Showing posts with label tour de fleece. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tour de fleece. Show all posts

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? 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Subway Knits Episode 54: Stop the Presses

Subway Knits is sponsored by Roman Hills: Pretty Nerdy, Pretty, Nerdy Yarn. Please show support by clicking on the link above.
Pom Pom is the knitting magazine for intelligent, creative types! Head to our website for an independent take on patterns, witty and interesting writing, great photography, and much more at  
Subway Knits is also sponsored by Gynx Yarns, which offers a wide range of hand dyed colorways with new colorways added all the time. There are a variety of bases available, all of which are ethically sourced. Visit Gynx Yarns today to find the perfect yarn for your next project.

On the Needles
Frogged Wedge, cast on Rosa Rubiginosa from Knitter's Curiosity Cabinet. 
Joined Camp Loopy and redoing the Cladonia because Adele chewed on it  I belong to Treehouse 2 which "looks" like this on the inside:
Spin Right Round
Hurt my back, and not sure I'll accomplish my goal.

There is a mini giveaway for the Tour de Fleece - post what you have accomplished by the end of the tour in the thread and there will be two prizes: Northbound Knitting Finn in Only the Lonely and additional Northbound Knitting Odds and Ends that I will spin up, which is also part of my Tour de Fleece goal.
Knitting FindsBrooklyn Tweed has published its first men's collection, and there has been much squeeing and discussion on twitter and Ravelry which has been alot of fun to read and participate in.
So far, I have been able to classify the reactions into the following categories in this order:

  1. Sweaters for men? Let me take a look.
  2. Wow...the models are really good looking. Let me enjoy this for awhile. A really long while. Yeah still enjoying it. 
  3. Oh wait, they are wearing sweaters. That's the point of this. They are really nice! 
  4. I wonder which ones I can knit...
  5. ...and if I knit them, will they turn my SO into a Brooklyn Tweed model?
  6. If they don't like it, then I get my own nice overside boyfriend sweater. I still win.
It has been an uphill battle trying to get The Aussie to pick something for me to knit for him ever since I started knitting, but he FINALLY picked a sweater - Slade. Which is the one I wanted to knit for him! And it sorta matches the Larch Cardigan so we will (not quite exactly) match, which is going to be silly and fun.

Rowan Pioneer pretty much the whole Internet has been in a furor over good looking men in sweaters. There is even a tumblr, Bearded Men in Knitted Things. 

Donna Druchunas is hosting a webinar for her new app, Travel the World of Knitting. The link to sign up is here and the information is below:

The webinar will be July 27 at 2PM EDT (Other time zones: 1PM Mountain, 11AM Pacific, 7PM London, 4AM July 28 Sydney)
The webinar will feature an introduction by Donna Druchunas, a tour of the app with Sally Holt, the brains behind the KnitCompanion software, and live Q&A where you can learn about my travels, patterns, and all of the amazing features in the app.
The KAL will take place throughout August on her Ravelry group.
Fyberspates recently sponsored the Back to Back Challenge in the UK with the team finishing in about five and a half hours. 
Knitting Travels
I completed jury duty for the first time, took Erica (from What Would Madame Defarge Knit? and What Else Would Madame Defarge Knit?) to Taverna Kyklades and visited Knitty City before they close for renovations, and ran the lawn to watch a movie at Bryant Park

Metropolitan Knits: Chic Designs for Urban Style by Melissa Werhle, published by Interweave Press. $24.95 USD. Long story short, get this book. It is chic, tailored and definitely can fit into anyone's wardrobe, and the patterns are entertaining and fun to knit.
Thanks to the folks at Interweave, we are hosting a giveaway for the book! Take a look at the patterns here and comment below the post with the pattern you would want to knit the most. On July 25, I will run the Random Number Generator to pick a winner! Please include your email and your Ravelry name in the post so that I have a means to contact you if you win. 

Thanks for listening!
Closing Song: "Feel the Same Way" by Poema

Listen here, and subscribe here.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Tour de Fleece, Week 1

I have been meaning to blog about my Tour de Fleece progress.


I have been making great progress, sticking to my schedule of spinning 1 ounce every two days, and then plying the rest of it in one day. That way, I can accomplish my goal of spinning at least one ounce during the tour.
Second bobbin close-up. It looks like strawberry sherbert,
and when the fiber barber poles, it has such a nice effect because
of the dye job that I don't mind. 

