TdF Finish Line!

Posted in made with handspun, planning, spinning, Sweater for JJ, Tour de Fleece by tchemgrrl on July 22, 2012

The Tour is over, and a whole lot of spinners are stretching their fingers and legs, looking around their house and saying “Okay, time to clean the house this week before the Games start.”

Here’s my finish line:

Final TdF Tally

Clockwise from upper right side:
-Two skeins of 3-ply Ashland Bay oatmeal-colored BFL, 8.4 ounces and 400 yards total.
-Small skein of 2-ply wool (Falkland maybe) in colorway Mahogany from Susan’s Spinning Bunny: 45 yards and 0.8 ounces.
-Small skein of 2-ply brown mystery wool, no idea where it came from but it was sitting in a nice plying ball in my stash for a good long time and now it can be turned into something. 0.7 ounces, 40 yards.
-One 3-ply skein of superwash merino in the Grateful Dyed colorway from Wild Hare Fiberworks. 4.3 ounces, 300 yards, and I will have lots more to say about this yarn later. (Short version: Love.)
-One 4-ply skein of various lightweight singles that I had laying around from other projects. I didn’t think that a skein of randomly-striping laceweight would ever appeal to me, so I just kept adding singles to it until I ran out. 180 yds, 2.2 ounces, so it’s still fairly lightweight, but it looks like a real yarn that will knit up beautifully. (Mostly, it’s two plies of various oranges and pinks, one ply of light natural-colored fiber, and one ply of dark natural-colored fiber. Not entirely sure where most of them are from, but the end result’s real purty.)
-Small 2-ply skein of leftover singles. I’m pretty sure this is the remains of some Shetland wool that I spun up a while ago but still haven’t knit with; I may put it in that bag with a warning note about potential lot variation, because I know I ply with a lot more twist than I used to. 1 ounce, 50 yards.
-Not shown: nearly 1 ounce of fine silk singles. Maybe 500 yards? I’ll find out after I ply it but I still have 1+ ounce to go.

Final tally:

About 2900 yards of singles. About 1200 yards of plying. Just over a pound of singles spun. Over 21 ounces of yarn plied. Total fiber that passed through my hands to be turned into either singles or yarn: About 2 1/3 miles.

My main goal for the Tour, as I mentioned in the beginning, was to spend more time doing useful things at night and less time goofing off online. I’ve definitely cut down my time but I’m amazed at how much I got done because before I started crunching the numbers I wasn’t feeling like I’d done the most amazing job on that front. There was so much beautiful stuff showing up on the Ravelry Tour threads that I spent more time than I’d planned just ogling. And I can’t really spin while surfing the way I can with knitting, so that was all time spent not doing anything. I’d say I cut my online time at home by 50%, maybe even a little less than that, and I wanted to do better than that.

Nevertheless, the results really speak for themselves. Holy Hell that’s a lot of yarn. For comparison, I’ve spun a comparable yardage to this for the ENTIRE YEAR SO FAR. Without trying that hard and being slightly disappointed in the lack of time I spent on spinning. While doing gardening (which doesn’t happen for most of the year in this climate). While solo parenting for almost a week. It really tells me a whole lot about what I can get done when I have a goal.

I looked at my yardage tallies and the first thing I said to myself was “That’s it, I’m spinning a sweater next year.” You heard it here first.

TdF Day 20

Posted in Knitting Olympics, spinning, Tour de Fleece, WIP by tchemgrrl on July 20, 2012

I only have one section of the rainbow fiber left to spin the singles of. It’s the bright pink fiber in this picture:

TdF Day 10

That last piece will compose the yoke of the Toddler Rainbow sweater. If I get it done tonight, then the next two days will be nothing but plying. And then I’ll be all ready knit the toddler’s sweater for the Games with yarn spun up in the Tour! Huzzah!

A quick look at my Tour plans shows that I’m on track to finish everything I was hoping to finish, and I’ve also done some plying of old singles and a significant yardage of ~100wpi silk singles, even if their total weight is still less than an ounce. I didn’t get to my slightly-more ambitious plan of working that Jacob that’s still taking up space in the fiber closet, but if I had picked that instead of the silk to work on, I probably would have gotten a good chunk of it done. But gosh I love that silk. It’s going to be stunning when it’s all done.

TdF Day 17-19

Posted in spinning, Tour de Fleece by tchemgrrl on July 19, 2012

Okay, it wasn’t as bad as all that. I did do some spinning on the bus to pick up the dude, and even a little bit after he went to bed, but I really didn’t have time for both blogging and spinning and keeping our life in order. For two of those days, it also happened to be too hot to do much thinking, either. But the toddler also busted the (admittedly already-in-bad-shape) camera, so pictures, if they do show up, will be of the borrowed-husband’s-iPhone variety. None today, anyhow.

