Saturday, January 07, 2012

Tour de Fleece 2011

Back in November of 2010, I picked up some dyed fiber at the So Cal Handweaver's show. This is a merino / silk blend dyed by Capistrano fiber arts. My plan for the fiber was to try and break out of my "rut" of using the same colors all the time. I wanted to ply two different colorways together and see what effect I got. I picked out one and Lori suggested the other.

Here is a picutre of the two colorways laid out in all their glory:

Then this July (2011) I decided to join the "Tour de Fleece" with the goal of spinning & plying these 4 oz into one fiinshed skein. It was a pretty respectable goal, as I done almost no spinning during the previous year, I wanted the project to be spun on a hand spindle and (not least) I began about a week into the tour, putting myself at the back of the pack. I started with the green / gold / purple first. I divided each colorway into 4 roughly equal sections to shorten the distance between color changes.

I managed to spin all of the darker colorway with no trouble and almost on schedule. Then I moved on to the sand / orange / purple. I did not enjoy this colorway as much, and it was quite difficult to stick with "the plan". The end of the tour came and went with this portion only about 1/4 complete. Into the project bag it went. I worked on it a little more later in November (a year from yarn purchase) when visiting with friends at this year's handweaver's show. Last weekend a friend hosted a spin-in and I brought it as my only project to try and get it finished at last. I almost made it, and finally finished the spinning Thursday afternoon.

I slid the two cops off onto knitting needles for storage and plied the yarns back onto the same spindle. After about 5 hours worth of work, here is approximately 4 oz of plied yarn. I wanted to make one skein with no breaks, and was successful. The spindle was quite heavy by the end, however.

The finished yarn, all skeined up. It needs a bath to set the twist and make it bloom, but the colors came out beautifully overall. Now I just need to figure out what project to make with it. Something knit, surely, and somewhat large. I may make a triangle shawl so that I can stop when I run out of yarn. A rectangle scarf would also be nice, or even a circular shawl. If I can't decide, I may get crazy and enter it into the county fair this summer.

I enjoyed spinning for the Tour and will do it again this year - hopefully with more planning and forethought. It feels good to finally finish a project and have a little more yarn in the "to knit" stash.


Acorn to Oak said...

Congratulations on your finished yarn! What a great idea to buy two different colorways and see how they work together. You sure had great success with this combo. I'm amazed how you fit all of it on one spindle. How nice that will be to have one continuous strand for your project. Can't wait to see what you knit with it.

Pickyknitter said...

Thanks! I tried to purchase more "out of the box" fiber at the events I went to this fall; maybe 2012 will be the year of playing with color?

Jerry said...

I'm envious that you live close enough to go to the hand weavers show. I miss the wonderful people in Ca.