Sunday, July 31, 2011

Post tdf

About half way into the tour I kept wishing I could wrap yarn around needles and MAKE something with some of this finished yarn. Now that there's time to do that
I'm reminded that I really suck at it.

Oh well. This blog will also be used to document my journey into the world of learning how to knit.

Because I'm not using a pattern I'll write it down now before I have to stop knitting and forget what it is I'm trying to do.
1-9 k
10-15 k3 p5 k3 p5 k3 p5 k3 p5 k3
16-18 k
19 - ? repeat 10-18
end with repeat 1-9 at end of yarn.
I'm hoping there's enough yarn to make a decent scarf.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

tdf day 23

I had to get pictures taken and posted here so I can post them to the tour board before I lost the light so, I'll get the complete pictures tomorrow.

Everything I've spun for Tour de Fleece 2011 except the skein of Leicester Longwool (it went missing ?!) and a little skein of Phat Fiber June box that I'm still plying. Total weight 1 pound 7.6 ounces (23.6 ounces). 1971 total yards spun.

All of the yarn (except that elusive Leicester Longwool & the Polworth that I forgot to include) that was spun for the Spinner's Study team.

All of the yarn (except the one I'm still plying) that was spun for the Phat Fiber team. 14.5 ounces.

All of the yarn was spun and plied on spindles for the Spindle team.

This has been an incredible experience for me. It was my first tour and I learned so much. I learned that it takes time, not only to do the spinning, but to keep the team boards updated and follow their rules. I learned to not be so afraid of the prettiness that I've bought. I know sheep will always make more wool but that doesn't mean I can afford it. I learned a little bit about colors and how they change when plied. By spinning 9 different types of wool I learned how different fibers react to being spun and how I react to them. I learned how many hours it takes to spin 4 ounces of fiber (and even that, how many hours each different type of fiber it takes to spin it), and through the support of the other team mates I've learned not to be afraid to show my less than perfect yarns.

It's been a good time and I'll be excited to do this next year as well.

watched: Dirty Jobs marathon


And if the tour didn't make me create enough yarn....
I had to pick this out and start spinning. What is the saying about it taking three weeks to form a habit? Well I guess it's better for me than smoking.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

tdf Day 22

Wow, almost done. This month has gone by fast!
A bit of catch up.
I bought 4 ounces of raw CVM from The Spinning Loft (love that shop)

I washed it and combed it with 2 pitch combs. The little balls felt a lot like firm sponges. They were really weird and when I drafted them they reminded me of rubber being stretched.

2 ply and not a very good job of it at that. I will say though that this is wonderful fiber once spun. It's soft and squishy and I wouldn't mind a sweater made of it.

4 ounces of raw Leicester Longwool, again, from The Spinning Loft. You can see where the lanolin is melting into the label. I had to move the dehumidifier in the basement because it was blowing very warm air all over my wool.

The Leicester got washed and was combed by my daughter C. This was the first fiber she combed and hopefully she learned what not to do. (Love you C!). I believe this was also the fiber she was working on when she dropped the comb onto her foot.

Again, a 2 ply skein. This yarn isn't very soft but the luster is wonderful. You can't really see it in this picture but it's there. I want to buy more and add it in with the coopworth for the rug.

I had washed 4 ounces of gray Polworth to use for the challenge day, thinking I'd spin it both for the challenge of lace weight, and as a new-to-me fiber, but with my completion of lace weight with the merino/tencel, and since this was the same color as the shirt I'm wearing today, I decided to spin this.
This fiber laughed and stuck it's tongue out at me. Since my usually mode of spinning is to over spin, I've been trying to lighten it up and spin a softer, less twisted yarn. This however kept falling apart and once I realized it was daring me to spin it as tightly as I could we got along just fine.

watched: Sherlock Holmes.

Friday, July 22, 2011

tdf day 21

Spun, plied, and washed.
wpi 13 = worsted/sport
yards = 164

This is still damp but in this humidity that's to be expected. I have to take it downstairs and throw it on the electric sweater dryer.

This yarn was a study on spinning a thicker less twisted yarn. I failed miserably. Well, no I guess I can't say that. It's thicker and less twisted than I'm comfortable spinning. It's just not balanced or spun evenly. Still I love it. I love the green of it and the barber pole. I also LOVED that it didn't lose any color in the washing. The last skein I spun went from brilliant colors to washed out tomato-y prettiness because so much color was washed out. This though, kept it's color.