The spindled silk continues apace. I won’t finish the first spindle-full by the end of the Tour but it’s kept my hands busy during many interstitial moments. I’ve also done some more of the rainbow fiber spinning–enough that I know I’ll be able to keep up with myself if I make the toddler sweater my Games pattern. My plan with the rainbow yarn is to start plying on the last day no matter where I am with the singles. I think I can finish all of it if I give an extra push this evening (Challenge Day today!).

TdF Day 15

Posted in spinning, Tour de Fleece by tchemgrrl on July 14, 2012

(no picture, again)

Another little ball of rainbow yarn, and then some more singles after that, spun as one batch with the intention of chain-plying because I forgot to bring my scale to the guild meeting. And then I did a bunch of the silk while chasing the little dude around–I think I’m about 1/4 of the way through the singles, no way is that getting done before the Tour’s over but maybe I’ll finish off the first half.

TdF Day 14

Posted in Black Sheep Handspinners Guild, spinning, Tour de Fleece by tchemgrrl on July 13, 2012

No picture today *gasp!*, family will be here and I’ll be socializing during my usual blogging time. I did another little bit of the rainbow yarn of the same size as the two balls in yesterday’s picture; getting one of those done per day, winding off, and prepping the next day’s fiber seems to be a perfect evening-filler. There are 7 of those units, all together, so I expect to be able to finish all the singles and ply before the Tour is over.

I have a guild meeting tomorrow and am hoping to get a bit more done, but we’ll see. About half the time at guild I get amazing amounts done, about half the time I get absolutely nothing done because I’m too busy seeing what everyone else is doing.

TdF Day 13

Posted in spinning, Tour de Fleece, WIP by tchemgrrl on July 12, 2012

TdF Day 13

A little more rainbow, a little more silk. Last week was somewhat of an abberation, in that I essentially had a 3-day work week. There was a lot of spinning that was accomplished. This week is a little busier than usual, and next week will be busier still (entertaining family while solo parenting, then just plain old solo parenting.) So a few yards here and there is likely to be the way of things for this portion of the Tour.

TdF Day 12

Posted in Black Sheep Handspinners Guild, spinning, Sweater for JJ, Tour de Fleece, WIP by tchemgrrl on July 11, 2012

TdF day 12

Left to right: Little bitty bit of the rainbow yarn, the two washed skeins of BFL SO PRETTY OMG, one plied and washed skein of extra singles that had been laying around for a while.

And I’m going to toot my own horn and show off the new section of the guild website that I was working on last night on my “rest day”: education. It’s still in progress, but we have all this amazing material from one of the original guild members, and the goal is to get all of it up with enough description to make it useful and somewhat Google-friendly. It’ll all be materials or articles by or about guild members. I’m only about a third of the way through the stuff I already have and when I’m done with that I’ll be headed to the local historical society to pick up more. I’m hoping that this will make the guild a good resource for spinners from all over. We’ll see.

TdF Day 11

Posted in planning, spinning, Tour de Fleece, WIP by tchemgrrl on July 10, 2012

In theory, this is a rest day, so no pictures (keeping up with the pictures is more work than the spinning is!). I did some spinning last night after I took pictures and may do more tonight, and I spun a bit of silk on the bus, but those can wait for tomorrow’s show and tell.

Today I’m mostly catching up on little spinning-related things that I have been putting off because they aren’t strictly spinning. Fixing a loose button on my spindle bag, and washing the yarns I’ve plied. Updating the guild website. That kind of thing.

See you tomorrow.

TdF Day 10

Posted in planning, Sweater for JJ, Tour de Fleece, WIP by tchemgrrl on July 9, 2012

TdF Day 10
Last of the BFL!

These skeins aren’t finished yet and feel very twinelike, as all the other BFL has just off the bobbin, but I know it’ll be great once it takes a bath.

Further proof that I am a robot: Both skeins are 200 yards and 4.2 ounces. Bleep Bleep Bloop.

Finishing the BFL can only mean one thing: I’m ready to start some rainbow spinning! As I mentioned on Day 2, I have some rainbow-dyed fiber that will be stripes in a sweater for the toddler, and I did a few pages of calculations on how to split the fiber so that all the colors would start and stop in the same place.

TdF Day 10

This is the result. It involved more top-splitting than I normally like to spin with, but the color effect will be SO WORTH IT. It’s going to be a double rainbow, of sorts. The red will be at the chest, and it will shift through all the colors of the rainbow in both directions, ending with purple at the top of the hood AND at the bottom of the sleeves and sweater body.

If it works out well I’m going to be so stoked.

TdF Day 9

Posted in spinning, Sweater for JJ, Tour de Fleece, WIP by tchemgrrl on July 8, 2012

TdF Day 9

Toddler helped me with my plying today.