Tour de Fleece

Belated 2014 Tour de Fleece Roundup

Oh look! Another seriously belated post. Go figure!

But hey, I’m one step closer to clearing all those drafts out!

Here is what I completed this year for Tour de Fleece. I wasn’t spinning with a team or anything, so it really is NBD…but I thought maybe someone out there might wanna see what I had spun up.

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My completed skeins.

That’s pretty much all of it (well, minus a skein I had spun pre- tour and plied during the tour).

Pictured above is 2 skeins of Creatively Dyed (that I purchased at Stitches West a few years back) 20 milk protein/ 20 seacell/ 60 wool, try 3-ply, 729 yards total and 1 skein of wool/silk/abunchofotherstuff, 2 ply (ply only), 95 yards.

Also, just for fun, I figured I would show off a skein of non-tour yarn. Below is the yarn I spun for Courtney for her birthday. I called it Autumn Candy Corn and it is 80 Merino/ 20 Silk from Bee Mice Elf Fiber (purchased at CogKNITive Fiber Retreat last year), 2 ply, 390 yards.

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Autumn Candy Corn!

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Tour de Fleece, Days 2 and 3

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 | fiber, handspun, spinning, stash busting, weaving, yarn | No Comments

I started off Tour de Fleece with a bang, getting quite a lot done. I knew I couldn’t keep up that pace though. Maybe I was overachieving to prepare for the dip in productivity during the work week?

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Tour de Fleece, Day 2 progress.

Not bad progress for day two of the tour. Day three was a different story. Monday I got all of 5 minutes of spinning in. It was a crazy day…and with the kids and our parents coming out to Los Angeles, this week might be light on spinning time.

I’ve been trying to get other projects done too though. I decided I want to try weaving and needle felting things I love. I had a friend that was in need of a good luck charm…so I made this.

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An attempt at a black hole.

I should have taken this picture next to something else for size reference. It was tough, because it is small (I think maybe it had a 4 inch diameter). I did the weaving first, then I needle felted on top of it. I think my friend liked it. After making it, I thought of a couple of improvements I could make. I am planning on taking another shot at it, but in a bigger size.

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Tour de Fleece 2014 – Day 1

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Some itty bitty crafting.

Ok, so my participation in Tour de Fleece this year is a little half-assed. I know I have serious stash to spin down, and honestly, the Tour is a good reason to do it.

For those of you unaware, Tour de Fleece is an event that spinners participate in on Ravelry during the Tour de France. There are actual rules for it, most based on what your team affiliation is. Different groups have different rules. I’m not a fan of rules, so we can call this Team KnitHitsTheFan, party of 1.

I waited until late afternoon to start my spinning. I spent the morning straightening up my project corner so I would be ready for that art project I am waiting to start (my twine is in the mail). I found some unassembled hearts, so I seamed and stuffed them. I also did a little bit of weaving. That’s that round thing in the picture above. Trust me, it’ll look better once I get more stuff on it.

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First Day Tour projects.

Since the holiday was on a Friday, I moved knit night to Saturday. It was a good reason to get together and start the Tour off right. Court brought her supported spindle to spin on, and I rocked Lucy all evening.

I guess my first day wasn’t too shabby. I thread plied 176 yards of wool single that I had sitting on a bobbin from about a week ago. I also busted through 4 ounces of 20% Milk protein/20% Seacell/60% Wool that I got from Creatively Dyed a few years back. I have three 4 ounce braids, so I am planning on spinning them all, then plying all three together.

I hope to come up with a plan of attack for my fiber, but I know how ADD I am. I’ll just end up pulling things out of the stash willy-nilly and and if I get bored spinning a color, I’ll switch to another. That is pretty much how I operate.

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I’m not slacking…

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Drop spindle spinning…for spinning on the go!

It’s good for getting you lots of attention and odd looks from people in public places around the greater Los Angeles area. Mostly because they don’t seem to understand what you doing, and when you explain it, they are either really fascinated or very confused.

Kids are always fascinated by it though. I go all over the place for my own children’s various activities, most of their friends are aware that I “make stuff”. The fun part is when kids we don’t know come up and ask what it is I am doing.

Recently, I had taken my drop spindle to an appointment. While my daughter and I sat in the lobby of the building we were in, I pulled out the spindle and started spinning some fiber my friend Ashley had given me. I would have my daughter spin the spindle while I stood and drafted the fiber. She was really excited about helping and said that she would like to learn to spin too.

