Friday, August 17, 2018

Fiber Arts Friday: Fiber Celebration 2019, part 1

Now that the County Fair is complete, I started thinking about the Northern Colorado Weavers Guild's Fiber Celebration.

I've been interested in entering this competition since the first time I saw their show in 2014.

I think the mitts I have planned will be a good candidate.

Since the prospectus won't be out for a bit, I put together a plan based on previous deadlines for the show.  I expect the submission deadline to be about February 15th, 2019 and photos of the work will be required.  So that means I need to be complete, washed and blocked well-before then.

As of 8/5/18: I have 27 weeks until the estimated submission date... and 8.5 ounces of gold to spin, 2 ounces of black to card and spin, and two mitts to knit using a technique I've never used before.  Piece of cake, right?

Being the Program Manager that I am, I put together a weekly plan with goals and progress tracking, working backward from the submission date.


If I spin an average of 3/4 oz each week, I should finish spinning by the end of Thanksgiving weekend, which will give me two months to knit two mittens.

This all seems reasonable.

I started by setting aside a 3/4 oz portion so I had a clear measure for how I was doing during the week.


Now that I'm a week and a half into my plan, I'm doing well.  I spun 1 ounce last week and am on track for this week.


I decided it was time to start a new single, so I caked Single #5 at 1-1/8 oz, and started single #6.


At the moment, my status is:
  • 3-7/8 oz in singles
  • 2 oz complete
  • 5-7/8 oz spun total
  • 7-1/8 oz remaining

Happy Fiber Arts Friday!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

A New Lead

Our friends at Windy Pine Cane Corso make beautiful show leads.  Hubba surprised me for Christmas by commissioning one.

Bonnie chose the beads and colors.  She made the lead thicker and shorter, since my dogs are bigger and taller than hers.


The bead is in the perfect location to weigh the lead out of the way during the standing portions, and to aid in handling during the movement portions.


It's beautiful.  The colors are perfect.  I love it so much.  swoon.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Fiber Arts Friday: County Fair Results, 2018

As mentioned last week, I dropped my opposite Tibetan Mastiff skein off at the county fair on Tuesday,  Judging started on Wednesday morning.

All entries at the drop off.
My skein is on top of the pile in the back, at the center.

Judging is open to the public, but I have yet to be able to fit observing in my schedule.  I think I could learn a lot by listening to the judges discussion.

When I'm waiting for the results my insecurities comes out, especially since I've had good success before... Was the yarn good enough?  Did I mess up any of the presentation requirements?  Did the judges like my yarn?  There were a lot of good entries this year...


I was delighted to find it on the wall.... second skein from the right.


No ribbons, but a special award for "Outstanding Spinning Exhibit"  from The Laughing Lamb, which is a new local shop that I didn't know about.... who is moving out of state at the end of the month.  Boo.


Sadly, there weren't any comments other than hoping to see the final mitts.

The stewards asked me how I got the Tibetan Mastiff fur.  So I of course I talked to them about Gunnar and showed them the photos I've shared over the last few weeks.  They did say that the judge kept coming back to my yarn and that they learned a lot while judging it.

Happy Fiber Arts Friday!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Things That Work: HP 48SX

When I was in college, a new and improved, fancy, scientific, calculator came out... and I had the opportunity to buy a great, used one from a friend.... The HP 48SX.

That was about 25 years ago.


This afternoon, the screen started to fail.  :-(

That vertical line isn't supposed to be there.  :-(

It will be a sad day when this baby goes dark.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Dog Show: Denver Cluster, 2018

Back in Februrary, Gunnar and I entered the Denver Cluster Dog Shows.


Although the "cluster" broke up a couple of years ago, the three kennel clubs now hold their shows at two different venues, but still on the same weekend.

It's a 5-day event the weekend after Westminster, in February.


The first 3 shows were held at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds which is a very nice, although small venue.


The last 2 shows were held a the National Western Complex which is a large venue with a long history.  This venue will be undergoing renovations in the coming years.


