During Le Tour de Fleece 2009, I spun a total of 11.5 ounces, completed three skeins of hand spun (plus one sample) and improved my skill on Navajo-plying (chain-plying). My goals evolved during the tour and working on chain-plying became my focus.
To start things off, here’s the mini-skein I spun during the tour… I forget which night…from a batt sample from Spincerely:
On Friday, July 24th, I tried to start my day spinning. I’d finished these singles the night before:
And I wanted to start plying. But a few minutes into it, I became frustrated because I wasn’t liking the results so I stopped. I knew I was practicing the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Also, there was just a feeling impatience, which is not good when trying to learn something. And little did I know, this was the beginning of a very bad Friday that ended with a headache.
On Saturday, July 25th, I went to my local yarn store to knit and pick up some yarn that they had custom ordered for me – some Blue Sky Alpaca’s Skinny Dyed organic cotton, DK weight, in a lovely pale pink (color# 305)… but more about that yarn in another post. The rest of the day I was a little under the weather and didn’t spin, so that became my rest day since I did not rest on Monday.
Finally on Sunday, July 26th, I got back to the spinning wheel after deciding to let go of the frustration and had one of those moments that are special when you’re self-taught – where something clicks, for whatever reason. In this case, I was fixing a broken single, trying the splice in the end and I had to switch my hand positions and things started to work. Among other things, I got better tension and I was liking how the twist was looking.
The finished yarn definitely is not perfect, but it’s better.
Never stop learning.
I finished spinning the Lame Duck Mallard colorway.
While I didn’t fall in love with the yarn I created, I was very pleased with the progress I made on chain-plying. I’d previously been underplying my singles (and the plies) so I worked to add more twist, even going so far as to add too much twist in places. Hopefully, at some point, I’ll find a balance. It’s hard for me to tell if I have enough twist. So I’m trying to add more twist than I think I need. Being a solitary spinner, it’s more of a challenge to figure this out.
Now I’m spinning this:
Dyed by Spincerely – Superwash Merino in the colorway, Delilah.
I’m spinning it fine so it’s going a little slower, but I’m enjoying it. I love spinning Merino. I started out with a couple pf pre-drafted sections, but I lost the color variations so now I’m spinning directly from the top.
I also finished my socks this week! Stay tuned for pictures! Hope you enjoy your week!
First off all… what was in the box? My very own Majacraft Rose!! Whoo Hoo!!!! I haven’t had a chance to take some really good photos of it but here’s a peek:
I feel I made very good investment with this purchase.
See that little bit of pink in the lower left corner? It’s what I worked on first for Tour de Fleece. It was a work-in-progress that I had on my spindle for a while. I had totally over pre-drafted it but I wanted to finished it.
It was hand dyed by Spincerely, one of my favorite indie dyers, in the colorway ‘Goldflame Honeysuckle.’
I’m am very happy with the final results. I call it ‘Flower Petals’.
Started: 07-04-09 (as WIP)
Weight: 3 ounces
Length: 208.3 yards
I LOVE it! I think it’s enough to follow through with my original thought to use it for a Morning Surf scarf. (If I can’t stop staring at the yarn, that is. )
Now I’m working on this:
It’s from the Spunky Eclectic Fiber club in the Colorway ‘Lame Duck Mallard’ – Superwash BFL. Not one of my favorite colorways so it’s perfect to practice chain-plying. I’m going to spin 2 ounces and then ply those singles and trying to figure out why I have such trouble. I’m enjoying spinning the singles – I’ve never spun BFL before and I’m like it.
In other news, my socks…
…I only have to do the cuffs and they will be done! Yay!
Fiber is so much fun, isn’t it?
I had originally signed up for the Tour de Fleece on Ravelry but it quickly became overwhelming and I considered pulling out of it and maybe just doing it on my own or not at all. I knew there was more than one Tour de Fleece so I did one more search and found the one I one I was originally looking for, which has no connection to the group on Ravelry and the one I had seen on the Yarn Harlot’s blog in 2008. It is run by Katherine, who was perfectly lovely when I emailed her for more information.
(Click the below link to find out what Le Tour de Fleece is all about.)
I am excited to be participating in this! I’m still on teams on Ravelry (rookie & stash busters) but this is much more low key than Ravelry and I feel that will work better for me. It’ll be fun tracking people’s progress via the Tour de Fleece blog.
I have decided to set small goals for this challenge while having one overall goal. I seriously want to spin down my stash. I know some people feel that there is no such thing as ‘too much fiber stash’, but I have more than I am comfortable with.
- I want to spin two purchases from my favorite shop – Spincerely. I keep buying fiber from her but I have yet to spin any of it. One I have started and it has been sitting on one of my spindles for quite a while, and like my knitting, it starts to drive my crazy to have something sitting unfinished like that so I am going to transfer it to my wheel and finish it. It is Merino/Tencel in the colorway “Goldflame Honeysuckle” in a lovely pink & yellow. My original goal for this yarn was that I would have enough yarn to knit the Morning Surf scarf. I’ve never tried to spin for a specific project so we’ll see how that goes. The 2nd Spincerely fiber selection is to be determined as I have lots to choose from.
- Spindle spin ‘Happy Accident’ – Figure out how much I already have on the spindle, start spinning for the 2nd ply and make a two ply yarn on the spindle. Then spin the rest on the wheel. It might be interesting to see the difference between the spindle spun and wheel spun yarn from the same fiber.
- Practice chain-plying on the wheel. I love the look of chain-plied yarn. To my surprise, I figured it out rather quickly on the spindle but on the wheel there’s a lot more to factor into the process and currently is kicking my rear end. But to make it easier, I’m going to spin small amounts at a time so I can get a better sense of what works, what doesn’t and to maybe have a better sense of achievement than trying to do a whole 4 ounces at once. Haven’t chosen the fiber for this goal yet either.
Ok… as I am typing this … maybe these goals aren’t that small … But I won’t really know that until I start spinning and seeing how much I can get done.
I just took a moment to see what the Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s (the Yarn Harlot) goal was last year. I didn’t think much about it when I was reading her blog last year but now? Her goal (and accomplishment) of spinning THREE pounds and 5 ounces of fiber is amazing to me. My head explodes even at the thought of considering such a goal. But this makes me want to expand and be more specific with my overall goal to spin down my stash, one that will encompass my other goals and go a little beyond them.
- Overall goal: To spin ONE pound, 4 ounces of fiber (this includes the works in progress).
I will say it is proof that you are addicted to fiber when you create a plan to reduce your stash but a part of you is thinking .. “This is something special! I need to buy fiber for this special event!” I’m not gonna buy any … but I’m just sayin’.
Stay tuned for photos of the fiber I’ve chosen above. I’ve never spun with a goal in mind and I’m still new to wheel spinning. This should be interesting and fun!!