Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tour de Fleece 2011

I am taking part in the Tour de Fleece this year for the first time. Started in 2006, the TdF is a spinning challenge that runs for the length of the Tour de France. You are encouraged to spin every day that the Tour rides, so Saturday July 2nd till Sunday July 24th, with rest days on the 11th and the 18th. My goals for the Tour de Fleece are:
  • To spin for at least 15 minutes every day
  • To start spinning the fleece that I started prepping way back in January here
  • Friday July 22nd is the Tour’s toughest mountain stage for the riders, and in the TdF you are encouraged to spin something challenging. I will be trying to do some spinning from the fold with some silk fibre that I have in the stash.

For part of the TdF I will be away from home, visiting the Bendigo Sheep and Wool show. I'll be spinning on a drop spindle on those days, because my Rosie will be staying home, looking after the cats.
I am massively excited to be going to Bendi. I've been once before, in '09, but I only had time to see the woolcraft vendors and exhibits. This year I've booked a hotel room for 2 nights, and I'll be able to go along to the Ravelry dinner on the Friday night. My friend Rachel, a very accomplished knitter and rookie spinner, is travelling and staying with me, so I will have a fellow knit-nerd to witter away with. I am determined to get around the show a bit more and see all the animals and the 'behind-the-fleece' part of the fibre I spin. Plus, I'm always grateful for the chance to expand my animal husbandry knowledge. I have a secret dream to have some fibrey animals of my own one day, so I will be asking lots of questions.
I've been doing a lot of spinning lately - I think I've spun around 8 skeins of yarn in about 10 days. I took a look at the fibre I have in my stash, so many beautiful braids and bundles of soft, smooth and colourful fibre, and gave myself a good talking to. 'What good is it just sitting here?' I asked myself. So I picked a packet and started spinning. So far, I've done some arty looking thick singles from a mini-batt I won at Bendigo '09, some squishy barberpole merino, and a whole heap of others which I will take a picture of as soon as the weather stops being so dark and dismal. I've had a couple of tries at spinning thick and thin singles, and I'm not 100% happy with the results as yet, but I shall keep trying :-)

Monday, June 20, 2011

End of autumn 2

Recently I wrote how I think of autumn as a time of taking stock, which it definitely has been for me, not only in the garden, but in my life as well.
I have decided to give up on the internet dating thing, actually, to give up on finding a mate at all.
I've invested a lot of myself in this search, which has brought me a dear friend in the shape of D, but little else apart from disillusionment and disappointment. My friends have been well-meaningly upbeat, but I find it increasingly hard to have any faith in the idea that there is someone for everyone. In moments when I am honest with myself, I wonder whether I have the emotional and psychological tools to have a relationship anyway.
All of this has the tendency to sound terribly self-pitying and maudlin, but I am trying to look at it in another way. In lieu of the search for a mate, I am embarking on the search for a good life. It seems a bit like cleaning out an old shed. Pulling things out into the light and examining them - to stay or go? What is broken or decayed? What can be repaired? What needs TLC? What is that eating away at the windowsills?
I'm trying to shift my focus to making my life a place I want to live in, because I'm going to be in it for a long time. If someone comes along to share it, then great, but it is silly to try and build a house on imaginary foundations.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Misty breath morning

I walked through the crunching grass,
And kicked diamonds with my gumboots.