Thursday, July 07, 2016

Trying to Keep Up

For a short week, this has sure been a long one, and all week I've felt like I've had to catch up (I suppose when work is busy, a four-day workweek means trying to cram five days of work into four). On the plus side, I did finally finish plying my first completed skein of handspun for the Tour de Fleece! Here it is, in the gloom of an overcast day:

This was the last shipment of the most recent round of the FatCatKnits fiber club, and I decided to go very simple this round. I spun up both colorways separately and then plied them together. The yarn is mostly fingering weight (there are a few spots where it tends more toward sport) and nearly 397 yards, with a good amount of plying twist -- even after snapping it vigorously in the finishing, the skein still has an overall slight twist to it and there are corkscrews here and there. I'm not terribly concerned about that extra twist, as I'm planning to use this for socks, but in theory I could have gotten a bit more length with a bit less twist. I'm not complaining, mind you; this skein took me past the 4,000 meter mark for Stash Dash!

While this skein was soaking in the tub upstairs, I decided that, rather than working on a spinning project I've already got going, I'd start another one. (This time of year is pretty much the only time I do that sort of thing, by the way.) I grabbed my most recent Southern Cross Fibre shipment, a yummy Bond/suri alpaca blend, and got to work. Here's what the fiber looks like:

I decided to spin another two-ply fingering weight with this, and to keep the colors a bit interesting, I split the top for a fractal spin. Specifically, I split the entire length of top in half, right down the middle, and then split one of the halves in half again the same way. So one ply will go through the color sequence once and the other ply will go through it twice. Here and there the colors will match up, but overall there will be a lot of barberpoling.

Over the past several days, I've also pulled out a spindle project when I've had a few minutes here and there. While in past years of the TdF I've taken a spindle to work to spin during my lunch break, I've skipped that this year as I have knitting to get done during that time, but I haven't wanted to ignore the spindles altogether because the projects I've got going on them have been languishing for a long time. This one, for instance, was started last year at MDSW. It's a chocolate alpaca/silk blend that's an absolutely dream to spin, but as it wants to be spun into frog hair, it's been very slow going.

I figure that if I can fit in 10-15 minutes on the spindle every day (or at least most days), I might actually see some real progress!

Tonight there's a chance I might skip spinning in favor of knitting -- I really want to get that shawl done!

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