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As you may know, we have been spending most of the week in the Uinta Mountains of Utah. Gorgeous! Nothing more need be said!

But I have to say more. (You knew I would!) It's higher than home--10,000 ft. in many places--so we missed the heat wave, when it supposed to have been up to 90 degrees! The Uinta Mountains are very beautiful, with lots of hiking trails and many ponds and lakes for the pups to swim in.

I was not without my fiber fun, though. I used the few days without Internet and telephone to read Abby Franquemont's Respect the Spindle, thoroughly this time, and to try to apply some of the things I learned with my new Knit Picks Turkish drop spindle. I even took the spindle along on our hikes.

I learned that it's a good spindle for the purpose, to use during the few moments along the trail when we're stopped for lunch or to give the pups a swim. I'm happy DH finished the spindle for me with a stain with sealant, because we got rained and hailed on during the hike when the photo above was taken. He said there was no worry about warping. In addition, it's the least expensive commercial spindle I have, so if I had dropped it into a crevasse or tripped and stepped on it, no big deal. In fact, I plan on buying a couple more, so I can keep one in my car and one in my hiking pack and still have one at home.

I managed to spin a total of 57 grams (not counting what's still on the spindle) in two separate cops (the spun singles or yarn stored on the spindle), which were easily removed from my spindle and stored in sandwich bags for plying, which I will do with the spindle when the third one is finished. One of the nice things about a Turkish drop spindle is you end up with a center-pull ball for plying or knitting.

I decided to try the spindle as a bottom-whorl spindle when I read in Abby's book that bottom-whorl spindles are not as sensitive to being off balance, which I thought might happen with the half hitch at the top, which leaves the spun yarn at one side of the stem. I changed over from top-whorl to bottom-whorl mid-cop, which turned out to be easy if you're careful. (You just pull out the stem and reinsert it the other way.) I was happier with the new arrangement, too, because it was easier to twirl from the top. While it was set up as a top whorl, I had been trying to roll it down my leg, which sometimes resulted in the half hitch jumping off the top of the stem if I bumped the spindle arms with my leg. I should have some yarn to show off as soon as I finish the third cop and do the plying.

We enjoyed the wildlife in the mountains (besides the wildlife we brought with us). We set up a hummingbird feeder outside out trailer and enjoyed lots of visits from these tiny friends.

While Rocky and Sunny were focused on squirrels and chipmunks, DH and I saw some other creatures close up, such as this pollen-heavy fuzzy flower fan.

I read Abby's book cover to cover, and learned a lot I somehow missed the first time. I feel as if I've been to Spindle U! Over the next few weeks, I expect to be trying to put into practice what I've learned. Long draw is getting easier with the spindle, which should improve my productivity.

In knitting news, my current sock project is coming along. There's only about two inches before time to BO and start the second sock.

Back to quilting this week, though. I really want to get the wedding ring quilt pieced so I can quilt it. Happy knitting, quilting and spinning, everyone!

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Comment by Peggy Stuart on August 30, 2010 at 6:22am
The camp host told us that they aren't allowed to put up a feeder because it encourages the little guys to wait too long to migrate. We were only there a few days, though, and there are still lots of flowers and bugs there!
Comment by Peggy Stuart on August 27, 2010 at 4:43pm
That's the nice thing about this one. DH. Stained it with a sealing stain, so when it got wet, it was no big deal. If I fell on it and broke it, or if it fell in the river or a crevasse and was gone forever, it's easily replaced without breaking the bank!
Comment by Beth Pritchett on August 27, 2010 at 11:55am
Thanks for the gorgeous pictures. I'm sure my spindle would end up in the water.
Comment by cherylbwaters on August 26, 2010 at 6:07pm
It's a wonderful book and the DVD is great also!
Comment by deb reeb on August 26, 2010 at 9:49am
"Respect the Spindle"...time for a little online shopping!!!!
Comment by Peggy Stuart on August 26, 2010 at 6:23am
"Make a figure eight" is pretty vague! I have Abby Franquemont's book Respect the Spindle. She has photos that show how to do it. That's how I learned. I just happened to see your post right after you made it! Lucky for both of us!
Comment by deb reeb on August 26, 2010 at 6:17am
WOW you're quick!
THANK YOU FOR THE PICS! Now I see how it's supposed to work...everything I read said "make a figure
8"...but then my ball would fall apart! thanks thanks thanks!
Comment by Peggy Stuart on August 26, 2010 at 6:05am

Following the photos, you go over two arms.
Then go under one arm.
Repeat, over two...
...under one.
The last two photos show what it should look like from underneath, showing the white leader I used, and the top showing a nice "X" arrangement of the cop.
Comment by Peggy Stuart on August 26, 2010 at 5:36am
I'll take some photos. Be right back!
Comment by deb reeb on August 26, 2010 at 5:19am
Thanks for posting...the pics are wonderful!
---would it be possible for you to explain how to get the center pull ball of yarn to work on the Turkish? I have one (bought it just for the center pull ball idea) and never seem to be able to get the winding-on correct...

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