Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Rose Path for the Solstice....

You know the kind of rosepath I mean:
Years ago Margaret Windeknecht did a workshop for our guild based on the above monograph.  I did not yet have a workshop loom so I borrowed a table loom that had been sitting in someone's basement for years.  Uhm...that loom was not worth the powder to blow it to ....well you know where...and I was a very unsuccessful workshop participant.  Margaret was so kind and I felt so bad to not really be able to take advantage of her generous sharing  that I promised I would work my way through this booklet.  I have not done so systematically.  But in fits and starts I have played around with her thinking on the motif.

Then came Lisa Hill's workshop this past April (whoops..I never did a good blog post about that.) This month I started looking through my notes and samples from the workshop and decided to test myself to see if I really understood her concepts on deflected double weave.  Hence the Rosepath motif put into deflected double weave. So I've been standing on the shoulders of two great weaving teachers at one time:
In the process I achieved another objective of cleaning out my yarns and such for the winter solstice.  Of course, this only used up two little, miserable orphan hanks of a mohair-linen yarn, (yeah...I know: mohair and linen?!  The result of stopping at a yarn store while traveling and trying to find something..anything that I didn't already have.)  So that is the red pattern yarn.  The ground yarn is 8/2 tencel and the quantity involved did not make a dent in the inventory.

At the current rate of usage, I don't think there are enough solstices remaining in my life to use up the yarns on my shelves.  Must weave faster (and smarter), I think.

I know from experience that brushed mohair yarns in the warp are a weaver's folly...and yet I threw caution to the winds.  The cost was to clear every single mohair shed manually.  But it did come out quite nice in the end with surprisingly few repairs required.

Actually, there has been a flurry of finishing around here as the solstice approached:
A third orange hat (pattern heavily modified and modeled for this photo on a sour dough pretzel jar, which also works pretty well for blocking hats) with a pair of scrunchie hand warmers to go with.  Actually, there were a total of three pairs of Scrunchie Handwarmers in this yarn because one skein made 3 two skeins made 6 mitts...or three pairs: two gifts and one for me.  I should add that no two of the mitts were alike, tho' all 6 of the mitts were fraternal.  And now we are done with the higher math of mitts.

There were two other orange hats this fall for the males in the household:

The hat on the right is knit from this pattern and the one on the left from this one.
 The fourth hat of the season is double thickness, knit in Elizabeth Zimmerman fashion from Cascade Heritage Paints yarn  color 9824.  This is for DS.  I knit the same hat for DH earlier this year in a different colorway which is in this post:

And a fifth hat has been completed, but it's a surprise.  So you'll have to wait until after gift giving season for a photo of that.  Hmmm...I have knit a lot of hats this year.  Hats don't use up that much yarn....

One more finished item to share are these socks:
Despite that photo, they are complete, have been worn and are in the laundry.  You'll have to trust me on this.  That yarn....has probably been in my stash for about 20 years.  And again...socks don't use up that much yarn.

So now we know:
My solstice theme has been to finish things that use up yarns from the stash.  And I have found ways to defeat myself by completing projects that use the smallest amounts of yarns (and in weaving) in the slowest means possible.  Clearly I need to work on goal setting.

Wishing all those who have stopped by the very best of the holiday season and may 2015 bring much health, wealth, and happiness into your lives.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Recent Reading

Like many of you, we are under the weather here.  And so winter begins, one month early.  This is the perfect season to take refuge in a good book.  And I've been fortunate to find that in a few good titles recently. 

First up is Baker Towers by Jennifer Haigh.  In this book, the author does for southwestern Pa. coal country what Richard Russo did for upstate N.Y./ New England mill towns in his book Empire Falls.

Located in  Bakerton, Pa. (aka West Carroll) during the 50's & 60's, the author does a very authentic job of capturing those small towns in that time period.  It's an area I'm familiar with.  The story of the Novak family could be one of many families in that place and time.  Men go underground in the mine or off to war while the women are left to sustain themselves and their families.  The family members struggle to adapt to changing economic realities as jobs disappear and education assumes greater importance.

There are a couple  technical glitches. For example she sites a young man with a transistor radio in Washington, D.C. the week of the D-Day invasion in 1944. Transistors weren't developed until 1947 and weren't commercially available in radios until the mid 1950's.  And there is mention of an eye procedure that starts out as radiation treatment in the 1950's (believable) which somehow flips to a laser treatment (not possible for that time period) in the story.  But I attribute those glitches to a poor editor and give high marks to the author for giving us a great family saga.

