Tour de Fleece 2016 Week 2 Recap

I didn’t feel like I did a whole lot in the way of spinning this week, but now that I’m sitting down with photos I’m thinking I did. We have Mr. Knitting Sarah to thank for the progress as he has stoically hung with me in the heat of our main floor where my wheel is even when he’d rather be in the nice cool basement. He also took the kiddos on an overnight camping trip.

They stayed in a teepee, went fishing, played on the beach, and made s’mores and hot dogs on sticks. I stayed home with Moose and spun and enjoyed the quiet.

I had prepped three braids of fiber in anticipation of their being away…

img_3838Convinced this would be more fun than plying the behemoth skein that I knew would come from my 8oz of lightweight singles that were resting. In the end though, I ended up plying because I’m terrible at starting new things when I have an unfinished project.

img_3889And I knew one big push would get me there.

During the Day + Early BloomingI was right.

During the Day + Early Blooming detMeet my mega skein of Early Blooming + During the Day. Early Blooming was the May installment of the Three Waters Farm Top of the Month Club and During the Day was it’s tonal counterpart. Both are a 80/20 Merino/Tussah blend and while the Tour is in full swing I haven’t taken the time to measure anything exactly, this is somewhere in the 1100yard realm. I’ve got some sweater ideas in mind, that’s for sure.

I also finished a spin for a swap.

Laundry Pile‘Laundry Pile’ is about a 75/25 BFL/Tussah blend that spun up into a worsted-ish weight and in the neighborhood of 200yards — again I have to measure everything yet.

Laundry Pile detI was worried when I was plying that there was more color pooling than my attempted barberpoles, but it actually looks pretty great now that it’s skeined, washed, and dried.

And then, of course, there was my special Three Waters Farm TdF colorway, Summer Jubilee.

summer jubileeThis I spun into a chain plied 3-ply with the intention of eventually knitting up some stripey socks.

summer jubilee detIt turned out lovely! I love the colors! Unfortunately, it’s a bit heavier than I was aiming for — so probably like a sport weight or heavy fingering — and it shorted my yardage to around 300yards. I’m thinking I’ll knit toe-up and pull out some pretty grey from my stash for toes & heels to stretch this skein a little.

And last, but not least, I whipped through my Classy Squid Fiber Co spin.

barkI spun this skein from 2oz of rolags & a 2oz batt, both from the colorway ‘Bark.’ The rolags were spindle spun and the batt was spun on my wheel. Plying was also done on my wheel as I was in a little bit of a time crunch.

img_3832And I discovered a new and fabulous application for my Akerworks Flat Pack Lazy Kate. I can’t take credit for this idea as a friend saw it in the Akerworks Ravelry Group and then shared it with me. I won’t say my first attempt was flawless, but with a little tweaking of how I wind my cops I will absolutely use the AkerKate for spindle plying in the future. In any case…

bark detFrom lessons learned in my previous art batt spins, I really let the texture sing. The photos really don’t do this skein justice as the color variation is so subtle and it’s just a visually complex yarn.

So all of that was plied this week. Phew.

Oh, and I spun some singles, too, all for Team Three Waters Farm.

lone grasshopper bobbinThis is Lone Grasshopper. It’s 85/15 Polwarth/Tussah. It was one of my first purchases from Three Waters Farm about a year ago. I was a little thrown by that bright green for quite a while, but it’s going to be a fantastic skein.

bobbins sbbAnd this is Stolen By Bandits, also a 85/15 Polwarth/Tussah blend. These cool colors… well, I could have spun them forever.

I also got a chance to stay my last 4oz of Birds in the Holly.

Birds in the HollyThis braid I picked up from another generous Top of the Month Club member who was willing to sell it to me so I could have a little extra cushion for some sweater knitting with this skein I spun up last month. I’m trying very hard to get as close as I can to the original skein, but I’m thinking I should be able to save this skein for the collar & cuffs which means it should be a little forgiving if it doesn’t match perfectly. I’ve never attempted something like this, so my fingers are crossed and I’m hoping for the best!

