Tour de Fleece

It may shock you, due to my relative blog silence on the topic, but I am actually doing the Tour de Fleece this year.

(For those uninitiated into the ways of spinning yarn, it’s a bunch of spinners who try to spin every day during the Tour de France. It’s a chance to challenge yourself and feel like part of a community of makers. It’s awesome.)

My first challenge was to try a new way of spinning color, a fractal spin with some seriously soft Three Waters Farm merino. I’m absolutely head over heels for the yarn I got, but it currently needs a bath to set the twist, so no pictures of that yet!

Here are the three braids I’ve got planned for the remainder of the Tour de Fleece:

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I started with the amazing Pigeonroof Studios merino/silk. This is the Honeybee colorway, and it is so out of my normal comfort zone. However, I am absolutely enchanted with this fiber.

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I wanted yarn that was basically exactly like the fiber, just thinner. For that reason, I decided to do a singles yarn. (I know a couple of the more experienced spinners just lost their minds. I promise I have done this before, with excellent results. I spin with very low twist naturally, so my singles yarns tend to behave themselves and not get too twisty.) I also wanted little pops and flecks of color all through the yarn, so I split it up into a lot of lengthwise strips so that the color changes would be quick.

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It’s turning out great so far, and I wish you could reach through the computer screen and feel this, because it is AMAZING. It’s destined to be a shawl because I can’t imagine not wanting to snuggle into this in the winter. The fiber is also beautifully well prepared, so the spinning is very stress free and smooth. This is my first Pigeonroof Studios braid, but I’m sure it’s not my last. Lovely stuff.

After that, I think I’m going to do
MORE Three Waters Farm fluff. I have this little bit of perfection:

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It is a mixture of polwarth and silk. There’s a subtle sheen if you look closely, but the biggest contribution of the silk is the wonderful depth of color you get. This is the Red Cake colorway, and it is destined for a fair isle mitten/hat set. I’ve ordered some snowy white polwarth to go with it, and I’m going to do the Beaumont tam and Freja mittens (which are by different designers, but look to me like they go together.) I think that this will be a perfect dressy set for winter, and will go beautifully with my red coat. I love my red coat.

Last, but definitely not least, is this great braid from Iknitiatives.

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It really looks like the ocean to me. I snagged it when she was having a sale, and I’m in love. It’s over six ounces of superwash Blue-faced Leicester, and it’s going to be the yoke for a ridiculously cool sweater. (well, I hope it’s cool. Right now it only exists in my mind, but I’ve got what I think is a very good idea.) Im thinking that since there’s so much of it, I may tear off a tiny strip and then split it lengthwise so I can do cuffs that mirror the yoke. Is that too anal retentive? I like things to match. I am not going to start spinning this one until the yarn for the body of the sweater arrives. I couldn’t find the perfect grey yarn, so instead I found some undyed yarn (so cheap it would make you weep for joy) and I’m going to dye it. Wish me luck!

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10 Comments

  1. Good luck!

  2. Matching cuffs and yoke…I say go for it!…sounds perfectly sane to me. πŸ™‚

    • I’m glad I have enablers for my OCD πŸ˜›

  3. I am learning a lot from your musings, and I am learning a lot by spinning every day. How skinny are you planning to spin your singles from that gorgeous Honeybee? Now that I’ve made my first bit of yarn, I’m realizing that I need to decide what kind of yarn I want before I start the next braid. Worsted weight singles? Skinnier plied yarn? So many choices!

    • I spun them slightly thick and thin, lace to sport weight. Then I skeined them up, swished them around in hot water to full them slightly and give them some stability, and they’re going to be a really pretty shawl!

  4. They look so squiiiiishy! I just want to cuddle them. I love the sound of the jumper/sweater with matching cuffs.

  5. Oooo! Look at all that delicious fiber! Can’t wait to see progress shots πŸ˜€

  6. Such a lovely array of yummy fiber!!! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks! I really needed something to motivate me to spin all my pretty things πŸ™‚

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