Spinning, two kinds, not three

Earlier this week, I bought myself something I’ve wanted for a little while. A cycle trainer. It’s not what you think, by “trainer” I don’t mean someone who yells at you about how fast you’re going and tells you to do another 5km, but a frame that holds the back wheel of my bike and turns it into a stationary cycle. I set it up in the kitchen and it sits there, with my bike stuck in it,  and I mean this in every way possible, it is a huge pain in the arse.  (Do you like the way I made it sound like setting it up was no big deal? In reality it was hours, and several phone calls, and advice from Ken and Pato, and about four websites. It has never been clearer that I have no idea what I’m doing.)

it is supremely, horrifically, in the way. I have to step round it to go from my little office behind the kitchen to the rest of the house. I have to squeeze past it every time I want a coffee. It glowers at me as I make meals, or listen to the CBC on the radio, and I can see it from the front door.  I got  it because I’m trying to get a jump on the spring training for the rally.  I’d like to be a little fitter and more ready this year when the outdoor training starts, and starting earlier seemed like the only way to do that – barring heading down to a spinning class or something, which (in the absence of real spinning wheels) seems like exactly my idea of a personal nightmare.  I like to suffer alone.  I put it in the kitchen, because – frankly, the only other room that could hold it was an unused bedroom, and I know myself too well to play that game. I’d be able to ignore it in there.  Here in the kitchen, there’s nothing I can do to make it stop staring at me that way, except ride it, and I’ve made a personal pledge to do so for at least 30 minutes every day that I am home – until it’s warm enough to ride outside.  I’m telling you this so that I’m a little publicly accountable.  Today’s day three, and my my arse is sore, and my legs are sore, and I’ve learned that riding on a trainer is way, way harder than riding outside – which I’m telling myself is good, because it’s more of a workout, but I’m having trouble with my own reasoning there. Here the the thing sits, and today, before I do the kind of spinning I like, I’ll have to do the kind that I don’t. I hope it all pays off in the spring. I have visions of the first training ride, where instead of panting along at the rear of the pack, I sail through – faster and stronger than ever. This is, of course, complete delusion. I’m still going to be a slightly dumpy middle-aged woman who is only ripped in the sense of owning old bike shorts that need mending, but it’s got to help. Right?

battopen 2015-01-22

Speaking of spinning I do like, I’m just over halfway on the wee project from yesterday.  I’ve split the batt right down the middle, and I’ll spin two singles that each have the same colour progression. (If you’re the sort that’s interested, I’m spinning these long draw. It’s what it wanted, and this is all about process.)

battspin 2015-01-22

When I ply them together, hopefully I’ll have a two ply yarn where the colours (mostly) match up, and a cool gradient yarn.  If I can finish the singles today, tonight they can rest, and tomorrow – I ply.

battspin2 2015-01-22

I have no idea how many metres I’ll have, or what I’ll cast on after that.  It’s about 100g, and that should give me at least 300m – ideas?

battspin3 2015-01-22

Strung Along April Retreat – Start to Finish

A quick note to let you all know that sign-ups for the Spring Retreat are open. This time we’re doing something a bit different – and we’re so, so excited (and a little nervous) about it. We’ve gotten lots of emails from people wishing that the retreats weren’t all for textile artists who knit AND spin. Apparently many of you don’t spin (yet) but would still like to come to the April Retreat. Well, okay then! Another knitter-only retreat (although there’s a ton that will be valuable for spinners) just because we really are listening. If you’d like to know more about it, click here.  (Also, because I always forget, and it makes Debbi crazy, Strung Along has a Facebook page here. You can “like” it if you want. Debbi LOVES that.)