Tag Archives: competition

Chaos Corner – 10/4/2017

Normally, I am a neat person.  Disorganization, dust and dirt make me very anxious, but recent events have gotten in the way of my usual routine, and the chaos is making me nuts.

First we went away for the weekend and on that trip, attended a fiber festival.  Basically, I behaved myself, but knowing that the week long spinning competition was looming, I did buy a big bag of beautifully dyed Coopworth from my friend at Hearts of the Meadow Farm who was a vendor.  I also came home with a new Spanish Peacock drop spindle (not that I needed it), and a huge skein of fingering weight hand painted superwash yarn which was designated to the very short deadline knitting of a sweater for our youngest grand daughter.  Knowing that festival season is upon me, I spent the drive north, knitting on fingerless mitts for the shows and my shop.  Recently, two mitts patterns were designed by me and another free pattern was downloaded, a simple plain one.  Knowing that the festival purchases were made on Saturday and granddaughter’s birthday was Friday, there wasn’t enough time to wait until I got home to wind the yarn, so Saturday afternoon was spent hand winding all 555 yards into a center pull ball and then casting on the sweater.  Four rows into the pattern, I found an error and had to rip it out and recalculate the pattern instructions to make the stitch count work, then start over.  Half of the drive home, I knit, the other half, I drove.  Knitted frantically Sunday evening, every spare moment Monday and Tuesday until my arthritis was screaming at me, and steam blocked, sewed on buttons, wove in the loose ends on Wednesday morning and popped it in the mail.




All of this resulted in no clean up and organization time.  Knowing that the first festival was coming up on Sunday, meant making more salves and balms, labelling, packing and getting ready for that event.  Most of my yarn had summered in a shop on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Meadows of Dan, Greenberry House, so a trip over there was necessary on Saturday to pick it up.  Saturday night, yarn was inventoried, prices updated, pictures taken and loaded into shop so it was on Square for the festival.  Sunday was spent in costume at Smithfield House at the Harvest Festival both vending and demonstrating the art of spinning.


Sunday night, the car unloaded, the product in its various containers brought back to my “studio,” a corner of our loft and dumped.

Monday morning at 12:01, the spinning challenge began.  This is Spinzilla, I did it last year as well, and though our team of 25 does it mostly for fun, we are competing and I don’t want to be a slacker, so most of my “spare” moments this week will be spent spinning on one of my wheels, or one of the drop spindles.  I have several skeins of yarn completed so far, measured and labelled for the final count when it ends Sunday night at midnight.  All of this has resulted in no time to blog and no time to clean up and organize my corner.

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Monday’s priority will be to reorganize  this chaos and clean.  Fortunately, only Jim and I spend any time in the loft, it is our private space in the house.

Chicken fighting

For the past 3 days, 2 of the young cockerels that are in the cull coop have escaped from their run during the day.  The first day, I was away helping out with my grandson, so gone overnight and Jim didn’t realize that the two chickens perched on the egg door of the coop, outside the runs were culls.  He caught them and stuffed them in the layer coop.  Since I was away until after dinner on the second day, they cooped up on their own in the layer coop, but not on a perch.  I went out to lock up the coops and moved them one at a time back to the cull coop.  Tonight, they were on the egg door again and SIL opened the gate for them and they strutted in and cooped up again.  When I got home from my walk and went over to lock them up, I realized that the cull coop was missing two again, so I decided to move them again, except that the only flashlight I had with me was my smartphone.  Using the light, I captured one by the feet and hung him upside down, set the phone down and grabbed in the dark for where the second one had been a millisecond before and came up with a startled young bird by the upper breast.  He took umbrage at the offence and came up clawing.



I won’t show you the result, but I am bandaged from the wrist to the elbow to keep from ruining everything that tender forearm touches.  The two cockerels are again back in their coop and tomorrow, a barricade will be installed at the end of the net roof so they can’t fly out again.

Having this type of injury is unfortunate while spending as much of my “spare” time handling fiber and spinning for the Spinzilla contest, thus the bandage.

While away, I only had my drop spindle with me and a small bump of nice fiber and I spun a small ball of a single.  Today, I spun another single of chocolate Alpaca and tonight, spindle plyed it into a pretty little mini skein that I will use in a hat for my shop and the Holiday Markets.  So far for Spinzilla, I have spun and plyed 1472.7 yards of yarn and have a nearly full bobbin of a single.


Today at spinning, I traded for a couple of weeks with a friend who is a new spinner my Kromski Sonata for the Ashford Traditional that I used to learn to spin and she bought from the gal that bought it from me.  For some reason, I love that wobbly old wheel.  Please note my giant helper with his head nearly on the foot treadle.


I have used it to ply 460 yards and that is where the nearly full bobbin is.  I still have all day tomorrow and Saturday until 11:59 my time to spin for this contest, then a photograph and record of yards spun will be sent to the team captain and compiled with the other team members for our team total.  I love to spin, but I find these competitions stressful.  I do have nearly enough yarn for my sweater spun though, so that is a plus.




and competitions.  I don’t do well with them.  Growing up the eldest of three children, I was the guinea pig of child raising.  The bar was set high, the expectation that I would succeed was always out in front of me.  Needless to say, I developed an A type personality, which I have worked hard at letting go in retirement.

When a job was done, it had to be done correctly, aka, my way.  When in competition, I had to win.  These traits have helped me and hurt me throughout my life.  I am independent, in fact, in our marriage vows, Mountaingdad said “your free and independent spirit.”  I was graduated from college and set out to support myself and later after marrying Mountaingdad and starting a family, to help support the family.  The house had to be cleaned and ordered to my standards, which always made hiring someone to do the cleaning, a problem, as I had to “clean up” before they came and checked behind them when they left, never being satisfied with the results.  At work, I was a stickler for details.

In retirement, I fight the urges to go behind others and accept their efforts to contribute to the household.  I appreciate when others in the household clean, do dishes or cook.  It is a nice break.

A couple of years ago, I joined many of my friends and their friends in a challenge to read 100 books in a year.  The first year I did not succeed, the second year, beating myself up for not succeeding, I read more, often books that barely qualified as books to meet the challenge.  Somehow, this took the joy out of a previously enjoyable pastime and I decided that reading is a fun escape and should remain so, not a competition, even with myself, so I did not join the challenge again.

I can not do a KAL (knit along) or knitting challenge, or a spinning challenge for the same reason.  I do not need to compete to do a pastime that I do for enjoyment.

For Christmas, Mountaingdad, gave me a requested Fitbit.  I wanted to keep track of what I was eating and how much exercise I was getting and to encourage myself to improve my fitness as I had become too sedentary, no longer riding horseback and not skiing in a couple of years, not taking daily walks with Mountaingdad, who has suffered with 10 months of some level of vertigo and the past 6-8 weeks with his third bout of bronchitis in a year.  With the device, came the invitations to weekly or weekend challenges.  I thought this would be fun, but instead, it kicked in my A type personality again and instead of using the competition to challenge myself to do better, it became a situation where I felt like I had to win and being disappointed in myself when I came in second or third in the challenge.  This week, I did not accept the challenge.  Instead, I am working to reach my own goals (10,000 daily steps, 4 mile minimum walk, 45 minutes of exercise).  When those goals become too easy to reach, I will up them a notch and just work to my own challenge.  I want this to be fun, not a stressful competition, which I know is silly as some of my competitors are more than 40 years my junior and are runners, so of course they are going to do better.