Cycling and Spinning

This year’s Tour de France finished last Sunday – as did the Tour de Fleece.  However, I finished on Monday at the back of the peloton having missed a day’s spinning in the final week.

By the end of the tour I’d finished two 100g skeins and spun a further 75g of singles.  Most of the spinning was done on my oldest Ashford Traditional (which at some point I appear to have named Twiggy – as she is a 1960’s model) with the lace flyer.

basket

So far my colour experiment hasn’t produced a range of browns, instead my skeins are blues and pinks, greens and purples.  I’m looking forward to seeing the result of plying the last pair of colours together.

skeins

I’ve still got 300g of fibre to spin for this project, and when the spinning is completed I hope to use all six skeins to Tunisian crochet a shawl.

I’d like to get the spinning finished over the summer, because at the start of September it’s the Tour of Britain and in another moment of madness I’ve agreed to spin during each day of that race too (it’s 8 stages from 6th to 13th September)!

In between the spinning I’ve managed a couple of walks, one to admire a setting sun and another to enjoy the sunshine after a few cool grey days.

sunset

water

Yarn on the Tour de Fleece

So far I’ve spun everyday of the tour, with the exception of Friday (when at 11pm I realised I was completely exhausted and went to bed). To make up for this, I spun the following Monday, instead of taking the official rest day. On Saturday I had a lovely long spin as I took my Traddy out for the day (it’s rare that it has a day out and I do think it enjoys the change of scene!)

I’ve spun up half of each of the first two braids of fibre and plied them together. And the resulting skein looks lovely.

singles
The first singles ready to be plied
drying
The first finished skein drying in the sun today.

However, having completed the first skein, I’m not sure I really want another 300g of the same colours.  So in a moment of madness I’ve added in some green/blue tops in colourway Calypso on Polworth fibre (also part of the three month fibre club I joined last year).  I’m now going to have a mix and match spinning project.

All three colours
All three colours

I’ve got two braids in each of three colourways.  One braid in each colourway is being split into two, spun then plied with each of the other two colourways. This will result in three 100g skeins of barber pole yarn.

The remaining 3 braids will be spun and plied with themselves, either using a fractal spinning technique, or, at the other extreme, spinning and plying to maintain the colour changes in the braids (I have yet to decide – but whatever I do will be done to all three colours).

The result will be six skeins of 2 ply yarn, each skein completely unique, but related to most of the other skeins. However, this is 600g of spinning, so I don’t expect to finish during the TdF.

More singles
I shall be plying these together shortly. Is it madness? Will I end up with shades of brown?

I’m not sure what project I will use these yarns for. I’m sure I’ll think of something!

Tour de Fleece – the first stage

Yesterday saw the start of the Tour de France. It also saw the start of the Tour de Fleece and I’m spinning for the Lovers of Ashford UK team on Ravelry. My challenge this year is straight forward, I have four braids in two colourways that I’m going to spin and (probably) ply together (that’s 400g of fibre). Knowing that it’s taken me months to spin just two braids in the past, I think spinning the 400g by the end of the tour will be quite a challenge.

braids

The fibre is all dyed by Sara Texture Crafts and is in the colourways Rosemoor (on BFL) and Fruit Punch (on Falkland).  On Friday evening I gave the wheel I’m using (my oldest Ashford traditional with a lace flyer) a polish and oiled all the moving parts all ready to begin on Saturday.

Yesterday evening I sat out on the patio for a few minutes spinning. It was lovely, but the light was already failing so I retired indoors. I put on an audio book (my mum lent me a couple to try a few months ago, as she thinks I’ll enjoy audio books, but I had a poor one a few years ago and haven’t tried since) So I listened to David Tennant reading a Doctor Who story (I’m afraid I laughed at his rendition of Rose’s mum, but otherwise I’m enjoying the story), and spun up quite a lot of my first half braid.

basket

I’m spinning S-wise (anti-clockwise) with crochet in mind. It’ll probably be Tunisian crochet (which I enjoy working but don’t do enough). But Tunisian crochet may be too busy a stitch for the finished yarn, so it may be normal crochet.

single

Last night I thought to make the perfect spinning date I just needed to add a lovely box of chocolates to nibble on, while listening to David Tennant reading and working through my spinning. (I may treat myself to some chocolates for tonight).