Next is Moonlight on Linoleum by Terry Helwig.  This is a memoir that I picked up after reading Sue Monk Kid's The Invention of Wings, which I also recommend.  The two authors are friends and Kidd encouraged Helwig to put her story in writing. 

It is a memoir about growing up as the oldest daughter of a young, unstable mother. The story is reminiscent of Jeanette Walls' memoir, The Glass Castle, but is much more believable because the writing is less fantastic. At the same time, Helwig uses language and metaphor to communicate the depth and breadth of feelings she experienced at the hand of a mother she loved but could not trust.

I won't go into the details of her story, but it is a story worth reading. And as I reflect on some of the children that moved in and out of my elementary schools in small town in the '60's, I suspect that aspects of her story are more common than many of us would like to believe.

The third book is also nonfiction: Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Biss  In this brief and beautifully written book Eula Biss explores the meaning and significance of the concepts of inoculation and immunity in the individual and society. Each chapter is written as an essay on various aspects of the topic. It is not presented as technical/scientific information, though there is no paucity of facts in the text. Ten pages of sources and citations at the back of the book are interesting reading by themselves.

Through facts, myths, and metaphor the author points out the importance of  a larger understanding of important concepts.  She explores how we integrate information into our systems of thought, hence the subtitle: "an inoculation".  The result is an attempt to inoculate the reader against quick assumptions based on poorly researched facts and an awareness of the impact of metaphorical language on our impressions, opinions, and ultimately our world view.

One of my favorite quotes in the book is on p. 128 citing George Orwell's observation that thought can corrupt language and language can corrupt thought:
"Stale metaphors reproduce stale thinking. Mixed metaphors confuse. And metaphors flow in two directions - thinking about one thing in terms of another can illuminate or obscure both. If our sense of bodily vulnerability can pollute our politics, then our sense of political powerlessness must inform how we treat our bodies."

Through this book, Ms. Biss effectively demonstrates the value of the study of humanities in a world that is currently dominated by technology and sound bites. Kudos to her.

So that's the book list.  And in case you missed it this week, here's a link to Ursula Le Guin's speech at the National Book Awards:  Ursula Le Guin Steals the Show 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Seasonal Items

It seems that 2014 has been the year of the hat in my knitting life.  These two were knitted this week:

The hat on the right is the Able Cable hat and the hat on the left is the Jacques Cousteau hat.The yarn is Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride in worsted weight.  The color is Orange You Glad.

And there is some weaving finished:

This is the fabric right off the loom.

Here it is after wet finishing and pressing.  Uhm...there wasn't that much shrinkage.  Guess I should have put the coin in to show scale in both photo's.  But it does show how the natural colored polyflax yarn settled into the fabric.

This piece is a table runner:
The fabric is reversible.
There are 6 placemats to go with the runner which are waiting to be hemmed.  Black thread, short hours of daylight...sigh.

Right now the looms are naked.  So I guess I'll be putting on some warps this weekend.
Hope you can spend the weekend doing just what you want to do.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Just hanging around...

Something like this:
This little guy was hanging out right above where a park my car when it turned cold last week...around the same time that we set our clocks back.  But I doubt that turning the human clocks had anything to do with his own internal clock.  This past Monday was warmer and he has moved on, hopefully to a more suitable place to spend the winter.

There has been some finishing:
This is another prayer shawl that I will turn in at the prayer shawl ministry tonight.  Project details are at the link.  There are other things that are almost finished, but not quite.  So pictures later......

Books...There has been a lot of reading accomplished in the past few weeks.  Here are some I recommend:

The History of Rain by Niall Williams
This is one of those books that when I finished it I wanted to start over and read it again.  The narrator of the story is plain Ruth Swain, a 19 year old woman who is confined to the attic room in her family home after contracting a debilitating blood disease in her first semester at college.
The story is set in a small fictional Irish town named Faha, situated at the mouth of a river and where it continually rains.  I've tried writing a review, and can't seem to give the story justice.  So I will send you to this Guardian Review.  Though I recognize that this book may not be for everyone, I loved it and will definitely read it again.

