28 June 2013

Getting ready for my first TdF :-)

I am very excited to be participating in my first Tour de Fleece, for those of you who are not familiar with TdF this is an annual spinning event on Ravelry during the cycling event Tour de France. The idea is to spin for each day of the cycling event, they spin we spin, they rest we rest. Each spinner sets their own challenges and you can join different teams for fun and encouragement, there are also chances to win prizes :)

My challenges for the TdF are:
  • spin 100% alpaca (I only spun alpaca in a blend before)
  • intentionally spin sock yarn
  • perfecting the woollen long draw technique
  • spin from stash
To help me achieve these goals I joined four teams: Rookies, Peloton (everyone's in it at one time or another), Team Wonder Why Alpaca Farm (yay!) and Team Spin Your Stash.

This week I've been getting ready for the event, I washed the alpaca fleece from my stash and carded it into rolags, well some of it anyway - enough to get me started :) ... unfortunately I didn't have time to dye it first but I can do that later. I also pulled out some other fibre ready to spin:
From top left clockwise: BFL/shetland/silk blend, alpaca, BFL/silk blend, southdown. That should be more than enough to keep me busy for the next two weeks, in fact I'm not sure I can finish all these as I will be out of town for 4 days during the second week. On the plus side the kids are off so I won't be working so much (apart from the days I have to be away), looks like we won't be going out much this school hols!

Let's get started :)

Thanks for dropping by, there is more fibre arts fun at Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Indulge your creative side and join the party!

21 June 2013

Rolling Rolags and Woollen Spuns

Happy Fibre Arts Friday! My sincere apologies for those of you who came to visit last Friday and found the house empty, I was very disorganised last week and by the time I realised I hadn't done a post it was too late... but, evidently I'm back this week :D

I found some dye-job-gone-wrong merino tops in my stash, it was all matted and the colour was very "meh!". There was also some dyed alpaca wool I wasn't sure what to do with, they really didn't look pretty:
So I got busy and made rolags with my hand carders, roughly 3 parts of merino and 1 part of alpaca:
Now that looks much better! I'm in a woollen spinning phase at the moment as I find this technique challenging and yet satisfying at the same time. Challenging because I still have not mastered it and that frustrates me, satisfying because it's fast, I can fill a bobbin in 2 evenings.
I've also been using tops to practice woollen spun spinning from the fold, and I really really like it. This one is a merino/bamboo/alpaca blend:
... and this one is a merino/silk blend, I do find this blend posed some challenge as the silk fibre is quite long which sometimes caused the merino (the shorter fibre) to be left behind. But overall it wasn't too bad:
All these skeins are going to Bengido, my tally stands at 16 skeins, four more to go and four weeks left, think I can manage :)

Thanks for dropping by, there is more fibre arts fun at Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Indulge your creative side and join the party!

07 June 2013

Yarn Giblets!!

I don't know about you but I prefer to knit or crochet from a centre pull ball, and if I'm hand winding a skein I always wind it into a centre pull ball. With commercial yarn however, it's a different matter. Only on a few occasions I was able to find the end in the middle easily, for the rest of the time more often than not it's a tag of war. Like this one:
I tried and tried to find the end without any success, so I pulled on the inner most centre and out it popped - the yarn giblets! It took me a good forty minutes to sort it out, and when I did I started a project that will turn into a throw/blanket for my friend Elaine. She sent me the yarn and said that she would like something to go over the sofa. The pattern is the Sunset Ruana in the Winter 2009 edition of Interweave Crochet, my progress so far..
This is a Tunisian crochet project, but because each square is only small you can get away with a normal hook. I love the way the colour shifts. This is a "in car" project so it may take some time to complete, but I'm not seeing Elaine until next January so all should be good.

Thanks for dropping by, there is more fibre arts fun at Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Indulge your creative side and join the party!