July 26, 2006
I was hoping to include a picture with this but days are passing by and this entry is getting old so I am just going to post it without.....
It has been very interesting listening to podcasts talking about the Tour de Fleece projects. Tour de Fleece is a July campaign where spinners challenge themselves in spinning something, just as the “Tour de France” bikers challenge themselves in a grueling bike ride. Although I have not officially joined, I have been attempting to finish spinning the White alpaca fleece I bought 1 ½ years ago. It about time I do something with it, although I have yet to decide what. It has been lovely spinning this very soft beautiful fiber into singles. I know it will have to be transformed into something next to skin so that the wearer can feel the soft warmness of the garment. I would like to dye it as well to set off its loveliness in a beautiful color, perhaps a pink or light blue or lavender.
Spinning is such a comfort to me. I haven’t had much time to myself lately as I am working when I can, and taking care of my husband, who has cancer. He has his good days and bad days. Two courses of chemotherapy have just held the disease at bay but have not relieved the annoying symptoms. We will be exploring the possibility of a Bone Marrow Transplant at the City of Hope. It has been an intellectual, emotional, and physical challenge trying to maintain a household by myself and navigate through the health care system, communicating with multiple specialists, lab tests, and exams. It can be very exhausting. Having to experience it first hand has enlightened me to the fact that Healthcare System is definitely in need of an overhaul. Thank you President Obama, for trying. A decade or two ago, it was never so complicated. One doctor would help you navigate through the system. This is no longer the case. A person is on their own to figure it out: the insurance, the rules, the rising co-pays, the communication between doctors and specialists,…..the patient. I cannot imagine how the regular lay person can do it without educating themselves. I feel blessed that my nursing background has given me an edge in figuring all this out. I can easily see how someone would get so overwhelmed and give up. At the end of the day, spinning helps me sort out my thoughts and gives me a sense of accomplishment that I made something out of practically nothing.
The alpaca fleece is so fine (thin), I have flick carded it before spinning. This is such a great technique where you use a dog flicker to comb a washed lock of fleece. I always put a paper towel on my lap when I do this to catch the remaining dirt and debris. This fluffs the lock beautifully so that it spins easily and smoothly with the minimum of lumps. I flick a plastic box full of fiber ready to spin and this helps to break up the monotony of spinning.