Rest Day

Today is the second of two rest days during the Tour de France and Tour de Fleece, so it seems like a good opportunity to update you, dear reader, on my progress.

Aren’t these colors just amazing? This is a Spunky Eclectic Spunky Club selection from June 2016 in the color way Easy Peasy. The fiber is Cheviot, which is one of my very favorite fibers to spin.

I had two bumps of Easy Peasy and after splitting them into thin strips, I spun them end to end on my Schacht Flatrion in double drive. The bobbins are posing on my Ladybug. I still haven’t decided how I am going to ply these singles. I might chain ply them to make a self-striping yarn with short color repeats, or I may ply from both ends of a center pull ball, or I may do one of each.

This is another of the second bumps from a Spunky Club selection, this one in the color way TACO. I spun the other bump last year at this time. I spun these singles on my Schacht Ladybug in double drive using the high speed whorl and high speed bobbin. Nowadays I use my Ladybug mostly for plying in Scotch tension, but every once in a while I will spin on her just to remind me of how sweetly she spins in double drive. I honestly think that the Ladybug is the best all-purpose wheel on the market. She is so versatile and spins well in double drive, Scotch tension, and Irish tension.

These are the completed TACO singles. I spun this to make a 2-ply fractal yarn plied from both ends of a center pull ball. I split the fiber in half lengthwise, spun one half end to end, then split the other half into thin strips lw and spun them end to end on the same bobbin. When I ply the singles, I won’t have any of that pesky leftover yarn to deal with.

Lulu the torbie keeps me company when I spin.

Lulu says, Look at me! I’m so pretty! My mommy loves me to sit with her while she spins.

My current project is Be The Light on mixed BFL, also a Spunky Eclectic Spunky Club selection from bygone days, October 2016. This is the first bump, spun in double drive on my Matchless.

This is the second bump of Be The Light. For the first bump, I split the fiber lengthwise into very thin strips which I then spun end to end. For this bump, I split the fiber in half lw and I’m spinning both lengths end to end. I will ply the two singles together to make a fractal yarn that will probably become a scarf or maybe a shawl. I love the subtle striping of fractal-spun yarn. I know I will end up with the dreaded left-over singles, but I will cope. If there isn’t too much leftover, I will make a plying bracelet and attach it to the skein. I do this by winding the plying bracelet without breaking the singles. It’s not as difficult as it sounds. If there’s too much leftover singles, I will wind a center pull ball and ply from both ends to make a mini skein.

The TdF ends in six days, and I am almost finished spinning the fiber I hoped to get done during this year’s Tour. I still have some plying to do, so I have plenty of time to reach my goal and maybe even surpass it. YAY!

Tomorrow is a challenge day, and I’m not sure yet what my challenge will be. Maybe it will just be to finish up Be The Light or to do some plying. Or maybe I will try doing some long draw again. I’m terrible at long draw and really need to practice. But I’m so bad at it that I always feel like I am ruining the fiber. Sigh.

The Tour De Fleece 2018 Continues

So, today I am going to report on days 8, 9, 10, and 11 of the TdF which correspond to stages 8, 9, and 10 of the Tour de France. Day 10 was a rest day–no racing for the cyclists–so from here on out, the days and stages will have different numbers.

On Day 8/Stage 8, I finished spinning the Black Pillar singles. I still haven’t plied them.

On Day 9/Stage 9, I plied all the singles I had spun so far, except for Black Pillar, and I also plied some singles that I had spun during the Stanley Cup playoffs. Top l to r: Aspens, Feathered Friend Far left: Out of Season (spun during the Stanley Cup playoffs) Middle, l to r: Squirrel, Little Bluebird, Caribou Bottom: The Undead All fibers by Spunky Eclectic.

Monday, Day 10, was a rest day, and this year I actually took a break from spinning on the first rest day. But that doesn’t mean I was idle. I spent some time preparing fiber for spinning.

Yesterday, Day 11, Stage 10, was a challenge day, so I spun a new-to-me fiber blend, Merino/yak. Both fibers have a short staple and are very soft. I was expecting it to be a bit difficult to spin, but it actually was pretty easy. The color way is Game Birds from Spunky Eclectic, a CLUB Remix selection from 2015.

All the plying was done in Scotch tension on my Schacht Ladybug except for Squirrel, which was both spun and plied in Scotch tension on my Schacht Flatiron.

Today I will be spinning again. I am going to start on a 2016 Spunky Club selection and spin both bumps. That’s ~8 ounces of fiber, so I probably won’t get it all spun today, but I should make a dent in it. I’ll will post pictures tomorrow.

Spinzilla 2017 Is Done

Spinzilla 2017 ended on October 8th, and although I didn’t quite match my yardage from Spinzilla 2015, I did pretty damn well this year.

All the yarn was spun from Sweet Georgia fiber club selections. I spun and plied it all on my Schacht Flatiron except for one skein that was spun on the Flatiron but plied on my Schacht Ladybug.

The Sweet Georgia Spinzilla team was great. The moderator ran the Ravelry Group and team to perfection. She was supportive and kind, as were all the team members. And as if it wasn’t enough that we all got to be part of such a great team, Sweet Georgia (aka Felicia Lo) sent me this to thank me for being on the team.

Yes, that’s a braid of fiber and a water bottle. There is also a card included with a coupon code.

The other side of the water bottle. I love that it’s in Sweet Georgia’s signature color, hot pink.

Really, I should be thanking her (and did thank her) for welcoming me to the Sweet Georgia team. It was an honor and a privilege to represent Sweet Georgia Yarns during Spinzilla.

I don’t think I’ll be doing Spinzilla again. It’s just a little too intense for me. But I don’t regret participating this year.

Post-TDF Spinning 

I will soon have some knitting to share with yinz, but until then, here’s some spinning for your viewing pleasure.

Spunky Eclectic Carpe Diem on Farmer’s Woolpool Sheepswool from the March 2017 Spunky Club. It’s a 2-ply that I spun on my Ashford Traveller and plied on my Schacht Ladybug.

Spunky Eclectic TACO on Polwarth from the November 2017 Spunky Club. This is another 2-ply that I spun on my Schacht Flatiron and plied on my Ladybug.

Last but not least is another Spunky fiber, from the June 2017 Spunky Club in the color way Cold Feet on Cheviot. Mmmmm. Cheviot. I am spinning it on the Flatiron and I hope to end up with a 2-ply sock yarn.

Tour De Fleece 2017 Day 20 Stage 18

Tomorrow is the final day of the Tour de Fleece and all I have left to do is wind my final project off the bobbin. Of course, all the yarn I made during the Tour still needs to be washed and measured.

Into The Whirled Elevenses in the Shire Cheviot singles are awaiting plying.

And this is Elevenses in the Shire after I plied it on my Schacht Matchless.

ITW North of the Wall 2-ply. This is the fiber that I spun supported long draw to make a nice woolen-spun yarn.

ITW Zephyr fractal 2-ply is all skeined up and ready to be washed.