Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tour de Fleece Update - Finished!

Ok, so I didn't manage to blog that often in the end. All the time I had free was spent spinning!

TdF Yarn Post Wash

There's also a skein of brown alpaca, but it's still drying.

I'm really pleased with how much spinning I did, and with the resulting yarn. I don't know what I'm going to do with any of it yet!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Tour de Fleece update - Day 12!

Last night was Slimming World, so I didn't have a lot of spinning time. I did manage to finish the single for the art yarn. I'm excited to ply it and add the beads and stuff. I don't know if it will ever be made into anything (isn't the point of art yarn that it isn't made into stuff?) but it's going to be cool...

TdF day 12

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tour de Fleece update - Day 11!

Day 10 was a rest day for both the riders and spinners, so I happily spent my evening knitting on the Clapotis I’m making for my mum.

Day 11 was a trying day for me in real life, as the redundancy announcements at work came out. I actually still have a job, but I’m not yet sure how I feel about that. I finished the second alpaca single and I intend to ply those shortly.

TdF day 11

Then, to cheer myself up, I started my first ever art yarn. I had a pack from the Threshing Barn which I picked up at one of the British Wool Weekend events, I think last November.

British Wool Weekend New Stuff!

I emptied the tube onto my floor to see what was in there…

Threshing barn spinning kit

Flowers, leaves, beads, yarn, curls, silk blend and wool fibre (from two different breeds of sheep, at least)

So, I started spinning a single of that, with some intentional slubs, and then when I Navajo ply it, I will add the beads, flowers and leaves. I’m not sure about the yarn. It’s not really working for me, so it might not be added at all to this yarn. We’ll see how I feel when I get to that point.

TdF day 11

Monday, July 08, 2013

TdF day 7, 8 and 9!

Well, being off work is apparently not conducive to posting daily on my blog. I wonder why that could be?

Thursday evening I did a little bit of spinning on the alpaca, but I didn’t have long to spin so not a lot got done.

TdF day 6

Spinning alpaca from the cloud (with no prep) is pretty dirty work, but it’s spinning up nicely!

Friday I did less spinning than I had hoped, as I spent the morning doing chores and then we went strawberry picking in the afternoon. I really enjoyed the fruit picking and might even go again before the season is over. I did manage to take the wheel outside for a little while though, which was nice.

TdF day 7

And the bobbin started to fill up nicely while I was out in the sunshine

TdF day 7

Day 8 was Saturday, and we went to the exhibit about the Mallard speed record at the National Railway Museum in York. It was a lot of fun!

Mallard 75 celebrations

It did mean that I didn’t get much spinning done though, in fact the day 8 bobbin looks quite similar to the day 7 one above!

 TdF day 8

On Sunday there was a tennis match on the TV (that would be the historic Wimbledon men’s final where Andy Murray finally triumphed!) and I spun during the whole match. This ended up being quite a lot of spinning!

TdF day 9

The slightly blurry picture on the right is my second bobbin of the alpaca; the one on the left is the first finished bobbin.

Today (Monday) is a rest day for the Tour de France cyclists, and so I won’t be doing any spinning today. This is fine by me, as we’re experimenting with a new transport option for my knitting group: I’m going to get the bus back to the nearest village tonight, and then hubby will collect me from there once his ceramics class is finished.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Tour de Fleece update - Day 5!

Still managing to spin and post daily...

I wound this off the bobbin and onto the niddy noddy. It's about 100 yards, I need to wash it before I measure the wpi.

TdF day 5

I'm really pleased with it though, the colours have blended nicely and so it's got that slightly "mucky" effect which looks so pretty.

Then I weighed out 50g of the alpaca fleece

TdF day 5

and started to spin that "from the cloud". It's quite dirty, I hear that alpaca like to roll in the dust a lot. However, I've also heard that it's easier to spin alpaca dirty.

TdF day 5

It's spinning up nicely but quite fine, I hope it will bloom when washed. I think it will be a 2 ply, although it depends on what the rest spins up likw. I have about 500g all together, so I'm hoping to make about 5 100g skeins all of a similar thickness. We'll see how that pans out. I might end up doing something else entirely!

