Sunday, July 12, 2015

Mad dash

410 yards of bright green Border Leicester was my first spin of the Tour

Tour de Fleece is the mad dash of the spinning world--a three week frenzy of spinning wool into yarn preceded by a long build up period where people join virtual teams and set goals. Goal setting is basically showing pictures of all the fiber you plan to spin. Set to the Tour de France, spinners from around the world started turning their wheels last Saturday, July 3.

Now, I'm working on super bulky rug yarn.

And I am among them and this time fiber prep is part of the deal. I have POUNDS of grey Romney to turn into rug yarn and carding is a part of that process. Being a super bulky yarn, it doesn't take very long to spin a carded batt. This week, I spun and plyed 410 yards of bright green Border Leicester and now I am on to spinning as much Romney, super bulky rug yarn as I can. I have 20 oz spun so far and more to go.

Hand picked fiber ready for the carder.
This is where "cardocise" comes in handy.  Spinning is a sedentary task, so adding a little cardio to the mix has been a help.  This week, I was able to get an extra two hours of heart rate in the "zone" for cardiac fitness by "picking" the fleece while on a small trampoline called a jogger or rebounder.  Picking is essentially fluffing the locks of fleece out as seen in the picture of the fiber next to the carder. Each lock of wool needs to be teased into a cloud of fluff. This job can easily be done sitting down, but adding the motion helps a lot.

200 yards of super bulky rug yarn used 20 oz of wool!
So far this week, I've lost two pounds of stash fiber, and 1.2 pounds of me. Not bad! I just have to keep "cardocising." And I have my work cut out for me with spinning this super bulky yarn. I'm having trouble making enough carded wool to keep up! 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Weight no-loss blues

 Six months into my diet when I should be making my friends jealous with how much weight I've lost and all the new clothes I have, I am right back where I started. I reversed direction about the time this photo was taken of me dyeing silk in my garage.  Below is a picture of me--I am practically square! I had planned to crop this photo to hide my extended butt, but instead I am going for truth. Anyone who knows me knows I'm shaped like a rounded square.

I go for safety gear when I dye, splash proof goggles just might save my eyes.
Sitting back in "square one" is frustrating. Do I need to tell you that? Haven't all of us struggling with weight issues faced this sudden death of resolve and re-finding of all those pounds? Isn't this the statistic we all see of people regaining all they've lost. How many times have I lost and found this same 10 pounds? I'm guessing 15 times. And we've all heard the advice--blah, blah, blah--but fat good it does us when the cookies call.

The only good thing about being obese and out-of-shape is how easy it is to get my heart rate up into the "Zone." And with this I invented:


Just today, actually, I invented a new exercise that allows me to destash AND delard. We recently rearranged the house and now I am able to put my rebounder (a bouncy exercise thing)  in the back room where the drum carder is.  Now rebounding is fairly boring all on it's own, so I got the idea I could hand pick fleece while jogging in place. I like the rebounder because it doesn't stress my joints and helps with some tendonitis in my heels. And it fits in my house the way no treadmill would.

DH stopped by and wondered if I was actually getting exercise, which annoyed me enough to make me dig out my heart rate monitor. 
Silk hankies I dyed in the above picture
I was amazed at how quickly I was able to get up into the zone. No wonder I walk so slow! Sheesh just crawling is hard work for me. I could get my heart rate up nice just moving fairly slowly.  I think if you are obese and exercising, getting a heart rate monitor is a good idea because then you know how intense you are really going. You can't compare yourself with those skinny fit people in the DVDs or at your exercise class. You can be pumping at your max while they are cruising down at nothing. I bought a Polar one and it seems to be doing a good job. Plus it calculates the burn and gives me something I can track.

So I pick raw washed wool while slowly jogging and run an occasional batt through the carder. It's definitely a win-win for me, two for the price of one, yah de yah. Now if I can just keep it up. I have plenty of fleece to pick and lots of weight to lose.  Let's see how this high fiber diet works.