Hello, fine bloggie friends! It’s (past) time for another missive from Sandi’s YarnLand and Cat Worship Facility.
This month has been Cat Appreciation Month at my vet’s, and August 8 was International Cat Day. So, in the spirit of the all this, here is a pic of the whole Fab Five all in the same place at the same time.
Do you have any idea how many pictures I had to take to get one, just ONE decent photo of all Five of my Fab Furbits together? That’s actually the reason that this post is going out a bit late: I was combing through my gigabytes of cat photos (don’t judge, let those amongst you without disk space filled with cat or dog pictures toss the first catnip mouse), and I didn’t find that one until a few days ago. (There was also the fact that I hadn’t organized my photos in a while. That was painful.) I do know that it took me at least a year of trying to get that one, taken in February of 2017. Clockwise from upper right corner: Dusty (male), then age 13; Tessa, then age 1; Zoë, then age 13 (Dusty’s littermate); Tim, then age 7; and Ben, then age 1.
And yes, Tessa does have ginormo paws. That one paw right there on Zoë’s shoulder has eight toes. Well, to be accurate: Five toes and three thumbs; each toe/thumb has its own pad and is completely functional. Her other front paw has the same number of toes/thumbs, although one of the thumbs has an atrophied muscle and thus is not functional, and thus is for display purposes only. Back feet have six digits each.
Yes, we are keeping an eye on her. If she shows any hint of being able to actually use those thumbs, any of them, well then, I guess we’ll be in a whack of trouble, won’t we? We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Tour d’ Flail
The project I chose for this year’s Tour d’ Fleece was to turn 4 0z of gorgeous hand-dyed Finn fibre plus a similar amount of shiny silk into Yarn. Preferably nice yarn, but we all know how fibre is…has a woolly mind of its own.
I started with this.
Top to bottom, above: (1) Green and blue hand-dyed Tussah silk, source lost in space and time; (2) lovely (if somewhat compressed) 100% Finn wool, hand-dyed by Dan Brewer of Gnomespun (note that the compression happened on my watch, not on Dan’s; I may have been a little overenthusiastic about packing my bins of fibre for the move into this house); and (3) some bits and bobs of the same batch of Finn, recaptured from its hidey hole under the sofa where I suspect it was re-appropriated to the lovely Ms. Zoe’s own stash.
Ahhh….Ms. Zoë. She is gorgeous, but she is also a fellow Fibre-Hoar if ever there was one. I have to be very careful to make sure she is closed out of the room when I am drumcarding, otherwise, I will turn around to find her laying on her back right in the middle of a newly made batt, rolling around on it, purring as if it were a pile of México’s Finest. (Catnip, you sillies, what did you think I was going to say?).
The Tour Begins
Let me start off by saying that I have been a bit out of the loop this year, what with my father’s death, re-connecting with relatives after several years (which meant becoming a semi-active Facebook user, oh-my-dog, the wormhole that is social media!), eye surgery, new glasses, new braces, working on our Canadian citizenship papers, and the inevitable new homeowner’s first real round of Home Improvement, Canadian Style. (I’ll get to these breathtakingly exciting topics sooner or later, but Not Today.) (Tease, tease, tease.)
This meant that I actually had No Idea when the Tour itself started. I randomly picked a Saturday to begin, got in a lovely couple of hours doing fibre prep, and only afterward went on Rav to discover that it was actually the first day of the Tour d’ Fleece in truth! The rhythms of the fibre seasons, they are in my blood.
I originally started off just playing with the Finn (above), a new-to-me sheep breed. Then I found the green and blue silk fibre in my stash, so of course, that meant dragging out my scale, my bobbin winder, and my trusty drumcarder. (Let the fun begin!)
Over the next few days, I spent happy hours blending the silk and Finn, making happy batts, and spinning some samples.
I think I may have something here.
Tessa and her Mighty Twinkle Toes seem to think so.