Fiber Friday – Stage 13

Fiber Friday – Stage 13

Tour de Fleece continues to be in the forefront for me this week, today is Stage 13 for le Tour and it is the first time-trial, for those that are following along with the riders.

As such, I am pacing through my Montadale singles, having 2 bobbins spun – I will start today on the third so I can begin plying this weekend. My goal is to finish the bobbin today, and I have Doc queued up on Audiobooks, so I have no excuses!

Then, I can begin my second bump of fiber…No worries though, with over 18 hours of Doc to listen too and rain in the forecast, I should get a good bit of spinning done this weekend!

Now for the Friday Links:

As I spin today, my thoughts will be centered on the citizens of France – especially after last nights horrific tragedy.

Have a safe weekend, Gentle Reader.

 

Spinning and Listening

Spinning and Listening

It’s Wednesday and that means it is Ginny’s Yarn Along today!

I am completely immersed in Tour de Fleece this year and enjoying it far more than I have in previous years. This year I am not keyed into logging miles of frenzied spinning, rather I am more focused on fiber and creating a yarn to highlight that. I finished spinning up the vintage batts from Deep, Deep Stash. My goal was a lofty, tweedy yarn and I think I achieved that! There is some sheen from the silk in the batts and the bits of silk noil have created the loveliest tweedy effect. The yarn is as squishy as the batts were and I wish you could feel it!

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I have started in on the Montadale, which I am spinning for socks, so this will become a 3-ply fingering weight yarn. Slow going, but enjoyable none the less!

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I am looking ahead to determine what to spin to finish the tour out – I will have this done this week and I only have the Coopworth remaining from my original selections.

I have 2 gradient bumps from Amy at Spunky Eclectic that I think I will finish out with. I am not sure I will get them both finished, but I will certainly try. My goal will be to spin this in a lace weight 2-ply.

I am almost finished listening to The Summer Before the War, which I am enjoying tremendously! Once I am done with this, I have Doc queued up, thanks Carole for that suggestion. I finished reading A Man Called Ove. What can I say about this book, if you have not read it – do so right now! Ove wormed his way into my heart and by the end of the book, I found myself longing to live next door to him. I did not want the book to end, despite the tears that would not stop through the last chapters. Fantastic writing! The reading this summer has been absolutely spectacular. I am still working through Big Magic, though it is losing that rosy glow it had when I started. It will be some work to finish it, but I will try. I should get a good bit of reading done again this week as Steve will be away for work from Thursday through Sunday.

I am knitting a row or two at night on the Mystery Shawl. I am almost done with the set up rows for the final clue – so the end is in sight! My goal remains, finish this by month end!

I would especially like to thank Kate Larson for the shout out today on the Spinning Daily Blog. It is truly an honor and deeply appreciated!

How is your summer reading and knitting (or crafting) going?

Fiber Friday: In Search of a Yellow Jersey

Fiber Friday: In Search of a Yellow Jersey

yel·low jer·sey

 noun

  1. (in a cycling race involving stages, especially the Tour de France) a yellow jersey worn by the overall leader in a cycle race, at the end of any one day, and ultimately presented to the winner.

I have been spinning up a storm in week one of the Tour. I have spun up the Columbia rolags, the Merino/Yak roving, and the Gotland roving. I am working through the vintage batts, and I have to tell you, while I was skeptical about how this would look at the start, I am LOVING how this looks spun up!

Still to come: Montadale top and Coopworth roving.

I am not sure how much time I will get to spin this weekend, and day one of “rest” comes on Monday.

The next rest day is July 19, but there is plenty of time yet to spin.

Let’s talk about spinning and plying for a minute. I think that I have been in a real spinning rut – same kind of yarn spun every time had pretty much been my modus operandi. However, I broke out of that shell significantly over the last year in the Sheepspot Fiber Club. I tried new things, spun fibers differently, and generally learned that not all fiber should be spun the same way. While, in theory this might make sense – it did not to me. I had my preferred rhythm and drafting method – don’t move my cheese, right?

Well, it moved and I found I liked it in the new spot!

