Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Spinning around.. and around.. and around..

The only problem with not blogging for a while because you are busy is that when you get back to things, there's a backlog of pics of finished things to get through. This is ecspecially true in times of high activity like I have had, mostly due to the Tour De Fleece. 
The Tour De Fleece is a spin-a-long run on Ravelry and the aim of it is simple - to spin every day that the Tour De France rides. Some might say I am a bit of a dill for choosing to do it when the Ravelry events occur smack bang in the middle of it every year, but I enjoy it too much not to, really. This year was extra special because of the awesome Cadel Evans winning the Tour De France after many years trying! There were many very VERY late nights, but now I am all caught up on sleep I can share. 
First off I was consumed with the need to finish the mammoth spin I had been working on for some time, before I could get to anything else. Finish it I did!
There's 500 grams of yarn there. I am proud of a number of things with this spin - to start with, I finished it, and proved to myself I could. Generally speaking I start to get bored with any particular fibre right around the end of a 100g lot. It's like I have some form of colour related attention defecit. But I have proved to myself now that it can be done. I'm also proud of it's consistency - each of the five 100g skeins comes in at 12 wraps per inch, and each of the skeins has between 200 and 217 metres in it. 

Once that was done, there was this optim/soy/bamboo blend which I bought at Ewe Give Me The Knits at Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show nearly 5 years ago now. Two house moves ago, I had spun two thirds of it into singles, aiming for a three ply. I wound the first two lots into balls, stuffed them in a bag with the final third of fibre, then promptly forgot about them. So I dug them out, spun up the final third of the fibre, then plied them together. 
And again, despite there being a 4-5 year break in between spinning the first two lots of singles and spinning the last lot, when it came time to ply there was less than two metres difference in the length of the three spun lots. Huzzah for consistency!

While I was on a roll of finishing things up I pulled out some Southern Cross Fibre that had been half finished for a few months. One of the Southern Cross Fibre clubs contained two 2oz braids of polwarth/tencel blend in contrasting colours which were just delicious. I spun up the chocolate brown braid pretty much straight away and while I had intended to do the same with it's cherry coloured friend, I had not gotten to it. So I sat down and spun it up, too. 
So I now have two contrasting skeins of luscious shiny goodness and can now dream and imagine about what it wants to become. 

Now that all of the unfinished wheelspins were complete, it was time to focus on something 'new'. So I pulled out two magic balls in 'Lorikeet' that I bought from Ewe Give Me The Knits last year. I split the colours into the braid and arranged them in the proper order of the spectrum, overlapping them slightly. Then I spun them in order, and navajo plied them to retain the colour progression. 
The resulting yarn is roughly an 8 ply, or a dk weight yarn, and when knit up will knit up in a colour progression through the rainbow. The second magic ball I had of this has been spun exactly the same way and is just waiting to be plied. 

I mentioned earlier that the Ravelry event I organise and the Sheep and Wool Show occurred in the midst of all this furious spinning. It did occur, and my event went well, and many thing were bought at the sheep and wool show, and loads of people were met and re met and fun was had. However, because I am full of fail, I did not take a single photo, so you will have to take my word for it. However I did come home from the wool show with three new spindles! One of which I have not yet figured out how to use, two of which currently have spins in progress on them, and a third I already had has a spin in progress on it too. 
The one I already had, a bosworth, contains some Southern Cross Fibre polwarth/silk in 'Sprout' which is slowly but surely being spun up, much of it done within the Tour De Fleece. 

The second spindle I bought at the Ixchel stall on the Friday of the show, and the fibre being spun on it was bought at the same time. The spindle has a stone whorl, and the fibre is a naturally coloured blend of camel,bunny and silk. It spins like butter!
The third spindle, another I bought at the show is my 'new baby' of the spindle family. It's a Jenkins Turkish spindle and oh how I love it! It is currently spinning up some Southern Cross Fibre BFL in 'Dauntless', and this spindle, flies!
For those who don't know how a turkish spindle works, all three pieces of the spindle that you can see in the pic disassemble. You spin and spin and instead of winding the yarn around the shaft like on the drop spindles above, you wind it through the arms on the bottom of the spindle. Once your spindle cop is full, you can pop out the shaft of the spindle out the bottom, pull the arms out the sides, and you end up with a wound ball of singles, all ready to be plied. It's like MAGIC, and it spins so fast and so even that I can see I ~might~ need more of these spindles!!
So that was my Tour De Fleece. My apologies for no pics of sheep and wool weekend, but hopefully I can make up for it in my next post - I've seriously fallen behind in sharing finished objects, and I have three knitted finished objects to flaunt, and a fourth well on the way, as well as numerous (and spectacular!) sewn finished items. Wheee! Yay for striking while the iron's hot!


catsmum said...

very impressive ... especially what's on the Turkish one

xxox s