Saturday, July 16, 2011

More spinning, and vacation

While our wheels were spinning today, I spun on my spindle.  This may be the biggest cop I've managed to fit onto my spindle yet.  Following are some other pictures from the last few days of the Tour de Fleece.


BFL (Blue-Faced Leicester) wool from Crown Mountain Farms, dyed Monday with Wilton's royal blue.  I tried several pictures, but none can capture the richness of the blue/purple/aqua.  Wilton's food coloring tends to break in interesting ways, which I love -- that means there is a lot of variation in the color of the end product.  This photo comes closest to capturing the color, but it's richer in real life.  Spinning this to a laceweight and I will add it to my stash of yarn for shawl knitting.
This is lovely stuff and I just had to begin it before leaving my wheel for a week.  A blended batt of merino, bamboo, and firestar sparkly stuff from Butterfly Girl Designs called "seashell."  I've been spinning every day of the Tour de Fleece, at least a little, and it's amazing how I've cleaned out some older stash.  Now I feel like I can justify getting into some of my really nice fiber.

We're in Crescent City, CA tonight on our way south.  We stopped at Mt. Angel Abbey, since Quarta and I enjoyed it so much when her 3rd grade class went there on a field trip.  There's a little self-guided tour we took, looked at the monks' cemetery, the church, then the library.  Wow, the library... I've hung out at a lot of libraries in my time, and I love illuminated manuscripts and look at them wherever I can, but I've never enountered anywhere that is so generous with sharing rare books as the Abbey library.  At the merest hint that a family stopping by on vacation would like to see the rare books, (and I did say I remembered what a wonderful presentation he had given to the third grade class) the gentleman librarian ushered us into the vault.  We saw the 13th century manuscript student's Bible, with microscopic lettering 14 lines to the inch.  We saw the book with its gilt edge painted with a lighthouse landscape when you fan the edge slightly.  We saw the incunabulum, a German Bible printed when the printing press was in its infancy, that a private collector wants for 6 figures.  And we saw the book of Hours, with the lovely paintings.  All of this probably wasted on some of the children, so I made sure to point out how these people have devoted their lives to serving God and are so generous with the blessings they have and with their time and expertise.  We felt specially privileged.  And the Abbey museum is well worth the visit too.

We stopped for a cool, wet, inside-the-car picnic lunch at Silver Falls state park, and looked at some of the overlooks and decided we needed to come back sometime for a hike.  And then we drove some more.  The new van has a 20-gallon gas tank instead of a 15-gallon one -- which means we can go a lot further on one tank, but it costs a whole lot more to refill.

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