Spin Thesis: Tour de Fleece 2015

Welp … Tour de Fleece 2015 has come to an end (on Sunday).  Although I signed up for one team — October House — I mostly spun along with my friends in the KnitPicks (and more) Stashdown Ravelry group.  It was an informal spinning team and we had a blast.  At least I did. 😀

The tour was great in so many ways and I learned so much in my short 6 week journey as a new spinner.  Even with my dislocated thumb, I enjoyed spinning so much, I think I’ve found my sweet spot in yarn crafts.  Don’t get me wrong, knitting and crochet are not going anywhere, but there’s just this feeling I get when I put the spinning techniques together (even as a learner) and see a continuous thread unfold from a cloud of fiber.   Just like some people only want to knit lace (oye!) or socks, or blankets, or sweaters, or hats … I just want to spin!  Not to make anything, but just to see the thread emerge.  I think I’m that spinner who’s F.O.s are the skeins themselves and not the item made from those skeins.

For the tour, I:

  • learned to use bootleg hand combs and hackles aka dog combs and rakes to prepare fibers.  They work, but the tines on my combs are loose after two uses.  I should have known it might have been a bust since two of the tines were already shaking when  I opened the packet.  Plus while they do a decent job opening the fiber, the ones I have pull, rather than separate so I lost 2 ozs of fiber my first go around on a dyed braid.  It could have been my technique or it could have been the brand of dog combs I used. Since I can’t afford to lose so much again, real fiber hand combs are on their way to me right now.
  • learned how to use hand cards
  • spun 600 yds of fiber
  • salvaged a matted braid of fiber and made bird’s nests
  • dyed four braids of fiber.  I got success with all these … none of them ended up matted or felted.  Every skein fluffed back up after drying and is usable.  I was very excited about this since I’d only dyed yarn before … never fiber.   I’ll show you those in my next Dyepot Stories post.

Tour De Fleece 2015 Finish LineThis pic represents most of my efforts during this year’s TdF, and I’m immensely proud.  The Wensleydale I dyed during the tour has been shipped to my friend already, but I’ll find a pic somewhere and post it later.  My wheel spinning start took a while to actually take off but now that it has, it’s like Super Grover — “up, up and awwwwwway”  😀

source

For my TdF2015 efforts, I’ve been “rewarded” by my friend Elisa with 1lb of sheep.  Yes, I said sheep.  And notice the quotes around the word rewarded.  LOLOLOL!!!  Her gift is making me start from one step up from scratch.  I can’t raise the sheep in my apt, but she’s sent me 1lb of amazing bfl locks that I’ll have to scour, process, spin then knit.   That’ll give me a head-start and some practice before I start my sheep to sweater project in 2016.   Since that’s it’s own adventure, I’ll update you on that once I get it.   😀

Hope you are all well, with lots of crafty, happy things keeping you occupied this summer.  Talk to me in the comments and let me know how you’ve been.  ❤

Spin Thesis: Larkspur in BFL

So … I decided to give Spinderella back her name and come up with my own spin themed post header.  How did I do?  😀

I don’t only want to document the finished items, but I want the posts to be educational for me and new spinners who might be searching for answers.  So I’ll be documenting the good, the bad and the ugly with these posts and wanted the header to reflect that.

Now that you’ve thought about that, here’s what the result of my last spin is.

Larkspur BFL Done 715(pre-wash)

(post wash)
Second spin of Tour De Fleece.
Project Details

Issues

  • Soft spots & inconsistent weight.  One section drafted apart while making a skein and now has a knot.  Additionally, the skein is thick and thin.
  • Corkscrews.  These evened out for the most part after washing and thwacking but the areas are still tightly twisted.
  • Slubby joins

Fixes To Test

  • For consistency in yarn weight — pay attention to tension,treadling, distance of drafting and drafting area
  • Increase tension once bobbin starts getting heavier.
  • Practice Jacey Boggs joining technique.

Right now, my Tour de Fleece run is done because of a dislocated thumb. I’m off crafting for the next week and a half.   So in the meantime, I’ve been dyeing more while still going through my Craftsy spinning course by Jacey Boggs.  More on that later.

I’m also inspired to start planning for Fall/winter crafting by my e-pal Dana (Yards of Happiness), who’s a knitting machine and has already made out her Fall knitting list.  I really don’t blame her … can y’all believe July is almost done?

Have you started your Fall/Winter craft planning?  Talk to me in the comments.  😀