 I also spent just a little bit of time daily with my Akerworks Mini-Spindle and my July Top of the Month braid, Satisfied with Summer, which I rolled into some less than way too big rolags (it was my first attempt).

img_3904This is fast becoming my favorite travel spindle. I got the mid-sized mini which weighs in at 12grams or about .42oz and is 6.5″ long. It’s so easy to tuck into whatever bag I have, it’s relatively inexpensive (my mid-size is just $21), and it loves to spin. So far for me — and I’m by no means a spindling expert — it spins like perfection with a very lightweight single, but it gets a bit finicky with heavier weights. This is most likely user error on my part — while I know the lighter the spindle the faster it spins and the lighter the yarn you can easily produce, I should probably be able to get a slightly heavier yarn. I also know I could adjust the BBs to lighten the spindle, but in all honesty I’m happy spinning the ultra lightweight. I have small flock of Mini Spindles and extra shafts (you can buy them separately for less than the spindles, should you so desire) and I’m hoping I can get a 4oz spin on them. We shall see!

This week is the final week of the Tour de Fleece and we’re expecting some grueling heat here around the homestead in the second half of the week. With no A/C, I fully intend to retreat to cooler climes — the pool, the basement, the library, etc. and I may not get the strongest finish to the Tour. I’ll do what I can though and thankfully I’ve got options. Whatever the case, I’ll find a way to make some yarn and enjoy this favorite time of year.

13 thoughts on “Tour de Fleece 2016 Week 2 Recap”

  1. You continue to amaze! That bright yellow-green speaks to me; love the pop. BTW, how in the world do you live without A/C? Of course, this is coming from Houston, where it’s a requirement almost year-round!

    1. Well, we’ve always had a/c, it just was old and died on us last summer. We’ve been holding on replacing because it’s a luxury here, not a necessity so we save quite a bit not having & running it. We have a partially finished basement that stays very comfortable year round (I often need a blanket downstairs when it’s 85+ upstairs). Plus, it only gets 90+ usually a couple weeks out of the year so we can get creative about how we spend our time those days. If all goes according to plan, we’ll be replacing it in time for next summer – we will definitely appreciate it then!

      1. I think you are so smart to not spend the resources when you don’t have to! It’s pretty miserable here without A/C, but we have been in other parts of the country when we didn’t have it and the fresh air is wonderful. I also wish I had a basement! 🙂

      2. We’ll see how smart I feel on Thursday when it’s 95 – lol! The last 3 days I’ve been diving through our freezers looking for what I can cook up in advance of the heat coming. In all seriousness, it’s not too bad. And a basement here is pretty important. We see our share of tornadoes and I just wouldn’t feel very safe without one.

  2. All of your spinning is so gorgeous it really makes me want to jump into that rabbit hole! I must resist! But yours is SO pretty!

  3. Such pretty skeins! And kudos to you for spindle spinning AND wheel spinning. I still have a project in progress on my Turtlemade Turkish spindle from last year….

    1. Thanks! I’ll tell you, finding the right spindles for me has made all the difference. I used to kind of loathe spindling, but I love it now and I really think it took finding a good spindle fit. That and figuring out that I like spinning with rolags or smaller nests of fiber helped a lot. Now I pop a spindle in my bad just like I do my knitting. Easy peasy.

  4. Those yarns are really lovely! And I am quite proud of myself (puffs chest) as I recognized the chain ply as such when I saw the skein. 🙂

    I did some finishing yarn this weekend as well, but not any where near that much! So glad Mr. KS was supportive of your efforts! And I bet he and the kids had a wonderful time camping.

    Maybe it is time to get a second wheel for the basement, lol?

    1. Nice job, you! I think this is where the miniSpinner I’m lusting over comes into play as it’s super portable, just quite expensive. For now, I’ll be using spindles until the amazing day I take the leap with the miniSpinner. 🙂

      1. I think you do darned well on spindles, so you will survive until that day. I suspect new AC and furnace come ahead of a miniSpinner. 😦

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