Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Spinning is over - for just a bit

Well, The Tour de Fleece is over. I really am proud of how much i did spin. By no means a huge yardage as I was working on a spindle but I did spin everyday for at least 1 hour.....Well, except for Sunday. I decided I wanted to knit instead.

I spun:
3 oz of lace weighed 2 ply superwash merino/alpaca (~200-300 yards)
2 oz of fingering 2 ply colonial wool (Corriedale top) in blues/greens/browns (~180yds)
DK -light worsted 2 ply blend. I ply is brown Shetland and 1 ply is wine corriedale. I called it Black Forest Cake. ( about 200 yds)

All in all I spun on my spindles a total of 1360 yards of singles. I feel pretty good about that!!! But best of all....I did not buy any fiber during the tour. I spun all of my stash except 4 oz of BFL, 3 oz of Merino/alpaca and 2 oz of the blues and greens corriedale. I want to finish these before September because, that is the Youngs Dairy Fiber Festival where I buy alot of my fiber. I can, guilt-free, buy anything I want there if I've spun up all the fiber I purchased last year. This is my overall spinning goal for this summer!!!!

As for knitting during the tour. I started and finished my summer socks by Cookie A AND I started Undulating Rib Sock and finished the second sock last night!!
Undulating rib Paton stretch

I completed them in Paton stretch sock yarn in plum. Just looking at the yarn I wasn't too impressed, but I really love how it knits and the socks it made!!! I like it much better than Cascade Fixation. Fixation is just too thick for me.

I've also cast on the Town & Country scarf from Knit Picks Elizabeth I pattern. It is a Christmas gift for a friend. I am doing it in Caron Spa because I made her a scarf in Classic Elite Miracle. It was the softest yummiest scarf. But of course, this yarn irritated her skin (she does have weird skin problems). So, I promised I would make her another scarf in a yarn that would not irritate her around the neck. I figure that Bamboo and Acrylic should be safe!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Tour de Fleece Update and Sock Knitting

Tour de Fleece - Day 14
I've stalled a little, but I will say I am on goal. I guess I was just overachieving the first 10 days. Since the rest day, I have spun every day for 1-2 hours. I'm working through my stash fairly well. So I will say this week has been a success, even though I have nothing to post on the Daily Ravelry thread.

Cookie A Summer Socks

I have finished my Cookie A Summer Socks in the Serenity Yarn (by Premier Deborah Norville line). They came out very nice. I almost got 1 pair of these socks from 1 ball(230 yds). I think if you cut down the number of repeats, 1 ball would work. I may remake them in a anklet-style sock for my daughter. I will definitely have enough left over yarn for that project

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Tour de Fleece Day 9 - Man, I need a Rest

Well this weekend of spinning has kicked my butt. I have definitely worked hard and did more than I ever thought I could!!. I started working on the Black Forest Cake yarn on Day 6. I pushed my self to get all the singles spun so I could ply it this weekend. I thought the plying would be fairly easy, but it took forever. I think all in all I stood and plyed for about 4 hours straight. And I got it all plyed onto 1 spindle.
Black Forest Cake

Abby Franquemont posted how you can really cram up your spindles if you need to. Well I can verify that. This is 9 inched long. and about 10 inches around!


Once I skeined it out I figured about 200 yards of sport weight (10 WPI). I read of a technique where you run the singles over an hook on your ceiling and then down to your spindle. This helps to tension the singles.
Here I am showing you how I put my spindles into a shoe box with holes on each end so that the spindles can unwind the yarn.

Note here I am playing the singles together. See how the yarn goes from the spindles in the box to the ceiling hook and then down to the spindle.

This makes it amazingly easy to keep the singles from twisting on themselves and getting tangled!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Day 6 Keeping it up

DAY 6: Wow I have really been dedicated to this spinning thing. I've been completely inspired to work on color combos. Hummmmmm....what might be next:

I think Black Forest Torte:

The Dark Brown (almost black) is shetland and the raspberry color is colonial wool. I think these 2 colors could ply up very pretty together. I'll keep you all posted!!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Tour de Fleece Day 4

I think this is the most spinning I have ever done in one stretch. It is slower with the spindle, but I love the portability. I've been spinning on my back porch and plying there too.

The plying paddle makes spindle plying very easy. The one shown here is from Down in the Country Spinning. I think you could easily make one, but I don't have any wood working skills, so I opted to buy one. I also have the Rakestraw spinner, but I like using the playing paddle with my drop spindle. I really hated Andean plying with the spindle until I got the paddle.

And just for the beauty of the colors:

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Prepping for the Challenge

I'm getting my fiber ready for my trip. I'm starting my spinning on the road. But that's okay, I'll just have more time to relax and enjoy the spinning. I've had this colonial top for about 2 years. Very lovely. I bought it when I purchased my first spindle. I worked on the boring cream color that I also purchased then so I wouldn't ruin this pretty stuff. I'm not saving the nice stuff anymore. I'm going to use it. If I mess it up, so what.

So this is the fiber.

I spun a little up to see how the colors were working together. I actually pulled some off the end and blended it a little more. I think it gave it more of a green cast. I prepped the rest of this top by pulling apart length-wise. I want to keep the colors more intact (less blending). We'll see if this makes a difference in the yarn. This yarn sample was Adrian plied on itself. I haven't set the twist, but it is very well balanced. I find that I can really control the balance of the twist when I am plying using the spindle.