Monday, January 27, 2014

Cryogenically Preserved

Yes, we are again in the crazy depths of the freezing tundra.  They shut down the schools again, both today and tomorrow.  Anymore closings and they start tacking on days at the end of the school year.  At this rate the girls will be going to school until July!  And I'm not exaggerating (well not much anyway).  The thing that is amazing or as my friend in Dallas says, "not natural" is we continue on with our daily lives.  It can be -15 with a wind chill of -40 and while they close the schools down, the rest of us continue to find our way to and from work, go to the stores, and the really crazy few?  They are jogging (I think running to try and keep their feet from freezing to the pavement) or cross country skiing.  We live here, we don't hibernate (I keep lobbying for that at work, so far no takers), we go in and out of buildings and cars.

For those in the Texas area, who are popping in because they found my blog through the DFW Fiber Fest list of vendors, HELLO!  I'm so excited about heading back to Dallas for a visit and adding in yarn and 3 days of fiber fumes?  Can't get better than that.  My girls and I are counting down the days until we get back home.  I'm spinning every day as much as I can, between running around through the frozen air, shuttling the girls to and fro with their activities, and working my day job.  Each skein I add to my basket makes me smile and hope it brings as much joy to you.  We leave in 54 days....but who is really counting....ummmm that would be me!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Returning to our regularly scheduled broadcast

Well we survived the deep freeze of last week.  Today was a balmy 39 degrees ABOVE zero.  This does a couple things in MN.  You will see LOOOONNNNGGGG lines at car washes, where we try and wash away the salt and chemicals from our cars before said salt and chemicals eat away at the outside of your vehicle.  The days you can do this are limited in winter, they need to be warm enough that your doors and locks won't freeze solid after rinsing off all the yuck on the outside of the car, so when you are lucky enough to have it 20 degrees or warmer, the lines begin at the car wash places.  And the second fun event is taking the time to chisel off the icy dregs on your sidewalk and driveways.  So all in all just a fun time in the city!

The girls will have a full week of school for the first time in 3 weeks.  I'm sure you can imagine their joy at that thought!  However, you also can imagine the joy of my mom who is home with them during the days they are off school.  smile...

I have 11 weeks until the DFW fiber fest.  That means my spinning must be constant and I can't falter.  This last week was a good week.  I got 6 skeins in total done.  Here are the last two.

This is Just Dance - a riot of colors that make you smile to look at.  I think it would be great fun to use for a kids sweater or just a bright and cheerful scarf, no matter who the age.

I also spun a long gradient, Little Mermaid.  I ended up putting it up as 2 skeins, I think it will be sold either as a pair to get the full effect starting with a soft buttery cream, moving to a golden bronze, to a light green before it completes its color journey to a deep spruce green.  But it will also work as two separate skeins, still a gradient, just not as extreme.

This is the roving for Little Mermaid, I think Ginny does such amazing work in her colors and layout.  I'm always so happy with her work (Fat Cat Knits).

I've already completed spinning the next two bobbins, called Snow Angel.  Tomorrow night I will ply it.  It is soft greys, yellows and creams. 

This week will be more of a challenge to keep up the spinning time.  Emily has a concert on Thursday night.  smile...she is so excited!  So to the regular schedule of cheer practice, dance practice, church youth groups and confirmation, we will toss in a choir concert.  Too bad I can't bring my wheel!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Baby Its Cold Outside!

Living in the Midwest can sometimes seem like a test of endurance.  These last few days have been an endurance due to extreme cold.  Everything is so much harder when it is -20!  Toss in wind chills of -50 and you really wonder just how crazy your ancestors must have been.  Because really, who in their right minds would stop on a windswept prairie where temps can range from 100+ in the summer (ok, so not so often but still it does happen almost yearly) to lows of -30?  I can't imagine living in log cabins or sod homes trying to keep warm and/or cool during these times.

I was one of the few people who pushed on today and went to work.  I don't do anything "urgent" or "critical" in nature.  I work for a medical device company in the legal department.  But if I'm not there, I have to take PTO and I really try so hard to save as much of that as I can, between my mom's appointments and the girls appointments it can take a lot of time away from work.  Toss in the desire to actually have a vacation every once in a while, every PTO hour becomes precious and so valuable.  I did leave early though.  Even though my car is only a few years old, even those can have a tough time starting in temps as cold as this!

I happily got home by mid afternoon and spun away.  I working away on filling the basket for DFW Fiber Fest.  So far this last week I finished four more skeins.  These are true and sturdy skeins.  Not in your face skeins, but the sturdy work horses I use to really make those in your face skeins shine.

Meet Stella, I bought Stella's beautiful gray fleece at Shepherd's Harvest 2 years ago.  It was already cleaned and processed into a lovely bag of pin drafted fiber.  Stella is a bit of a conundrum, initially you feel her and you think Oooo, just a bit scratchy, but then, wait a minute, there is underlying softness to her as well.  I think she is a sturdy yarn, with gentle luster but quite a bit of strength to her as well.

Then there is this, I named them Hidden Gems.  Because while muted in tone, there are so many beguiling colors hidden in the background grayish purple.  Remember a couple posts ago I showed the roving I dyed myself with great help from Angela of All For Love of Yarn?  This was the roving that I felt was so me and initially I wasn't sure when I was spinning it, but in the end, I'm really quite pleased with the results. 
Both Stella and Hidden Gems have joined the other finished skeins in my basket.  I've upped my daily spinning to about 3+ hours on most week nights, the weekends?  I'm trying for 6+ hours.  I'm determined to have a great selection of yarns in 11 weeks.  Holy cow!  11 weeks until  DFW Fiber Fest.  Must sign off, must go spin.