Friday, July 11, 2014

Fiber Arts Friday: Tour de Fleece 2014, part 1

I think the Tour de Fleece is perfectly timed during the year.... it has gotten hot enough that I don't want to knit too much and sitting in front of my wheel is much  more enjoyable when my feet and fingers are not cold.  ;-)

For those unfamiliar with the Tour de Fleece, it's a fiber spinning event hosted on Ravelry that coincides with the Tour de France.

It's a fun event each year.  Participants can join a team or spin individually.  The camaraderie is a lot of fun.  I have joined up with the Team of Wonder again and look forward to participating every year.

My goal for the last several years has been to spin at least a 1/2 inch each day the Tour rides.  I don't always succeed, but last year I spun one extra day.  :-)  Also since I'm on an Alpaca-Lovin' Team and raise a few of my own, I intend to spin at least some alpaca.

Of course my hope after every Tour de Fleece is to continue the spinning momentum I built throughout the entire year.  Some years are better than others.  Last year was not so good...  I still have the cotton on my wheel from last year's Tour.. Which had been on my wheel for quite a while before that.  So my goals include spinning more cotton.  ;-)

3/5 ounces natural green cotton

I also have some prepared llama, llama, llama+bamboo, and romney lamb+alpaca to spin.

As usual, I will post my daily progress in my weekly Fiber Arts Friday Post. If you want to see my (and the rest of the team's) real-time, actual, daily, progress then join us at the Team of Wonder on Ravelry. If not, I'll see you here next Friday. :-)

Saturday, July 5th

I started with the green cotton that has been on my wheel for 15 months.  The spinning bug actually bit me on Monday, June 30th... so I've been spinning this for the last several days.

I started with the 3.5 ounces remaining this morning, which means I've spun one ounce since last year's Tour de Fleece... most of it in the last few days.


But after a week of spinning cotton, I was feeling bored with it today. 30 minutes later and a negligible amount according to my scale, I still have 3.5 ounces to go.  sigh.


I was anxious to spin the Romney Lamb+Alpaca (80/20).  The staple felt like a mile long after the cotton.  It drafts quickly but is much more coarse so my fingertips got sore.  Below is nearly an ounce.

To show you  what I mean about the difference in staple length... the cotton (~0.5 inches) is on the left and the Romney Lamb+Alpaca (~3.5 inches) on the right.

Sunday, July 6th

Continuing with the Romney+Alpaca, I spun 1 5/8 ounces in two sessions.

I love the way that wool smells and as I mentioned earlier, this drafts quite nicely so it spins quickly.  But my finger tips are sore after spinning this blend.

I don't imagine I'll spin romney again... there's a little lanolin buildup on my finger tips... don't know if that's due to the preparation, quality of the fleece or breed.  But I do think this would be a nice pairing with the Navajo Churro I have in my stash.  This is definitely not a next-to-skin type yarn.

Monday, July 7th

Another 1 1/8 ounces today.  Not much of this one left.... thankfully.

Tuesday, July 8th

3 7/8 ounces of Romney/Alpaca (80/20)

Then I added what I spindled in last year's TdF to the bobbin.

4 3/8 ounces and 426 yards of excited Romney + Alpaca (80/20).

After a bath and a stretch, it is a little more behaved.  ;-)  It will go into my stash to be used in a weaving project that's been percolating over the last few days.

After the last 4 days, my fingers needed some soft fiber.... I thought this local llama would be the ticket.

It was delightfully soft and slippery and full of neps and vegetable matter.  Not a very good preparation, but exactly what I needed.

1 1/8 ounce, 99 yards of Charcoal Llama.

Wednesday, July 9th

I'm not feeling too much of the spinning mojo today... perhaps I over did it yesterday.  ;-)

Below is about 1/4 ounce of a Brown Llama.

It's from the same source of the Charcoal Llama from yesterday, but this preparation is much better so far.

Thursday, July 10th

I finished spinning the brown llama from yesterday.

1 1/8 ounce, 93 yards of Brown Llama.

I was planning to save this roving for tomorrow, but I just couldn't help myself... much like good chocolate cake, this llama+bamboo roving was delicious to work with.

2 ounces, 140 yards of silver llama+bamboo.

This has been an exceptionally productive week on many fronts, not just spinning.

Happy Spinning and Happy Fiber Arts Friday.


Chrisknits said...

That Brown Llama is gorgeous!!! So envious of your skill.

Barbara at Knitting | Work in Progress said...

You've been marvelously busy and such lovely results to show for that effort. Kudos to you!

Voie de Vie said...

I was wondering how that llama + bamboo combo would spin up - just wonderfully I see! And it must be oh-so-soft - do you think it will have good drape? Maybe a lovely skinny scarf or something? :)

Spinster Beth said...

The llama is just beautiful! I like "local llama" best.