Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Busy Weekend

Once again, I have pictures that are still on my camera... Emily, Heidi, Suzy and I went to the Connecticut Sheep, Wool & Fiber Festival (the vendor brochure probably gives the best idea of the festival) most of the day on Saturday, then Kevin and I did a biathlon on Sunday.

The festival was fun--smaller, which was nice (even though I usually have a reasonable sense of direction and a good memory, the times I've gone to Rhinebeck I lose track of where I've been and what I've seen, and constantly think I'm missing things), but with a good assortment of vendors. I bought some silvery-grey roving from some nice people whose name I've forgotten. I think it's a blend of merino and silk, but it's possible it's merino and tencel (clearly, I need to plan ahead for blogging! I should also confess that my pictures are of my new fiber at home... possibly in a bowl above the fireplace... not at the festival, because of this same need to plan ahead). Anyway--it's very soft and slightly shimmery. I like to imagine I'll spin it into something fine enough and consistent enough to knit lace, but that may be beyond me for a while.

I also bought a gorgeous red and purple batt from Grafton Fibers. Unlike The Most Famous Grafton Batt Ever, mine doesn't have a progression of colors, but is red and purple mixed together throughout. I'm trying to expand my spinning horizons from blue, purple and green, so the red seemed like progress.

And Heidi and I took a spinning workshop--which turned out to be just the 2 of us, plus a number of spinners who didn't have their wheels. We were definitely the newest spinners by a lot, and it was a bit intimidating, probably because I'm a wimp about being watched. (Ask Kevin about my conviction that every child in Sicily was staring at me personally when we were on a bike tour there... the last kid to look (stare!) at me in the airport before the return flight nearly made me cry. It's possible that I needed a snack.) But I'm glad to have seen cable and Navajo plying in person, and to have seen someone else spin--I'm still new enough that each additional person I see spin seems to improve my spinning dramatically. I wasn't crazy about cable plying, or about the yarn I made--it seemed really squished and flat, somehow, even though it had 4 plies (I've mostly made 2 ply yarns before, and usually more plies makes the yarn more round). It's possible that I just really overspun mine.

Navajo plying went better. I've tried it on my own, but felt like I wasn't starting right. It's similar to crocheting, so I started with a slip knot, which felt like it might be frowned on my real spinners. But it turns out that's what you actually do!

Sunday, Kevin and I left the house in the middle of the night (OK, the very early morning) to drive into the Bronx for a biathlon. (There's an animated map here.) The race started in Orchard Beach Park, and the run portions (it went 3 mile run, 20 mile bike, 3 mile run) were mostly on this paved boardwalk near the water. Very pretty, but the pavers were uneven, and running was kind of tricky. I actually spent a fair bit of time on the bike thinking how horrible it would be to do the second run (since it's even harder to run on an uneven surface when you're tried), but it wasn't quite as horrible as I expected. The bike was on Hutchinson River Parkway--they closed the northbound side--which was mostly nice and smooth. And pretty straight, except where we were actually turning around.

And most amazing of all--I went faster than I expected instead of slower!

I get nervous before races (and feel silly for getting nervous, since I'm average to slow), so I like to knit. This time, I worked on my Hill Country Socks. I finally finished them last Monday night, just in time to count them for April on the Sock-a-Month KAL. And Monday at work I finished my multidirectional scarf, with just inches of yarn to spare. OK... this post is turning into a novel.


Annie said...

Add just ten or twenty more characters, and it's Dickensian.

What is a batt, exactly? And why does it have two t's?????

knitseashore said...

A bike tour in Sicily?!! Please give us more details, sigh.

I haven't been to CT Sheep and Wool. Is it mostly roving and spinning supplies, or do they have a fair bit of yarns too?

Sunflowerfairy said...

Trust me when I say no one was looking at you during that workshop. They were too busy laughing at me.

Good job on the race.

And Knitseashore, it's a good mix- rovings, supplies and yarns, mostly by smaller CT based farms, instead of larger yarn companies..