Tuesday, July 28, 2009


i'm still woozy from the wool fumes, but very excited with the results. this is the yarn from the wool batt. i had just over a pound and ended up with 990yds. i thought my yardage would be more, but the yarn is a bit thicker than i had hoped for. i'm thinking i can still get a sweater out of it. a simple, classic cardigan. batts are lovely, but a bit of a challenge to spin. they are not very portable, and i'm certain there is a better way to get through them. i just need to be more persistent!
here is cc's yarn. 1850yds of wool/alpaca roving. this was a joy to spin and the end product is lovely. my consistency is improving even with my late night push to get this done.
i'm still in recovery mode, trying to get the stiffness out of my arms. and that darn pansy fiber is still flirting with me.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

stage 21

i did it!!! the ride into paris was long, but i got there wearing the yellow jersey!
behold all the fiber worked into yarn.... and that's a lot of yarn. i'm beginning to realize that my original 40 ounce goal was really much heavier. tomorrow in the light of day i'll sort it out... but for now? i'm done!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

stage 20

racing to the finish! i've got three balls to spin and then lots to ply. this is truly a mountain stage, but i'm up to the challenge!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

stage 18

still spinning.... and feeling the overwhelming threat of the deadline. in my fibery existence, i find that i like having a finish line, whether it is achievable or not! this challenge was not particularly overwhelming, but several things altered my course. finding that extra bobbin and batt of fiber increased the work load, and several alterations in life did the same. we'll see how it turns out!
here's the bobbins and finished yarn..... it is lovely! well i'm off to ply

Thursday, July 16, 2009

stage 12

still spinning the same fiber bump. it looks great on the bobbin, is really easy to spin. all is well. nothing new to show.
the other day when i washed the fleece, i had it all laid out on my balcony. this is a perfect spot for many things. it is right off the bedroom, so i can dry all sorts of things there and not worry about impeding traffic flow or that whatever is there will get harmed. perfect for a bath sheet of drying wool. so that evening, my honey kissed me goodnight (he's always done that....like forever) and toddles off to bed. i resume my evening knitting/tv watching (second season of 'the closer') and about ten minutes later he comes back downstairs. he walks right up to me with the most serious of expressions and tells me 'an animal died outside our bedroom door'. as i sat there flummoxed, wondering how big a hole i need to bury something, he starts to smile and says 'you know, that sheep that exploded and died outside on the balcony'. ha ha. what a jokester. i couldn't tell him this, but it was funny and it did look exactly like a dead animal.

so here it is drying on the hot-tub.

now to wash the rest!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

stage 10

so i'm spinning away on the bumps of fiber......and it is quite easy. one of my personal challenges was to really spend time increasing the consistency of the yarn. using this type of fiber prep is making that happen. when i first started i was overwhelmed with everything to think about and learn. i was so happy to just get the *%#*%# stuff onto the bobbin. i heard all the information but it fell way back into the gray matter of my brain. the last several months i've been finding the information popping up again. i'm really aware of all the parts that can affect the end product from sheep breed, to staple length, to preparation methods. when it all comes together, it really is magic.
as part of my tdf challenge, i'm dipping into my skirted fleeces and getting my hands dirty.....or at least the washer. amythefibergoddess mentioned to me that today would be an excellent wool drying day. so late this afternoon i filled my pillowcases with wool and embarked on washing some fleece.
it was really dirty. this is the end of wash #1. this is the end of rinse #2. it is all lying on my balcony waiting for the morning sun. i'm expanding my fiber horizons!

Monday, July 13, 2009

rest day

so i'm back on track! this is all the fiber (i hope) from the batts. it is plied, washed and drying. i'll update with yardage totals when it's done in the sun. so that left me free to continue on with the bumps. there is a lot of fiber in those bumps, but i remain resolute to complete my challenge......even as a flirty pansy wool/mohair blend was trying to catch my eye today. it was just lying there in a sliver of sunshine, all purple and green, beckoning me to take it out and give it a spin. but i've got my eye on the prize and i think i'll make it to the end!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

stage 9 bump in the road

so last evening i'm feeling pretty good about my progress in the tour. i was reaching the end of the batts, planning to ply it all today and start on my next fiber. as i finished for the evening, i decided to set up the wheel with my plying bobbin to be ready to go. along with the plying bobbin i found this....another bobbin full of fiber and another batt. i was tired. i was slightly grumpy. i didn't need a surprise. i find that i'm getting better at embracing the unexpected, and making changes with a brighter outlook. with that said, i still muttered several obscenities. hey, it makes me feel better. i then decided that i would start fresh today, finish that spinning, ply it all and start the new fiber.

so i'm off...... and over that road bump!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

stage 8

the change in scenery is vastly pleasing to my spinning. i'm closing in on completion for the first amount of fiber. it was processed in batts and that is not the easiest preparation for traveling. but sitting in the sun yesterday, watching the kids splash in the water and seeing the paddle boat pass by..... was blissful!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

stage 6

i wish that i had something spectacular to report. i don't. i've been plagued this year with apathy. i love the tour. i love spinning in the tour. i think that life just got too hectic at the beginning with many family obligations that kept me from my wheel. i've been trying to catch up ever since, and that is not the best way to start a project.
today i embraced that opportunity to spin out-of-doors. i had to transport early for riding lessons, so packed the wheel and spent a delightful hour listening to the swoosh of tails and thudding of hooves. it seems to have put me in the spirit and i'm feeling like progress is being made.
so i'm off to start the next bobbin!

Monday, July 6, 2009

stage 1 ~ i'm off!

as much as i would like life to slow down for the tour....it is not! the fourth dawned cool and breezy, with plans for picnicking and fireworks. i was intent to make progress, so wheel and all we went. my partner was quick to point out that i would be making myself the center of attention, but i really needed to get through monaco :)
folks were fascinated, eager to chat and i was able to make good progress. i'm looking forward to spending all day tomorrow filling the bobbins.

Friday, July 3, 2009


with the tour starting tomorrow, i've formulated my challenge. the first will be to spin using all the new technique information i learned at my recent spinning class. i finished a bobbin last night and plied it together with a bobbin i did pre-class..... wow, what a difference. so with that goal in mind, i chose my fiber. i have 2 1/2 pounds (40 ounces) of fiber to spin. the first batch is in bumps. this is wool/alpaca blend from longmeadow farm that cc bought and asked me to spin for her.

this batch is also from sandy long, all wool processed in batts.

so there is it, my 2009 tour defleece challenge. better spinning, lots of fiber.

can't wait to start!!