Next on my list is The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell.  This British author is generally known for "chic lit" but in this story she deviates somewhat.  The story revolves around Lorelei Bird, the matriarch of the Bird family.  We move back and forth in time over a span of around 30 years with the Bird family which consists of:  the father, Colin, a university lecturer;  two daughters, Megan and Bethan; twin sons, Rory and Rhys; and of course Lorelei who is a hoarder.  The highlight of each year is the Easter Egg hunt which Lorelei orchestrates at first in a whimsical fashion, then over the years devolves into the obsessive behavior that characterizes her entire life.
The story is insightful and engrossing as we watch the family crumble under the weight of Lorelei's possessions.  There is guilt, anger, adultery, suicide, and ultimately reconciliation as the family digs their way through the mountain of possessions left in Lorelei's wake.
Best of all....that honey colored house they grew up in is in a lovely village in the Cotswolds.

For the next selection, it's back to the Irish, but now they are in Brooklyn for Alice McDermott's Someone: A Novel.  Marie Commeford narrates the story of her Irish Catholic family in Brooklyn, starting with her childhood in the 1930's.  As Marie tells her story, there is the continuing theme that we all experience disappointments and are knocked down by circumstances, but then along comes someone who helps us back to our feet, dusts us off, and enables us to move on.  The story is told in snapshots as Marie filters through her memory. Compassion and humor braided through this story of a very extraordinary ordinary woman.

So there you go...three books to get you through these dark, late autumn days.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Challenging times....

Sorry for the long radio silence.  The times have been challenging around here and not likely to change very soon.  2014 is not likely to go down as one of my favorite years.

Anyway, there has been knitting:

A baby sweater for a new grand-niece.  The pattern is Beribboned Eyelets by Rowena Hill. 

I keep saying that I'm done knitting for the grand nieces and nephews...and then I do it again.  The reality is this:  All of the child rearing guidelines have gotten so crazy that I don't know if buttons on a cardigan are appreciated.  Or if eyelets on a sweater precludes the use of said sweater.  Or even if a hand knit item is appreciated.  They are all geographically scattered so I don't see them in use and photo's have not been sent.  So this may be the last one.
Until the next time.

And a quick hat:

For a friend who was startlingly diagnosed with a brain tumor, reminding us all again that life can turn on a dime.  Fortunately her surgery went well and she reports that she is making progress daily.  She requested red and not wool.  So you can see that it is RED.  The pattern is Double Double Cloche and I promptly drove through Tim Horton's after I popped it in the mail.  But I drink it double doubles for me.

There has been weaving as well, but no photo's.  Save that for another day.

I'll leave you with some Pure Michigan Autumn:

The next to last one reminds me of several Robert Frost poems......

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

jumping back in with ToT

Somewhere in there I've lost a month and a little blogging mojo went missing as well.  I've been thinking about writing a couple of posts, one about weaving and the other about books.  Since Carole's Ten on Tuesday is about books, that seems like the perfect place to jump in.

The assignment is to list 10 books that have stayed with you long after you've read them. 
(The links are LibraryThing links)  My ten are in no particular oder.  They are just books that I sometimes find myself thinking about every now and then.

1.  Evidence of Things Unseen by Marianne Wiggins This story about love and relationships takes place in the time between World Wars I & II in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee to the shore of North Carolina.  The language and imagery is beautiful even in the ugly parts of the story.

2. Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden is a story about two Canadian Cree youths who go off to fight in France in WWI.  The story is told from two viewpoints: Xavier, one of the youths and Niska, the aunt who raised him in the Canadian bush in the early part of the twentieth century.  This is an astonishingly well written novel that takes the reader into the Canadian bush and the experiences of first nations people as well as into the trenches in France.  It was a book I could not put down and continue to think about after first reading it in 2009.

3. Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson (or anything by Per Petterson, for that matter).
This is a beautifully written story about the coming of age of a 15 year  old boy in post-WWII Norway and later, his 67 year old self coming to terms with the loss of his father and his innocence 52 years before.  Trond retires to a cabin in the woods by a lake 3 years after losing his wife in a tragic accident and his sister to cancer.  His motivation for this retreat is unveiled as he chronicles his hours in the remote location and recalls the summer of 1948 in a similar location.
The story moves back and forth in time and narrative often winds back on itself, repeating lines and phrases to reveal deeper meanings.  One such line is when Trond's father tells him "you decide when it hurts."  What he doesn't tell him is that you can't get away from the hurt altogether.  It will surface, if not now then later.

4. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.  A beautifully written story about hope and despair in 1970's India.  The scale of the story involving four main characters is sweeping.  The plot development and characterizations made me think of the author as a contemporary, Indian Dickens (now there's an image!).  Is there a balance between hope and despair?  Only in the indomitable spirit of some of the characters.

5. The Vagrants by Yiyun Li This novel is set in a small city created as a Communist outpost settlement during the Cultural Revolution.  The time of the novel is 1979, when the Communist party was turning away from Mao and the revolution, yet still holding a tight grip on the lives of the people.
The critical event in the novel is the execution of Shan Gu...a 27 year old woman who was once a fervent supporter of the cultural revolution then began to think differently and wrote against it in letters to a lover who betrayed her.  Hence her execution as a counter revolutionary.
The author creates the story by braiding the strands of several lives in this small town  which are connected through the life and actions of Shan Gu.
There are many themes here: personal and political, moral ambiguity, love and betrayal, what makes a family. 
The book is beautifully written.  One must read to the end to begin to understand the title.

6. The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt: This is an epic piece about the Wellwood family and their contemporaries in England during the last decades of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.  It's a heavily populated novel and I found that I had to create a list of characters at the beginning of the book to help me keep it straight.  Yet long after reading it, I find myself still thinking about some of the characters. This was a time of huge political, technological, and social changes and A.S. Byatt is the perfect author for researching and accurately including her research in the story.  There is Fabianism, the building of the Victoria & Albert Musem, the Paris Exposition....and the list goes on.  The story is cloaked in fairy tales as a reflection of the era...Peter Pan, Wind in the Willows.  I learned so much that I didn't know about this time period when I read this book in 2010 that I recently decided to read Barbara Tuchman's Proud Tower in order to learn more and gain a better understanding.

7.  The Geography of Bliss:  One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World by Eric Weiner  This book is an entertaining journey from beginning to end.  Eric Weiner uses his experience as a foreign correspondent to explore happiness, a topic not often in the news.  With the help of social science research, he sets out to explore those areas which contain populations identified as happy.  For balance he throws in Moldova, a country identified as one of the unhappiest places in the world.
Weiner sprinkles his narrative with social science, history, politics, economics, and even a bit of cultural anthropology.  This  makes for interesting reading.  He not only observes but interacts with the locals and he often finds an expatriate to give the unique perspective of someone from the outside who is  inside the culture.  His unique perspective on what he observes is quirky and entertaining.

8. Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett  This is a memoir of the author's friendship with Lucy Grealy who was left with facial deformities after being treated for cancer of the jaw at the age of 9.  Ann was aware of Lucy when they both attended Sarah Lawrence College, but became friends when they attended the Iowa Writers Workshop.  The story raises a lot of questions about physical appearance and its impact on destiny and psychic pain and the trauma experienced by survivors of severe childhood illnesses.  Ann Patchett revisits this topic and the reactions to Truth & Beauty in her recent book This is the Story of a Happy Marriage.

9. Love and Summer by William Trevor  This was the first of William Trevor's writing that I read.  The Story of Lucy Gault received more attention, but I liked this one better.  This story of love, loss, relationships, and imagination is sparely written with volumes left between the lines.  I am still astounded at how an author can intimately capture and convey a small town like Rathmoye, the relationships between brother and sister, husband and wife, and even strangers to town with so few words in a plot driven story.

10. Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood  Is the story of Elaine Risley, who grew up in Toronto right after WWII. She returns as an established feminist artist, for a retrospective of her work. Returning to Toronto brings up many childhood issues. As a young girl, she was in a difficult bullying situation, which still haunts her.  The story is told of the three girls involved in the bullying relationship and their mothers at that time.  The narrative covers a variety of themes; gender roles; art; the quirks of memory; aging and sexuality. The characters are well drawn and the writing is excellent.  If bullying among 10 year old girls doesn't interest you, then read what adult women will do in The Robber Bride.

And if you've read this far....that's my ToT...soon I will post more about weaving.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

It's done...

In time for her surgery next week:

Here's the full spread:
The yarn is Cascade's Ultra Pima Cotton.  It was a lovely yarn to work with and should be easy care for the recipient.

Monday, July 21, 2014

So warped.....

