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Whee, washed and dried — properly finished — yarn to show off! I’m happy with my Spinzilla results.

The purple is an unknown I pulled from Mr. MmmYarn’s fiber stash. It’s from Carolina Homespun and feels like it might be BFL. Here it is in its pre-spun streaky glory:


I found it easy to spin thinly and got a gorgeous 3-ply out of it. I’m a little disappointed that I had 66 yards of 2-ply because it means I didn’t do even work in 2 of the plies. Granted, I did the bulk of those plies on the bus and it’s harder to draft evenly when you and your spindle are lurching all over creation as the bus stops and starts, spindle banging on your knees or the seat in front of you, and you have to keep your elbows glued to your sides. You’re supposed to set yourself a challenge during Spinzilla; I didn’t, but in retrospect, I say this counted.


Fiber: 4 ounces of unknown purple streaky, feels like BFL, from Carolina Homespun
Spun 9/19-10/8/2017 (2 of the plies from 10/2-10/8 during Spinzilla) on Cascade Bay spindle
Plied 10/9/2017 at 12:1 on Lendrum wheel
Finished yarn is 237 yards of 3-ply and 66 yards of 2-ply

I meant for the 10 ounces of Jacob to end up about the thickness of Cascade 220, but it had so many slubby bits that it wasn’t possible. I left the slubs in as a feature and got a beautiful, squashy, and heavier-than-worsted yarn out of my 4 bobbins:


Fiber: 10 ounces Jacob from Meridian Jacobs
Color: natural, a blend of dark and light wools
Spun 10/3-10/08/2017 at 15:1 on a Lendrum wheel
Finished yarn is 267 yards of 4-ply (plied at 9:1), 2.4 yards of 3-ply (at 9:1), 56 yards of 2-ply (at 15:1)

As usual, all finished yarn goes into my large sack of handspun, waiting for the day a project speaks to me.

And because you read to the end, you get to see a green-and-purple crab waving its claws in an attempt to ward off being immortalized in a portrait. I had to hang upside down over the edge of a rocky tidepool to get this shot.




This will be boring for anyone who didn’t participate in Spinzilla, but I have to record it for posterity. My total yards spun for the week is 1639.29. It’s more than I thought, but when I estimate how many hours I spent on it, the number seems small.

I spun 2 plies of the purple and 4 plies of the gray Jacob during Spinzilla and plied after the event was over (soooo much easier to count yardage once it’s plied than wrestling with singles) so I can’t count the yards of plying. Here’s the non-glamour photo of the plied yarn, resting on bobbins:


Math time!

66.05 yards of 2-ply purple –> 132.1
237.25 yards of 3-ply purple, of which I can count only 2 plies, so 158.16*2 –> 316.32
56.38 yards of 2-ply Jacob –> 112.76
2.41 yards of 3-ply Jacob –> 7.23
267.72 yards of 4-ply Jacob –> 1070.88

See those rather long stretches of 2-ply? Apparently, I spin more evenly when I space it out over weeks and months instead of cramming it into a week. Or perhaps I didn’t split the fiber evenly at the outset.

Spinzilla ends tonight and, to my surprise, I spun up all the fiber I planned to for this event. I finished the 4th Jacob bobbin before heading to the farmers’ market this morning and spent the rest of the day working on the spindle off and on, with a solid 1.75 hours at the Golden Gate Park Band’s final concert of the season.


Spinzilla is not over yet: ninety minutes remain, but I am not going to tackle plying tonight. The team captain wants yardage counts by Friday. I dislike messing about with singles on the swift or niddy-noddy so I’ll ply these, then calculate yardage for the 6 singles I spun this week. 1100 yards, maybe?

Clemes & Clemes kindly had a Spinzilla spinning area in their booth at Lambtown today. After I looked at sheep and sheepdogs, wandered the booths, observed Sheep to Shawl (in which my guild’s team placed third, a big hooray for them!) and admired the critters in the petting zoo, it was time to buckle down at the wheel. I finished one of the singles on my spindle while walking around and filled a bobbin at the booth. Not bad for a day’s production, and I half-filled the 4th and final bobbin after I got home. The purple ball in the lower right corner is the finished ply I took off the spindle today.


I should be able to finish the wheel spinning in the morning; speaking realistically, I do not think I will finish the next ply on the spindle or that I’ll ply either project before 11:59pm tomorrow.

Gosh, I feel like such a Spinzilla slacker. Other spinners on the Ravelry board have posts such as “two bobbins today” or are already plying. I have merely 2 bobbins full with the third barely started on the wheel and not even half the purple fiber on the spindle. I even skipped vacuuming and ironing this week, spinning instead.


Tomorrow, Lambtown!!

A large-ish small spinner in the park made an impression on me over the weekend:


My first reaction was: seriously? Since when do we have spiders with white legs and black knees and rotund red bodies in an urban park? I mean, I sit on the lawns there! It also had the audacity to spin its web on a pole with a 4-hour parking sign, and it was not ticketed 4 hours later. Talk about parking enforcement having a lax day.

At the end of day 3, I have a half-full spindle of the purple fiber and a full bobbin (1/4 of the gray Jacob) done:


bad cell phone photo at night does not show the colors to their advantage

Not bad considering I only spun on the wheel 10 minutes on Monday night due to work obligations and have only spun on the spindle on the bus. Twirling on in the morning…

Well, day 1 went nothing like I had planned. I drop-spindled on the bus both commutes today and got a nice cop going, but only had 10 minutes on the wheel at home (because I am still working… at 9:30pm; am able to post here while a server restarts), long enough to discover the Jacob fiber is slubby so I’ll be producing, eventually, a 4-ply art yarn with that. Progress is hardly worth documenting so I took no photo. Onward into day 2!

