found out he died. Jim Henson was kinda like my generation’s John Lennon (only without the Yoko factor). The Muppet Show was one of the few TV shows with multiple layers of comedy that would appeal to both adults and children. I definitely want as much Muppet Media as I can get my hands on if & when Robin and I spawn. Because a world without Muppet humour is a world without sunshine.

Polka Dot Door / Friendly Giant / Mr. Dressup / Mr Rogers’ Neighbourhood:
I consider this the Big-4 of CBC/PBS broadcasting. I dare you to find any kid in their mid-30’s to early 40’s who doesn’t have fond memories of how “The Polkaroo was here…and I missed him AGAIN?!” I’d expect most US-raised kids to understand the other 3, but Polka Dot Door was definitely a Canadian production, and I don’t know if it was aired in the US. Basically, it was two adults talking to a bunch of dolls as though they were children, teaching them games and singing songs with them. Very low-budget. Every so often, one of the adults would slip away and change into the “Polkaroo” character suit to do a segment with the other adult. When they came back, the usual reaction to being told that they had missed a visit from their friend the Polkaroo was the typical “Aw Shucks” reaction mentioned right at the beginning of this paragraph. Thing is, I figure most kids were in on the joke. Maybe that was part of the fun.

Rocket Robin Hood / Hammy the Hamster / Fables of the Green Forest:
The Trifecta of early-AM TV watching, though I could probably expand it to include “The World of Oz” and “The Mighty Hercules (which was interchangeable with Rocket Robin Hood). These were the shows that you watched between the time Mum forced you out of bed to wolf down a bowl of cereal, and the very last moment before you were shot out the door to go to school.

Read All About It
A weird little mystery TV show that aired on TV Ontario. Often right before reruns of Dr. Who (I don’t know why I never got into Dr. Who. Maybe because it seemed to be in black & white, and I figured I was beyond all that sort of stuff). Read All About It focused on a group of kids who formed a club to solve mysteries, and hung out in an old, converted carriage-house – I think. The clues to the mysteries usually involved reading and sounding out words and stringing together phrases. Perfect edutainment for when I was in my Trixie Belden phase.  Yes, my Mum was more a Trixie Belden fan than Nancy Drew. I still wonder just what happened to good old Beatrix in the end…

Wait Til Your Father Gets Home / Looney Tunes / Wonderful World of Disney
The Sunday TV lineup, generally enjoyed at my grandparents’ place. Looney Tunes and Disney are pretty self-explanatory. The first show, though, was more like an animated sitcom.  I only ever saw it when I visited Granny and Grandpa, so I have no idea where it came from, or what channel it aired on. I seem to recall it being a good show, though.

Jem and the Holograms / Jeremy / Barbapapa
I used to battle my brother for the TV when Jem would come on. He always wanted to watch something with guns, like GI Joe. Reminds me of our famous battles for the TV at lunch hours. We lived right down the street from school, so we’d come home for lunch. He’d want to watch Robotech (aka Macross); I’d want to do the 20 minute workout.  He’d often win, and I never did lose weight (my friend Kathy had told me that she lost her baby fat doing the 20 minute workout. I wanted to just lose fat).  Something tells me that if we had the same choice now, he’d probably PVR Robotech, and watch the 20 minute Workout for the girls in the scanty bodysuits. Then again, back then we didn’t have PVRs. We didn’t even have a VCR. It alarms me that our kids will grow up with better acronyms than we ever did.

