Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Heat waves and some weather-appropriate yarns.

Hey guys,

Remember in the last post, how I planned to post LOTS of photos about all the things I did over spring?

Hopefully not, because I'm just going to move on and and talk about the present for a bit.

In my current little corner of the earth (northeast Georgia mountains, to be a little more exact), we're suffering from unseasonably hot weather. What little grass my family has tried to grow in what we like to call our front yard is in some pathetic state between dead and dying. I can't step outside the door without working up a sweat, and DESPITE MAKING SURE TO WEAR A RIDICULOUS COWBOY HAT AND SPF 50 SUNSCREEN...I'm tanning.

The whole time I've lived in south Florida I was able to prevent this from happening. I like to say I avoided the sun partly as a way of rejecting our current societal standards of beauty. Mostly I avoided it because of all the 40 and 50-somethings I saw who had obviously been sunworshippers in their youth, now looking kind of like the crispy, grease-dripping baked chicken carcasses you see on the racks in the deli section of a grocery store.

I didn't want to look like that. So I began wearing ridiculous hats, and sometimes even jackets in the summer heat. I also went out as little as possible. I searched high and low for vintage-styled bathing suits that would prevent those weird looking bikini tan lines I had once gotten years and years ago. I didn't want two-toned tatas, plain and simple. While everyone else was out enjoying the South Florida summer sun, I was smothering myself in spf 70.

And I'm still that freakish, but now I also have many more animals to tend to, and lots more outdoorsy stuff that I enjoy, regardless of whether the sun's shining or not.

So my skin tone is warming up. A bit. Probably not noticeable at all to the rest of the world. In fact, if I were to go to Florida right now, people would probably ask me if I was Canadian, like they always did when I lived there. But I still notice the oh-so-slight change, mostly in my arms. I don't mind it so much, but considering how much effort I go through in order to avoid looking like a fried iguana, it must be really hot and sunny out there in order for me to tan at all.

Okay, enough griping. Moving on to fiber.

For the past few months I've been digging into my roving stash and spinning a lot of white fiber. After doing a bit of natural dyeing, I've realized that it's most efficient when dyeing larger quantities-- dyeing six 100 gram skeins of yarn takes about as much time as dyeing one 100 gram skein of yarn. So I've been doing a lot of traditional, worsted spun yarn from several pounds worth of this cotswold roving I've had lying about.

Well, I finally got bored out of my brains and decided to treat myself to something radically different. I bought a batt set called "Rhymes with Orange" from Bricolage Studios. It was squooshy, lumpy, fluffy, and obnoxiously orange-- one of my favourite colours (after lime, avocado green, and moss). A perfect batt for the summer.

I just tore up chunks and spun the fiber the way it wanted to go, without much concern over drafting and teasing apart the fibers. The feeling the blend of textures and watching the various shades of orange just spinning out of my hands was divine.

Rhymes With Orange Batt On Bobbin

And like all wonderful batts, before I knew it, the whole thing was spun up...and it was time for plying.

Rhymes with Orange Yarn. Again.

I bought some yellow and orange variegated quilting thread just for the batt, and used that for plying...the squiggles kind of remind me of orange peels, and the little random puffs of cotton fiber are that white stuff between the peel and the orange segments.

Isn't it purdy?

Rhymes With Orange Yarn


Well, before getting back to spinning more boring, undyed yarn, I've been washing Aggie and Maggie's wool and dyeing it so I can card my own batts. And it's too hot to knit anything heavier than laceweight, so expect me to be doing that until the sun decides to stop picking on me.

Off to go refill the animals water buckets.

-The Bloated Ewe

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