Saturday, 5 July 2008

Tour de Fleece, Part 1

So, the Tour de Fleece starts today (as does the Tour de France), so it's time I explain my spinning plan. Well I call it a plan, it's more a list of stuff to do, along with some pretty pictures of fibre from my spinning stash.

I've divided my projects into two types, the spinning-wheel project (there's only one wheel project but it's a biggy), and the rest are on my lovely new spindles.

On my wheel (a Majacraft Rose) I plan to spin this:

Tour De Fleece - Merino Silk

It's some merino-silk top that I dyed as a trial run for Wildcraft. From it I plan spin a whole skein of 2-ply laceweight yarn (proper laceweight, say 24-30 wpi) – sufficient for a small shawl (which might end up being a woven shawl, given that I'm still engaged in a battle of wits with my swallowtail lace one). The colourway of the fibre is called 'Wild Rose', and the colours match the two cakes of shetland top that Belaybunny bought from me recently - I think she's planning to spin laceweight from hers too, so it'll be interesting to see how the colours compare when spun up. I've never managed to spin a big skein of proper laceweight, the finest I've done so far is about a thick 4-ply weight, and I usually get bored after around 100 metres. For the Tour I hope to spin finer stuff, and to stick with the project until I've finished the whole of that 100gram plait of merino/silk.

While my wheel is taken up with the laceweight project, I'll also aim to spin as much yarn as I can on my drop spindles. (which are more portable than the wheel, so I'll have no excuse not to spin every day!). I'll be working on dk and sock weight yarns, and I'm going to focus on getting getting sufficient twist in the yarn, especially in the plying stage, which is often the bit that lets me down. I want to make some lovely twisty sock yarns and cosy tightly twisted dk's that will make a cute hat or gloves. To make the yarns I'll use more of my hand-dyed fibres, I've picked a few that didn't make the grade for the shop, or were trial runs - and here they are:

Apple Blossom superwash BFL (the green came out brighter and less natural looking than I intended when I dyed it, but it's a lovely soft fibre:

Superwash BFL - 'Apple Blossom'

A small braid of Shetland in 'Last of the Lavender' colours. This was dyed with the dyes that were left over after I did my recent 'lavender' colourway for the shop:

Shetland "Last of the Lavender"

And this BFL/silk blend, which is in 'Harlequin' colours. This was an early trial at dyeing coloured top.


I've made a start on spinning the Apple Blossom fibre already (actually, I started on Thursday's SnB meetup, but I'm counting that as a warm-up :) ). It's spinning up very quickly, and I'm loving the new spindle that I'm using (another prototype made by my mum, she's getting really good at these). At around 35grams, this spindle's lighter than the one I blogged about earlier and spins at just the right speed for the dk and 4-ply yarns I want to make.


In other, non-spinning news, Inara and Krissie are both doing very well. I visited them earlier in the week, to find that Inara's looking very bright and perky, and has developed an interest in sniffing fingers. Very cute...

Inara with her mum

They'll be coming home either next weekend, or very shortly after. I can't wait!


Kai said...

Ohh all that fibre and spinning! Can't wait to see it all spun up.

I still think that Apple Blossom is lovely, and I'm in love with Harlequin. *drool*

Inara is looking lovely. :)

Bea said...

Harlequin, oh my! Are you going to be dyeing that again? It is fab. Well done with the spinning. Love the foalie pics. I can't wait to give her a hug!

Anonymous said...

I love your fibre. I'm sure you'll get some lovely laceweight. I might get round to spinning my rose, and yes I do want to do lace weight ;)

great foal photos - can I have one please??

Queen of the froggers said...

Best of luck with all that spinning, I can't find time at the moment and still have the roving from you on the bobbins!

~ P ~ said...

Your filly is beautiful.
Good luck with the Tour de Fleece.

~ P ~ said...

The Apple Blossom fiber is gorgeous. You did a great job dyeing the fiber.