Rainy Day Diversion

I decided to shift gears a bit this week and try something new. After posting my video updating the progress made on my Christmas Countdown Collection spin, I decided to finally try making my own stitch/row markers for my knitting/crochet projects.

A rainy day project, followed by a backyard stroll was just what I needed to refresh my emotional state of being.

When plans get derailed, it is good to find a replacement, and video blogging has really helped 2020 seem less glum. Every week I learn new things with the video editing. It has been a wonderful way to beat back feelings of stagnation.

If you haven’t kept up with my current spinning project, this is the latest video.

Things a Challenge Taught Me Today

Challenges can be good for a person. Self-imposed challenges can push us out of our comfort zones and teach us new things about ourselves.

Today I learned four things from a challenge:

  • Doing two hard challenges back-to-back is a bit foolish.


  • I really don’t like making bouclé yarn.


  • My family is very patient with me.


  • I am pretty sure I need some rest.



Spinning in Nature

Every year I participate in an event called Tour de Fleece. I challenge myself to spin every day and to try a few new spinning techniques.

This year I took on a new challenge – video record the journey.

Today I was able to spin with the birds for company. It was a lovely way to begin my day – wet feet, tall grass, and singing birds.

Spinning: A Lesson in Quality not Quantity

I decided to participate in Spinzilla 2014. When I signed up I thought it would be a week full of fiber, documentaries, and miles of yarn produced by my fingers and the power of my feet. I set a lofty goal of competing against last years ‘most yarn spun’ winner; a goal that was manageable if I remained dedicated to the task.

I envisioned hours of listening to my TV enlighten me about historical people and events while I spun brightly colored clouds of wool into sleek strands of yarn. The only thing that would prevent me from making miles of wool yarn was my own battle with fatigue. I was enticed by the thought of competing to win, something I seldom allowed myself to do physically since the fibromyalgia made itself known. I knew this would be a challenge – my challenge. Years ago I held notions of competing to win, but running was the center of that dream. Life, some good and some bad, interfered with pursuing such notions. I learned to enjoy the ride, not the speed in which I made the journey.

Spinning wool into yarn has been my therapy, and my joy. My feet no longer travel miles of asphalt, but they do propel me through miles of yarn. Whereas other exercises exhaust me after minutes, spinning can go on for hours without creating the fibro fatigue or fog so common with exercise. When I push it, I do get stiff, but it is a stiffness from activity and not from the fibromyalgia. This in itself is a blessing.

The week of Spinzilla began not as I expected, rather as unexpected as I could have imagined. A family emergency cost me most of the first day. Unexpected company, delightful company but unexpected, took up most of the third day, and fatigue coupled with a personal commitment dominated the fifth day. It was on that day that I finally decided that quality time with friends and family was more important than the miles of yarn I could produce. It was not a great epiphany, not earthshattering or new, but a simple quiet reminder that more fun could be had by enjoying the ride than in competing for a prize. With this renewed commitment to quality in life, I decided to join a group of spinners at the Denver Art Museum (DAM) for a massive spin-in demonstration on the seventh and final day of Spinzilla.

Typically I avoid crowds, particularly crowds where socialization is expected. Challenging myself to spin miles of yarn is easy compared to the challenge of overcoming a deep feeling of social fear and awkwardness, a fear which has increased rather than decreased with age and accomplishment. My husband, a.k.a. my spinning pit crew for an event that will require the transport of a wheel and other assorted supplies, encouraged me to embark on this challenge. Not much of a social butterfly himself but not from anxiety, rather by choice, my husband gently persuaded me to try something new; something I longed to do but from which I held myself back. He reminded me that my college’s moto, and something I try to live by, is Vita Abundantior, life more abundant.

There is little I can do to adjust the quantity of life which I get to live, but there are endless ways in which I can increase the quality of that time. All I have to do is make an effort and embrace the opportunities presented on my journey. The drive time and Spinzilla at the DAM will not aid me in the accumulation of yarn miles, but it will add quality to my life, and despite my anxieties I suspect I will have loads of fun.

Spinzilla 2014



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Back to School

A new year and four new classes on military and diplomatic history. As a new way to ensure mobility rather than atrophy due to the endless hours at the computer, my kids and I plop down in front of the TV and watch history documentaries and lectures.  So how you might ask does that help avoid the atrophy?  Well by spinning yarn of course!

Last semester I survived four classes but my spinning suffered. This semester I intend to find a better balance. So far it is working quite well, but the challenge will come as the four term papers come due.

I am currently spinning singles for my daughter to use in weaving projects.


A good day to dye… fiber

Dying with ammonia is not nearly as pleasant as dying with vinegar, but cotton and bamboo are not as dye friendly as wool.  Spilling a vinegar dye on my arm isn’t such a great concern.  It will wash off if I get to it fast enough.  It seems the blue ammonia based dye I mixed up to dye a shirt for my husband, simply won’t scrub off, no matter how quick my response is.

Oh and the smell….