Tour de Fleece
Old 07-04-2011, 10:57 PM   #1
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Default Tour de Fleece

So starting with the Tour de France on Saturday, I've been taking part in this thing called the Tour de Fleece, where spinners all over the world pledge to spin fiber on spindles or spinning wheels every day during the Tour de France. I don't know how it got started, but it apparently has a long tradition.

I'm posting updates on my blog, too, but I've already messed up and posted day 3 before I posted day 2 . (I was feeling lazy yesterday and didn't take many photos).



Day before TdF starts, this is what I've pledged to spin during the 20 days of TdF (it goes July 2-24, with two days off)



Day 1:

This is what I spun on my spinning wheel--



This is what I spun on the spindles --



Day 2:

I mostly just spun on the wheel on day 2. Finished the bobbin from Day 1 and another whole bobbin. (About 8 oz. of wool, maybe 800 yards? when it's plied).



Day 3:

I only did spindle work today (though I am going to spin on the wheel in a little bit because I joined a team for TdF that uses spinning wheels only, so I have to spin on the wheel for a little bit every day.)

What I did was ply the yarn I spun on the spindles, then wind it into skeins. I managed to get about 338 yards of yarn out of the spindle spun yarn.



I'll just keep updating as I go along. Work starts again tomorrow, so I'll probably do less and less every day, but it's nice to commit to something like this because I'm learning a lot about spinning that I would have taken ages to learn if I was working on my own and not on teams.
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Old 07-04-2011, 11:43 PM   #2
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Fantastic! I love the yarn in the last picture especially. God - I can't wait until our wheel arrives. We've got a ton of roving just sitting here waiting to go.

On the other hand, I've got this damned sweater that is like an albatross around my neck that needs to be finished. It's like pulling teeth getting this thing to put on length. I'm knitting like crazy, but it's 125 stitches across, so each row takes a while for my noobish skills.

I wish I were doing socks and hats. Those cruise right along.

Hey - thanks for turning me on to Ravelry. Great site! I'm Troutmandoo over there, in honor of my WoW orc buddy. (Trout was taken). Plus, it's a great song, and every time I think of the name, it gets stuck in my head.


(I think I'm goin' to Troutmandoo!
That's really really where I'm goin' to
If I ever get outta here,

I'M GOING TO TROUTMANDOO!!!)


Sigh.

Back to grinding out this goddamned sweater. Oryx had better appreciate it.
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Old 07-04-2011, 11:47 PM   #3
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LOL, I will. It's a really pretty burgandy color, and is more of a tunic than a sweater. Nice to wear during the long cold winter months, with black leggings. I'll be stylin'!

Our spinning wheel should arrive ANY DAY NOW. I'm very anticipatory.
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Old 07-04-2011, 11:50 PM   #4
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I'm Troutmandoo over there, in honor of my WoW orc buddy. (Trout was taken). Plus, it's a great song, and every time I think of the name, it gets stuck in my head.


(I think I'm goin' to Troutmandoo!
That's really really where I'm goin' to
If I ever get outta here,

I'M GOING TO TROUTMANDOO!!!)


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Old 07-04-2011, 11:57 PM   #5
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Trout was taken in WoW as well, so when I created my character, well...


Alcohol and air guitar might have played a part in my decision...


just sayin'. It's a great song.
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Old 07-04-2011, 11:57 PM   #6
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...mostly alcohol.
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:48 AM   #7
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Trout was taken in WoW as well, so when I created my character, well...


Alcohol and air guitar might have played a part in my decision...


just sayin'. It's a great song.
Oh, I agree. It's just funny too.

Classic song like "There's a bathroom on the right" and "Scuse me while I kiss this guy"
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:52 AM   #8
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Day Four of Tour de Fleece:

I spun about half an ounce this evening, but I was pretty tired from work and the heat. This is an interesting wool though. It's from Polwarth sheep and it's been dyed red, white and blue (and there's some other colors in there. The color is called "Americana") I didn't think I liked the wool because it was kind of hard to pull apart (drafting), like it was felted or something, but once I got going it made some nice color changes. (which you can't see that well because it's a crappy phone picture. I'd use a better camera for this, but I like the convenience of being able to email the picture immediately to my Flickr without having to find the camera cord and upload, etc.)

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Old 07-07-2011, 01:20 AM   #9
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Not much accomplished today (yesterday), but if you compare the photo from yesterday to today's, you can see there's a substantial amount added to the bobbin. I did some spindle plying, too, but I didn't take any pictures.
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Old 07-07-2011, 06:47 AM   #10
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Sans, you are amazing.

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Old 07-07-2011, 02:48 PM   #11
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Sans, you are amazing.

You have NO idea.

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Old 07-07-2011, 05:35 PM   #12
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Is the problem with the drafting that the fibers aren't lined up in the same direction? Is that what makes it sort of like felt? Or is it just that it's too dense or what?

Sorry for what's probably a stupid question? Right now, our wheel is downstairs in pieces being finished. We got the unfinished model, so we're putting a coat of polyurethane on everything and trying to figure out what to do with painting the wheel itself.We're itching to get started, but we want it finished perfectly before we do.
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:02 PM   #13
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Is the problem with the drafting that the fibers aren't lined up in the same direction? Is that what makes it sort of like felt? Or is it just that it's too dense or what?

