Much of the past weekend was consumed with serious news from Norway, from the Washington beltway, and about the intense hot weather. At risk of seeming trivial, I note Sunday also was the conclusion of the Tour de France, and so also the Tour de Fleece. Roundabout Exit 151 there was a bit of a temperature break, so I loaded my bike trunk with my TdF loot – a total of 281 yds 2-ply fingering Blue Suede Shoes, a sample skein of pink beaded DK, an undetermined quantity of singles on the spinning spindle, a bare plying spindle, and a bottle of champagne – and ventured outside for a photo session.
My goal this year was to spin every day. I worked on the beautiful Crown Mountain Farms roving that was my incomplete 2009 TdF project. The bundle of roving is smaller now, but (slow spindler that I am) there's still plenty left unspun.
I did spin every day, although along the way I was distracted by a video on spinning beaded singles posted by dragonyady. Ordinarily I would have spun singles, added beads, and plied – simplicity – but it seemed worth at least trying the technique.
First, you use a dental floss threader to place beads on tufts of roving as if they were yarn. I used some Kool-Aid dyed Finn.
Then you spin away, adding the tufts as you go. The process is rather cumbersome on a spindle, but it locks the beads firmly in place on the singles.
The beads seemed a bit twee at first, but I started to like them – their translucency reminds me of pomegranate seeds. I decided to ply the yarn back on itself just to see if it could be done. It can, and the results are attractive enough, but it's a pain to do on a spindle. I suspect the technique is best suited for spinners who want beaded singles – I don't see myself using it very often, but I'm glad I tried it.
And I'm glad I spun along during this year's Tour de Fleece. Earlier in the year the many doping scandals had me feeling quite negative about the Tour de France. As it turned out, this year's TdFr was a compelling one and, hopefully, a clean one, but I probably wouldn't have followed it had I not been spinning along. So an extra-big merci goes to the TdFl organizers, who did a superb job as always.
There's been a break in the heat wave roundabout Exit 151. Ahhhh! Now if only Congress would turn down the temperature, tune out the spin machines, and agree on legislation to avert the ever nearer, wholly avoidable, politically manufactured, but very real threats to the domestic and global economies. But I worry that their brand of July spinning is only devolving into something stupid that will inflict grave and lasting damage. It's going to be a long week – next Tuesday, August 2, is the stated deadline for raising the federal debt limit.