This weekend was marked by being 'bitty', as in I did a bit of this and a bit of that and didn't really seem to achieve very much.
On Saturday morning we headed over to the local Ford dealer to have a proper look at the new (ish) Focus Estate. I currently drive the original design and excepting the tendency towards developing an indoor swimming pool in the passenger footwell, I'm very happy with it. However, it is getting on a bit and I probably need to start thinking of changing it and so off we went. My intention was to look properly at the new body shape, to sit behind the wheel, play with the seats and look at how the changed shape has effected its loading capacity. I was just intending to look you understand.
Sadly I was thwarted. The dealership did not have a single Focus Estate on the lot and the lady I spoke to said she'd been there three months and this was the first time anyone had asked after one!!! I don't understand this as the original estate version of this car was and is very popular. I see them everywhere. *sigh*
The sales lady said she'd try to get one in for me to look at, so I left contact details and walked away. This does not bode well and shows why I hate car shopping.
That afternoon, I settled into starting processing the second fleece. This fleece is the muckier of the two, is really heavy on the grease and has a lot more guard hairs. I'll admit I wasn't convinced as I struggled to seperate enough locks from the main fleece so I could start scouring them. However, having washed that first sample, apart from the guard hairs I'm going to tentatively say that the locks are actually nicer than the first fleece. Very white and creamy, far less matting and it just looks better...
Or possibly, I've improved on my tearing off of locks and initial processing stage which means I'm producing nicer scoured fleece? Who knows, but fleece processing is continuing apace.
I did some more picking. That's it really, I picked fluff a little while I washed fleece but still don't have a huge amount to show for my work.
I've also started eyeing up my first handspun...
There isn't a lot there and it seems to take me an age to produce yarn, mostly because I get so little time to do any actual spinning at the moment. An hour a week ... sometimes... if I'm lucky... just isn't cutting it. The quality is variable too; I tend towards spinning quite thin singles with a lot of twist so this two ply is very springy, tightly spun and about the weight of a conventional 4-ply, in most places at least. In some places it's a lot skinnier than that, while in the odd place it gets a bit thicker. Controlling the drafting process is coming along, but very slowly because I'm not getting enough practice.
However, I'm getting an itch to try out my handspun and see what it actually knits up like. I wouldn't like to try crochet with it yet, as the yarn is very variable in quality and I think it needs the control that knitting offers. So, I'm thinking a hat. Maybe this hat. And maybe, if I held it double the two strands would even out the yarn?
I think some swatching may be required and soon, given that I'm on the last round of the humungous doily (finally and this last round is taking an absolute age). With this in mind, I loaded up my swift and wound two skeins into balls.
After two balls, each of approx 120m, Dave said he's going to have to buy me a real swift as he doesn't think he's up to the job. He was happy though because I made cake...
This is my first ever banana cake and it was very yummy; it didn't get a chance to cool properly before we started on it. Unfortunately it smelled too good and we just couldn't resist. I'm not much of a baker, but we had overripe bananas and so I thought I'd give it a go. Given how tasty and moist it is and not at all like how I remember my mother's banana cake, I'm going to call it a success.
Finally, we went to an art exhibition in Coventry's Canal Basin last night. Dave takes weekly lessons with Al Davison of The Astral Gypsy, so had an invite to see his work. The theme was Dr Who and the pieces on display were very good.
So a very full weekend, doing lots of things but not really centred around a single theme.