Friday, July 14, 2017

Tour de Fleece, continuing ...

We are at the end of the 2nd week of TdF. Here are this week's accomplishments; not a lot of time these past few days for treadling, but at least half an hour each day. (BTW, for anyone who is unfamiliar with Tour de Fleece: It is an international spinning event which takes place during the Tour de France. There are several teams which one can join if one wishes; this year I'm spinning with Team Warped Weavers and Team Spinning Men. [My favorite team name of all time is Team Russian Underpants! :)] Many of the teams are set up on Ravelry and that's where I joined. So we spin every day the cyclists pedal, and on the days they have challenges, we set ourselves a challenge. It's a great motivator, and very inspirational to see everyone's progress on a daily basis.)

The green is finished: 244 yds., 2-ply. (click on pictures to enlarge them.)

Last Sunday was a challenge day, so I took the great wheel out of the closet, gave it a little tune up and did some spinning "from the fold". It was a nice day and I was able to take it out on the deck where I spun in the glorious sunshine and bird song. It was uplifting. "Spinning from the fold" is a way of spinning long-stapled wool one-handed which is necessary on the great wheel because the other hand is turning the wheel. Wool with shorter staple lengths can be spun "long draw" but I need a few hands-on lessons in that technique. I've done some long-draw with cotton on an Indian charka, but I would greatly benefit from working with an experienced spinner in this matter. One of these days, I'll sit with someone for some guidance. Spinning from the fold creates a semi-worsted yarn, long-draw typically creates a woolen yarn, and short-draw (and it's permutations) usually create worsted yarn. (Woolen yarn is where the fibers in the yarn are arranged haphazardly, it is lofty, light, and warm. Worsted yarn is where the fibers of the wool all line up parallel to one another, it is strong and warm, but not as warm as woolen spun yarn.)

A few years ago I found a "minors" head for my wheel. It is an accelerator wheel. It makes me laugh to use it because it adds so much twist so quickly. A quarter turn of the big wheel puts in more twist than you can imagine. My first "cop" (a wound of spun singles) isn't quite done, and I plan on spinning a second, then plying them together.

This week I've set to work on the blue, matted top I had in my stash. Running it through the drum carder did a great job of resuscitating it and making it viable for spinning. I'm near finished on my first bobbin full. It will also become 2-ply yarn.

I was at a wonderful newish local yarn store this afternoon, Scratch in Lebanon, NH and found some absolutely delicious merino/tussah silk blend which looks like something you'd find on a hot fudge sundae! I can't wait to spin this gorgeous fiber. I also found some brilliant red silk hankies to spin.

A garden post coming soon.

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