Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What I learned during Tour de Fleece

For starters I learned TdF is like one big spinning festival and there's lots of eye candy and lots of opportunities to get more spindles and more spindles ...  I stopped counting, but I've added quite a few to my stash this month.

I also learned that if you are navajo plying with a tensioned bobbin, trying to finish 100s of yards on the last day of TdF and your fingers hurt ... you might wants to stop and check ... the yarn is CUTTING you (this is 2 days later).

But I have a 400 yd skein of 3-ply fingering weight yarn.

I taught myself how to Ply on the Fly and made a video tutorial for others.  It really is a cool technique.

I learned how to spin supported.  This is a work in progress, but its getting better every time I practice.

And its good that its getting better ... because I might have purchased a few spindles ...

And there might be a few more coming in the mail...

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tour de Fleece - Day 20

Got behind on daily updates, but honestly everything looked a lot of the same, over and over and over.  Not sure I am going to finish either of these projects for the end of TdF ... we'll see there's still 3 days left .....

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tour de Fleece - Day 12

More on the Loop bump today and finished listening to How to Cheat a Dragon's Curse.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Tour de Fleece - Day 11

More Ply on the Fly today!

I also did  a video tutorial on the technique:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Shop Update!!

Etsy shop has been updated!  

There are 5 self striping, 5 silk/wool and 3 superwash merino/nylon.  There's also some lace, sparkle lace and angora/wool.

Tour de Fleece - Day 10

Day 10 - still plying on the fly.  I finished up the first chunk of the braid, that's about 1/5 ... not so sure this'll be finished by the end of the tour.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Tour de Fleece - Day 9

Worked this morning 11p-7a so not much spinning today.  Went to see How to Train Your Dragon 2 this afternoon, so Toothless is here spinning with me.  Ply on the Fly is going well.  I still can't spin counter-clockwise to ply, it gets all jumbled up - I park and let it spin back itself then give it a twirl at the end.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Tour de Fleece - Day 8

Two new to me techniques that are starting to shape up after a few days of practice.  Ply on the Fly on my Turkish spindle is getting better and better.  And I'm starting to get off of park and draft on the support spindle.  I just got this one in a de-stash and I LOVE it.  It has finally clicked for me and this one is working very well.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Tour de Fleece - Day 7

Got quite a bit of spinning done on the wheel today.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Tour de Fleece - Day 6

Another work day, so not a ton of time to spin, but I did put a good dent in this loop bump and listened to an audio book.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Tour de Fleece - Day 5

Have to work tonight at 11pm, so not a lot of time for day 5.  I did some more practice of Ply on the Fly.  It really started out more like Park and Ply.  Now the plied yarn is starting to look a bit better and more evenly plied.  Practice, practice, practice, right?!?!

Tour de Fleece - Day 4

Its not easy to photograph black yarn at 11pm ... or anytime for that matter.  I plied the skein of Merino, Corriedale, Finn, Rambouillet Cross from the batt I was spinning.  The merino from what I can tell is the colored bits.  Its 1.5 oz and about 70 yds of a sport/DK weight.

I had a productive dyeing day today, I dyed up some more self striping.  Shop will be updated mid-July.  I love dyeing self striping, but it is so time consuming.  I started at 9:30 thinking I would be done by noon ... try 2:30.

All the skeins have to be wound off a cone, then made into a 36' (yeah FOOT) skein, soaked, dyed, washed, rinsed and hung.  Then when dry, reskeined into a normal sized skein, because I am assuming nobody wants to try and knit from a 36' skein, LOL!

I've also been practicing on my support spindle with some sample fibers I've been carding into rolags.  I found an excellent book on support spindling (there aren't many out there).  

Its going OK.  I do have a few more supported spindles coming my way to try out different ones (as usual I went coo-coo bananas when I learn a new thing - how did I end up with over a dozen drop spindles?!?!  I stopped counting at 12).  This one is great for a beginner, but the tip is quite bulky and fingers tire easily flicking it.

I also started the Loop bump on the Traveller today.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tour de Fleece - Day 3

Today I decided not to fight the fiber.  I was trying to spin this batt on my Tibetan spindle and it really is not the best choice of fiber or preparation to do that.  So I moved it onto a wheel.  It wanted to be much thicker and have more air in it than I was getting on the spindle.  I was also loosing the pops of color trying to spin it on the spindle.  The colored fibers are a much different fiber and staple length and just have to be allowed to JUMP in where they want.

I was much happier letting it do its thing.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Tour de Fleece - Day 2

I started my Ply on the Fly fiber today.  I broke the fiber into two different color sections and will spin up two separate skeins.  Ply on the Fly is a technique to navajo ply on the Turkish spindle while spinning up the singles.  A length of single is spun, then plied back on itself and wound on.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Prepping for Tour de Fleece

Tomorrow is the start of Tour de Fleece, an annual spinning challenge on Ravelry that coincides with the Tour de France.

I've got lots of plans for this year!

Team Loop
Loop Bump on the Traveller, navajo plied.

Team Turk
Finishing up the white fiber to ply with the rainbow batt that I spun up.  Plying on the larger spindle.

Team Into the Whirled
I'm going to spin up this fiber and try plying on the fly for a navajo ply.

Team Threads Thru Time
I'm going to spin up this batt on my new Tiny Threads Thru Time spindle.

Team Support Spindlers
I am going to ATTEMPT to spin up this batt on this Tibetan spindle ... this will be a challenge and a new spinning technique for me.

The only one I really plan on completing during the Tour (July 5th - 27th) is the Loop fiber, all the other ones are new techniques or I chose to practice and refine skills with certain tools.