Sorry for what's probably a stupid question? Right now, our wheel is downstairs in pieces being finished. We got the unfinished model, so we're putting a coat of polyurethane on everything and trying to figure out what to do with painting the wheel itself.We're itching to get started, but we want it finished perfectly before we do.
Yeah, I think the seller processed the wool a long time ago and had stored it, so it clumped together. After I teased it apart and started drafting it was fine. Still working on it, but it's coming out nice. Also, it's not Polwarth wool, it's Falkland. I've used other Falkland that wasn't clumpy like this one, so it's not the wool, it's the prep and/or storage.
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Old 07-09-2011, 01:11 PM   #14
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Tour de Fleece Days 5 and 6:

I borrowed my daughter's camera for this picture because it looks so much better than what I was getting on my camera phone.



I didn't want to take pictures on the 7th and 8th (daughter was sleeping, couldn't borrow her camera), though I did spin both days for about an hour each day. I've got 4.0 oz. of Falkland all spun up.

You can see the amount on the bobbins is uneven (less on one than the other), so plying these together presents a problem: I'm going to run out of yarn on one bobbin before I run out on the other bobbin, and I won't be able to continuously ply all of this unless I figure out how to get more yarn on the bobbin with the smaller amount...or if I learn a new plying technique. There is a technique called Navajo plying, where you just ply your singles back on themselves and end up with a 3-ply yarn. People use this method to preserve color separations better, like if you have a rainbow striped yarn, you can make sure the reds stay with red and greens with green, etc. rather than all mixed up and ending up with a muddy-colored skein of yarn. I wanted to do this yarn 2-ply because I am excited to see how the colors look together when they're mixed up. But, that's not going to be possible, I guess. Lesson learned: plan ahead.
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Old 07-09-2011, 10:25 PM   #15
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TdF Day 8 (above was supposed to be days 6 and 7, I'm confused).

I spun and plied the yarn from the bobbins above today. The curly "skein" in front is my attempt at Navajo plying, which did not go well :P



Total amount spun and plied over the past 8 days: 1149 yards, which is about 2298 yards total (or 1.3 miles!), then folded over on itself and plied. I know of a lady who is spinning a mile of fiber a day! I think she doesn't do anything else, though, like uh, use the bathroom or eat or anything.

I'm just gonna sprawl on the bed and watch Boardwalk Empire reruns for the rest of the night.
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:18 PM   #16
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You can see the amount on the bobbins is uneven (less on one than the other), so plying these together presents a problem: I'm going to run out of yarn on one bobbin before I run out on the other bobbin, and I won't be able to continuously ply all of this unless I figure out how to get more yarn on the bobbin with the smaller amount...or if I learn a new plying technique. There is a technique called Navajo plying, where you just ply your singles back on themselves and end up with a 3-ply yarn. People use this method to preserve color separations better, like if you have a rainbow striped yarn, you can make sure the reds stay with red and greens with green, etc. rather than all mixed up and ending up with a muddy-colored skein of yarn. I wanted to do this yarn 2-ply because I am excited to see how the colors look together when they're mixed up. But, that's not going to be possible, I guess. Lesson learned: plan ahead.
You know, I don't understand any of that, yet it's fascinating to read.
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:13 AM   #17
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It's too late to take a picture of the spinning for today, but I got about 2 oz. of Shetland wool on the bobbin. I'll photograph it tomorrow. I'm running out of fiber. Hoping I have enough to last till the 24th, but I'll be spinning a bit less every day to stretch it out. I ordered some more, but the lady who I ordered from had a death in her family in NC and had to travel home before she got the order out. Maybe it'll get here this week.
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:07 PM   #18
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Monday, July 11, Day 10--Day of rest (just like the Tour de France)
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:42 PM   #19
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No- way- Well this is all very cool, the more we know. I am also a spinner. There are not a lot of spinners, and then again there are, depending on the crowd you hang with. SC is not the kind of crowd I would have pegged anyone here to spin, cept maybe coco and I am thinking by her response in the thread she doesn't spin. Shows what I know doesn't it?

Lovin the pictures! Now, where is the new wheel picture?
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:31 AM   #20
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I haven't taken any photos for a few days, but I'm still spinning. I finished a whole bobbin full of Shetland since last night, and I plied about 110 yards of blue faced leicester on my spindle. I'm loving trying lots of different breeds of wool and seeing how they spin up. I've managed to get to my "default yarn" (which is where you end up spinning the same thickness of yarn on either spindle or wheel, and then struggle to spin thicker or thinner--kind of like, Level 2 Spinner, in gamer-speak ), so I'm able to see how different breeds of wool compare with each other. The next level is figuring out how to spin thicker or thinner to get the exact weight and thickness of yarn you want, using different plying methods (so far only 2-ply has been successful for me). After that you try to choose the right breed of wool and combine it with the right spinning and plying methods to get the yarn you want (I think. Still pretty new at this stuff). So anyway, add approximately 800 yards to the total amount I've spun since July 2.
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:33 AM   #21
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No- way- Well this is all very cool, the more we know. I am also a spinner. There are not a lot of spinners, and then again there are, depending on the crowd you hang with. SC is not the kind of crowd I would have pegged anyone here to spin, cept maybe coco and I am thinking by her response in the thread she doesn't spin. Shows what I know doesn't it?