Battlestar Galactica / Star Trek TNG / Anything else Star Trek you care to list:
My Dad can be a bit of a science fiction nut. He would often steal the TV on Saturday mornings so he could watch Star Trek on the CBC. As I got older, I recall watching the original Battlestar Galactica (reinforcing my opinion that no matter how hot Katie Sackoff is, Starbuck is a man, even when played by a woman), complete with Lorne Green. That man didn’t just narrate the Wild Kingdom, it seems he brought it with him. At any rate, Battlestar evolved into the Star Trek franchise  as I got older. I think I stopped watching not long after TNG finished up. DS9 took a long time to really get going, and by the time Voyager and the one with Scott Bakula rolled out, I had pretty much moved on. But Battlestar and Scott Bakula reminded me of a couple of other shows from the same timeslot/genre: Bad News Bears (played around the same timeslot as BSG, I think), The Greatest American Hero, Buck Rodgers, and Quantum Leap. I still go looking for Al and Ziggy when someone says “Oh boy”),

Dukes of Hazard / CHiPs / The A Team / Knight Rider:
Kinda interchangeable shows. I think everyone was mandated to watch these in  the early to mid 80’s. Typical action-adventure shows. My brother had a real thing for any TV show that had a helicopter or a car that pulled wheelies.

The Littlest Hobo / The Beachcombers 
The Cancon of my childhood. Because, y’know, there’s a voice that keeps on calling me. Down the road – that’s where I ought to be. Every stop I make, I make a new friend. Can’t stay for long, just turn around and I’m gone again. Maybe tomorrow I’m gonna settle down. Until tomorrow, I’ll just keep movin’ on… 😉
Yes, I think everyone my age can sing the theme song to The Littlest Hobo.  That’s because they usually aired it around the same time that there was anything with Muppets (The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, etc)

Twin Peaks / The X Files:
The shows that saw me growing up. Part of the reason I wanted to do the 20 minute workout? I wanted to look more like Audrey from Twin Peaks. Seriously. To this day I still have a thing for saddle shoes (and lucky me, I own a pair). The X Files is STILL a treat for me to watch. I’m currently going through Season 2 on Netflix, and thoroughly enjoying the mild retro nostalgia.  The uncanny valley of technology isn’t so wide that the technology looks TOO far out of place, and the stories seem to hold up to the test of time.

So.  What kind of shows did everyone else watch? I’m finding Netflix pretty handy for the nostalgia-factor 🙂

Weekend in Review

Here’s the short version of my weekend:

We met our brand-new honourary nephew.

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You’ll notice that Robin actually looks fairly comfortable holding the baby. This is because every time a baby is born, we shove the small squirming human into his arms, take a few pictures of both him & the baby looking uncomfortable, and wait for Robin to proclaim that the baby in question looks like Winston Churchill (doesn’t matter if it’s a girl, all babies apparently look like Winston Churchill). It should come as no surprise that after 4 or 5 babies being handed over to him for “the uncomfortable new uncle” shot, he’s gotten comfortable holding a baby.  We suspected as much with our niece, Darby. Keenan here just confirms it. Keenan was less interested in his new uncle, and more interested in the fact that his new uncle wasn’t carrying some sort of food-providing device.

We also managed to finally both be awake at such a time that we could get to Home Despot in time to buy deck staining supplies. Therefore, once the deck dries out (yes, if we haven’t been working or sleeping, it’s been raining this summer), we will commence the staining of the deck.

So cherish these pictures of my current fluffy spinning project on a “wood coloured” railing while you can, because soon enough that railing will be a nice shade of blue. We’ll be the only household on the block whose deck isn’t white, some sort of cedar wood stain, or “putty” to match siding. We deliberately chose a shade of blue a couple of shades lighter than the trim around our doors. We’re thinking it will look spiffy.

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That fluff, by the way, is a merino-silk blend that I think Louet puts out. I was gifted the blue by the wife of a co-worker who sent it along when she found out I had obtained a wheel.  The pink is from another co-worker that I car-pooled with last winter, and the black is something Robin picked up for me. The pink and black came in bags of about a pound. The blue is approximately 2 ounces. I weighed off 2 ounces of the pink and black, and am spinning all three as singles that will be 3-plied. So far, so good! I’ve spun all the blue, and am now about a third to a half of the way through the pink. It’s soft and spins quite nicely, though I think I’m getting a little friction sensitivity on my right pointer finger.