And to show off a weeks worth of work (so far)...

watched: Firefly, Black Death, 3rd Rock from the Sun.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

tdf day 20

We've got 3 fans going in the little living room alone, just so we can breath. This is what I've gotten done so far. I'm going to try to take a nap today so I will be awake during the cooler night.

The lightest end has been spun and now I'm working on the dark end. I'll have to draw a diagram of how I divided the braid up and put it on here so I don't forget how I ended up with the end product.

watched: Dirty Jobs marathon and Firefly again

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

tdf day 19

90 degrees inside my house at 7am and it's only going to go up from there. I have trouble spinning in this weather. I have to have a fan on me (blows fiber all over the place) and in this humidity you can't NOT sweat, making fiber stick to you all over.

watching:Buffy the slutty drama queen. Oh I'm sorry, I meant Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

tdf day 18

Didn't get much spinning done today.
Just got started on this
BFL/silk green gradient from Friends in Fiber.

watched: Having to suffer through the Buffy the Vampire Slayer kick that my daughter is in. I have another name for it/her but at least there are some characters from Angel that I like in it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

tdf day 17 - Drum roll

I finished plying the merino/tencel!
4 oz braid


524 yards of 20-29 wpi. That makes it LACE WEIGHT! I actually managed to do it. It's not all even, but if you figure lace weight to be 18+ wpi, it's lace weight even at it's thickest.
I wonder how much yardage I would have had if I'd not had a lot of 1 single left?

I also spun some angora bunny

watched: Hogfather, Angel

Sunday, July 17, 2011

tdf day 16


watched: Little Shop of Horrors, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Angel.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

tdf day 15

I am so not motivated today. I'm really sick of this fiber and I'm soo very close to the end but I just can't work up the umph. I spun for about 2 hours so far today, and will probably do more tonight after shopping, just to get through it.

watched: The Who's Tommy, Serenity.

Friday, July 15, 2011

tdf day 14

I've done a lot of spinning since this picture was taken six hours ago. I have just two more hanks like the one shown here and the last 2 ounces of this fiber will be spun. I should have it spun and plied by the end of the weekend. Then I can pull out a bunch of samples for the Spinner's Study team.

watched: The rest of Firefly. Good show that shouldn't have been canceled. Now if I can find Outlaw Star (I put a bunch of my dvds in boxes to store) I'll watch that the rest of the night.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

tdf day 13

Still plugging away at the merino/tencel

I've also been playing with the phat fiber June (sci fi) sampler box

watched: Firefly marathon. It's a total rip off of Outlaw Star but it's still a good show.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

tdf day 12

I haven't done much spinning yet today.
I got started on the second half of The Critter Ranch's Monarch colorway (merino/tencel)

watched: How to Train Your Dragon, news, VH1 classic, will probably watch Fraggle Rock before the night is over.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

tdf day 11

I got a little side tracked yesterday and started spinning this
100% Tussah Silk
It's fun to spin but when you have record breaking heat and humidity again, like we are having, it sticks all over you and falls apart before you can spin it.

Again I bought 4 ounces from the Spinning Loft
I washed it up and carded it. A very large portion of it was second cuts. Something I was surprised to see considering where I bought the fiber. This wool is so soft and yummy that I didn't want to toss any of it out so I decided to card it as is.
I completely forgot to get a picture of the rollags, but here's a picture of it as it's being spun.

I am not a lover of art yarn. I just don't get it, but this stuff is made of fun. I tried to keep as many of the second cuts on the 'outside' of the spun yarn as I could so that it wouldn't be lumpy so much as having a pomp pomp affect. The two singles looked like a poodle with a bad hair cut but once I plied them the yarn became more lumpy than pomp pompish.
and by the time it got washed it looked like a yarn that was just badly spun.
It lost most of it's pomp pomps in the plying and when it got wet it fuzzed up and became lumpy. Still, it's so very extra soft. Another type of wool that I'd love to have an entire fleece of to play with.

watched: VH1 classic, Alice Cooper documentary, Fraggle Rock, Green Day documentary, The George Burns and Gracie Allen show.

Monday, July 11, 2011

tdf day 10

This is supposed to be a rest day. Oui, rest? I have to catch up on housework, paperwork, meal planning, houseplant care, blogs, laundry....

I'll be busier today than when I'm spinning. There's something wrong with that.

eta: The only way I can get Ravelry to accept pictures is if I post them here and take that address to post there, so, here's the complete write up on the Perendale.
I bought 4 ounces from the Spinning Loft

I washed it (it dried at 3.6 ounces) and Cara combed it for me.

