One thing that completely boggles me about Florence is the number of master painters who lived and worked in this city and yet the lighting is so terrible. Maybe things were different back in the 1500s, when there were fewer buildings, but it’s hard to imagine this city as anything other than tightly packed stone buildings.

Please pardon my poor photography. My camera cord is MIA, so I used the webcam on my laptop. It’s actually not a bad photo, considering I had to tilt the screen to a 45 degree angle just to get the yarn into the shot.

If you’re wondering why that yarn is on toilet paper tubes (yes, you’re not mistaken) it’s because both of those are my handspun. I’ve been doing a ton of spinning. I actually used up the last of my fiber that I brought with me the other night (that would be the purple and blue ball. It’s tussuh silk). Thankfully, Alice brought her entire, untouched stash of fiber, so I have probably two to three pounds of bamboo, silk, and I think some corn fiber to play around with. It’s a great deal–I get to spin her yarn (a task she isn’t too crazy about), and she gets pretty yarn to play with. Lately I’ve been in more of a spinning mood than a knitting on, so I don’t even mind that I won’t get to use what I’ve made.

What I have made, however…Well, obviously, this isn’t all of it. The solid blue is Navajo plied bamboo. I’ve tried plying before on my spindle, and it always ended badly, usually with tangled, dirty yarn. So I started winding the singles off onto tp tubes, and then Navajo plying, which means I can turn a single into a three ply. Only one strand to deal with! I am in love with this technique. Because there are more plies, the yarn is more even and stronger. The only problem I’m having is that it can be difficult to prevent tangles if I have to stop in the middle. I have to be very careful about how I put it away and how I pick it back up again. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, here is a youtube video that shows it pretty well. Actually, I think it might be the video I originally learned from. I start out a little differently–make a slipknot from both the leader and the single together, then just cut the knot off when I’m done.