Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tour de Fleece Finis

Rookies 2010 and Team KnitGirllls

My Tour de Fleece accomplishments. A GRAND TOTAL OF 28 Ounces of fiber spun.

I spun the DyakCraft Batt in colorway #101 Striped and knit a One Row Handspun Scarf. 4 ozs of fingering weight.

Next I spun the Gale's Art Fibers Merino Silk blend in the colorway Proud Peacock 4 ozs. I got around 200 yards of sport weight 2 ply yarn.

For the Challenge Day I spun the Purple 70/30 Merino Tencel from Ashland Bay. I have two bobbins packed with singles which I will ply with Zephyr lace weight some time today. 4 ozs and it's currently a fingering weight.

Lastly I spun two 8 ozs 100% Corriedale tops from The Painted Tiger. The light green colorway is Seascape and the blues are Blue Lagoon. I 2 plied the two colors together for a worsted weight. So far 2 bobbins of each have yielded 172 yards. The rest will be plied later today.

My goal was just the first two bumps for a total of 8 ozs. I exceeded my goal by a whopping 20 ozs. Yay me!!!

I learned how to long draft on the wheel, change flyers, and ply. I had a fantastic Tour de Fleece.
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Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Tour De Fleece had a day of rest yesterday. I did not do any spinning, I watched The Lovely Bones which was truly enchanting and enjoyable. I tried to finish knitting the LaLa Simple Shawl, but I have a pool ball size ball of yarn to finish up tonight. It should be enough for another row and the bind off. I am not worried because I have another skein already wound and can bind off with that if I run short. I AM SO TIRED.

The new neighbors played Mexican ballads until well after midnight. The kind with the strumming guitars and long held notes. OMFG people. Some of us commute to work. I have to get up before 5 which means I barely get 6 hours of sleep as it is. WTF?!?!?!?!

I am currently working on the first 8 oz top from The Painted Tiger. It is a little intimidating. I counted the loops in the braid and divided it by three. Seriously each ball feels like 4 ozs. I started pre-drafting and the fiber is wonderful. It is 100 % Corriedale and the colors are so nice - I am spinning Seascape first. I filled a bobbin with about half of the first ball. I have the high speed whorl on again because I want much thinner yarn. I don't like how fluffy it gets when plied so I want it as thin as possible to start with. I lost it a couple of times and the fiber was pulled out of my hand, I have to watch the drafting area at all times or the fiber breaks. The squeaking is back and treadling is not smooth. I need to try a different drive band I think. Also I had to unwind the brake cord to ply with the Jumbo Flyer and I cannot get it back the way I originally had it. Heavy sigh. I find this part of spinning extremely frustrating. All of the constant adjustments, how one setup works perfectly and you change bobbins or whorls and nothing works right. I really don't get that. The Maggie Casey DVD I have emphasizes all the wheel adjustments and tweaks for different types of fiber, etc. I am finding it to be a real pain. Apparently you get used to it, people have been spinning for thousands of years. It must become like background noise over time. I am heading into my second month of spinning, and I think I am doing pretty well for a self-taught spinner. I have a spinning buddy - hi KraftyKathy. She has an Ashford Kiwi too, which she painted beautifully. She lives about 1,000 miles away though so we encourage and support each other via Ravelry.

There is a swap I joined that sounds like a lot of fun. The KnittersWithCritters podcast host Jackie does small swaps, usually less than 10 people. You don't have to buy anything to participate, the only cost is postage of about $1.05 in the US. The next swap is for a knitted or crocheted bookmark, with a stitchmarker instead of a tassel, and a mini-skein of leftover yarn between 6 and 8 yards. The previous swap was a miniature sock, recipe and mini-skein. These are easy fun swaps that you don't even have to shop for. Sign-ups close tomorrow July 15, 2010.

I completed the One Row Handspun Scarf, it is so pretty. I love the colors and the length is just right. I put my felted clogs into hibernation, it's just not happening. I am completely distracted by spinning right now. I left the two pairs of socks up though. I have not touched them, but I will when I finish these two shawls. I am a proknitcuous knitter, I like having a bunch of projects bagged up. I like casting on. I can always knit some stockinette socks or a clapotis if I want to complete a project.

