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Monday, July 04, 2011

Tour de Fleece

For many spinners, or at least spinners who frequent Ravelry, July means one thing: Tour de Fleece. It's an event that goes on during Tour de France and from what I understand the idea is to set yourself a personal spinning challenge that you will aim to achieve during the tour. There is a Ravelry group set up and you can join teams.

Last year I joined Tour de Fleece and spun once or twice as I had lots and lots and lots of deadlines last July. This year I decided not to officially join Tour de Fleece but just to set myself a challenge and have my own little tour. I really enjoy watching Tour de France and my challenge is to spin for an hour every evening while I'm watching the Tour de France round up programme. on Sunday night I plyed the Sweet Georgia March club fibre which is a blend of 50% merino/25% bamboo/25% silk. It's so soft. I'm happy with it. It's better than my last batch but it's still very uneven.
I haven't checked wpi yet but I reckon it's dk-ish. I've promised Em a new handspun hat as she loved the handspun hat i knitted her 2.5 years ago when we went to Norway for christmas. This winter she was wearing it again but was complaining it was getting a bit small so I promised her a new one. Her last one was merino/bamboo so I thought she might like this soft blend. I'm aiming to cast on for when we go to London for Knitnation. I think it'll make good car/tube/waiting around/restaurant etc knitting. The last hat I knitted in a day. I'm not an expert at hats but the last one was very good. I'm planning a very simple top down stocking stitch hat with a rib border.
Last night I started spinning the Optim I got from The Thylacine last month.

Optim is merino which has been stretched and chemically treated. If you're interested you can read about it here. It's incredibly soft and has a great sheen to it. It feels like a merino/bamboo blend. I do find it a bit more challenging to spin than regular merino. It sticks a bit but I'm enjoying it and making good progress. This is 2 nights spinning:
I think I'll be finishing the first bobbin tomorrow. If I continue at this rate I may be plying by the weekend.

If you're a spinner, have you joined Tour de Fleece? If you have, what's your tour challenge?

Just another quick mention about Tour de France. The Norwegian cyclist, Thor Hushovd, has the yellow jersey for the second day in a row which is another reason I'm enjoying it.


Joyuna said...

I'm doing Tour de Fleece! I really joined spur of the moment (the night before it started), but I have so many spinning WIPs so I'm really glad I did join. My big project is a fiber sampler - I've just ordered over 30 different kinds of fiber, and I'm spinning a little bit of each into laceweight to hopefully use them all in a shawl together.

Anonymous said...

Wow that sounds like a fantastic project.

Thanks for leaving your e-mail address. I'll be in touch in a few days re the prize. I was going to try to track you down but I've just been so incredibly busy so I'm glad you got in touch.

Rowan said...

Hi Anni
I have just finished the Lightning Shawl - my first lace shawl - and I am delighted with it. Just one question - it says you used 12g beads size 8. I used about 1800 size 8 beads from the Debbie Abrahams collection (just a few left from 4 bags of 500 beads) and together they weighed about 64g.
Do different beads weigh differently at that small size and might it be better to specify numbers rather than weight? I love it so much and the pattern was very straight forward for a fairly new lace knitter. I really appreciated the knitted on border too. I am going to block it at the weekend and I am straight away going to make another for a present.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rowan, sorry about the beads. I don't know if different beads weigh differently. I bought tubes of beads in 6 different colours. I weighed the full tubes then weighed them when I'd finished the shawl and worked it out that way. I may have made a mistake. I'm wondering if it should have been 12 gr of each colour but I did this last autumn so I just can't remember.

I normally do weight as counting the beads is just too much for my tiny brain. LOL.

I'm glad it worked out in the end though. I'd love to see a pic.

Anni x

Ann said...

Your handspun looks gorgeous & I love the color. I am also spinning Thylacine's merino & bamboo & it's gorgeous.