Lovin the pictures! Now, where is the new wheel picture?
Next time I get hold of the camera, I'll get a picture of my wheel. Most people name their wheels (just like P2 names his guitars and other people name their cars), but I can't bring myself to come up with a name. Mostly I'm just calling it "My baby"
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:53 AM   #22
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Next time I get hold of the camera, I'll get a picture of my wheel. Most people name their wheels (just like P2 names his guitars and other people name their cars), but I can't bring myself to come up with a name. Mostly I'm just calling it "My baby"
Let it name itself. Most times if you jyst listen things willl tell you their names
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:19 PM   #23
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Sans - here's how to do something with that leftover length of single-ply:


Our spinning wheel is complete and we've been practicing. We plied together our two full bobbins, which was nearly impossible, since our first efforts resulted in such fat thread that when plied, they barely fit through the orifice and caused mega-drag on the wheel. I've started a third bobbin now. My drop spindle yarn is much smaller and more even; I suppose it's just a matter of practice!
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:22 PM   #24
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Sans - here's how to do something with that leftover length of single-ply:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmOEACBtZEU

Our spinning wheel is complete and we've been practicing. We plied together our two full bobbins, which was nearly impossible, since our first efforts resulted in such fat thread that when plied, they barely fit through the orifice and caused mega-drag on the wheel. I've started a third bobbin now. My drop spindle yarn is much smaller and more even; I suppose it's just a matter of practice!
Thanks. The Andean plying bracelet thing didn't work well for me. I'm not coordinated enough to do it . I kept getting tangles and loss of tension so the plies were full of corkscrews. I can wind off the bobbin to a ball winder and get a ball where I can pull a strand from both ends, then ply it on the spindle. My spindle yarn is much better than my spinning wheel yarn, too, there's just so much more control (though it's slow). I've ordered some bison wool fiber to try next. I'm really excited about this.
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Old 08-03-2011, 03:04 PM   #25
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So I never finished doing the day-to-day Tour de Fleece updating, though I did spin every day except on the 10th and the 20th of July, which were both Break Days for the Tour de France (and Tour de Fleece). It just got to be a bother to spin for two or three hours and then have to photograph, blog and post in forums about how much I'd gotten done every day, so I saved it all till the end and this is what I've ended up with.



Left to right: Shetland (brown), Falkland (Americana), Falkland (Roses), Corriedale (the cream), Blue Faced Leicester (earthy colors), and Blue Faced Leicester (more earthy colors, but this skein is spindle-spun and so much softer). I can't remember the yardage of each individual batch, but it's something like 1600 yards total or about 2 miles of spun plied yarn. Since this yarn is all double plied, it's about 4 miles of spun singles.

I've no idea what I plan to make with all this yarn, but it was a rewarding experience. Now I'm spinning some really nice superwash wool in greens, blues and browns. The yarn will look sort of like the yarn used for these socks (sorry, crappy phone picture):

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Old 08-03-2011, 03:32 PM   #26
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For Summer: Finally got a picture of my wheel. It's a Schacht Matchless, and I'm still calling it "My baby" and hoping our new kitty, Severus, doesn't discover it where I keep it covered with the wildflowers quilt in our bedroom.

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Old 08-03-2011, 03:40 PM   #27
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Any issue with steroids in the tour this year?
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Old 08-03-2011, 03:59 PM   #28
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Any issue with steroids in the tour this year?
I only got to watch for about five days of the Tour, so I have no idea who won the Tour de France. Last I heard of it there was a bad wreck on day 6?
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:05 PM   #29
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No doping problems in the Tour de Fleece then?
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:24 PM   #30
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No doping problems in the Tour de Fleece then?

Well, there is that one lady who spun a mile a day. I'm halfway certain SHE was on something. And another whole group of people were spinning with spinning wheels made out of bicycles. I'm practically CERTAIN they were either drugged and/or insane.
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Tour de Fleece 2012
Old 07-01-2012, 09:02 PM   #31
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Rather than start a whole new thread, I'm just going to append this one for the 2012 TdF.

I'm on Team Loopy Herman this year (it's a yarn shop's team). Last year I was on Team Rookies and Team Schacht. This year I forgot about it and didn't order enough fiber to go all the way through, but I do have a little bit of fiber to start while other fiber gets ordered and arrives. So, yesterday started the TdF and this is what I spun



It's an unknown hand-dyed wool I bought at the yarn store in Rapid City. I'm spindle spinning because that will take longer than if I did it on the wheel. Also, I can't find a channel on Dish that's showing the TdF, so I'm just spinning without the added visual stimulation. (and tonight Falling Skies and The Newsroom and Food Network Star are on, so another day of not watching scantily clad men on bikes is gone)
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