I have tomorrow off work, so I should be able to get quite a lot done, once I have tidied the house, put up the new curtains, put away the washing... Okay, I should get some done in any case. Hubby is also off work in the afternoon, so we might take a trip to the pick your own strawberries nearby. I fancy making some strawberry wine and jam.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Tour de Fleece update - Day 4!

So, yesterday was day 4 of the Tour de France, the team time trial. I managed not to see any of the race this time, but I did enjoy watching the Yorkshire contingent getting excited about the Grande Depart which will be in Yorkshire next year for the 101st tour.

Anyway, I did manage to finish the alpaca single, and I stayed up far too late last night plying it.

TdF day 4

I still need to wind it off onto the niddy-noddy and then work out how long it is.
That will then mean two complete skeins (one 100g, one 50g) and I'm moving on to some alpaca fleece, all being well, tonight.
I'm hoping to spin enough of the alpaca for a sleeveless cardigan of some description, though I also want a little bit of some other colours to give some stripes across the bust.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Tour de Fleece update - Day 3!

Well, I'm not comitting to daily updates, but who knows...

here's what I managed yesterday

TdF day 3

I wound the plied yarn into a skein - though it needs a bath now before I consider it finished.
I got distracted by 50g of alpaca top from Willo Alpacas though, and instead of spinning the alpaca fleece I went ahead and spun this instead. It's spinning up very nicely though, and I look forward to navajo plying it maybe this evening!

Monday, July 01, 2013

Woolfest, Open Studios and TdF

Wow, I've had a really jam-packed weekend! Hubby and I took off from work on Thursday afternoon and headed off to Cumbria. We stayed overnight near Cockermouth, ready for Woolfest 2013.

It was a great day, though I failed to take any photos of the event. (Hubby got a few of the sheep demo) All the stands were amazing. I was especially interested in Lakeland Valley Goats who are a new startup supplying cashmere fiber. Lovely. I actually ended up buying a lot of fiber this time, rather than yarn. Must be the spinning jag I'm on, but more on that in a moment...

here's my haul from Woolfest. (I will "flash the stash" of fiber and handspun sometime soon)

Woolfest Mosaic
1. Blue faced Leicester humbug, 2. Kid mohair, 3. Yak, 4. Masham, 5. Baby camel, 6. Wensleydale, 7. Jacob, 8. Trilobal nylon, 9. BFL / Kid Mohair, 10. Merino, 11. Kid Mohair, 12. Lakeland Valley Goats' Cashmere

The pink/black merino (number 10) is gorgeous. That and number 9 were from Felt Studio UK, and might upset my original spinning plan for the TdF. More on that soon.

So, Saturday I had agreed to take part in the Bugthorpe Open Studios event, so hubby and I took our stuff to the village hall and I demonstrated spinning while he did some drawing.

Bugthorpe Open Studios

(That's one of hubby's works in the background)

It was a really nice day, and the kids seemed really interested in the wheel. I let some of the little ones have a go at pedalling, so some of my yarn is a little overspun, but not to worry.

The added bonus for me was a whole day of spinning, even if it wasn't uninterrupted spinning. I've signed up for the Tour de Fleece, which is a spin-along timed to coincide with the Tour de France. Saturday was day 1, and I spun this single:

TdF day 1

Then, on Sunday (day 2) I spun the second single

TdF day 2

Since I divided the fiber lengthways, it wasn't entirely evenly split. That meant that I had to do a little Andean plying at the end to get one skein out of it. However, here is a nice 2ply yarn. (sorry it's a bit dark, it was about 11pm when I took this photo!)

TdF day 2 - plied.

I've brought the bobbin and a niddy noddy with me so that I can skein it tonight at knitting group, and all being well I'll make a start on my alpaca tonight.

Woolfest Shopping

I bought that at Woolfest 2 years ago! It's about 500g of uncarded chocolate brown alpaca fleece. I'm excited to spin some of it, though I'm not sure how much I will spin. It's a shame I didn't think to buy some more bobbins. Broadly, my plan is to spin 50g onto each bobbin and then ply it into 100g skeins. I might end up putting one (or more) singles onto loo-roll tubes in order to maximise my effort.

I might invest in some painkillers too, as all this spinning is making me ache!

I'm also pleased to say that all this spinning will count for Nerd Wars, and Elise has modified the rules for R2 so that spinning started for the Tour can be included in the R2 challenges - so my skein can be submitted to any of the challenges, if I can figure out which one!