I suppose a proper title for this post should be “What I did on my summer vacation” because that’s what the Mmm…  Yarn hiatus in summer 2015 was supposed to be — a summer vacation — but I obviously let it go on more than a bit longer. I was a good yarn student in the meantime, churning out projects and yarn. An event seems like a fun way to try to find my voice here again, and the event is Spinzilla.

Spinzilla is a week-long spinning event sponsored by TNNA that starts one minute after midnight tonight, so October 2. I don’t plan to be awake for the kickoff (whirloff?), but if the nightmares that plagued me last week come to visit tonight, and it’s officially Monday, I might just scoot over to the wheel instead of attempting to read to settle my nerves.

This is what I dug up and got ready today:


The gray is 10 ounces of Jacob from Meridian Jacobs, split into fourths, that I want to spin into a 4-ply about the same thickness as Cascade 220 on my Lendrum wheel. The purple is 2/3 of 4 ounces of unknown wool (possibly BFL) that I want to spin into a 3-ply on my Cascade Bay spindle, which I will carry around with me all this week. The first 1/3 of the purple is currently parked on the spindle, fresh singles I just finished this afternoon; that yardage obviously does not count for the Spinzilla total although I will get to count the other 2 plies and the plying if I get all that done this week (which is about as likely as a Mothra attack). I will get that singles off the spindle tonight so it’s bare for the morning.

Pluses are: I took the time to split up my fiber today, and I’ve been practicing spinning on the bus the last 2 weeks and have figured out arm placement so I’m not poking my seatmate. It’s harder when I’m wearing a skirt, no gap to drop the spindle down into, so I did laundry today to ensure a supply of trousers the next 5 days.

Time challenges are: I have to work late tomorrow night on a major software system upgrade, lunch in a restaurant Wednesday (the other days I can spin over lunch in the break room), Scrabble night also on Wednesday (although I can set the iPad on the stool next to me while I spin at the well-oiled wheel between turns), and Lambtown this weekend (I will bring the spindle so I can work while walking around, but I’ll lose on driving time and lose efficiency while being distracted by wool on the hoof and sheepdogs and shopping).

Wish me luck!

Today I accomplished two things.

1) A long walk all the way to the beach, where I watched city dogs cavort with glee in the sand and the waves. The beach had more people than usual but I wouldn’t call it exactly crowded:


2) Finished spinning the bundle of Corriedale I started in February 2013:


The singles is going to rest overnight and I’ll wind it into a plying ball tomorrow. Well, that’s the plan at least.

Here we are, about to say fare thee well to 2014. A few of you have emailed to ask whether I’m still alive (because I’ve certainly quite neglected Mmm… Yarn since summer); tonight’s as good a night as any to say “yes”!

I spent over a week away from home for Christmas, visiting family members and a friend. We don’t do gifts anymore, thank goodness, except for ones for the small children, so it’s a stress-free event. My mom and I took a walk on Christmas Eve and watched the waves crash:


And the Christkind felt compelled to leave me this that same evening (apparently beating Santa to it):


On December 25 I briefly visited the spot where Mr. MmmYarn and I got married over 8 years ago. Pretty, isn’t it?


I am home again and still have a few days left to do whatever I want. Work is on furlough between Christmas and New Year’s, and with the extra week I took off before the holidays and furlough started, I will be off work 19 days total. I’ve read a lot, caught up on correspondence, and cleared some stuff out of the apartment.

Today was chilly indoors (well, outdoors too), so I went to the Academy of Sciences, where I visited the alligator, the rattlesnakes, the unusually active octopus; saw the planetarium show; and spun with the fishes at the Philippine coral reef tank:


You can see my cop getting a little unruly there at the bottom; fortunately, I’m nearly out of fiber so I only need to manage that mess a little while longer. A few kids noticed what I was doing but only for a second before they went back to finding Nemo (clownfish) and Dory (blue tang) in the tank.

I don’t do resolutions, but I’ve already accomplished something I had planned to do in 2015 thanks to a friend. I mentioned to her I wanted to get some Indian cooking tips but I couldn’t find a class, and she found a willing lady at her church who came to my house two nights ago and answered all my questions. I can make chapatti like a champ now and got other good tips. Years ago, we realized we were leaving a little too much money at India Clay Oven every month, so we bought spices and a cookbook and dove right in. I still cook Indian most of the time, just love the flavors, although I sure do miss Mr. MmmYarn’s help when it comes to chopping stuff. And still go to India Clay Oven when I want something that’s just too much work to make at home.

With just a few hours left in the year, I have my evening’s entertainment possibilities all lined up along with my booze (I’ll toast Mr. MmmYarn, of course! although he would have stuck with rum and coke) and snacks:


I’m somewhat determined to finish off that fiber tonight or tomorrow so I can ply it before I go back to work on Monday. I had hopes of finishing up some UFOs, too, before 2014 ended but can see that isn’t going to happen because it’s rather an embarrassment of riches in that department. Yarn, yarn, everywhere! In the words of Elizabeth Zimmermann: “My word, what good fortune. I can only hope the same for you.”

And I do. May you also have a lovely, cozy celebration tonight to ring in 2015, and an excellent year of crafting ahead of you.



Flickr Photos