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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Le Tour de….Fluff?

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The Tour de France wrapped up its three weeks of endurance cycling on Sunday. For those of you outside the fibery world of Ravelry, you may not know that they hold a concurrent event called the Tour de Fleece, in which spinners pick up their spindles or sit at the wheel and endeavour to accomplish self-determined goals. Spinning…cycling….get it?

This is the third year I have participated and the most productive. The first time around coincided with the acquisition of my first spinning wheel, so I spent the time learning how to use it. We moved last year right at the beginning of the Tour, so my ability to get much accomplished was compromised. Not so for 2012! I have an unfortunate habit of biting off more than I can chew. In other words, my goals are typically out of reach, even if the planets should align and nothing else happens in my life. I thought that might be the case, but I was wrong. Ha! It happens. Understandable, since I signed up for a total of 13 teams! Just posting photos was going to be time-consuming. What was I thinking? Fortunately for my sanity, projects can count for more than one team. I took advantage of this overlap. Yes, indeed.

So without further ado, let me show you what I’ve been up to. First up, a skein of Fat Cat Knits superwash merino, bamboo, and nylon. I intended it to be sock yarn thin, but my yardage is a little short. It might make a nice scarf for a Christmas gift, maybe?

Here are two yarns from Crown Mountain Farms fibre. The gray is from the new line of semi-solids, which total 94 colours. Klaus kindly donated 4 oz. to each member of the team in our choice of colour. As usual, I had a terrible time making up my mind.

The other is a lovely, bouncy yarn, perfect for a winter hat. It was a joy to spin.

There were also spindles involved in the Tour. You wouldn’t want me to get repetitive stress injuries, would you? These four support spindles show some sample yarns in progress. I’m still learning the techniques, so my productivity is not great. However, it was fun and very portable. I enjoyed taking the spindles out to the patio during the relative coolness of the evenings.

The above are all small projects. Yes, there was a large one. I plan to write a separate post about it because it was just so darned much fun, but I’ll show you the finished yarns here.


This is just over 1000 yards of squishy loveliness! Enough, I hope, to make an actual sweater. Time will tell.

Now that the TDF is over, I’m not quite sure what to do with myself. Don’t be concerned. It won’t last.

Look Ma! They’re all dressed up!

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Phew! The heatwave has finally broken. Yes, it is still warm, but not that life-sucking heat that we’ve been experiencing for the past two weeks. We are having some very welcome rain as well. This makes me very happy and my garden even happier.

We went for a walk late yesterday afternoon downtown and came across more yarn bombing in a major downtown square. Fun! It bears the same ribbons as the one at the metro station, so I can only assume that the same people are responsible. Surprisingly, the ones I posted earlier are still intact and looking good. Infinitely preferable to spray-painted graffiti, don’t you think?

Not that the lamp posts really need scarves in these temperatures.

This one is my favourite, just for the variety of colours and textures.

‘Tis the Season

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Lest you think I’ve lost my marbles, I’m referring to that quaint military tradition of “posting season”. This is the time of year when assignments come to an end and boxes are packed to head to a new destination, a new job in a new place. Consequently, it is also the high social season of the year, with many receptions and parties held to bid farewell to those bound for new adventures. This year is no different, although we don’t happen to be moving this time around.

For George and I, the big change this year is that we aren’t at home in Canada, so new rules apply. Usually we are invited to attend a farewell party, possibly two. Okay, I’m good with that. We seem to have become part of the defence attaché community here by default, since the Canadian component was moved to Belgrade last year, and it is much larger than I ever would have imagined. The invitations just keep on arriving! In the past eleven days, we have attended four such receptions/parties. Also, two connected with national or regional celebrations (US Independence Day and the Calgary Stampede), though I have to say that we were disappointed that Canada Day celebrations were suspended due to the recent budget-cutting measures of the Canadian government. There are still three receptions to come in the next week or so.

Yes, this has necessitated shopping for new clothes. Much of what I own is ill-suited to these sort of functions, particularly in temperatures exceeding 35 C. Except for the Independence Day event, which had a dress code of jeans and cowboy boots! That I can do! And keep cooler than this poor fellow, all done up for the occasion:

I could get used to having a social life.