FOFri #48: Moonlight Pine and Spinzilla

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my first embroidery finished object (FO) post! I’ve finished a few bits and pieces here and there, but this is the first time I’m writing about one.

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CozyBlue design, click for pattern

This embroidery pattern, Moonlight Pine, was part of the CozyBlue stitch club. I am not part of that club, but I bought it off of a friend because I loved it immediately. The original design called for stitching the entire thing in a deep navy thread. I liked the look of that, but I had the perfect deep dark green for the needles, and decided to give it a go using different colors. Deep dark green for the needles, rich brown for the trunk, a lighter sky blue for accent lines, and the perfect sparkly silver and gold Lecien metallic thread that I purchased from Namaste Embroidery for the stars. The sparkly thread really pulls it together for me.

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Detail shot. SPARKLY!

I painted the hoop in a coordinating sparkly gold acrylic, and I really love how it came out. The stitching was quite simple on this piece, mostly straight stitches, but it was a pleasure to work because of the elegance of the design. It’s peaceful. I’m happy this is hanging in my home and am itching to get more hoops finished to join it on my wall.

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Inglenook Fibre batts on Jenkins Lark

Spinzilla (a.k.a., “spin as much as humanly possible” week) is a friendly competition organized by the TNNA that just finished last weekend. I spun for Team Webs and I’m happy to report that I actually managed to spin a little bit every day, which is not something I’ve managed to make time for since before I was pregnant!

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Loop! batt on Lendrum wheel, with bonus toddler butt

I managed to spin a bunch on my Jenkins Lark while playing on the floor with my son, and even snuck in a decent amount of wheel time to spin up a Loop! batt that’s been waiting in the wings for-freaking-ever to be spun. (Like for real, I started spinning the other single that I intend to ply with this one in 2013. Which is apparently when my mom was first diagnosed with breast cancer, so an update: 5 years later and doing well!)

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Spinzilla output.

By the end of the week, I had managed to complete a small 80-yard skin of the Inglenook Fibre batts (counting as 160 yards because one of the singles was spun previously) and about 705 yards of fine singles from the Loop! batt, for a total contribution of 865 yards. I am excited for Monday, when team yardages and winners will be announced. My contribution is teeny tiny compared to most folks’ output (I’m talking miles of yarn) but I’m quite pleased because, as I’d hoped, the week of spinning has gotten me back in the groove again. I have a lot of bobbins to clear and half-finished WIPs to sort out, so keep an eye on this space for more handspun because damnit if it kills me I’m going to finish spinning something this year.

🙂

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Getting Antsy

Spinning has been on my mind a lot lately, even if it hasn’t been actually in my hands. For one, I set a goal back in January that I wanted to finish all my in-progress spinning projects by June. (Cue maniacal laughter.) This goal has helped my pick up my spindles more often, but I haven’t finished a single skein yet. (Sigh.)

For another, the Completely Twisted and Arbitrary SAL group on Ravelry is having a “Crazy Yarn A-long” challenge and I’m itching to play. I started some art yarn ages ago that I’d like to finish. Since I’ve only spun one 4 oz single so far, the other 4+ oz single will count for this challenge. I’m planning a stacked yarn so all the craziness will happen during the plying stage, which seems like it’ll be fun.

Finally, I know I haven’t been spinning enough lately when I see some pretty fiber on Etsy and go MINE, MINE, MINE without a second thought.

That lovely piece of fluff is a ‘Yarnicorn’ batt from Classy Squid Fiber Co.  on Etsy. It’s a delightful mix of superfine Merino wool, Mulberry, Tussah, and Sari silks, mohair, firestar, nylon, silk noil, and angelina. Basically, a candy-colored kitchen sink of a batt that I cannot wait to spin. I’m metaphorically dangling it in front of my face so I hurry-up-and-finish the spin that’s been occupying my wheel since October.

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I Shall Spin Midnight, click for project page.

This spin is essentially the polar opposite of the new batt. It’s 8 oz of Merino/silk blend dyed a uniform black by Louet. I began it when my husband’s Nana passed away, as a way to think about her through craft. Then I got pregnant and we packed and moved and unpacked and it sat, and sat, and sat. It’s going to make a lovely, fingering-weight 2-ply yarn when it’s done but I’m just barely halfway through. I am making a bold April goal right now: I will finish this spin AND the new Yarnicorn batt by the end of the month. And then I’ll finish my art yarn by the end of the challenge (May 15). WATCH ME, WORLD.

In other news, I spent much of the weekend sorting through cloth diapers and baby clothes that friends and coworkers have generously given us. Tiny baby things are so tiny, and the cats were highly amused. Darwin loves laundry in general, but he seemed to especially love lounging on the wool diaper covers. Calypso looked just a tad bit concerned, like she can tell something is up but has no clue WTF it might be… June/July should be interesting for all of us!

Fear & Gratitude

I’m joining in today for the last week of A Playful Day’s blog challenge: gratitude.

I chose BRAVE as one of my ‘words for the year’  for 2015 because I have a tendency to get caught up in fear when there are big, unknowable things looming ahead. I’m great in a crisis or when face-to-face with a challenge, but it’s worry about the future, about things I can’t control, or (worse!) decisions that I can control but have yet to make, that wear me down. I was once described by my grad school advisor as ‘a swirling vortex of negativity’ when I was in such a mood and I hate to say it, but he wasn’t wrong.

New project says, “Don’t worry, be happy!” Click for Rav page.

In an attempt to escape such a vortex, I remind myself that I should be thankful for this fear because it means I have something worth losing. Fear is not often associated with gratitude, but the kind of fear I’m talking about is the kind that one is lucky to have. I am not fearing hunger, danger, or imminent death. I’m fearing the abundance of choice, the luxury of different paths ahead, and the beautiful, many-faceted burden of love. Thus, I intend to face the coming months with gratitude, courage, and perhaps just a little less caution so that my life is ruled by joy and acceptance (so hard to do) instead of fear.