Friday, July 09, 2010

TDF10 Day 7

I finished 4 ozs of Gale's Art Tussah Silk and Blue Face top in the colorway Proud Peacock. No idea of yardage yet. I have picked a pattern form the Knitty Fall 2010 issue, Coteille. I think the bright colors will work well for the pattern.


Next up on the wheel will be one of The Painted Tiger Corriedale Tops. Something semi-solid in blue or blue-green. The One Row Handspun scarf is coming along. I am going to put the felted clogs and the socks into hibernation until I finish the Tour de Fleece. By then I will be on medical leave and have lots of knitting time. I hope I feel like knitting!! I won't be able to spin I don't think.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

TDF10 Day 4 My Finished Yarn

The Dyakcraft batt came out beautifully. The twist relaxed and the it looks great. I skeined it and then wound it for knitting. Yay.

4 oz batt spun up to 180 yards in a sport weight. Colorway #101 Striped. I would definitely spin these batts again.

Rookies 2010 and Team KnitGirllls

Monday, July 05, 2010

TDF10 Day 3 & A Shout Out on TheKnitGirllls!!!

I was so excited to hear a shout out about my spinning on TheKnitGirllls vidcast tonight (ep. 15 part 3 - link in the sidebar). Apparently I am doing well for a brand new spinner, Yay me. I am enjoying it. I would love to be getting more yardage, but I am sure that will come in time.

All three bobbins of the Dyakcraft in colorway #101 Striped have been spun and skeined up. It is currently drying in the shower. I only got 180 yards though. It seemed to be spinning up really thin (for me) so I expected more yardage, but that's fine. It is so pretty. I may ply it with something else or I may leave it as a single and knit a cowl or keyhole scarf.

I started spinning the Gale's Art Tussah Silk and Blue Face blend that I predrafted a couple of weeks ago. It has some really pretty color sections in it.
75% Blue Face 25% Tussah Silk in the colorway Proud Peacock
Because of fiber amnesia I ended up with 3 bumps of this, so I have 12 ozs. But it is very messy, sheds on everything. I have to wear a mask when working with it because it was clogging my nose and throat when I drafted it. I definitely won't be spinning all of it during Tour de Fleece. I think I will just spin this 4 ozs and skein it up.

My WooLee Winder came, but I could not get my tension right and ended up putting my regular flyer back on. I was making a terrible mess of my fiber with the Woolee Winder, it wasn't being pulled into the orifice and was an overspun curlicue. I will practice with my plain solid colored roving after the TDF. It will definitely take some practice.

Tour de Fleece has been great for me so far, I have really gotten joins down and no longer make slubs when adding on fiber. I can also change hooks without back spinning or losing the twist in the yarn I am pinching while I switch hooks. My bobbins are really coming out evenly and getting fully packed. I originally planned to use my drop spindle too, but I have not started a bump on the spindle yet.

It is so hot now that I cannot draft for long because I have to have the fan on. So I may not get around to the drop spindle at all, I was already having trouble keeping my fiber from floating up into the twist before I was working with a fan blowing at me.

In other news, I am 2/3 of the way through my LaLa Simple Shawl. I love this pattern in this yarn. It is so soft colorwise and, to the touch. I have added another 10 rows on the Mystic Desire - hugely modified version. I have my gauge for my sweater but I did not get a chance to cast on before TDF started.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

TDF10 First Bobbin

I have finished filling my first bobbin. I tried to split the yarn in equal parts. I spun all of the turquoise and kelly green onto this bobbin.
There is a very small amount of pre-drafted fiber left that did not fit on this bobbin. It is Kelly and Forest Green. I think I will go ahead and start the second bobbin. I need to pre-draft the rest of the batt. I did not draft the first half thin enough and was getting heavier yarn than I wanted. I broke off the fiber and drafted it all out some more. I am thrilled with how thin it spun up. I hope the rest goes as well.

TDF10 Day 1

I am ready for day one of Tour de Fleece. I am on two teams, Team KnitGirllls and Rookies 2010. So far I have drafted half of the Dyakcraft Batt in colorway #101. It is so vibrant. I want it to spin up thin enough that I get around 300 yards. That is my goal for this half of Tour de Fleece.
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My WooLee Winder and PVC Niddy Noddys came. They will really help during Tour de Fleece.

=`{ Still missing the baby.