On tour with the ladybug

Where I work is pretty awesome. Throughout the year, they give us some bonus days off added onto various long weekends making it a super weekend (4 days) instead of the usual long weekend (3 days). This past weekend was one of these super weekends. And I used my Friday having a spin-in at a friend’s. This meant taking the ladybug on tour.

I like to say on tour cause it evokes the whole musician-with-a-gig instead the usual fairy tale associations with spinning and spinning related activities. In fact, the whole musician/instrument thing is why I chose the ladybug in the first place. That fabulous red wheel reminds me of Meg’s drum kit in this video:

I love the ladybug because it’s like I’m playing an instrument instead of whiling away the hours and supporting myself in my medieval crone’s shack, biding my time until the next maid comes along for her true love potion.

To further the whole spinning machine-as-instrument thing, I used the strap from my dad’s old guitar to help me carry the ladybug to my gig. There was the necessary amount of maniacal laughter as I gathered my things and set off down avenue Mont-Royal. I’ll have to get a picture of the wheel with strap. It’s pretty kick-ass.

Needless to say I got a certain amount of attention while walking down the street. Much more than if I was carrying a real instrument. In fact, just after crossing the street, this man came after me and asked me all about my wheel, if I taught lessons, where I got my wheel. Turns out he has a hobby farm with a couple of sheep (he showed me pictures, the baby sheep is super cute) and currently needle felts sheep with the resulting fibre. This is the longest conversation I’ve had in French for a while.

Once I got to the venue, I got myself set up, some coffee and fibre talk, then we got spinning. Well Amanda got spinning and I got drafting. Earlier in the week I had received my fibre club bump from Sweet Georgia. Almost immediately after seeing it, I knew I wanted to draft out large sections of colour from the complete roving to preserve what was there. Little did I know that it would take me all morning to do this. But draft I did. Into a HUGE mountain that was hugely tempting to the resident cats. Fortunately they are well trained to stay away from fibre when under supervision—and that the room had closing doors when the supervision was elsewhere.

We spun all day and into the evening. There was discussion of all things spinning, fibre and music. We watched Polyester, which is quite something even without participating in the complete odorama experience. By 10:30 I left with a couple of bobbins full of fibre and some new spinning thoughts.

Such as letting the singles sit for a day before plying. It’s something I’ve read about before but usually my impatience gets the better of me and I want to have my yarn now! It’s the Veruca in me. But for these two, I did bother to wait a day before plying and I did notice a difference. Much less fighting with little little tangles while chain plying. Two-plying from a cake was also less of a headache, though it still makes me slightly cranky that the outside wants to unravel so much more than the inside one, causing little yarn traffic jams. It really cramps my style!

I guess I’ll make the conversion to waiting before plying. I think I’ll empty the singles into cakes while waiting for them to set so I can still spin. I might even develop some spin today/ply yesterday’s singles strategy so I can still have yarn now! to satisfy my inner Veruca.

Look squishy yarn:

The grape juice totally plumped up during the finishing.

The super cool thing is my plying is now fast enough that I’ve graduated to a faster whorl. How great is that?

I may have decided on a name for the ladybug. I think her name is Fiona. It’s old worldly and fairytale-ish while still being quite feisty. Yes, some points off for being used for a recent animated character, but should I use it anyways? Or does someone have any other suggestions? There may be some handspun in it for you…

One thought on “On tour with the ladybug”

  1. Rockin’ out with the band! Love the video (it’s true, the drum kit resembles your ladybird), and you’re increasingly awesome yarn products!

    For names, I like Fiona, but I also think Nancy, or Peggy Olsen, (or Meg), could be fun too.

    (p.s. Jill is anxiously awaiting your post on the Little Shop) Let me know if you want to scan that great picture of us. (har har)

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