Over the five shows, Gunnar was awarded Best of Breed three times and Select twice, as well as Best Owner-Handled all five days and an Owner-Handled Group 4 one day.

The OH Group placement was a huge accomplishment since Gunnar prefers socializing with his fans over being in the ring.


A news photographer took some amazing photos of Gunnar.

courtesy: Helen Richardson

With the winter weather turning bad, we did not stay for the group competition on the last day.  But the next day was gloriously beautiful... as is typical in Colorado. :-)


I enjoy the shows at the National Western Complex immensely.  There is a significant attendance by the general public, which means I have the opportunity to educate a lot of people about Tibetan Mastiffs.

We learned there is a couple that come to that show every year with the expressed purpose of seeing Gunnar.

We also learned that another couple got a Tibetan Mastiff from Gunnar's breeder because they saw his joyful greeting ringside the first time we attended this event.

I have a few more posts to catch up with from the winter.... we'll see how it goes.  ;-)

Friday, August 3, 2018

Fiber Arts Friday: Tour de Fleece 2018, part 5

I started the last few days of the 2018 Tour de Fleece with about 9 oz of prepared fiber remaining.

This week is all about single #4 and getting my finished yarn from last week to the County Fair.

Friday, July 27th

Day 19

Saturday, July 28th

Day 20

Sunday, July 29th - Last Day

Day 21

Final results

The finished yarn is 2 oz, 164 yd, 20 wpi, 3-ply.


The remaining singles weigh 7/8 oz.


The remaining prepared fiber weighs ~8 3/4 oz.


Which means I spun 1 5/8 oz of very fine yarn during the Tour de Fleece.

I was hoping this bag would look more empty at the end of the Tour, but at least it weighs less.  I'll be spinning this batch of Tibetan Mastiff for a while to come. ;-)


Gunnar says great!  He's making more!  ;-)

Tuesday, July 31st - County Fair Check-in
I dropped the finished yarn at the County Fair.  Mine is on top of the pile in the center toward the back.

County Fair Entries for Spinning

Judging began on Wednesday morning.  Hubba and I will be heading over sometime this weekend to see the results.  *fingers crossed*

Epilogue
I was surprised to learn that some people don't have much dog hair to spin.

Of course I realize not everyone has large double-coated dogs in their life, but for a group of Chiengora spinners, I found it surprising.  So I offered two 4-oz packages of washed Tibetan Mastiff as prizes.  They will be heading to their new homes soon.


I enjoyed having more time to spin this year, it was very nice being able to see that the bobbins look different each day... a good measure of progress... It feels good to see progress.  This was a productive Tour de Fleece for me.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Fiber Arts Friday: Tour de Fleece 2018, part 4

I started this week with ~ 9 1/4 oz to go.

Friday, July 20th

Day 13

Saturday, July 21st

Day 14

Sunday, July 22nd


Day 15

Monday, July 23rd - Rest

Tuesday, July 24th

Day 16

Wednesday, July 25th - Challenge

When I embarked upon this tour, I thought that my challenge should be to ply everything that has been spun thus far.

The idea being that I could ensure the yarn planned for the county fair entry was completed in plenty of time to wash and dry.  The drop off window is 1 week from yesterday.


So this morning I caked the third single.  The largest cake was spun prior to the TdF starting.  The second cake was made last week and the top was from this morning.

plying clockwise

It's been several weeks since I broke my index finger, so I've been using the splint less frequently.  This morning was the first time I used my index finger for spinning since it was broken.  It was quite nice being able to use it. :-)



Not only did I begin plying this morning, but I finished plying as well.  I used up both of the smaller cakes.  There is about 3/8 oz left on the largest cake... and about 9 oz of prepared fiber still to spin.


Skein #1 = ~2 oz, 20 wpi, 164 yds

Thursday, July 26th

Began single #4... started in the correct, counter-clockwise, opposite direction.

Day 18

With just a few days remaining in this year's Tour de Fleece and the Fair drop-off window on Tuesday, it feels great having my entry just about ready to go.

Happy Fiber Arts Friday!