Speeding Things Up

It’s been a while since I posted anything spinning-related but there’s definitely been progress on that front. One of my Ravelry haunts has a “Year of Silk” thread going on and I’d been actively avoiding it until I spent a few days cleaning and reorganizing the house and stumbled on the High Speed Kit I’d picked up at Village Spinning and Weaving last year. I’d bought it for spinning cotton but had already spun up quite a bit and didn’t want to change over mid-stream. So, it got put away. Until last week.

I thought it’d be a good idea to get comfortable with the flyer and bobbin before diving into a project, so I dug up the two small bits of silk leftover from a CNCH workshop I took two years ago (!), attached the new pulley to my Julia and dove in.

Wow. Just plain wow. Treadling was nearly effortless and the amount of twist just plowing it’s way into that silk was amazing! I was able to spin finely, and quickly! After a few hours, I ended up with this little beauty:

and I was hooked. Completely and totally hooked. Where had this thing BEEN all my life? That sent me marching into the storage area out in the studio to pull out the precious bits of silk I’d bought at Opulent Fibers, that same CNCH, specifically to be spun-up for weaving. Now that I had the flyer, 10oz of 20micron tussah didn’t seem like nearly the challenge it once was. Two afternoons later, I had this:

and I simply can’t stop. My grist isn’t consistent, but that’s ok – I’ve a new plan for this silk, still weaving but the layout of the warp will be different and it’ll be completely tolerant of that variance in grist. I’m going to aim for 2oz a week until these are done; and in the background I’ll do the math to see if this’ll be enough.

If not, I know where to get more.

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Hunting pace

Every runner has one. That pace where you can simply eat up the miles, cruise up and down hills, and effectively put yourself on autopilot. While mine has been getting slower over the years, it’s still nice to have a day like today – where I expected to run a sedate five miles and ended up doing eight because I’d slipped into that comfortable, seemingly effortless rhythm.

I’m lucky enough to live in a place that has a vast network of single-track trails that are exclusive to pedestrians and equestrians. These trails radiate outward from, and run parallel to, the spine of the Santa Cruz Mountains and offer a welcome respite from the frenetic pace of the valley below. Cell phones don’t generally get connectivity, the trees overhead foil GPS gadgets and the small vertical offset of the main trail muffles the whine of motorcycles racing too-fast along the highway.

So today’s run was not only a chance to enjoy the unseasonably lovely weather, it also gave me a chance to sift through the jumble of projects and activities that are all fighting for attention. A long hour purposefully spent prioritizing and working out a plan of attack for the next round of deadlines. Exactly what my body and my brain had been craving.

Tomorrow we head off for the Sierra for a last hurrah before diving into the new year. And, now that I’ve had a chance to sort things, that path forward is a bit clearer. Can’t wait to clock in another five tomorrow.

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