That would be me, of course.  Four warps all ready to go, pregnant with possibilities.

First up is a rep weave warp on the table loom:

 I'm taking a workshop with Rosalie Nielson at MLH workshops next month so the warp is (finally) wound onto the back beam.  I say finally because it seemed I had to change plans every step of the way.  First there wasn't enough contrast yarn, remedied by a trip to the weaving shop.  Then I realized that I needed more warp threads since I'm using 5/2 instead of 3/2 perle cotton.  That prompted a count of the heddles to learned that I was short about 70 heddles.  So got online and ordered those.  Those arrived shortly  (thank you The Woolery)  and have been installed.  Now I just need to sit down and thread the heddles.  We're not to tie on until we get to class.  (How many things can happen to a warp in transit that isn't tied to the front beam?....I'll let you know.)

Next up, another placemat warp for DS, in his requested colors:

 I pulled in the sett a little bit from the previous placemats and added a couple of repeats.  Above, you can see that I played around with tie-ups and treadling.  But he wants them patterned all over, like the other ones.   There's a lot of warp on there, so once his are done, I'll play around some more.

 Remember this experiment  in horizontal pleats from the last post?
 Well there is still a lot of warp left on the loom and I think I have an idea......

The last warp is for cardweaving:
 Michigan Weavers put out a challenge for our summer hiatus.  Those who want to participate picked a sealed envelope with a photo for inspiration.  We can use whatever elements we like from the photo to create something to bring to the September meeting.  I started with did I do?  (That goofy little circle with a tail are my warp yarns.)
If I had decided to do inkle weaving, it would be easy to use the Easter Island statues as a design element too.  Not so easy with card weaving.  We'll see, but the warp is set up for diagonals.  I guess that rock in the foreground can be a diagonal.

 Last for this post, but certainly first on my list to finish, is another prayer shawl:
 Usually I don't know who the prayer shawls are going to when I knit them.  But this is for a friend who was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer two weeks ago.  I would like to get it finished before her surgery next week.   Pattern and yarn details are here.
That pretty much sums up the fiber activity for July.

It's been awhile since I've done a book post.  Maybe I'll get to that in a week or so. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Just playing around....

The plants from the last post are in the ground and pretty well established.  Some traveling and some housecleaning have been accomplished and now it's time for play.

First  up is this bag:
The fabric is from the workshop I took with Sara Lamb back in 2011 so perhaps it looks familiar.
I found the directions for the Triangular Bag at Between the Lines.  It calls for a fabric three times as long as it is wide and that was exactly what I a little left over for the handle.  I lined it with some poplin that was languishing in a drawer.  A fun little bag for carrying around projects.

Then earlier this month I bought the new book Woven Textile Design by Jan Shenton.  For me the book is a fresh approach to designing woven textiles, mostly because I've been immersed in weave structures...drafts, tie-ups, treadling sequences.  So I was in need of a broader perspective.  Toward the back of the book there is a whole section on textured cloth including a section on making horizontal pleats.  So I've been sampling:

It's essentially double weave.  The ground cloth is plain weave on two shafts and the pleat cloth is threaded as a straight draw on 6 shafts.  I'm using the second warp beam for the pleat warp....I can't imagine doing this without a second warp beam, but I'm sure some determined soul could probably do it.  The fun part is that all of the 6 shaft twills and satin structures are available for the pleat fabric.  All of the yarns are 8/2 rayon. 

I'm not sure what practical use this fabric will be.  It depends on how it washes up.  But is sure has been fun to play with. 

I hope you are having as much summer fun!

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Late start....

This is why I have been procrastinating about getting to the plant nursery this year:

That's the trunk of my car....all filled up.  I just needed a couple of things to fill in some bare spots.  But apparently I have no self control when I start picking out companion plantings.  I really did contemplate not doing anything at all this year....just sit back and rest on my laurels (well, perennials...laurel doesn't grow in Michigan.)

It didn't help when the lady at the counter said, "You know it would be cheaper if you just got one more tray to finish a flat.  And if you get one more 4" pot it will only cost you a dollar because they are 5 for..."  Oh, and of course she said, "Wow you are going to have beautiful garden!"  Yeah, well rabbits and deer notwithstanding.

