June 29, 2013

And They're Off....

The 2013 Tour de Fleece (TdF) started today, June 29th, and runs through July 21st. For the unfamiliar, the Tour de Fleece runs concurrent with the Tour de France. While the cyclists race through France, we spin through our stashes in an effort to meet our individual goals. Those goals are personal and can range from just learning to spin, spinning a new fiber, to learning the ins and out of a new wheel or spindle, spinning down a certain amount of stash, or to spinning a whole fleece. This year I'm on three Wildcard teams: the Diagon Alley Marauders (the Hogwarts at Ravelry group),  Footloose (the Hansen mini-spinner group), and the Spin Your Stash group, as well as the Lantern Rouge group, one of the main TdF groups. My goal is to spin as much as I can.
This is what I hope to get through. It's mainly finishing up SWIPs and a couple of new projects.
Clockwise from right: (1) Ramboulliet-Dorset-Corridale cross fleece what's left to prep, spin, ply (2) Abstract Fiber Chocolate Rainbow bump #2, 4oz (3) Six bobbins of Corriedale ewe singles to ply (4) 4oz hand painted Finn, and (5) Two Sisters' Stringworks Polwarth/Silk blend.    
   TdF13 spinning
There are a few others I wanted to include, but we will see how far I get with this first.

First up is plying the Corriedale in a traditional 3ply.  The twist isn't set yet (it hasn't finished drying yet), but I'm estimating there's between 200-220 yds of sport weight yarn here.  I was in such a hurry I forgot to check the wpi before I soaked it, but it was spun semi-worsted so I'm hoping it won't poof up too much. Time shall tell.  
Next up is the alpaca/silk blend from Abstract Fiber in the Chocolate Rainbow colorway.  If it looks or sounds familiar, well it should.  I spun the first bump during last year's TdF.  I'm spinning this worsted and will chain ply as I did the first bump.  I just love the colors in this. I spun until the fiber started sticking to my hands too much, then switched to prepping the RDC cross fleece on my drum carder. I ended up with ten small batts totaling about 3.50 ounces.
Here's a group photo of Day One's progress, top to bottom: batts, Chocolate Rainbow, plied Corriedale skein

Tdf13 day 1

June 10, 2013

Haphazard FOing


I had every intention of posting monthly Finished Object posts but that doesn't appear to be happening, at least not this half of the year. But I have been knitting and I have been spinning, although I've been doing more fiber prep (combing, carding, etc.) than actual spinning.


I finished the The Knit Girllls Fiber Optic SAL in early March

Fiber Optic Fiber Optic gradient

This was spun semi-worsted on Jack, my Hansen mini spinner, and Navajo/chain plied for about 357 yds of 16wpi 3ply Merino/Silk blend yarn from one bump (about 1,071 yds singles).   Pictures were taken before it's twist setting bath.  The Fiber Optic fiber's prep made this a joy to spin with no predrafting required.  

I also spun a few little fiber samples for my Itty Bitty Bits during March and April, but bless me if I can find the little devils. They've apparently disappeared into a black hole or something. They'll turn up eventually, like when I'm frantically searching for something else.    

I started working on the E. Friesian/Corriedale cross last August and finished most of it this April. Altogether there was a little over three pounds of raw fleece, both adult and lamb. Some I washed, but most of it was washed by Q. I combed and/or carded all of it and spun most of it woolen or semi-woolen; the remainder was spun by Q. These three skeins total about 400 yards of 3ply heavy sport weight yarn and were given to Q to use for a test knit.

E. Friesian/Corriedale cross yarn

this skein is approximately 288 yards of 3ply, spun by Q and plied by me.

E. Friesian/Corriedale cross

The Berry Happy socks, also a plain vanilla afterthought heel, were started on April 27th and finished on May 28th, the day they were due as a birthday present.  This is the Berry Happy colorway in Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino.  I really enjoyed knitting with this particular yarn and am actively stash diving for more.  I should have at least four more skeins tucked away somewhere.  

