What you see below is, roughly and as explained to a three year old, our road itinerary for our trip. Lord willing, our plane takes off at 1:30 tomorrow.
Stops will include Ottawa, central Maryland, Columbia SC, Tallahassee and Jacksonville FL, and Rhode Island. If we haven’t already made plans to see you, will we be passing your way?
What you see above is all the crafting I am bringing on this trip. In the two failed vacuum seal bags is about 9 oz of wool. My plan is to spin it all on two spindles.
This is the Turtlemade spindle Rachel sent me; it’s a 3D printed Turkish spindle, and weighs 35 grams. I’ve been practicing with it and found it perfect for getting back in the groove of spindling after 7 or so years of not touching a drop spindle. It takes forever to wind pretty turtles, but it’s so adorable, how can you not wind pretty turtles?!
The other new spindle is buried in a suitcase right now, and I’ll talk more about it later, but suffice it to say it’s a very long, heavy top whorl spindle at 65 grams. I’m guessing I’ll be using it for plying.
In the vacuum bags pictured on the suitcase, the top one is an amalgam project I’ll have to introduce later. I’ve long been planning it as my Tour de Fleece spin. The centre bag is what you see directly above: the latest Wool N Spinning / Crafty Jaks breed and color study. It’s a wild riot of color on targhee, and I love it. I caved and decided to bring it when I realized the plan I’d settled on was something I could do on spindles.
It seems a little crazy to think I can spin all that in one trip. But then it is nine weeks away. I can probably do an ounce a week. Even if I do get derailed by the stash in Mums basement, which I have plans about as well.
My goal for Tour de Fleece is simple: spin at all every day. I have no time goals, not even fifteen minutes; I just want to be spinning every day, even if it’s only a few yards. This will be challenge enough, since not only will we be traveling, by TdF encompassed the two-week four-stop tour of the southeast that we have planned for mid-July. I’m not holding my breath, but just having goals makes me feel hopeful.
Back to the suitcase picture. The red bag, out of which you see two yarn cakes peeking, is the one knitting project I’m bringing along. It’s a fingering weight yoke sweater that I cast on right after baby was born.
It’s an amalgam of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s original fair isle yoke sweater, documented in The Opinionated Knitter and other volumes, and I will cardiganize it and decorate the yoke with patterning from Susan Pandorf’s “Rohan” cape. It had been growing steadily when discussions of sweater fit started cropping up in the Wool N Spinning community, leading me to buy one of Amy Herzogs books.
I tried her whole experiment of taking pictures of myself and drawing lines on it, and it was fascinating. You may think that this was not, perhaps, the best idea to do this immediately postpartum. But it was a good opportunity to get to know my body again, and with my little girls helping me take pictures, to practice unflinching, no-exceptions body positivity. If I make a sweater that’s a bit big on me in a year, all the better.
It is no mean feat to reconcile the systems of two designers who have each, in different ways, mastered the art of sweater knitting. Especially when one doesn’t have gobs of experience with either. EZs designs are of a particular time and style, and Herzog focuses on contemporary fitted designs (in this book, all pieced bottom up sweaters with set in sleeves). But when you come down to it, it’s all math, and in the end all I’m really doing is adding some waist shaping to the basic cardigan. I put more shaping in the back than front, based on the pictures; we’ll see if it works out or looks ridiculous.
It’s been the perfect mindless knitting for when I’m too tired to do anything else (read: most of the time). We’ve also been watching a bit of Star Trek: Discovery with a friend, and the blue spinning demands too much concentration to enjoy it. As a result, I find myself a good nine inches into the thing.
It’s be fun if I could start working on the yoke while I’m at Mums house. If I have to, I may provisionally cast on sleeve stitches, knit the yoke first, then knit the sleeves down later. I don’t see why I shouldn’t when there’s no patterning.
Well, that’s all for now. I don’t know how many of you read this blog for the fiber content anymore, but whether you are a wool-associated person or not, I hope your summer is off to a lovely start. And I hope I get to see lots of you on our travels.