Aside from a couple quick posts, I don’t think I went into much detail about the Tour de Fleece as it was happening. I didn’t spin nearly as much as I have in past Tour de Fleece events, but it was a respectable production this year nonetheless. I accomplished the main goals I set out to tick off my to-do list and for that I’m very happy. So let’s hop right to it, all right?
First, while I didn’t start this during the Tour de Fleece, I did ply it during The Tour.
This is my 4-ply 2-color hawser spin. It’s 100% Corriedale from Three Waters Farm in the Next to You and Fall Refrain colorways. To create this yarn, I split my fiber into 4 equal portions — 2 of each color — and I Z-spun each portion onto its own bobbin. (For those who aren’t spinners, “Z-spun” refers to when the drive wheel is being spun clockwise and “S-spun” is when the drive wheel is being spun counterclockwise.) Then, I Z-spun (or “up-plied”) 1 ply of each color together. And then I S-spun the 2 – 2-plies together. I apologize for not taking better photos of the process — if you have questions you can just ask or refer to Sarah Anderson’s The Spinner’s Book of Yarn Designs as the hawser recipe I used is on page 94 of the text.
I’ll be honest, I have mixed feelings about this spin. It’s named for a rope construction and — truth be told — my yarn feels pretty ropey. There are spots where I clearly had too much twist in the Z-spins and I failed to even it out during the final S-spin. I came out with about 360yards of this 4-ply fingering weight yarn and my thought was that I would knit socks with it as it is supposed to be an extremely durable yarn. I am reserving final judgment until I knit up it. At the end of the day, that’s the true test of any handspun.
When I finished this plying, I moved straight on to my main Tour de Fleece goal which was to spin up the bulk of my Three Waters Farm Merino and Ramouillet fibers. I really like spinning these fibers into squishy 2-ply worsted and worsted + weight yarns and that’s exactly what the plan was.
This is Cafe Diem… named for a place in North Carolina, not the cafe on the TV show Eureka.
I haven’t measured exact wraps per inch, but I would guess it’s a heavy worsted weight and is 185yds.
Log Cabin here is one of my all time favorite colorways with its rich browns, golden, and slate-y blues.
As a slightly heavier aran weight yarn, this skein is about 150yards.
And then there was Faithful. This colorway I acquired via a destash sale, so it wasn’t a current offering.
It’s a beauty though, right?! This one spun up exactly the same as Log House — literally to the yard.
And then, over yoga one morning I had this brilliant idea to combine my 2 braids of Supercell on Rambouillet…
and 2 braids of Luminous Dusk on Merino…
…for another 2-ply worsted weight yarn using 1-ply of each colorway. I’m usually not very confident in putting colorways together, but I just had this feeling about this combination.
It was about an ounce into the spin that I put 8oz + 8oz together to realize this would be a 16oz spin. That is not small for me. In an event like the Tour de Fleece, I usually pick more quick spins rather than one big long one. By the time I realized what I’d decided to do though, I was committed. It took a little over a week to complete the singles.
(Of course there was one more bobbin at the end, but I only have a photo of the three.)
And it took me just under a week to ply it. This is the finished 2-ply yarn on an Akerworks Jumbo bobbin. I can’t believe I fit 16oz on this baby!
I shared this photo on Instagram and someone said it was like a rose window — isn’t it though? So pretty!
I did not quite get this skein washed and dried yet, but it wound off around 965yds of 2-ply worsted weight yarn. Since the wash and set always steals a few yards, I’m counting on this to be about 900-915yards when all is said and done.
I’m already cruising possible sweater patterns.
I did have a bit of the Supercell colorway leftover — pretty normal for a 2-ply. I wound it up into a quick center-pull ball and plied it on itself.
Et voila, 50yards of Supercell.
And that, my friends, was my Tour de Fleece. I could count the yardage and skeins, but that really isn’t where my mind is at these days. I came. I spun. I made pretty yarn. Period. That was my Tour de Fleece. ❤