Finally, I watched the London Olympic Closing Ceremonies last night. I enjoyed it for the most part…but CTV, for the love of all that’s good in this world, I could have done without the constant commercial breaks around the time that the athletes were taking their places in the “mosh pit”.  I know it takes time to get 10,000-odd people corralled into the right place, but I really got tired of “here’s a shot of the Canadian team again and….here’s a commercial!  Welcome back!  Here’s some really neat piece of trivia, and….another commercial!”  It wouldn’t have been quite so bad if it hadn’t been for the amount of commercials shown. It really did seem that they had the slots for commercials and content actively backwards, the content segments were THAT brief!

Oh, and P&G?  I’m STILL really annoyed by your advertisements gushing over Moms. When it comes to sports, I suspect Dads are just as involved, if not more so. While I’m sure showing a Dad taking his kid to the pool at oh-dark-thirty in the morning would make a better coffee commercial, I wouldn’t feel like the men of this world were being marginalized because they’re not being shown tossing laundry into a washing machine.  Honestly, advertising agencies, STOP with the whole “battle of the sexes” in advertising. That goes for the “Kitchen Consultant” in the dishwasher commercials, too. Hell, do me a favour and show a gay or lesbian couple. Maybe a same-sex couple that’s parenting. Maybe a little jolt of reality will stop stereotyping women as domestics, men as idiotic assholes, and same-sex relationships as sinful. Use your advertising slot for something useful for once.

(For the record, I do use quite a few P&G products in my house, but it’s definitely not due to the advertising. It’s due to the fact that they work, don’t cause an allergy, and don’t give me migraines from overabundant scenting. That round goes to YOU product!  Not so much your advertising agency – who really need a good-old reality enema)

The one comment about the content of the music chosen for the Closing Ceremonies?  No Radiohead? No Rolling Stones? No Happy Mondays or Stone Roses, or Sinead O’Connor or U2 or the Proclaimers? No multi-Grammy Adele? No Peter Gabriel? While I was happy to see Madness and the Pet Shop Boys, I could have used a little more diversity. The fact that there was one woman singing something like 4 or 5 songs?  Well, she was on-key and can sing Queen half-decently, I guess.  No need for her to be half the show, though.

Oh. And still no Dr. Who?  The Olympic ceremonies could have used more of a nod to the BBC.

Rant over. Good thing too, as I’ve been up for 23.5 hours and need to sleep sometime before my next shift starts 😉

Little Raincloud

Remember that pretty little raincloud of fluff that I showed off last week?  If not, here’s the picture again for reference.

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That’s 100 grams of 100% Merino Top from www.peartreeyarn.com (I bought it through one of the local stores. Gina Brown’s, I think).

This is what it looks like now!

Little Raincloud

Dyelot: 237210
Colourway: Damson
423 yards or 387 meters
2-ply, scotch tension

The coin is an American dime for size reference. That’s a lovely little 2-ply , plied from a center-pull ball (yarn cake!), using a CD spindle to hold onto it, somewhat like this tutorial, but without the bucket bag. I tried using one of my circular drawsting bags, but actually needed to take the spindle out and hold it. The singles were coming from the outside of the ball fast enough that I needed to be able to keep them in check.  With the way that the singles cross over each other coming off the ball, there was a lot of cursing, swearing and a couple of lost yards due to tangled messes. Maybe I’m doing it wrong and need an actual video tutorial on how to handle the single coming off the ball, but I just found it more effective to prop the spindle against my tummy and use my left hand to control the speed of the singles while the right did the main work of moving things along.

This fluff may actually have a purpose. I promised a special someone her choice of socks or a scarf/shawlette for her birthday, and she chose the shawlette. Unless she’d like something more vibrant, I think that this might be perfect.

What do you think, Zwee?  I can find something more vibrant if you prefer something a little wilder 🙂

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Friday Five!

