Sunday, July 10, 2016

A Spin on the Tour in 2016

I skipped out last year. I saw it was coming up and decided to bail at the last second. This year, though, I couldn't wait to get started again. The Tour de Fleece kicked off, just as it always does, with the opening day of the Tour de France.

Lupine helps in his first ever TdF!
I had big plans. After all, it had been almost a full year since I'd spun anything and over a year since I'd spun on my wheel. I had two bumps of Malabrigo Nube top that I figured I'd begin with. I quickly saw I was going to need to change plans, though, when I opened up the bag of my spinning wheel and saw that I'd completed half of an earlier project:  a braid from Edgewood Garden Studio on Etsy. It was a carded preparation that still had some VM in it as well as a few nubs. I liked the rustic feel of it. I began with spinning the other half of it and then plied it on my Majacraft Rose. I love how it turned out. It was very challenging to match the grist and twist of the yarn. After all, it had been nearly two years since I'd spun the first single, but I think I mostly succeeded.
Here is the end result.
I had a small amount of singles left on one bobbin, so I put it on a plying paddle to ply it back against itself.
Plying paddle with singles
Next up, a small braid from Dragon Faery Dyeworks. I believe I picked this little beauty up when I was in Colorado Springs, CO visiting my sister and her family.

This particular braid is a mix of Blue Faced Leicester (BFL) and Silk. It weighs in at only 1.9 ounces. I decided to spin it as a lace weight in order to maximize it, and here is where I'll likely remain for the duration of the Tour, as I am beastly slow at spinning lace. 

There are worse places a person could be stuck. Spinning lace is one of the nicest if you ask me! It is so much fun to see the color changes as I spin the thin thread. I'm spinning in a worsted style to maximize the shine of the silk and BFL, but I'm also focusing on a low twist ratio to have some character imparted to the yarn. If you look at the close-up, you'll see there's almost a bit of haze to it. I don't know how it will translate into the final plied product, but it's an experiment I'm really getting into!

For breaks from the long lace spinning, there's always my perpetual spindle project to break it up.

This particular spindle came from the Trindleman on Etsy. It spins like a dream- long and smooth, and it's making nice work of this Merino!

I don't have nearly as much spinning time as I would like. Despite it being summer, there is still so much I am doing. Tutoring kicks up into high gear in the summer; and with the work I'm doing for IEW and my own homeschool planning, not to mention the basics like laundry and cooking, my spinning time comes in small pockets of time. I am choosing to savor the time and not bemoan the absence of it. After all, life is good!

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