Tour de Fleece 2016 - Belated Roundup

I'm a terrible blogger, ok?

Tour de Fleece has been over for weeks.  Also I've been knitting.  As you've probably noticed, no blog posts...whoops.

So let's catch up on the spinning, and we can catch up on the knitting some other day...ok?  OK!

First up, I told you that I had knit the spindle spun/wheel plyed into a cowl.  That is true.  I have photographic evidence:

Handspun Cowl

Yes there is a stripe.  I was not paying attention to the fact that there was a little black mixed in with my grey.  Mea culpa.  The pattern is the Bridger Cowl (free on Ravelry), which worked up quickly and easily.  I'm happy with it, but I think if i were to do it again, I would tweak it to have a bit more shaping so it hung and draped a little more nicely.  Here's an awkward modeled shot (selfies are not my forte).

Modeled Cowl

Yes I'm wearing a cowl and a tank top.  It was July.  The cowl didn't stay on long.  I think the stripe is less noticeable when I'm wearing it (or at least that's what I'm telling myself, so please don't disabuse me of the notion).  I just wish the lace were a little more prominent and there weren't quite so much fabric bunched up under my chin.  Regardless, I'm sure I'll get plenty of use out of it as the weather turns cooler.

After the grey, I turned my attention to my long-term spinning project.  By long term I mean I may or may not have started spinning this fiber in 2012 (or earlier...I honestly don't remember).  It's a mystery blend that Mr. Mouse brought back for me from a business trip.  If I had to guess, I'd say it's wool and silk, but who knows.  What I do know is that it wants to be spun very finely, which means the 8 oz. of it that I have will produce a LOT of yarn.  I'm currently halfway through and just enjoying the process.

So, with the understanding that these photos all largely look alike, may I present you with the two bobbins I filled:

Orange Bobbins

And then the (indiscernibly) plied result on the jumbo bobbin:

Orange Plied

That's a stitch marker for scale because at the time that I took the photo I felt like coins were so played out.  Now I realize that no one but me has any idea how big that stitch marker is.  I promise I really am a smart and insightful person most of the time.

In the throws of all this spinning, I got a hankering to actually spin purposefully.  Most of my spinning to this point has been my staring at my hands going, "Make yarn, hands!"  And my hands then proceed to make whatever yarn they will that day.  There is nothing wrong with that; in fact it's a lot of fun.  However, I would like to be able to spin for particular projects at some point, which means developing control.

So I bought my first class on Craftsy.

And then I produced my first "true worsted" yarn:

Purple Worsted

Yes it's a little uneven, but it's the first time I've ever tried to do a specific drafting style.  Overall I'm quite pleased with it, and I spend much of my free time plotting what it shall become.  Oh, side note, worsted in this case does not necessarily mean worsted weight.  It means worsted drafting to create a dense, smooth yarn with good drape.

So the next thing in the class was drafting from the fold.  I got a mixed bag of blues from my sister and did a little during the Tour.

Blue from the Fold

Now I have a bobbin and a half.  Once I sit down to spin again, it won't be long before I'm ready to ply!

Last but not least was a little experiment.  When I first started spinning I bought twenty (20) pounds of mill ends to practice with.  Needless to say I still have quite a bit of that fiber.  Some of it is better quality than other, so I took some of the worst stuff and spun one thick and thin and one smooth to ply together.  It was quick, fun, and funky.

Funky Spin

I think I'll use this in some rigid heddle weaving for extra texture!

I really had fun during the Tour de Fleece flexing my spinning muscles and making cool yarn.  I've cooled down on the spinning a little just because I've been quite busy with projects at work and at home, never mind the fiber arts!  I have my wheels out where I can see them, though, so I'm sure it won't be long before I'm at it again.

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