While I was spinning the singles I wasn't too impressed. It reminded me a lot of the Cheviot I've spun. Once I started plying it though, it grew some character and now I quiet like it.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

tdf day 9

I finished the Perendale but washed it without taking pictures first, so that pic will have to wait.

This is Texel (on the spindles) from the Spinning Loft. The 4oz sample was half second cuts, so, to keep from throwing half of it out I'm spinning it into the yarn and making pom pom like yarn. Or as I like to call it, Poodle yarn. The mini skein is BFL from the Phat fiber June box sci fi, Predator vs Alien colorway by Fiber Fancy.

A better picture of the BFL.

Watched: hours and hours of VH1's 100 greatest count down. Then, because the Beatles were number one we had to watch A Hard Day's Night to celebrate, Fraggle Rock, and Ferris Bueller.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

tdf day 8

Wow. I didn't even realize that yesterday marked the one week mark.
Accomplished so far
I finished half of the 4oz braid of Monarch, 2 ply Romney, and 2 ply Black Welsh. I'm also half way through some Perendale but I didn't start working on that until after dark so no picture yet.

Watched: Foo Fighters concert, Heavy Metal on VH1, Phantom of the Opera, and Amadeus.

Friday, July 8, 2011

tdf day 7

I am really in danger of burn out. This 4 ounces is taking forever to spin. What's on the spindle isn't even half of the braid and I've all ready put a LOT of hours into it.

Watched: a documentary on Rush *loves* and something else. I can't remember what it was.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

tdf day 6

Day 6? Already?!

I took the kids to the zoo today so I only got in a few minutes spinning time this morning.

Watched: my coffee getting cold.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

tdf day 5

This is beautiful in person but it's a slow spin.

More 'war wounds!'

Cara has been combing wool with me while I spin. This is what happens when you drop the comb.
Tomboy toes!

Watched: lots of classic VH1 stuff and Ferris Bueller.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

tdf day 4

Very slow start to today's spinning. I slept in (after staying up until 3 with the kids watching Dr Horrible extras) and took to long posting and trying to keep up with boards.
This is The Critter Ranch's Monarch colorway in merino/tencel.

I decided to take pictures of the 'paper cuts' the Romney gave me because this is all about documenting my first Tour de France. They aren't healing because they were put there from the motions of plying, so plying the Black Welsh just tore them up again.

Have you ever tried to take pictures of your own hands?

With a dumb ass camera

That never wants to FOCUS

There. Documentation of my 'war wounds'.

Watched: Dr Horrible's Sing Along Blog (I really have to take that remote away from my daughter ; ) a show about I band but I can't remember who it was, Whoe's Line old school marathon.

Monday, July 4, 2011

tdf day 3

..and I'm losing my mind.
I posted this last night but apparently I forgot to hit save.

Black Welsh plied

I love naturally colored wool and this is a deep deep black. Even the tips were black.
I bought 4oz of raw wool from the Spinning Loft, washed it up, and hand carded it into rolags. The VM fell out of it very easily.

The little white fibers you see among the Black Welsh are from my stupid idea to wash black and white wool together. I have at least 20- 4ounce samples of wool so to save time, and my brain, I washed a bag of black in the same sink as a bag of white so I could easily tell them apart. As you can see, that is not a good idea. I was picking long white fibers out of this stuff all the way through.

This stuff sheds like mad. It's been very hot and humid here and I had little bits of Black Welsh all over my hands, arm, lap, clothes, floor.... It got everywhere. It was like getting a hair cut and not washing the little cut bits off your neck. Only I had them stuck all over me. If you're going to try to spin this fiber do it in the winter or at least in air conditioning.

I spun 2 singles on spindles and then plied them. I ended up with roughly 150 yards of sport weight yarn.

I picked this fiber as my first raw to yarn sample for the Spinner's Study because of it's color. I love naturally colored fibers and was instantly drawn to this one because it was such a uniformly jet black. After spinning it I'm not so fond of it. I still love the color, but the wool isn't all that fun to work with (see shedding), and the finished product is course and scratchy. This yarn could be used for rug or needle point but I certainly wouldn't want a pair of mittens made from it.

Watched: a show on Tom Petty, a Walton's marathon, Silence of the Lambs, Dr Horrible's Sing Along Blog (we love that movie in this house), and Shutter Island.

eta: Black Welsh yarn picks up any and all stray cat hairs, passing dust, and random dust bunnies like the plague.