romney.

In all of the start-of-the-semester hubbub, my wheel has been empty for most of the week. I returned home from campus (where my office is growing ever cozier with each bag of belongings I move from here to there) today and decided to at least start something so that I can try to spin a little each day.

air1

air2

Sigh. So beautiful. These colors just make me yearn for handspun legwarmers. This is Hello Yarn fiber — Romney wool top in the Alpine colorway — and I love it.

forlorn1

forlorn2

Boh is looking particularly forlorn this afternoon, perhaps because he knows that the new semester means a bit more reading (me) and resting (Boh), and a little less frolicking (both of us).

tussah.

I’m trying to come up with something that rhymes with tussah, and the best I’ve got right now is “sucka” — so let’s just forget that I was going to try to go that way and move on.

tussah macro1

Oh_my_goodness.

Let me back up:

tussah on bob

I finished spinning the reddish-orangey-pink section of my 2 oz. braid of tussah silk (from yarn chef). Inspired by Mick’s beautiful singles, I thought I might try singles of my own. Late (too late) last night, I sat pondering this bobbin, hoping that my singles were strong enough to be wound onto my niddy-noddy. Despite it being significantly past my bedtime, I decided to go for it.

tussah macro2

No breakage! And my, what sheen! I don’t remember spinning this evenly, but I could not get over how lovely this looked on the niddy noddy.

Here’s where I need some third party verification of my math, because I’m having a hard time believing the yardage: I stopped counting strands on my niddy noddy when I reached 250. My loop measures 32 inches in length, 64 inches in diameter, so 250 x 64 (or, for ease of math 250 x 2 x 32) = 16000 inches. 16000 inches/36 inches per yard = 443 yards. (But I stopped counting at 250 strands, so I’m thinking this number is closer to 500. Whoa.)

By the way, why do I not have a 36 inch niddy noddy? That would make my longhand math much faster. And more interesting to read.

hangingtussah

In conclusion, get thee some tussah silk. You will not be disappointed!

skeined.

myrtleskein

Spunky Club Dark BFL in colorway myrtle, 4 oz.

183 yards of 3-ply, dk to light worsted (says my eye).

wpi: soon.

I caved and acquired a tool to measure this on etsy. I hope it will be here when I return from my parents’ house on Wednesday.

darkbflmyrtleFOcloseup

Yay! I’m thrilled with this. Now, what to do with it?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch:

targheeinprog

I couldn’t help but put something on my empty, forlorn-looking wheel. This is targhee from the Woolly Wonders Fiber Club at AVFKW. It is so smooth and shiney that even now, this photo is distracting me from my attempts at description. This is 3 oz of deep melon-y beauitfulness in the It’s a lovely day colorway. Although the Lendrum does fold and travel, I’m going to leave it here to await my return, mostly because I might ignore my family in order to keep spinning, and that would be poor form.

One more WIP today:

thujaturnedheel2

I turned the heel of the second thuja sock for my uncle last night, and am planning to work on it a bit more before Boh and I hop into the car. I will get these done in time to deliver them, I will get these done in time to deliver them, I will get these done in time to deliver them…

rooster = in love.

I actually have a bunch of pictures to show you — boh being silly, the last piece of quiche, the couch covered in books, etc. but I know what you really want to see…

treadle

I know I said I wasn’t going to take this out of the box until I met my last deadline. But I wrote 4 pages before lunchtime! And I have no will power. None.

yarnonwheel

I heart my new wheel. I opened up some of the softest BFL I have ever touched (from Paradise Fibers), and set to it. Here’s an up close shot of the bobbin after about an hour:

wheelyarnmacro

The yarn at the bottom (what you can’t see) isn’t quite this pretty, but man! I love this! I got out my Maggie Casey book to look through the spinning wheel section, and have been playing with the tension on the brake band. This wheel is so intuitive. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to tear myself away this afternoon to keep writing. Boh was (of course) terrified of the cardboard box the wheel came in, but has been surprisingly calm, if a bit wary, of the wheel itself.

lenbohinback

Hooray! I have a spinning wheel! Can’t wait to be on the other side of this chunk of writing so that I can spin, spin, spin.

Along these lines, do you, oh wise readers, have any recommendations in the realm of books on spinning technique? Maggie Casey’s book is fantastic, and covers a few different kinds of drafting and some troubleshooting, but is there something else I should be reading/working through to build a good foundation?

handspun and cast iron.