I’m going to tack this on at the end, since I don’t think I’ll post twice today 😉
I know, it’s two memes at once, but I rather like the Friday Five… this week’s “category” is Miscategorizations:

What public behavior is not a crime but should be?
Half the things that motorists do behind the wheel are a crime, whether it’s unsafe driving habits or just sheer pigheaded assholishness. We have bylaws against distracted driving, but I don’t think that anyone in our neighbourhood has slowed down or taken their damn phones away from their ears. And we live near a triservices building!*
Most of all, I’m hating hearing about folks who don’t check their mirrors or give a shoulder-check before opening their doors. Contrary to popular belief, bicycles don’t belong on the sidewalks, and there isn’t a multi-user-path everywhere you go. Even if there were, some bikes zip along faster than the allowed limit. YES, the MUP has a speed limit! 20 kph, if I recall. When you’re making good time in your bike, that speed limit is a pain in the arse. And because fast-moving bikes don’t belong on the MUP or the sidewalk, when you open your door without checking first, you put my husband, my friends, and yes…ME in danger. Please don’t make me another “interesting news story out of CityX”, folks. Take the extra two seconds and open your door.  Because so far, I haven’t heard of anyone successfully being put away on criminal charges for this basic bit of roadway negligence.
(Wow, the view is spanky from this here soapbox!)
Oh…and the other thing that should be a crime? The clothes people are letting their teenagers wear these days. Someone teach the “young adult” set how to wear a ball cap properly, people.
I think I just officially became one of “them”.  The “Old People”…(shudder)

What food item doesn’t have a recommended daily allowance but should?
I’m going to veer away from our regularly scheduled paleo/low-carb orthorexia and say…chocolate. Because damn.

What’s not a word but should be?
I’ve been using the word “Pagnostic” lately to describe my faith-based views. I like it. I think I’ll keep it.

What day of the year is not a holiday but should be? (Yes: I’ve used this question before, but I never get tired of it!)
Towel Day. Are you a hoopy frood who knows where his towel is?

What behavior is not generally a professional expectation but should be?
Understanding where “the line” is. In other words, being able to assess the audience that is your co-workers and be able to realize that maybe certain humour might be a little “too much” (conversely, it’s always good to know just what you can get away with!!!) 😉

 

The mailman only rings once…

Lookie lookie what came in the mail! Because I’ve started using my wheel again, I decided to invest in some good quality fibre. I’ve heard really great things about Crown Mountain Farm‘s wares, and had been thinking of ordering from them for a few months, so I figured I’d give them a try. I’m extremely impressed because it took less than 2 weeks for the order to get here, and I spent a little time this morning squishing my new acquisitions 🙂

First up…Gloria. CMF seems to name quite a few of their colourways after song titles, so I’m wondering just which “Gloria” this is….the 80’s tune by Laura Brannigan, or one of the many other fine songs with that particular name? Either way, this is 8oz of Superwash Merino.

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Then we’ve got “Stonehenge”, which, whether it’s named for the Spinal Tap song or not, is probably what I’m going to be humming while I spin this. It’s 8oz of Corriedale Pencil Roving.

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These won’t be spun up immediately. I have at least one other idea in the works before I get to either of these. You’ll find out when you find out 😉

Finally…I wandered down to the post box this afternoon (we’re on the Superbox system) and found that my order from JessaLu had come in! I have been coveting this Tardis bag for awhile, and when I finally saw it up on the site, I jumped.  I barely even thought about it (and then I apologized to the Husbeast for not clearing the purchase with him first, but if certain yarn store owners are wondering why I have not been into the shop to drool all over sock yarn, that would be a big clue).

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I’m hoping that having a couple of different project bags handy will help me keep my knitting together, instead of the usual habit of having my yarn all over the place. I now have about 3 or 4 different bags, most of which are for small projects.

Guess I’m going to be keeping busy for awhile longer 😀

To-may-to, To-mah-to.

Apparently this week’s Ten on Tuesday is “Favourite Ways to Eat Tomatoes“. Considering I’m not a vegetarian (and thus have a certain kind of “veggie-fu”), this may be limited.  Why?