Then a little boy named Tony showed up. I think he was probably about 4 years old. He walked right up to my daughter, started showing off his toy cars and asking her to play. That’s when he spied my spindle.

He started asking questions and sat for awhile and watched my daughter spin the spindle between her hands while I drafted. He wanted in on the action, so my girl showed him what to do and he started spinning the spindle for me. It was pretty adorable…he and my daughter sitting on the floor taking turns spinning.

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Tour de Fleece update!

20130708-210944.jpgI am well overdue for a Tour de Fleece update.

I have been spinning my brains out (when I am not sample knitting, but I’ll leave that for another post). I’ve been a busy, busy girl despite the lingering sinus infection I’ve been trying to shake for the past week. I imagine my crafting into the wee hours isn’t helping me much, but it sure is fun.

I cranked out these first three skeins in no time at all. After plying, I would say they range from heavy worsted to aran/chunky weight. This is heavier than I usually spin, so they were pretty quick and painless.

From left to right, I have “Library Card” Falkland from Octarine Fibers, “Enchanted Hollow” Bombyx Silk/Merino from Freckle Face Fibers and “Finale” Superwash BFL from Bee Mice Elf.

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Once the three skeins were set, I decided to take my time machine back to a Cuckoobatt I had received through Art Club back in 2008! It is blend of alpaca, wool, bamboo, sparkle and bits called “Sea Hag”. It hasn’t decided if it wants to be a 2 ply yet. I’m letting it think it over while it rests on a bobbin.

Now maybe I can slow down a little…?

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Spinning the Draft.

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It’s NHL Draft time! It’s Tour de Fleece!

Better late than never. I started Tour de Fleece a whole day after everyone else…and during the NHL Draft. All over Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, I am seeing folks posting pictures of beautiful hand spun yarn. It’s hard to not get carried away and try and catch up with everyone else.

I’m on Team Knitshitsthefan… Which, honestly, is a team of 1 (or maybe 2), so I need to not be putting any pressure on myself to produce. I’m not trying to win any contests!

Despite having to do some wheel maintenance on Lucy, my Kromski Sonata, I think I did pretty good for one day. Courtney came over and took turns treadling with the kids before she tried spinning some of her fluff.

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I had a Bee Mice Elf single that was already spun, so I plied that and stuck it on the niddy noddy. I finished spinning another single in Bee Mice Elf fiber (the dark yarn) and my friend David, of Octarine Fibers, gave me some lovely Falkland braids in “Library Card”.

I didn’t make it to bed until 3:30 AM, so I am not as productive today.

But no pressure, right?

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I’m most definitely sleep deprived.

You really wouldn’t believe how much I cut out of this video.

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Tour de Fleece, the aftermath…

Thursday, July 30th, 2009 | fiber, spinning | No Comments

Ok, for any of those non-yarny types out there.. and I know there must be at least one or two that read this thing…Tour de Fleece is a spin-a-long that runs during Tour de France (July 4th through 26th) . The purpose behind the spin-a-long is that while they spin, you spin. Easy peasy, right? Hardly. Why, you ask? Because my butt has a full time job and kids at home! So while I didn’t meet my goals, I think I did a pretty darn good job as far as yardage is concerned. I might give any of those retired, stay-at-home spinner types a run for their money even. 

So, lets visit why I didn’t meet my goals, then the yarny goodies.

Goal #1…well, I wanted to spin 3 Loop Spontaneous Spinning Batts and have them plied and set. I spun four and completed one (at 323 yards). The others are still sitting on the bobbins waiting for the plying thread to arrive. Yes, I failed to get in time. Ebay is being terribly slow for me and the stuff I ordered as a backup from WEBS ended up backordered. Doh! 

 

The unfinished yarn...

The unfinished yarn...

 

More unfinished yarn...

More unfinished yarn...

The Loop batt I *did* complete

The Loop batt I *did* complete

 

Goal #2…spin the 12 oz. of alpaca/alpaca/bunny mix. Hecks yeeeeeeeah! I got this one! 589 yards!!

 

Ooh alpaca....

Ooh alpaca....

 

Goal #3…spin 8 oz. of Creatively Dyed Seawool. Woohoo! Look at me go! 673 yards!!

 

So yummy, this one is my favorite...

So yummy, this one is my favorite...

So, as far as completed yarn is concerned, I have spun a grand total of 1585 yards of yarn!! Not too shabby!

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