Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ugly Yarn Day

No, I'm not declaring a new holiday (although I wish I'd been away from my studio today). After spinning all week and making lovely yarns, I've just had a very long Ugly Yarn Day. The first yarn was a 4 oz ball that I'd traded for on etsy. It's a nice green with a little mustardy yellow peeking out of the center, and I thought I'd do an Art Yarn with it by adding glitter and some felted nuggets. Had about an ounce spun when the mustardy bits started, and I discovered that they were really clots of short fibers, balls of dirt--really just seemed to be sweepings from the barn floor if I'm honest about it. See the mustard lump sticking up? There's a whole big clot of it right beneath the arrow.

Well, I finished the yarn and am in a quandry about what to do with it. See all those slubby bits? Do I go ahead and ply this yarn with an evenly spun yarn and hope it looks like a 'effect'? What happens if it gets huge pills when it's knitted up? There is no way I'm wasting my felted nuggets on this yarn--they will be added to another yarn that deserves it.....

Yarn No. 2 was a lovely 4 oz. ball of dark green and orange that I bought at a festival this summer. I thought I'd ply it with a lovely heathery brown that's been aging in the stash. Again, near the center I ran into a section where the orange was replaced by yellow. I spun on, figuring that the color change wasn't that bad and plying would soften it. You'd think, after all these years of spinning (30+), that I'd know better. See where the orange ends and then begins again several yards later? Aarrgghh!

I'm leaving my studio and wheels alone for the night. Maybe Rumpelstiltskin will come in the dark hours and fix everything for me. Ya think?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Home again, an incredible autumn vacation!

We arrived home Saturday night with new bikes and a head full of colorful memories. Our thanks to Nelson and Andrea at the Old Clark Inn for another lovely experience (and help with the busted bicycle).

New bikes--All ready to hit the bike trail Monday morning, and my front tire begins to peel off the rim. We find out the hard way that only Schwinn tires will fit their bikes, there are NO OTHER tires that will fit and there are NO dealers in the entire state. So we went bicycle shopping and bought 2 new bikes from Free Spirit Adventures in Caldwell. Amazing how many improvements have been made to bicycles since I purchased mine in 1990. They actually have comfortable seats now!

Cass Scenic RR--Since we couldn't ride on Monday we
headed to Cass to see the sights as it had been closed for the season last time we visited. Took a ride up the mountain on the Shay engine (not your usual steam locomotive) and visited the museum to see what this old company logging was like in its hayday.

Greenbriar River Trail--Not the most well-known bike trail (which is why we like it), this is a well-maintained trail for bikers, joggers and horseback riders. It's 76 miles long and we did over half that distance. Photos show hubby and I on the north end of Sharps Hill Tunnel. We'd have mid-morning coffee each day at Dirtbean Hale, pack a lunch and head out on the trail.

Highland Scenic Road--We drove the section that's Rte 150 from the Cranberry Mountain Nature Center to the intersection with Rte 219 near Elk River. I'll let the photos speak for the drive....

Fog rising from the valley on Saturday morning--

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Vacation again!

We're off to the wilds of West Virginia for a little peace and quiet and bicycling on an old railroad line. The guard cats (and Guardian Security) are in charge of the house while we're away. We'll be in Marlinton, WV at the Clark Hotel if anyone is in the area. It's a lovely B&B in a great little town. Last time we were there, the hotel owner clued us in to the chimney swifts and their sundown behavior--it was awesome to watch. Stay tunes to this channel for news and photos when we return......