To be fair, most of the stuff on the left hand side are culinary herbs.  And I did my own bit of enabling there.  While picking out my herbs, there was a gentleman in a sport coat (probably on his lunch hour) picking out tubs of basil, mint, and parsley.  Then he started eyeing what I was picking I said to him,  "You can't buy all of those culinary herbs and not take home some of this French thyme.  Here...smell it."  Ha...he bought four 4" pots. 

Today was what the Scots would call a "soft day" so I sat all of this on the patio to soak up the rain.  I'm hoping for fair weather tomorrow to get all this stuff either in the ground or in the pots intended for them. 
Shhhh....Don't tell the deer...or the rabbits....

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My checkered past....

Theresa's comment in the last post was the perfect segue to this post that was already in draft form.  Thanks Theresa!  (Have you been peeking in my windows?)

Back in April our guild had a workshop with Lisa Hill.   I still have to post some photo's and thoughts from that workshop, but here's quick taster:
 Lisa had a draft that she had woven in several iterations that intrigued me to no end.  It is essentially three layers of cloth that intersect the planes of the other layers at regular intervals.  The project below was done on 8 shafts with 8 treadles.  If I didn't want to have plain weave edges, it could have been woven on 6 shafts.  Magic!!

I decided I wanted to use the draft to weave some placemats for our new kitchen table.

Here's what they looked like on the loom...(see the checks!?)

And they are completely reversible:

Here's the set of 4 with one turned back to so  you can see the reverse side:

 The placemats have been wet finished.  If you click for a bigger photo you can see how the yarns filled in from the top two photos.  The yarns are mainly 5/2 perle cotton with a polyflax mill end (similar to 8/2's cotton) in the flax color.

I wove a sampler to help me make some decisions putting on the whole placemat warp.
What I learned from this narrow sampler: 
  • I learned that to take all three weft yarns to the edge selvedge was going to make placemats with ripply edges.  So I decided that the middle layer of cloth would have an interior selvedge as we had learned in Lisa's workshop.
  • As a result of the sample, the yarns were swapped about.  The flax colored yarn became the "base fabric".
  • I also changed the numbers of threads in the various blocks and adjusted setts as well.
  • The colors just weren't' doing it for me...too green...too orange...   So instead of using green as warp and weft, a dark turquoise was used as a weft against the dark green. 
  • The shrinkage and draw in on the sampler made for more accurate placemat measurements.
  • And the sampler helped me decide on hem treatments.
Let's just say that I am a fan of sampling.  It makes for much better finished products.

Speaking of finishing....

See that funny yellow needle above?  It is perfect for darning in yarn ends and correcting weaving errors!  The plastic is slightly flexible, so it doesn't split yarns or damage the cloth when needle weaving.  And the whole needle is an "eye", so if you have a short thread to weave in, just weave the needle where you want it, then slip the short end through the slotted needle and pull it through.  They are made by Dritz, come in a package with 1 each of 5 different sizes and can be found in the knitting section of your local hobby store.

So there you have recent checkered past....

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Woman With A Colorful Past....

I've always liked that phrase.  But it's not one that applies to past is pretty beige.  But I do have a colorful present:

A finished pair of colorful socks knit from Regia BlitzColor.  There isn't really a bulge in my seems to be an optical effect of the stripes at that angle.  Sock selfies are hard to do.

And here's a rainbow of color in the Antarktis shawl pattern:

The yarn is Shoppel-Wolle Lace Ball and only used half of the ball.  I will most likely wear it like this:

There has also been some colorful spinning:
 This is ~1100 yds. for 5.5 oz. of 2 ply lace weight yarn spun from 50/50 merino tencel roving dyed by Yarn Hollow in the Sun Salutations colorway.  My intention is to use this for weaving.
As I was assembling this stuff, I noticed that orange keeps popping up in my projects in the last little while.  Don't know what that's about.

While I was wet finishing the above skein, I was reminded of two other hanks of handspun that were less that inspiring in their colors.  No before pictures, but here they are after a trip through the dyepots:
 The skein on the left is about 2.5 oz & ~650 yds of merino wool that started out as a motlled mishmash of colors that read as drab brown from a distance.  It went through a "tangerine" dyebath and came out okay. 

The skein on the right started out as a mottled sage green and is ~1000 yds. @ 3.5 oz., also merino wool.  It went through a "marine blue" dye bath. 

Again, these skeins will probably be incorporated into weaving.

So ....that's my colorful recent past!