Saturday, June 15, 2013

In training.

Last year I couldn't do Tour de Fleece (a.k.a. tdf) with everything that was going on/wrong. This year things are a little better and I've got my daughter helping me.

For Christmas I'd like to try to make these for family members. (For those who don't have a Ravelry account, they are hand knit advent wreaths). It will mean knitting in ways that I've never knit before and I figured hand dyed/hand spun would make them mean even more.

Of course it could just mean that I'll be sending family members lumps of unrecognizable wool. We shall see.

Since I need to do the spinning anyway I decided to make it my tdf project. Tdf runs from June 29th through July 21st, so right now I'm in 'training', which is another word for GET READY TO SPEND EVERY WAKING HOUR AT YOUR WHEEL! The last time I did this my wheel wasn't working (or I didn't have it yet, I can't remember) and did it all on spindles. This time I'm hoping I'll be able to spin about 3 pounds of fiber.

I dug into my fiber stash and found some super fine BFL, Colonial, and Baby Suri alpaca.

Pulled out some Country Classic acid dyes

Mixed them up

Weighed out the fiber

tied it up

And dyed them in the designated crock pot. This is one is spruce.

Normally I wouldn't be dyeing this fiber this way but since I have to blend fibers together afterward I decided to go the easier rout. I love the ease of dyeing in the crock pot.

I had to make the decision of how I wanted to prep them so I divided up one color (teal) and drum carded half then used my hackle to prep the other half.

And did a test spin of both before deciding that I wanted to card all 12 colors.

I also hired my daughter to photograph my progress for me. You can tell the difference in our cameras in all the above photos. That and she's willing to take them outside to get the really good shots. It's a small price to pay and it really helps me out by allowing me more time prepping and spinning. She was going to do it for nothing but I wouldn't let her.

As it stands today, I have half of the 12 colors dyed and in various stages of prep. I'm about to go put another color on the drying rack so I can dye more and tonight I'll be sitting at my drum carder again making nice fluffy bats.

Tdf13 teams I've joined:

Hopelessly over committed
Spin your stash.

I think I got a little cared away this year.

What we'll watch during tdf, because my daughter will be doing her crafting stuff along with me while I spin:

Sherlock (BBC)
Star Trek movies (old & new)
Jungle cubs
jungle book
The Hobbit
My little pony
Russell Howard’s good news
Year End Review
Simon & Simon
Being human uk
Jack Benny on utub
Wild America
Short circuit 1 and 2
Kung Fu panda
Saiyuki (+ Gaiden if we can find it online)

The above is subject to change since we just signed up with Netflix again and Hulu plus for the first time.