Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Tour de fleece 2012 - day five

Been busy like crazy but still got a bit of spinning in.  Mystery brow fibre plied with some merino Habu lace.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Tour de Fleece 2012: stage 2 and 3

(sorry all, don't know what's wrong with the formatting today)

Yesterday, Stage 2 of the Tour de Fleece, was for me what they call, off the back. Didn't do quite so well as I had planed. But I did manage a small sample skein of novelty yarn. A small skein of yarn is still a skein, right? So I'm still on target with my goals.

30 yds of wavy rick-rack yarn. I spun up some dark chocolate brown mystery fibre in a regular slub (think and thin) pattern and plied it with a lovely orange Habu merino cobweb lace. I think the brown fibre is alpaca with perhaps 20% wool, but I can't be certain.

This makes quit a stunning effect, and I think I might make some more of this yarn later on. But what do you think? Any good?

Today, Stage 3 was a much better day for spinning. I didn't get up early enough to watch the whole race (4am is difficult at times) so I hope to watch the repeat this evening and spin some more then.

Today's spinning is 75yds of soft alpaca 2 ply worsted weight yarn from Herman's fibre. I can't get over how nice the drape of this yarn is. Even though I spun worsted style (for a denser, smoother yarn) it's no where near as heavy as alpaca usually is when done this way.

As you can see from the photos, these two yarns are already good friends. They somehow make me feel like they should be used together for something, but what, I don't know.

By the way: Special Tour de France discount at my etsy shop. Type TDF2012 at checkout for 15% off fibre, yarn, well, actually everything.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Tour de Fleece 2012 - Stage 1

Goals are a very important aspect of yarn sports.  You may be tempted to think that an event like the Tour de Fleece, is a bunch of people watching sports on TV while engaging in their favourite craft activity.  But it's much more than that.  I suspect far fewer than half the people who participate, watch or even follow the actual sporting event.  Even so, the competition is fierce.

Like the cyclists of the Tour de France, we spin our wheels.  And just like those super-human athletes, our biggest challenge is to overcome our own limitations.  Of course, they have the advantage of being in top physical shape and training all year long.  But both groups do what we love best and peruse it with the single mindedness that only great passion can impart.

For the Tour de Fleece, everyone (just about everyone) has to goal to spin each day the riders race.  That's three weeks of spinning yarn with only two rest days.  For most people, this is challenge enough.

But then there are them others.  Others like me who challenge themselves further.  

My goal is to spin 1 skein of yarn per day or to prepare 1 lb of fibre each day.  

Although not the most challenging goals I've set myself for a TdF, one has to take into account the conditions of the road.  To strive to achieve something amazing given your limitations and the conditions that surround you.  A cyclist that rides beyond their skill set is going to crash.  But one who can cycle just at that leading edge of their abilities, be consistent and always pushing themselves to expand their abilities, well that is what it takes to be amazing.  

Today's spinning, 120 yds of a very soft alpaca, worsted weight yarn.

Herman, one of our rescue alpacas, has beautiful cream fibre with a couple of brown patches.  I washed and carded the fibre earlier in the year and finally had a chance to spin some up.  I'm surprised at what a treat it is to spin, though, perhaps I shouldn't be.  Herman is the only one who doesn't roll around in the mud every chance he gets.

By the way: Special Tour de France discount at my etsy shop. Type TDF2012 at checkout for 15% off fibre, yarn, well, actually everything.

I'm in a contest!

I wonder if you've ever come across the Etsy Contest?  It's actually quite a fun little game.  They show you two photos from two different etsy shops, and you click which one you like better.  It doesn't cost you anything to play, you can just click on one choice, or you can keep playing and click a whole bunch.

Basically it's a tool to help the shop owners to learn how successful they are doing with their photos and portraying their product.  It's a fantastic learning tool for us poor shopkeeps.

Of course, there is always the small chance that someone clicking might actually see something they would like to learn more about and perhaps, occasionally, even buy.  But that is just extra.

So, if you have a few moments today, please click this link here.  It will take you directly to where you can vote for (or heaven forbid, against) my picture.  I'll be in the contest today only - it would be great if you could click for me.