Saturday, July 20, 2013

Tour de Fleece Wrap-up: My Best Skein Yet

So, I did not accomplish my goal of spinning about 1 pound of fiber. What with Adele's surgery, hurting my back and also the fact that I was going out and about (except for this last week, 5 day heatwave!) I didn't get that much time to spin a much as I would have liked.

I know, I know, you are probably screaming at the computer, "But you can drop spindle!" I really should have thought of that earlier, but it wasn't until that I picked up my Purpleheart Bosworth Midi to teach Dana how to spin (I used it to demonstrate technique, she used the Kundert I learned off of to practice) with the Colonial fiber I purchased in Tampa last summer that I fell in love with drop spindling again.

The Colonial fiber I am assuming is from Ashland Bay - there is a blend of color and they only sell solid colors, so I think it was blended after ordering.

Still, it was cheap and it is pretty, and I thought since I have more control on a drop spindle - that is, the fiber doesn't "run away" as much as it did on a wheel, why not give it a shot?

It worked. So now, I will be spinning shorter staple fibers on my drop spindle as practice until I can do it on a wheel. Especially since everyone is talking about the punis from Gourmet Stash.

I love spinning longer wools on a wheel. Wensleydale is still a bit much for me, but I had a ball spinning up the Hampton Artistic Yarns 85/15 Polwarth Silk in the colorway Far Afield for the tour.

I spun this yarn on the medium whorl on my Lendrum with mid-level Scotch Tension. With this yarn, I learned how to adjust the tension on the fly while I was spinning, in case it wasn't working out.

At one point, I thought I was going to run out of room on my bobbin and packed it as tightly as I could. Plying took forever because this is the finest I have spun yet.

Some of the yarn at points was overplied, but a good washing, thwacking and hung with a Windex bottle later, it balanced out. I know weighing the yarn down is somewhat controversial, but I like it myself.
The total yardage is 374 yards fingering weight, which is just perfect for the Strathcona by Jane Richmond. A nice lovely transitional scarf for fall, and I plan to use all of it up. 
 Up next is the assorted packet of long wools from Northbound Knitting - Lisa kindly sent this over as a gift and when I asked her if I can spin it up into a prize for the show, and she agreed. I sorted out the colors to try and get some sort of gradient going, and put it in a braid so that I can preserve the order.
This will definitely be navajo plied. I will be working on this next. 

Even though I didn't complete my goal, I am really proud of my skein - it is the best one yet. It just makes me more excited to spin up the rest of my stash, especially since Ravelry is adding pages specifically for fiber stash and handspun! If you want to try it yourself, log into Ravelry, click on this link and enter the code: TDF.  

How was your Tour de Fleece? Did you accomplish your goals? What did you complete? 

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