Accomplishments of the Week - July 30, 2018
I finished a spinning project! You may remember from this post back in June that I had some singles ready for plying. Well, I got half a bobbin of those done, and then got distracted again by other projects, and then went away on vacation... I finally got back to it when I got home in mid-July, and it took me a couple of spinning sessions, but I've now got a nice plump skein of about 340 yds of sport-ish weight yarn - maybe closer to a light DK. It's destined to be a hat for Jon for this winter, so I should have plenty with that amount.
When I wound the singles for this yarn into cakes to ply from I didn't divide it particularly evenly, so I ended up with quite a lot leftover of one of the plies. Rather than try to split it in three I decided to try my hand at chain-plying for the first time. It more-or-less worked, but you can tell I was having trouble keeping it tensioned properly in some spots, and it's a bit over-twisted as well. I think I'll need more practice before trying that technique for any big projects!
Another project that got left behind over my vacation was my pin-loom temperature blanket. I've been participating in a weave-along for this in the Looms to Go group over on Ravelry, and have been working on it pretty steadily all year, although I was a bit behind to start the actual weaving since I decided to dye my own colours. I let it lapse for a while in June though, and this month it's been so hot that I haven't even wanted to think about what the daily high temperature were and record them in my chart. My accomplishment this weekend was to lay everything out and take stock of where I'm at with it. I'm starting to catch up with the squares, but I'm still more than a month behind, and I've got a lot of sewing ahead of me as well to get it all pieced together.
It feels a bit like cheating to claim this as my accomplishment, since it's the plant that's done all the real work, but I'm really pleased with how my balcony tomatoes are coming along. These are Green Gage tomatoes, so they won't get much bigger but they should turn yellow as they ripen. It's been a challenge to make sure this plant gets enough water because it doesn't get much shade on my balcony, so in that regard just keeping it alive through this hot summer we've been having is it's own accomplishment!
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One of our big goals for Sweet Paprika this year was to source a new line of Canadian wool yarns. We started contacting farms and mills last January, researching options, connecting with farmers, and collecting samples.
Eventually we settled on working with wool from Circle R Livestock, a family farm in southern Ontario. Over the spring we worked out the details to have the wool milled in New Brunswick, and we then spent the summer doing dye tests and creating colour recipes for our new Winfield (worsted) and Sutton (bulky) yarn lines.
Lately a lot of my crafting inspiration has come from my son, who is growing and needs things, and from my goal to live more gently on this earth and think twice before buying and using things.
My values of living frugally and buying ethically-produced clothing that is not damaging to the environment sometimes feel completely at odds with each other. For me, this is where mending, crafting, and buying second-hand come in. Can I mend something to extend its useful life? Can I knit or sew more of our everyday wardrobe basics? Is it something I can trade or buy second-hand rather than purchasing new?