Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tour de Fleece

For the past two years, I've participated in the Tour de Fleece on Ravelry. It's great fun and great motivation to spin more and document one's spinning escapades. I don't need much motivation to spin more :) but I could do a better job of documenting (yes, Blog, I hear you) so I look forward to participating again this year.

I haven't done much in the way of goal-setting yet, other than deciding that I'll be spinning from my favorite four dye artists (Enchanted Knoll, Southern Cross Fibre, Spunky Eclectic, Hello Yarn). As the time grows closer, I'll narrow down some specific goals (which fiber, which challenges, etc.) and post them here.

I've joined two 'Wildcard' teams - Enchanted Elves (for Enchanted Knoll) and Monkey Farts (for Spunky Eclectic).

In case anyone wants to join up too, here are the (non) rules:

This year the Tour de Fleece starts Saturday July 3rd and runs until Sunday July 25th, 2010.

Guidelines (NOT RULES):

  1. Spin every day the Tour rides, if possible. Saturday July 3rd through Sunday July 25th. Days of rest: Monday July 12th, Wednesday July 21st. (Just like the actual tour)

  2. Spin something challenging Thursday July 22nd. (The Tour’s toughest mountain stage from Pau up the legendary Col du Tourmalet)

  3. Take a button if you want one. Then we can use the button on our blogs in show of solidarity. Take it from here or grab a clean one from the flickr pool. Come join the flickr pool!

  4. Wear yellow on Sunday July 25th to announce victory. Why not wear yellow on any day you feel particularly successful? (Yellow is the color of the race leader in the Tour - but here we are all ‘race leaders’)

  5. Other colors if desired: Green (sprinter - think FAST), Polka-dot (climber - as in uphill), and white (rookie)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

...And we're back again...

Dragonfly mind, that's me. Always flitting here and there, forgetting where I set down my coffee cup - and when I last updated my blog. February? Really?

OK, let's just jump in where we are...

I've been knitting, mostly handspun socks. Finished 2 pair in the past month, both from yarn I spun from David's Southern Cross Fibre Club:

The first is BFL in the 'Spring Forward' colourway - I love the subtle shading in this 3-ply yarn. Knit on size 1.5 (2.5mm) needles, using 280 yds of yarn.

Cuff is a mixed rib:

Round 1: (K3, P1), repeat.
Round 2: (K1, P1), repeat.
Repeat 1 and 2.

Used Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretch Bindoff. Love it.

The second pair is falkland wool in the 'Homeward' colourway. I navajo-plied the yarn to preserve the long color bands, because I loved the idea of wide stripes in this lovely colors. This pair was knit with size 1 (2.25mm) needles. The cuff is a simple k2,p2 rib. Used the same Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretch Bindoff. 250 yds gave me shortie cuffs - love 'em.

I love knitting with handspun - the texture and color is incomparable to regular old boring millspun yarn. :)

Of course I've been spinning and spinning and spinning, as usual. I finish on average a skein every 3-4 days. Some of it goes into my own personal knitting/weaving stash, and some goes into the Etsy shop (see sidebar for link). Lately I've been spinning a great fiber base from Enchanted Knoll Farm called "Bliss". It's 65% superwash merino wool 35% silk, and has fabulous drape and shine. Very soft.

This one is navajo-plied to preserve the lovely pastel rainbow progression that Josette dyed into the fiber. 145 yds of 14wpi fingering weight from 2 ounces. The colourway is 'Sunshine' but I've called it "Sidewalk Chalk" because it reminded me of the drawings my girls used to do in the summertime:

I finished this one last night - it's "Queen Mermaid" and has the lovely blues and greens of the ocean depths. 395 yds of 2-ply 24wpi laceweight from 2 ounces.

I've been spinning far more than weaving lately. I still have the huck lace dishtowels on the big loom - I want to get back to them this week! On the Rigid Heddle I completed a handspun handwoven scarf, but it's not fringed or wet-finished, so pictures will have to wait.

All for now...