I should be writing. In fact, I should be writing A LOT, but instead, I’m feeling the need to dash off a quick post. I’ve written a few paragraphs for the paper this morning, so I can justify this. Right? Right. Also, it could be argued that talking about late nineteenth/early twentieth century cast iron is incredibly relevant to my work. Maybe I’ll footnote my recent ebay acquisition (just kidding):

castiron

castiron2

Isn’t she beautiful? I have been lusting after a workhorse skillet like this one, and in addition to how delicious my eggs have been this week, I really love that this new-to-me kitchen staple has a great deal of history — made in the period I study, for starters. (But enough about that. I have to save it for this paper, remember?)

Also, because end-of-the-semester paper writing is rather traumatic, I decided I needed something squishy and soft to pet nearby. I used my new niddy-noddy to skein up my Spunky Club organic merino in Twilight, and then I washed it to set the twist and hung it to dry.

twilight niddynoddy

twilightyes

I am in love. 250 yards of 2-ply that my eyeballs think is a pretty even light worsted, with some subtle dk weight interludes, spun on my Spinsanity spindle and plied on my heavier Louet spindle. Still drooling over wheels, folks…

Back to it!

plying, frying…

gradingwithboh1

Apologies for the post slowdown over here. This is pretty much what’s been happening at casa del barefootrooster: work. (Or napping, if you’re Boh.)

I did manage to start plying my Spunky organic merino in Twilight, in between paragraphs (may is the month of paper writing) or particularly bad/cheesy sentences.

twilight-plying

I also have some rather exciting food to share. We had dinner with friends last week — they brought the burrito fixings, and we made the tortillas and some modified (flour) tortilla chips. I was so excited to finally make something from The Essential Cuisines of Mexico, by the legendary Diana Kennedy. Flip through one of her cookbooks the next time you’re in a bookstore and you’ll know what I mean. Kennedy is a fantastic storyteller, and you really get a sense for what it meant to build a life in Mexico. (For more, check out The Splendid Table episode where they go to Mexico to hang out with Diana. I want to be her.)

tortilla1

Tortilla dough, with tortilla chips (made by frying freshly made tortillas) in the background.

tortilla2

Homemade chips! While these were frying in the pan, we were trying to figure out why they weren’t like normal tortilla chips. After several minutes of puzzling, the boy and I exclaimed, “Corn!” at exactly the same time. These were more like pita chips, I’d say, but still delicious.

tortilla3

Flour tortillas. These were incredible, and oh-so-simple. They even retained their flexible-ness long enough to be turned into next-day breakfast burritos! I’ll be making these again. Soon.

Since it seems we have a theme, here’s one more bit of frying from this week’s kitchen adventures:

stirfry

Tofu, kale, carrots, onions, ginger, garlic, brown rice. I’m planning to eat the rest for lunch.

One last bit of super fun news — I won some gorgeous AVFKW silk over at sockpr0n. Thanks, Aija! I can’t wait to play with it!

about 5 bank accounts, 3 oz and 2 vehicles*

twilight-2oz

This is more like 2 oz.

Of fiber from the January Spunky Club.

Not anything illicit. I’m just saying.

I’m realizing that 2 oz is about all I can fit on the spindle at one time. Despite what this picture seems to reveal, I’m really happy with the evenness of this yarn. the last 10 yards or so are more irregular (and what you can see here) and I think it has to do with how heavy the spindle gets. When it is approaching full, my technique seems to emphasis the “drop” in drop spindle!

*This is Dr. Dre’s answer to the previous line, and the name of the song: “What’s the difference between me and you?” Given that the song lyrics and music references I normally post situate me solidly in the land of americana/folk/alt country, I’ll provide a little more context. This album was popular during my freshman year of college, and somehow it became clear that a friend and I knew all the words. (While this isn’t my favorite song, I have a serious memory for useless information like song lyrics.) He is getting married next year, and there have been jokes about demonstrating this particular skill at the wedding. If you know the song, you probably realize that it is pretty intense/violent and, shall we say, representative of the genre. Despite all of this, it makes me think of said friend whenever it comes up on itunes, and I smile. Music is good for that.

Plus, now that I operate in ounces — of a very different kind than Dr. Dre —  it is allowing me to creatively(?) post on my spinning progress this week…