Sailing and Spinning


Well I hadn’t been posting at this blog much during the past month+ because I have been full tilt on helping the Captain prepare for his Hawaii crossing trip. It is hard to believe that the crew leaves in about 5 weeks from now, when we’ve been planning and working toward the trip for months and dreaming about it for more than a year.

But things are coming to fruition everywhere! If your interested in learning more about S/V Big River or the trip, hop over to my other blog: You can see new pictures of the boat, see some of the canvas in action, and meet the crew.

Besides sewing and setting up the new blog, I’ve also been working on the provisioning plan for both legs of the trip. That means planning 3 square meals a day, for 18 and 22 day legs (over and back, respectively), for four men. Cooking ability consists of a gas range in the cabin that we’d prefer not to use, a tiny oven that has a temperature range of On and Off, and a tiny propane grill hanging off the stern. So, food needs to be GREAT to keep everyone satisfied and feeling good, ultra easy to prepare – that means not very much cooking involved, mostly heating, and the preparation based on someone who’s cooking skills may top out at boiling water. 🙂

Refrigerator space is at a premium, and there is no real freezer to speak of – but the bottom of the fridge compartment stays quite cold.

All of this means creativity in planning and pre-cooking. A draft of the plan is out to the crew. When I have it back and the menu takes solid shape, I’ll post more about it here.


Along with my main knitting project right now, a pair of toe-up socks being knit with Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in the Olympic Rainforest colorway:

Which reminds me exceedingly of this view, what I see when I stand in the yard on a beautiful day:

… I have dusted off my spinning wheel!

I love my Ashford Joy wheel, which I bought a few years ago. But, I haven’t spun all that much on it. When I pulled it out a few weeks ago, I gave it a good dusting, oiled the critical parts, and added my new sliding hook flyer. After about 30 minutes of spinning my muscle memory came back and it’s been wonderful.

I’ve been spinning for a few hours almost every day. The rhythm of the drafting and treadling is very calm and meditative. I typically do my spinning from after dinner until almost bedtime. I love to watch the fibers draft out between my fingers and the newly-spun yarn build up on the bobbin.

Currently, I’m spinning Corriedale (breed of sheep) finger roving (width of prepared fiber) from Crown Mountain Farms. I love this stuff. I have spun some of this fiber before, and the way that Klaus, who is the one man show running CMF, dyes the wool, the result of any plied yarn is a color-changing barber pole effect that I really like.

I’m spinning 8oz in the colorway Azure Sky, which I received some time ago as a present from my mom. I want to make socks with this, and so I want a really firm yarn in fingering(ish) weight with the classic CMF barberpole effect.

So, to get started, I split the 8oz into three equal amounts by weight (76 grams each, btw).

Then I am spinning each ‘bump’ of 76 grams onto its own bobbin. Two are done:

And the final one is underway:

When all three are finished, I’ll put them on my new tensioned Kate and will ply them into what I hope will result in a fingering/sport weight 3-ply sock yarn. I’ll report back with pictures and some notes on whether I got the yarn thickness I intended and other details.


Blessings on you and all you undertake!


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