At the last minute, without participating in any groups, I decided to join in with Tour de Fleece 2014 with the simple goal of spinning every day throughout the race. No pressure: If I so much as spin for 5 minutes, I’m counting that as a day I participated! My reflections on Week 1 are here.
Day 8 – 12:
Most of Week 2 was spent working on my Sweet Georgia Yarns’ Summer of Socks SAL/KAL spin. During Week 1, I had started and finished my first 2 bobbins of the Sweet Georgia Fibre BFL+Silk in the colourway Rusted. The next few days was spent working on the third bobbin, which for some reason seemed to take a long time but here is the happy family of 3:
I wanted to do a traditional 3-ply and I have been waiting patiently to show you my Lazy Kate! I showed my dad some examples on a Google Image search, particularly the Lendrum Kate’s and asked him to just run with the idea. One caveat I asked him for was that it be a 4-bobbin Kate so that I can use it for storage, particularly when I am doing a cabled yarn. And run with it, he did!
He placed all 4 of the bobbins equal-distance from the central screw where the singles are threaded through, which was lovely – when I pull, the bobbins unravel equally.
This is what I have been dying to show you and is also one of the reasons why I laughed out loud when he showed me the ‘tensioning device’ – it’s part of an old faucet! All I have to do is loosen the faucet handle, tighten or loosen the string, retighten the faucet and off I go! Isn’t that fantastic?! It’s no wonder people who enjoy woodworking love looking at spinning wheels and accessories: They are fascinated with the ‘inner workings’ of it all!
The finished yarn produced 406 yards of heavy fingering weight/light sport (18 WPI) and 34 yards of Navajo-plied yarn (bottom photo) to empty the final bobbin.
While I had hoped the colours would match up slightly more than they did, I love the results and can’t wait to cast on for the socks themselves. I think the barber poling actually makes the yarn more interesting – the brown and navy were quite muted but the cream/undyed areas from the top actually help the yarn to really ‘pop’. After I ‘clean’ off my needles of some other projects, these will be cast on next! I do, however, have to choose a pattern still …
This yarn is the first time I have spun intentionally and I am really happy with the results. It inspired me to start my next project with intention as well.
Day 13 & 14:
This project will consume the remainder of my Tour de Fleece (I think). I had some Malabrigo Nube (again, yes) in colour 852 Persia. It’s a lovely semi-solid blue with hits of grey, purple and now that I am into the spin I have found some tiny spots of cream/undyed sections. Again, I wanted to spin with intention because I don’t have space to store a lot of yarn or fibre. As well, I have 2-100gram hanks of this and would like to spin enough to make the Frida Shawl from Wool People Vol. 5 by Hiroko Fukatsu. I have been eying this for a while but I am not a shawl knitter by any stretch of the imagination … however, I think my tastes are changing as I have said in previous video posts. I have knit a lot of sweaters, I wear some of them … but buying sweater quantities of yarn isn’t really good for the budget (I’m usually not buying what I’d really like to buy) and I can see very clearly that more and more I will spin for a project rather than buy yarn. We have been trying to minimize our possessions and one thing I have come to realize is I would rather have a smaller stash. Tastes change, project ideas change … Going forward, I’d like to be slightly more intentional with my purchasing.
Sorry for that little tangent: Back to this project. Since these colours are quite analogous, I thought I would try a fractal spin. Rather than dividing all of the first braid and committing to the entire spin, I decided to pull off one colour repeat and try it out. I divided it into thirds and have started to spin the first strip of top end-to-end. The other two strips are divided and in baggies waiting to be spun. Here is a really good article from an old issue of Knittyspin on fractal spinning.
Since the colour repeats are so incredibly long on this and 70% of it is actually some variation of the gorgeous blue (hence a borderline semi-solid), I don’t want to go to all the effort of doing a fractal spin if it doesn’t ‘show up’ in the finished yarn. Does that make sense? I might just divide this into thirds, spin end-to-end and ply. Again, I’m thinking a traditional 3-ply although I am very tempted to do a 2-ply. That’s the beauty of doing a ‘sample’ – I can decide after this first small chunk is finished! I am going to knit a swatch of the stitch pattern before I make a final decision.
How is your Tour de Fleece going? Are you meeting your spinning goals? What are you enjoying most? Also, what is your favourite sock pattern?!
Happy spinning :)