2012-07-22: Tour de Fleece

Racing along with my spinning. Sort of. Relativistically.

Yay, me. I participated in the Tour de Fleece for the very first time, and I achieved my goals. Now I'm tired, so I'm going to be lazy and just paste in my TDF updates from Ravelry so you too can experience the blow-by-blow spinning action.

I may regret this, but I'm joining in. I have too much stash & haven't been spinning much lately. Here goes nothing.

My overall goal for Tour de Fleece:

I have lots of stuff sitting around my house needing to be spun. For my main project, I plan on spinning up a Blue Moon Fiber Arts Sheep 2 Shoe sock kit. My only goal is to just spin every day, but if I manage to complete my sock yarn, then my secondary goal is to spin up anything else in my stash.

I will measure my progress by a) time spent and b) weight of fibre spun.

My Tour de Fleece Goal/Progress

Sat 30 June Prologue

OK, nearly there with fibre prep. I have separated out the main colours in the roving & blended in my drum carder to get more even colour effects. I'm 90% done with that & need to finish a little of the lime green. I then need to figure out what order/combinations I'm going to spin in & divide everything up for 2 sets of 3 ply yarns, one for each sock. There will be scales, head scratching, and calculators... Oh yeah, and I need to weigh my empty bobbins so I know how much I've spun each day!

Tour de Fleece 2012 - Fibre

Sun 1 July Plain

Due to a series of boring and tedious circumstances, I got almost completely diddly squat done. Little drop spindle project with silk & cashmere to the rescue!

Time spent on spinning: 10 min right before bedtime

Weight of fibre: < 1 g

Not quite a fail but pretty close!

Mon 2 July Plain

I knew today was going to be tricky due to the fact that it's my weekly games night & we host 6 friends for snacks & games. I managed to sneak in a tiny bit of spinning on the train home.

Time spent spinning: 5 stolen minutes on the platform at Central Station

Weight of fibre: < 1 g

Tuesday night - no excuses! I will get some sampling done for my sock yarn.

Tues 3 July Med mountains

OK, tonight finally got into gear & set aside 9 grams of the green colour (since that's what I have the most of) to spin a small sample length of yarn so I can keep everything consistent as I go along. I took it pretty slow because a) I am trying to be careful and consistent, and b) I'm spinning really finely to make a 3 ply sock yarn.

Time spent spinning: 32 min

Weight of fibre: 3g

Tour de Fleece - Sampling

Wed 4 July Plain

Ply #2 of sample yarn done.

Time spent spinning: round about a half an hour again, I didn't keep track because I paused in the middle so we could read excitedly about the Higgs Boson.

Weight of fibre: 3g

Thurs 5 July Plain

Guh. Miserable weather killed my willpower and I had to fall back on the drop spindle so I could huddle under a blanket on the couch. I didn't dare poke my toes out to treadle.

Time spent spinning: 45 min on drop spindle

Weight of fibre: ~ 1g

Fri 6 July Plain

Got a flat tire, aka winter did me in & I spent the whole evening snuggled under the doona on the sofa watching TV. Couldn't even spindle.

Time: 0

Weight: 0

Perhaps I will try & make up the difference on a rest day.

Sat 7 July Med mountains

Ply #3 of 3 finished! But before I can actually ply them together I need to finish winding off leftovers from last spinning projects, so that will be Sunday's goal.

Time: ~30 min

Weight: 3g

Sun 8 July Med mountains

Sample yarn finished. It was a little fiddly at first remembering how to do a 3-ply yarn, but over all I'm pretty happy with the result.

Time: ~20 min

Weight: 9g plied

Tour de Fleece - Sampling

Mon 9 July Individual time-trial

Games night with friends over, so I just went back to drop spindling. Even did a little during the game!

Time: ~30 min

Weight: no idea, forgot to check. Oops! Probably around 1 g at the most.

Tues 10 July Rest

Made up for my "flat tire" on Friday. I feel like I'm really in the swing of it now!

Today I started on my "real" yarn; I am going to do a 3 ply of the green & gold colours first, so a fair chunk of my time tonight was spent on:

  • Winding off my sample yarn
  • Dividing up colours & weighing things
  • Then trying to spin whilst watching Hugo (it's set in France, close enough to the Tour de France?)

Time spent: ~1 hour

Weight: ~7g

Wed 11 July High Mountains

More green & gold on the Mach III.

Time spent: ~ 1 hour

Weight: ~7g

Thurs 12 July High Mountains

A bit of drop spindly plying.

Time spent: ~20 min

Weight: ~2g plied

Fri 13 July Med mountains

Had to work late, yuck :-p

Did a bit more drop spindle plying.

Time spent: 30 min

Weight: ~2g

Sat 14 July Plain

Open Day was fun, but I chickened out on joining the last spinning race. Why? I don't know. The tribulations of being an introvert. Then it was on the train to go up to a friend's place, so I had a lot of time out & about & not at the wheel. Instead I finished plying what was on my drop spindle.

Time spent spinning: Not really sure, at least 20 min or so here & there on the train


All up I have a new little skein of silk & cashmere weighing around 6g, it's slightly over plied but very pretty.

Tour de Fleece 2012 - Spindle spun yarn

Sun 15 July High Mountains

A bunch more on my first green/gold bobbin.

Time spent: ~1hr


Mon 16 July Plain

Games night moved to Tuesday this week. Finished first green & gold bobbin, prep done for bobbin 2 of 6.

Time spent: 45 min

Weight: 4g

Tour de Fleece 2012

Tues 17 July Rest

I had forgotten this was a rest day. I ended up without any time to spin & the next day realised with a start of guilt — until I checked the calendar & realised I was off the hook!

Wed 18 July High Mountains

Started bobbin #2 of green/gold singles.

Time spent: 40 min

Weight: 3g

Thurs 19 July High Mountains

I was really going gangbusters on Thursday.

Time spent: ~1 hour

Weight: 7g

Fri 20 July Plain

I can't believe I've nearly made it! Closing in on finishing green/gold bobbin #2 of 6.

Time spent: ~1 hour

Weight: 7g

Sat 21 July Individual time-trial

My first woodworking class from 9:00 AM to 1:30 PM. Walked from home to Leichhardt, 6 km round trip! Phew! To rest up I only did enough to finish bobbin #2.

Time spent: ~20 min

Weight: 4g

Sun 22 July Finish

Basking! Glory! I am so pleased that I stuck with it and that I have an in-progress spinning project. I will try and use this excitement and momentum to finish the whole thing.

Also, thanks to everyone on the team for providing inspiration, kind comments, and amusement along the way. Well done all of you!