Monthly Archives: October 2014

My Spinzilla 2014 Experience

(This blog post has been reconstructed, thanks to a server failure that lost a week of uploads and updates.)

I mentioned that I signed up for Spinzilla a couple of months ago. This year it ran from 12:01 of 6 October through 11:59 of 12 October. Things went well for the first few days; I spun and plied almost twice as much beaded yarn that I needed to make up the shortfall I’d discovered at the end of the Tour de Fleece this past July. It garnered me 1125 yards for Team Kromski (score yardage is the length of each single in the ply, plus the plied length, because yarn has passed through your wheel/spindle that many times. It maxes out at 3 plies, though.) Then I had a crazy couple of days of packing and finishing a work project six days ahead of schedule, because it was due the night we got back. I took my new-to-me Mazurka prototype and a 4-oz box of rolags along on our trip to southern Ontario, so I could get some spinning done there. (The Mazurka fits beautifully on its back in the trunk, along with all our family trip paraphernalia.)

I spun two ounces the Friday evening and Saturday. The Mazurka prototype only has one bobbin, so I wound the singles off into a centre-pull ball with my ball winder, and plied from that centre-pull ball on Sunday evening. (There was a mental disconnect for a while regarding that plying step; I was stuck in the ‘spin all the singles’ mentality, so was planning to spin the second single next, but I finally realised that plying that one single back on itself would net me more score yardage, because I could spin the second single afterward anyway and add that yardage as well, as a kind of bonus.) I had to wait till I was home to measure it, though, because I had neither my niddy-noddy nor my skeinwinder with me. I wound the plied yarn off into another centre-pull ball for storage, and started spinning a second single that I could add to the total spun yardage. In my timezone, Spinzilla ended Sunday night at 23:59; nothing done after that counted. I spun till ten o’clock Sunday evening, then went to bed, figuring that what was done was done, and there wasn’t much else I could do, especially since we had to be up bright and early and mostly coherent for the drive home the next day.

For posterity:

Spinzilla final yarns, 14 October 2014
Spinzilla yarn #1: 2 oz pewter beaded merino/bamboo, 2-ply, 28 wpi, 375 yards = 1125 Spinzilla yards
Spinzilla yarn #2: 2 oz blue and green woolen-spun Corriedale/silk, 2-ply, approx. 10 wpi, 214 yards = 642 Spinzilla yards
extra: 25 yards of singles, spun from the second half of the rolags
TOTAL = 1792 yards (!!!)

Am I happy with my Spinzilla performance? Not completely. I’m impressed by how much I did manage to get done, fitting it in around work that had to be delivered ahead of deadline, doctor appointments and medical tests, and travelling. I wanted to do a whole lot more, but my final yardage managed to break the mile mark (!!!), totalling 1792 yards. (A mile is 1760 yards, in case you were curious.) So while I’m proud and astonished by that feat, which I was fairly sure wasn’t going to happen, I’d have been happier with more. I am happy on two particular counts, though: I have enough of my beaded yarn to knit the Swinging Triangles shawl, and I’ve proven that the Mazurka can travel with me. We’re still in a rocky relationship regarding double drive, improvised scotch tension, and draw-in — I’m satisfied by my singles, but the plying seems very loose no matter what adjustments I make — but practice will make perfect.

Thanksgiving 2014

(This blog post has been reconstructed, thanks to a server failure that lost a week of uploads and updates.)

Thanksgiving was a lovely weekend. The weather was gorgeous, sunny and around 13 degrees C all weekend. Saturday we went up to Rockton Fair as we did last year, and had a terrific time. They weren’t racing the rabbits when we were there, alas. But we did get to see young kids and ponies doing their first jumps in the ring, over teeny obstacles maybe a foot high (adorable!), and cows being washed and blow-dried for the show ring. That was pretty amusing. We patted a three-week old baby goat, and a little bantam hen that was just fledging, and angora goats. (They had so many burrs in their lovely locks. I was so glad I wasn’t the one who had to brush them out.) We thoroughly explored the exhibition barn, and saw some impressive veggies, hay, and sheaves of wheat, plus lots of 4H projects. This year we found the poultry and rabbit barn, and it was terrific fun! We got to feed the chickens and ducks, too.

Saturday afternoon we played in the leaves.

Sunday morning, we went to the little beach on Lake Ontario along the lakeside walk, where we threw lots of rocks into the water, dragged wood up onto the sand, and practiced skipping stones.

Sunday afternoon, we went to the Canadian Warcraft Heritage Museum, as we often do when we’re visiting my parents, since my dad works there. Owlet has been nattering about going to the ‘airport museum’ to ‘fly the planes’ for over a month, and she was in heaven.

Alas, Owlet was ill while we were gone. She’d had a wet cough for a couple of days; in fact, I had the doctor take a listen to her chest while we were there last week for a follow-up, and he said her lungs were clear, and that she was probably coughing on the discharge from her stuffy sinuses. She didn’t nap in the car on the way there, had a fever that night (along with a crazy meltdown), napped for twenty minutes in the car on the way home from the fair on Saturday then didn’t fall back asleep once we’d brought her inside, had a fever again that night but slept through, had a decent day on Sunday, and didn’t nap on the way home on Monday, either. We ate early and put her to bed an hour ahead of her usual time, and she slept something like thirteen hours straight.

Both kids are very good travellers, apart from minor frustrating moments. It was a lovely weekend.