Sunday, July 08, 2018

The Spinniest Time of the Year

It's one of my most favorite times of the year -- Tour de Fleece time! If you've never heard of it before, here's a brief description: In conjunction with the annual Tour de France, spinners all over the world get their wheels and spindles going and challenge themselves to spin whenever the riders are spinning their wheels. For some people, the challenge is to spin huge quantities or master a particular skill or type of yarn; for others, the challenge is just finding time to spin every day. For me, I simply try to spin as much as I can, and usually that means spinning more (in terms of total time) than I do normally.

This year, I'm on two teams, Southern Cross Fibre and HipStrings, so I'll primarily be spinning fibers from those companies. I actually started my spinning yesterday at the HipStrings studio, where they always have an open studio day the first Saturday of the month. So I got a start on my first project and got to hang out with Jill a bit. And naturally I didn't come home empty-handed, as it's virtually impossible to sit in that studio and not come home with some pretties. I was good, though, and only came home with two braids of fiber:

This is superwash domestic wool in a colorway called Underwater Basketweaving, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to strip it lengthwise and chain ply for a pseudo-self-striping sock yarn.

And this is superwash Targhee, which I'll likely also spin for socks, in a colorway called Daydreams.

I feel like I didn't spin for as long as I could have this weekend, but yet I have managed to finish up a bobbin of each of the two projects that are up first. The HipStrings fiber was their Tour de Fleece colorway on superwash domestic wool, which I'm spinning into a three-ply fingering for socks (you can see the rest of the fiber to the right in the photo below). The other project is the second skein of Southern Cross Charollais that I am spinning woolen for a three-ply heavy worsted to Aran; I spun up the first skein almost exactly a year ago.

It's amazing how much faster the woolen spinning is -- I've already started in on the second bobbin!

Here's a closeup of the singles so you can see the difference:

I expect you'll be seeing more of these two projects in the next week or two. Before I go, though, I do have to share the yarn you saw in progress last week that was finished up this past Wednesday (I wanted to get it wrapped up and off the bobbin before Tour spinning started):

This was Divergence on Corriedale, the most recent shipment from the Southern Cross Fibre club -- it never even made it into my stash! I split the fiber vertically and spun all the strips, then chain plied. It's fingering weight, but only 333-ish yards. I'm honestly not sure why the yardage was so low. But I have some dark brown undyed Corriedale in the stash, and I might spin up a mini skein that could be used for heels, toes, and cuffs. I'm certainly happy with how it turned out!