I’m stepping back in time by a few months to talk about me unofficially taking part in this year’s Tour de Fleece. I remember on an early July 1st morning, sleepily looking on instagram and my blurred vision seeing spinners mention that today was the first official day of Tour de Fleece. An almost month long event where spinners around the world join together and spin their fiber as the Tour de France takes place. I had just taken some yarn off my spinning wheel and had no projects planned so I just thought “why not?”.

The first skein was some fiber I carded up on the drum carder. I had been using the carder a bit more around this time. I had picked up some fun fibers to add texture at MD Sheep and Wool in May. I used some merino I had on hand and added some neon and other fun pops of color to the mix. This spin took a day and I wound up with about 170 yds (a little over 155 meters) of a single thin/thicker ply. I have been enjoying spinning colorful variegated fiber but had a hard time figuring out what looked best spun up. After some disappointing spins where I loved the carded fiber but hated the yarn I found that for now singles were what I was happy with most. So right now I’m sticking to that until I find the right color/ply balance that I’m satisfied with.

While I could have just kept spinning colorful singles I really wanted to go through some of my stash and spin something that I knew I would use. This was when I pulled out this lovely Cormo/BFL roving that I got from Angel Locks Fiberworks, who is local to MD. I had purchased the first bag in May of 2019 at MD Sheep and Wool. Regretted not getting a second bag, luckily they were at Fredrick Fiber Festival the following October. There I managed to purchase a second.

I had decided early that it would be a two ply yarn. As for the weight… I really did not plan that part out. I knew that I could end up with anything between a sport and DK/worsted weight, and I did. I’m still not experienced or patient enough to say “this is the weight I want so that is exactly what I’m going to spin”. I was just spinning for the enjoyment and not for a specific yarn in mind. The spin was fun. Each bag was spun on the wheel on their own bobbin. When each bobbin was filled I then put the bobbins on my home made lazy Kate (aka cute delivery box from lush and some vintage knitting needles). The fiber itself was on the ever so slightly sticky/grippy side. When the yarn was plied it was washed in hot water with a little dash of Dr Bronners peppermint soap. It fluffed up like magic when it dried. It made such an airy and lofty yarn. I’m quite excited to knit with it. I’m trying to decide what pattern to make with it. In the end I had spun over 802 yards or over 733 meters of the yarn. Plenty of yardage for a sweater.

My total for Tour de Fleece was 972 yards, 889 meters of yarn. Not sure how that compares to everyone who participated but for me that is really good. Especially since the last big spinning project on the spinning wheel took me almost a year from start to finish. Tour de Fleece was only 24 days. The end results was me making lovely yarn that I’m excited to knit with.

As promised in my last post I finally added a few crochet hooks to the shop this week. Since the end of last year I started carding the hooks so that I could label each with their size. I’m pretty happy with the cards. The branches are from my Uncle Ed’s property up in Forest Hill MD. He also provides the thorns for the shawl pins and loom kits, also in the shop. Each hook is hand carved by me and they are coated with a beeswax and walnut oil finish that I like to use on most of my other items. The link is above so when you get a chance check them out.

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