I envisioned this Merino/Yak spun in a worsted weight yarn that would be soft and squishy, like the fiber was. I think I nailed it. I wish you could feel how soft it is. I have not set the twist yet, because I think I am going to re-ply, it could be better and more uniform.

That gets me to plying…that was truly my log jam in spinning. I can spin a nice single, however plying is a hit and miss prospect for me. More misses than hits. I have tried plying with Scotch Tension, but it really is awkward for me. The take up is sometimes too hard, and I think that does not allow enough twist into the yarns.

But, I watched a couple of videos last week that really were huge “aha” moments for me. One by Rachel Smith, aka welfordpurls (which will be available to the public in a couple of weeks) and one by Sasha Torres, aka Sheepspot.

So, I sat down at my wheel and left it in double drive and tried the things that Rachel and Sasha talked about. And, guess what…THEY WORKED!! I am so excited by this, you just cannot imagine and it has really spurred me to finish up the spinning project for my sweater. I have the singles spun, but I have been holding off because of my inept plying abilities! I will definitely be plying those singles up ASAP. The fear has been vanquished!

Update on TTL MKAL – I finished clue #4 – I know! YES! I have not started clue #5 but I am sure I will at some time this weekend.

All in all, it was a fantastic week in fiber!

Friday Linkage:

That’s all I have for this week, I have miles to go in search of that elusive yellow jersey!! Have a fantastic weekend! See you back here on Monday!

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Fiber Friday – Tour de Fleece

Fiber Friday – Tour de Fleece

Le Tour starts tomorrow, and that means spinners everywhere will be joining in to spin in le Tour de Fleece. That’s right teams of spinners will be spinning as the biking teams ride! It is really so much fun, and excellent preparation for Spinzilla!

I will be spinning with the Wool n’ Spinning Group, and as you can see – much of my fiber that I hope to get done is Sheepspot wool. I don’t think I have goals that are unreasonable, and they should be achievable if I am spinning on Tour Days!

Things I would like to get spun:

Tour de Fleece

  1. Sheepspot Columbia Rolags
  2. Vintage Crosspatch Creations Batts
  3. Spunky Eclectic Merino Yak Top
  4. Spunky Eclectic Gotland Top
  5. Sheepspot Montadale Top
  6. Sheepspot Coopworth Roving

I think this will keep me busy during the month!

Up next is a little wheel tune-up complete with drive band replacement and oiling all the moving parts!

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In my frenzy to empty bobbins for le Tour, I plied up the lace-weight Targhee and I am so happy with how all 618 yds, 100 grams turned out!

Friday Links:

So, tell me Gentle Reader – will you be watching any of le Tour while you spin? Oh, and Happy FriYAY which ushers in a weekend filled with YAY’s! See you back here on Monday.

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Fiber Friday, June 24th

Fiber Friday, June 24th

The spinning this week continues. I have been working patiently though this gorgeous Targhee from Sheepspot Fiber Club.

This is a serious spin – as in counting treadles and lacing my flyer to get a nice lace-weight yarn – these things are not things I have done before for any project! I have half spun up and have half to go. This is such beautiful fiber – I have never spun Targhee and so this was a real treat! It has so much spring and the fiber drafts beautifully – practically by itself! Truly, this is drafting so easily, I am able to pull just a few fibers out at a time getting a nice fine single. I am using the 15:1 whorl on my Schacht Matchless, so I am putting a good bit of twist into the single. I love how my ply back sample looks and this is what I will be aiming for when I ply this up. This will bloom drastically in the wash so my goal is a light fingering weight, heavy lace weight and I think I will achieve it! Stay Tuned!

Friday Link Ups:

For the book lovers out there when a book appears in your vision, not once but three times in a week it is a message from the Book Gods! I heeded their call and have queued it up on my Kindle to read. I also finished Still Life and loved it! My bingo card is getting close to my first bingo! Summer reading FTW!

That’s all I have this week, have the Happiest of FriYAY’s! I will see you back here on Monday – and Tuesday there will be a special update on the Summer Knit Along that you won’t want to miss!

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