1. Because I don’t drink Tomato juice. So you won’t catch me eating them that way.
2. And I tend to limit my bread, so I’m not going to be enjoying them on my bruschetta.
3. I do like pasta. So I’ll gladly open up a jar of Classico Florentine Spinach and Cheese on the very rare occasion where I allow myself a treat.
4. Tomatoes and beef are the base for my chili, so we generally have that at least once a month.
5. Not so much the Ketchup. I usually only have Ketchup on hot dogs and as a garnish for meat loaf.
6. However, I do like a slice of tomato on my bunless hamburgers. Nummy! Goes with the pickle slice and bit of lettuce.
7. I’ll also eat raw, sliced tomatoes on their own, with a little bit of salt. Because FRESH tomatoes really don’t need much to dress them up.
8. That said, I’ll still toss tomato wedges (or cherry or grape tomatoes) into a salad. Because they add a bit of zing.
9. Like the zing you get when you add a little bit of tomato paste into a base for a soup or stock.
10. Because yes, sometimes I like a tomato-based soup like minestrone.

Huh. And here I was wondering whether I could even think of 10 ways to prepare tomatoes, let alone eat them. Go me! 🙂

In an Orange Mood

So I took these

Topknots

And did this to them…

Planning to spin

And turned them into this

Topknots spun singles

And then finally into this.

Topknots

That’s approximately 200 grams of top that has been turned into chain-plied yarn. It’s somewhere between fingering and dk weight. I have no idea how many yards, but it’s a lot. The bright orange was a different fibre than the rest of it. You could tell by the texture. I’m using a US dime for reference, as it’s about the same size as a Canadian dime.

I’m thinking it might be socks. And possibly more than that if I have the yardage.

Personally, I’m just glad it’s all spun up. As fun as it was, some of the colours were starting to get to me by the end, as well as the variance in fibre. In comparison, I’m actually rather enjoying my current spinning project, though it’s not as consistently smooth as I’d like. It’s one of the reasons why I’m coming to doubt the words “Wool Top“. Okay, it’s wool.  Okay, it’s prepared as top. Fine, that’s descriptive…but for all I know, it’s scraps from multiple different leftover fibres. And for the amount of money you pay for it, I’d like a little better quality product.

My other criticism is with the Topknots product itself. I had a hard time trying to figure out how to spin the darned thing. Half of the product was one really long, fat strip of that bright orange. The other half was a long strip of the blue-and-red, and the gold, pink and blue-purple. I wound up turning it into a repeating stripe by separating out the most “logical” colour combinations and spinning them in order.  I suppose I could have spun it fractally, but I just didn’t have the fortitude to spin all that orange at once. It’s not that I don’t like orange…I’ve developed a healthy respect for it. It’s just that there was a lot of it – and I didn’t exactly want one whole ply to be orange all the way through. Though that might have been interesting, it just wasn’t what I wanted.

So yeah. Stripey yarn with lots of orange. It may be awhile before I decide to do anything with it, but I figure it will make nice socks someday. When I’m in the mood for orange, that is.

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Something Garish This Way Comes

I finished plying! The overly-saturated yarn of doomy-doom has had a timeout in its own personal bath & is currently air-drying in front of the back door. If all goes well and the weather clears up, maybe it will do some sun-bathing later on today.

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Next up? I’m thinking this lovely purple fluff (I’ve started using Cookie’s description….). There’s about 107 gr or 3.8 oz in there. I’d get a nicer shot, but again…the weather is gloomy today.  So instead of worrying about little rainclouds following me around, I’ll spin one instead.

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Metamorphoses

It’s another WIP Wednesday! I would have posted sooner, but with the weather being overcast and rainy, I barely had time to bring in the laundry yesterday. Which is OK, because that gave me time to turn the heel on the 2nd of Robin’s grey-and-red socks

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It also gave me time to turn some of this…

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Into some of this. It’s looking nicer than I thought it would. Maybe my chain plying isn’t as poor as I thought….

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I also took the mess on the left over there

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…managed to detangle it…

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…and rewound it into a recognizable skein. By my calculations, I have around 229 yards in there. Hopefully enough for a Baby Surprise Jacket.  Hopefully.

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That’s what I’ve been up to.  How have you been keeping yourself busy?