Right now I am spinning Hampton Artistic Yarns 85/15 Polwarth Silk that I purchased from Long Island Fleece and Fiber Fair. I am spinning finer than usual, which is why I am taking longer to spin up that one ounce. It spins like butter. Truly. Oiling up my wheel has also helped alot because my wheel treadles more smoothly than ever. It does make a difference to wipe down and re-oil the wheel between braids.
This will become a 2-ply yarn. Right now, I am still
very happy just trying out different fibers and drafting
techniques, I'll worry about other ways to ply later. 
However, as last week was my first full week of summer vacation, I decided to get back into an exercise routine by also adding a bit of an ab workout. That was on July 1.

By July 4, I was about 80% incapacitated. I woke up with severe pain in my lower back; I could not bend and it even hurt to sit. I went over to my parents' house for a small BBQ and promptly laid myself down on the bed and slept.
So long as I sat REALLY straight and had room
for my legs (I was sitting too close to my wheel
before), spinning is fine. Knitting is fine too - I have
my "Settle Down" lumbar pillow for support. 

There has been a lot of sleeping lately, partially because of my back, but also partially because I am "detoxing" from the school year. I have been trying to get up at 6 AM (the latest I sleep on a school day) and do things, but after I walk Adele, I crawl back into bed and wake up at 10.

After a couple of days of generally not moving, sleeping on the floor, lots of pillows, microwaveable clay heat wraps, lots of water and some Tylenol, I am feeling a bit better. I am taking it easy, and not lifting much or bending either.

The Jolly Greek Giant, who has experienced this before, told me I can go to the gym for some very light exercise - think walking on the treadmill and some stretching, because I need to strengthen my back again. I'll have some vidcasts to keep me company.

Too bad I can't spin while on the treadmill.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Appreciating Handspun

Part of me learning how to use the dSLR involved me taking some better photos of my handspun.

Still need to do a little more work in terms of lighting and focus, but these photos make me appreciate the loveliness of handspun even more.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tour de Fleece: The Maillot Jaune

I have finally completed my first ever Tour de Fleece!
Into the Whirled Romney, Colorway Ritual
80 yards, ranging between worsted and heavy fingering but for the most part a DK weight.

Some things I learned from spinning up this fiber:

1. I need a longer niddy noddy - maybe a two yard one. I got my one yard one off of eBay so I will go into my shopping history and see if that seller has a longer one.
2. I really can't tell if I spun this worsted or woolen - I think because I spin with the fiber in my left hand and drafting with my right its a bit wonky.
3. So is my spinning - people say to spin clockwise, but I spun counterclockwise since I hold the spindle in my right hand.
4. I need to get a spinning wheel. 

I keep telling The Aussie to take photos of the fiber but he hasn't done so yet (and I still have yet to read the manual - maybe some reading during the drive down to Florida?) so this will have to do. Will put up more pictures when I get them.

Having done the Tour de Fleece two years in a row as a knitter with stops and starts and not finishing the projects, I am really happy that I finished. Now, what do I do with this yarn? Any suggestions?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Episode 35: The Do-Over

On the Needles:
Mel and I headed back to Turks and Caicos this past week, for a much needed re-do of our vacation from last summer (in which we got hit by Hurricane Irene). I worked on the Rock Island on the beach, using metal Hiya Hiya needles which were much better for knitting on a hot day since my hands didn't stick.

Not so much knitting since there was a lot of reading: I finished  The Emperor of All Maladies, The Paris Wife, The Winter Palace and currently working on The Knife of Never Letting Go which is for the A Playful Day Read-Along.

Spin Right Round:
Working on my Into the Whirled Ritual, which is a Romney braid. Getting better at drafting and no wrist pain! Taking breaks, stretches, Icy Hot is helping a lot as is figuring out how to position my drafting hand (my left hand) such that I don't have a claw hand and that my fingers don't tense.

Knitting Finds:
Leftie by Martina Behm (of Hitchhiker fame)
Maxwell Cardigan by Amy Christoffers - edgy and classic
Classic Wooly Toppers by Wooly Wormhead 
Baah Yarn - currently based in Southern California and slowly expanding. Credit given to Lisa, who informed me about this yarn, love the color.

Knitting Travels:
Great eats: Mango Reef (best Conch Fritters), da Conch Shack, Coco Bistro, Somewhere Cafe, Hemingway's
Earrings by Sheila Ludington (based at Paradise Arts owned by Brenda Ludington). Also check out Anna's Art Gallery.
Toured the reef and Iguana Cay with Island Vibes Tours.

Closing Song: "Feel the Same Way" by Poema via Noise Trade

PS. Photos of our trip to come soon!
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