Cherry Blossoms At Night

My professional life has been taking up a lot of my time lately so all I’ve been able to work on craft-wise is spinning. It’s been easy to just pick up my spindle and meditatively add fluff until a cop of yarn appears; spinning is one of the ultimate stress relievers, believe you me!

I have had quite a few projects on my wheels and spindles lately. I started a #casualcraftalong (#casualcraftalong2021) with my instagram crafty buddies with the goal of finishing our WIPs without the pressure a typical knitalong or crochetalong or spinalong brings. The goal from May to June 30th is to finish what we started — even if it’s only one project. My last YOP post showed you two projects I’ve completed the spinning for and I have three more. The current one is from Inglenook Fibers Armchair Traveling series and it’s from the 3rd month’s “trip” to Japan. For that installment I received the Cherry Blossoms At Night batt. The batt came with a note that the fiber contained lanolin so it is advisable to spin it sooner rather than later. As an aside, while lanolin has skin nourishing benefits, the greasy consistency of it makes spinning fiber hard the longer the lanolin stays in the fiber. The lanolin content in this batt did not warrant washing the fiber beforehand (plus that would have been insanity to try to wash it out of a prepared batt before spinning) but spinning it sooner rather than later is optimal and I’m glad the seller made a note of advising that course of action for the benefit of spinners who don’t know how lanolin reacts.

So far, I split the batt into the obvious colorways making up the batt and am spinning one color per spindle. To finish the individual spins, I’m going to join the spindle cops then chain ply them into 1 skein. So far, I’m done 4 spindles worth:

I’m a big fan of Inglenook Fibers products and this has been a joy to spin so far. I keep spinning so I can get to the next color so this project is going faster than I expected it to go. I have one color left (which I’ve already started) then that’s it. The next time you see this project, it’s going to be in a finished skein — I can’t wait to check my yardage. My default skein is usually between sport and DK weight, I’m aiming for fingering on this one.

Tour De Fleece 2021 is scheduled to start on June 26th 2021 and since it coincides with the end of the #casualcraftalong, my goal is to finish all the spins, then add plying the 5 skeins as part of my TDF 2021 goals. In addition to plying and finishing these projects for TDF 2021, I’m also spinning the below with the Inglenook Fibers team:

The set is a beauty ain’t it?!!! Right now, I just need to focus and not let this beauty distract me. I MUST finish the spins on my outstanding projects then get ready for Tour De Fleece! My TDF plans is another post in itself! 😀

Happy Sunday to each of you and cheers for a great week ahead! ❤

It’s Okay To Change Direction

The month started with great plans — my “Luck O The Irish” stash-down fiber spin,  a test knit and a skill building yarn spinning exercise.   Then life happened.  My cousin who had been battling colon cancer for the last year and a half passed.  The grief has been gut wrenching.  I cry at the drop of a hat or laugh and smile at the happy memories. My mom reminded me yesterday that my reactions and feelings are all normal so I should just go with how I’m feeling at any given time.  It doesn’t help that there’s an issue at work that’s possibly the worst thing I’ve ever dealt with in my professional life.  Then the world got the news of the racist terrorist attack on Muslims on Christchurch.  To say March was a doozy is an understatement.

I’m not one to stay down for long, so I changed course.  My cousin lived her life in the most positively impactful ways so in her memory and for my own benefit, the way she lived is a reminder for me to do the same.

The spin I planned for my March stash-down goal has problems.  The fiber is divine, the dye job lovely, but the seller managed to pack 4 ozs of fiber into 7 rolags.  OMG!!!  Although I pre-drafted the fiber like crazy, it is still a bear to spin.  I made some headway but the emotional upheaval of the month and all the effort this spin requires, it has become too difficult for me to manage.  For non-spinners to understand what I’m staying, you can typically get about 8 – 10 rolags out of 2 ozs of fiber so to have double the amount of fiber in less rolags, let’s say this project was a fight from start until I decided to call it quits.  I just need to be able to sit, spin and not think and this project requires too much.  My goal is to undo the fiber at some later date then roll the rolags again — less dense with more rolags per 2 ozs.

So instead, for my March stash-down, I started to spin Inglenook FibersMossy colorway in their popular sticklebatts offering.   It’s a lovely Irish green (so still in keeping with the Luck O’ The Irish stash-down theme) and just wonderful to spin.  I just draft and let the fiber with all its extras do what it wants to do.  I’ve finished about 3 out of the 12 sticklebatts in the bag but so far it’s quite lovely:

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I’ve been spinning it on my EEL (Dreaming Robots) e-spinner so the spin has been going at a good rate.

I’ve also committed to improving my spindling this year — both supported and drop — so for that reason and grief therapy, I’ve started this spin on an affordable spindle I found on Etsy:

Sidebar: I highlighted the word affordable because there’s more I want to say about this spindle and this word in my next post.

I also had to set aside a skill-building spin (3 ply fractal) I started with the ThreeWatersFarm group on Ravelry.

I’m moving back to my normal self so I think I’ll be ready to pick that up again in a week or so.

The test knit I abandoned is going to get its own post.  That was definitely an exercise in changing direction.  The yarns I chose for it looked lovely, photograph nicely together but in person, they were not playing well together at all.  But all that will be in another post.

As I look back at the month, even in the difficult moments there have been lessons.  I’m going to miss my cousin fiercely.  How could I not? Even her transition reminds me that it’s okay to change direction when I need to.