Finishing Up the Tour de Fleece 2012

I suspect that the last Tour de Fleece I participated in was in 2009, and I was delighted to be able to participate again this year! If you don’t know about the Tour de Fleece, it’s too late to participate this time, but it’ll be happening again next year.

First finished Navajo plyed yarn for TDF (superwash merino from Sweet Georgia –

Navajo plied some superwash merino #imakeyarn #tdf

The annual Tour de Fleece started in 2006, and has been hosted in the Tour de Fleece Ravelry Group since 2008. It runs alongside the Tour de France. It’s pretty laid back – they have guidelines, not rules, but the basic idea is to spin everyday the Tour rides (like the Tour, there are 2 rest days), and challenge yourself.

2-ply superwash merino –

Spinning outside :) #tdf

Since I was renting the Schacht Ladybug wheel for the majority of the Tour de Fleece, I decided to participate. Between returning the Ladybug and picking up my new Lendrum, I was without a wheel for 2 days, but one of those days was an official rest day, so I only ended up missing one day – and didn’t partake in the 2nd rest day to make up for it.

BFL traditionally 3-plyed – fiber from Fleece Artist –

Before setting the twist

Of all the yarn I spun up, I think my favorite is the last stuff I spun –

Merino from Knitopia in White Rock –

...and then there's this :D

I picked this stuff up from Knitopia in White Rock. It was labeled as 77 grams of Bi-colored BFL as a base, but when I got it home and started pre-drafting, it was clear that it wasn’t BFL. I wish I had saved a few fibers to show you, but I spun up every last one (I really wanted to maximize my 77 – or what was actually 76 grams).

Merino singles –

Finished spinning this today. Plying tomorrow!

The fibers were short – most of them were about 2″, some were only and inch or an inch and a half. The crimp looked more like merino than BFL and the fibers were super soft. There was no way this was BFL, but that was more of a happy surprise than anything, because I love spinning the high crimp, shorter stapled fibers! The pictures show this fiber as being quite a bit shinier than in reality, but the colors were very jewel-toned when spun.

Merino Navajo plyed –

N-plyed.

I spun a bobbin full of singles, and Navajo plyed them to make a 3-ply yarn. I’ve been working on spinning a little thicker – or rather, controlling the thickness of my singles to make them bend to my will, and I think it worked quite nicely on this yarn, with about a sport weight finished yarn.

Merino, finished yarn –

Finished n-plyed yarn. #handspunFTW #tdf

The only thing I’m not happy about with this handspun project is that I don’t have more! I’m hoping that 76 grams is enough to do a small shawl. I’m still waiting for the yarn to dry just a touch more (it still weighs about 3 grams more than before I soaked it and set the twist – and I’m assuming it’s water weight – that or magic), but then I’ll measure the yardage and wraps per inch one final time.

Tour De Fleece 2012 Badge

My grand total for weight spun is 14 ounces!

So there you go! The 2012 Tour de Fleece recap! Is everyone ready for the Ravelympic er…Ravellenic Games? They start on Friday!

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First Handspun On The New Wheel!

Oh yeah, for those not watching my little videocasts, I bought a new spinning wheel last Thursday! It’s another Lendrum DT, since I sold my first Lendrum DT 2 years ago when I was having all that wrist pain. So, I’ve been spinning up a storm since last Thursday, and finished my first yarn on the new wheel today.

I started with 100% Blue Faced Leicester sliver from Fleece Artist. From the smell, I’d guess it was indigo dyed.

BFL Sliver from Fleece Artist - 3 ply semi woolen

I started by splitting the fiber lengthwise a couple of times –

BFL Sliver from Fleece Artist - 3 ply semi woolen

Then, I did a bit of pre-drafting, because the fiber was fairly stuck together. It formed these wonderful little roving clouds –

BFL Sliver from Fleece Artist - 3 ply semi woolen

I made a little test skein by navajo plying the fiber –

BFL Sliver from Fleece Artist - navajo plied test skein

I was happy with the weight, but wanted to do a traditional 3-ply instead, so I started spinning singles to that end –

BFL Sliver from Fleece Artist - singles

I finished plying the singles up this morning, and set the twist right after. It poofed up a ton!

BFL Sliver from Fleece Artist - 3 ply semi woolen

I still have to measure my yardage. I didn’t bother measuring the yardage before I set the twist, because I knew it was going to puff up a bit and I’d lose some yardage.