Berry Happy socks

The Autumn Walk socks were started in November 2012 and finished on May 30, 2013. These are plain vanilla afterthought heel socks knit with Three Ewes Twisted in Fiber self-striping Merino/Tencel yarn in the Autumn Walk colorway. Sadly, this was my last skein of Three Ewes yarn.     

  Finished Autumn Walk socks  

Brought To Me By: Crafting accomplished with the following audio/video accompaniment:    
  DVDs etc:  Midsomer Murders; Craig Ferguson: Does This Have To Be Said? & A Wee Bit o' Revolution; Who Framed Roger Rabbit; Moonlight; Downton Abbey;                  
  Pod/VideoCasts:  The Knit Girllls; Round the Twist; Knitting Pipeline; Cast On; Yarnspinner's Tales; The Anatomy of Knitting; The Knitmore Girls;    

June 7, 2013

This and That


The 2013 Tour de Fleece starts on June 29th and runs through July 21st.  So far I've joined three teams: the Diagon Alley Marauders (the Hogwarts at Ravelry group),  Footloose (the Hansen mini-spinner group), and the Spin Your Stash group. I haven't decided yet what exactly I'm spinning, but as my general theme this year is stash busting, it really doesn't matter.  And I still have a couple of weeks yet to decide and finish prepping fleece.


I am once again participating in The Knit Girllls' Stash Dash 2013 challenge which started on May 24th and will run through Aug 5th.  This year we are knitting, crocheting, spinning and/or weaving our way through 4k of yarn (that's 4,375 yards).  Fingers crossed that I'll actually reach the goal this time.

  On My Needles/Hooks:

I'm actively working on the Wendy Johnson 2013 Summer Mystery Shawl and the Cauchy socks by Cookie A, but they're not the only projects on my needles right now.  There's also the Owlie socks in Hufflepuff colors, as well as the resurrected Charlotte Bronte shawl,  the Hexipuff Baby Blanket and some preemie hats.      


I've had the urge to make stranded color mittens for quite some time now.   I have two books of mitten patterns in my library that I'd love to work my way through, as well as a sampler pack of Knit Picks Pallette yarns to knit with.  Right now I'm going through the books and my Ravelry favorites and queue and selecting patterns and matching yarns for them.  Sometimes planning is as much fun as knitting!        

  On My Spindles/Wheel:

  I have worked on some odd fiber samples for the  Itty Bitty Bits and I've been sporadically spindle spinning a bump of BFL/silk from Two Sisters Stringworks, but mostly I've been doing fiber prep - combing and carding fleece.    

There's a Ramboulliet/Montadale cross fleece that I'm using to practice carding on my new drum carder.  Honestly, I think I prefer hand carding, but that could be because I'm new at it (the drum carding).

I'm also working on an absolutely lovely Ramboulliet/Dorset/Corriedale cross fleece (a/k/a the RDC fleece) that's just a joy to comb and hand card. It's only drawback is it has a lot of yellow in it, but a nice dip in a dye bath should take care of that.  I've started woolen spinning the hand carded rolags and it spins like butter.  My singles are the thinnest I've done so far so I'm hoping my final 3ply yarn will end up as fingering or sport weight yarn.      

There's also the Expand Your Horizons spinning for March (Jacob) and May (Coopworth) that I have the fiber for but haven't touched.  I may not get to spinning this particular batch of Coopworth because I'm blending it with some other fiber for Q to use for her sister's wedding shawl.  Guess that means I just might have to buy more fiber.  Heehee :-)      

Brought To Me By: Crafting accomplished with the following audio/video accompaniment:    
  DVDs etc:  Midsomer Murders; Why Didn't They Ask Evans; The Borgias; Murdoch Mysteries; Hemlock Grove; Doctor Who; Moonlight; Twin Peaks; Angel; NCIS;                      
  Pod/VideoCasts:  The Knit Girllls; Round the Twist; Yarnspinner's Tales; The Knitmore Girls; The Nerdist; Knitting Pipeline; SpinDoctor;