Le Tour Day 1: A little delay, but a lot of action

I awoke yesterday morning at 4:38am and thought, “Whew-hoo! The Tour de Fleece starts today!” I poised myself to leap out of bed, throw together the coffee, and start spinning. I reflected on this idea for about 4seconds and realized the monster I would turn into by 3pm if I did this. I hadn’t gone to bed particularly early the night before and I am not the kind of person who runs well on little sleep — once my kids started sleeping through the night, so did I and none of us have really ever looked back. My husband had the day off and I was sure we’d be having some adventure. Reluctantly, I forced myself to fall back asleep.

At a more reasonable hour our whole family woke up and got moving. It was decided that since there were supposed to be on & off storms and rain all day that we would head to the Milwaukee County Zoo where there were plenty of buildings to pop in & out. The big draw for us this time was the Shark & Sting Ray Bay exhibit. It’s not every day you get to actually reach out and touch sharks & sting rays, after all.

It’s a 45-60minute drive from our house to the zoo, so — as I posted yesterday — I did some knitting in the car.

20130629-085359.jpgIt’s Malabrigo Lace in the Velvet Grapes colorway. I’ve opted to make a Wispy Cardi for my daughter thanks to Hannh Fettig extending the sizes of this sweater to kids. It is going to be really beautiful & suit my daughter nicely.

When we got to the zoo, we made a bee-line for the Shark & Sting Ray exhibit.20130630-104017.jpgMy son quickly found a shark to touch. He could not have been more thrilled!20130630-103951.jpgMy daughter was a little vertically challenged for this tank, so she got a hand from Mr Knitting Sarah.20130630-104026.jpgThen we found a little outcropping she could lay flat on, so my husband didn’t have to dangle her over the side of the tank. The grey blur in the water is a ray — you can barely make out the white basically in my girl’s hand. Yep, she’s high-fiving a sting ray! (And yes, both children were soaking wet)

Unfortunately, my little girl cam down with a stomach bug and ended up getting sick. We were reminded that just because your kids get older, packing a spare set of clothes is never a bad idea — too bad we hadn’t as it would have saved us a trip to TJ Max. In any case, once things had calmed down a bit and my daughter was resting comfortably, my husband made a small surprise detour to Cream City Yarn Shoponly about 5 miles away from the zoo it is the perfect treat for this mom after a day at the zoo! I protested a bit at the idea since my daughter was under the weather, but she was resting and my husband insisted. We had discussed a small project for an upcoming blog earlier in the week and my husband decided to surprise me with the cash & time to pop in and grab what I need.

I was greeted with the bright smiles I’ve become accustomed to seeing when I walk through the door there and was quickly directed to the yarn I was seeking.20130630-104036.jpgI am pretty excited about this upcoming project. It was my first time seeing & touching Owl and it is as lovely as I have come to expect from Quince & Co. I would have loved to stay & peruse a little more — there were yarns from The Plucky Knitter I would have loved to spend more time with, but I had a tired family in the car & I was anxious to get my daughter home & to bed. I will admit that I also kind of wanted to prove to my husband that I could get in & out in 15miutes or less because I think that has never actually happened. My husband did also surprise me with this stop for yarn after non-stop yarn & Tour de Fleece talk over the last couple weeks. The Plucky Knitter yarns will just have to wait for another day.

The Tour de Fleece though… that began shortly after getting home & I spun on well into the night.splendorFriends, meet ‘Splendor’ — a Superwash BFL from Cloudlover Yarn & Fibers.

I have had some incredible encouragement — as usual — from Kara at Suzy Sells Sea Shells as well as my team leader Natalie from Cloudlover Yarn & Fibers and thanks to them I had the courage to make my first spin a big one for me. A single.20130630-104046.jpgI have literally been afraid to spin a single. What if it falls apart? What if there’s too much twist? What if I just destroy my beautiful fiber? I sought and was blessed with many words of advice. I read & studied & watched lots of tutorials. And then the craziest thing happened. 20130630-104055.jpgI did it. And then a crazier thing happened.20130630-104113.jpgIt turned out. I had one spot where there wasn’t quite enough twist & I broke the yarn transferring it to my niddy noddy, but I can work with that. As far as these things go, I am chalking this up to a huge success. It is washed and drying on the line as I type and I am a pleasantly shocked by the fact that it seems perfectly balanced with a Malabrigo Worsted-esque twist to it. It is far from perfect, but it is still beautiful. More importantly, I conquered a major fear and I am really happy about that.

So elated with this success last night, I immediately started on spin #2 — a Cloudlover Polwarth in Haunted Vineyard.haunted vineyardI received this as a Christmas gift and — to be perfectly honest — I am not a huge fan of the green in this. I respect it as a color, but I don’t really like it.20130630-104126.jpgOnce I started spinning though…. wowza! I don’t just like it, I LOVE this colorway. I meant to just start it last night. Instead I spun through 2/3 of the 4oz braid. I just did a simple fractal spin, so it was pretty easy for me.20130630-112641.jpgI wrapped it up this morning in between loads of laundry. Now it’ll rest overnight & I will ply tomorrow. I cannot wait to see the result. I am so infatuated with the richness and depth of this colorway.

I am in the middle of prepping the fiber for spin #3 and have settled on a technique & colorway for spin #4. Hitting the ground running for this Tour de Fleece, I am fully dedicated to using this event to really push myself, to learn as many new techniques as I can, and to use the fiber I usually hoard for a ‘special’ day. This Tour de Fleece, I’ve decided it’s going to be a month of special days for me.

9 thoughts on “Le Tour Day 1: A little delay, but a lot of action

  1. I applaud your restraint in going back to bed, once something is in my mind I could never go back to sleep. Looks like you’ve had a lovely day and made all that beautiful yarn, way to go!

    1. Lol! I know myself well enough to know I’d be a huge grump on that little sleep. I try to be nice to my husband since he does stuff like take me to yarn shops!

      1. My husband is a sucker for Johnny Walker…that is usually what he gets. My heavens though, he is starting to contemplate smoking a pipe! We’re not even thirty and suddenly it’s like living with an 80 year old man!

        I guess living with an 80 year old woman will do that to you – old souls and all that.

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