July 16, 2010

The Tour Goes On

Well, talk about a comedy of errors.  First my laptop battery died which kept me from giving a nod to the winner of the skein of yarn, and then if that's not bad enough, the heat wave is back on after days of rain and humidity. 

Every braid of fiber I touched felt like hot stones, and a couple of them were none too soft either.  Spinning Wensleydale in this heat is like wearing a winter coat while walking in the desert!

It turns out that the 5th person to leave a comment on my blog was Remy Grace who, at less than 3 months old, was clever enough to leave a comment and score this skein for her mom, Anonymous T.  So, congratulations on your new skein of yarn.

Here's my Tour progress so far, 2 skeins of Wensleydale:

This one goes from blue to gray and is lovely to look at, but it's rough (softer after it was washed).  This fiber would make a great felted something or other, but it's not up for gifting.  The fiber was a gift and I plan to use it.  The fiber is from Flying Fibers and the colors are wonderful.

Then there was this second skein of Wensleydale from Lisa Souza.  Beautiful colors, but hairy and rough:

I wish this fiber was softer because the colors are remarkable.  Yum, yum the turquoise and blue get me all excited about spinning.  And I didn't do half bad considering that the fiber was not a joy to spin.  If you've had a good experience with Wensleydale, please let me know about it.  I'd like to get the bad taste for Wensleydale out of my mouth.

Now I'm in the middle of spinning some bamboo, which, if I don't screw up the plying will be up for grabs.  Here's what it looks like unspun:

And here's what it looks like spun up a little: 

I wouldn't get my hopes up for this slippery yarn from Extreme Spinning on Etsy.  It's all pretty and shiny now, but I have a knack for not getting the plying right, so keep your fingers crossed!

Lastly, I've got some alpaca which is just as slippery as the bamboo:

This one will also be up for grabs as soon as it's plied up.  This fiber comes from The Sheep Shed and it's worth every penny I spent on it.  The fact that its solid chocolate brown with bits of white silk means there's almost no chance of me screwing up the plying.  I'm good with solids (kind of).

So, back to the races.  I've got 2 more braids to spin to reach my goal before the race ends and I'm spinning as fast as I can.

Stay tuned.

July 07, 2010

Heat Wave!

It's steaming hot here in New York City today, but I did not let that deter me from my goal - spinning.  We're only up to day 4 and the race ends on July 25th, so I've got a long way to go.

In spite of the heat, I managed to 'whip up' my first skein of yarn and it is gift worthy which means that this skein will go to one lucky reader of my blog.  Since I have 5 followers, the person that leaves the 5th comment gets the yarn.

Here are the rules and disclaimers:
You may leave only one comment.  I have a cat, so if you are allergic try not to be the fifth person to leave a comment, but by all means leave a comment.  Mrs. Sock Pixie, I'm sure you don't want your fiber back, so please feel free to leave a comment (I love hearing from you), but try not to win.  Lastly, this is a one and only skein, the fiber is gone, so I can't get you any more of it.   OK, I'm done. 

This is from day one of the race and while it's not perfect, it's darned good and usable yarn.

This is one skein of BFL (Blue Faced Leicester) from Sock Pixie in the Lady in White colorway.  It's about 150 yards (14 wpi) of buttery softness.

There are no knots in the yarn, and my Navajo plying could use some work.  It's not perfectly even like machine plied yarn that you see in the store either - it has character.  Still I see a nice little neck warmer or maybe a 'fake isle' hat. 

This yarn is going to bleed a little, so hand wash only and for goodness sakes, don't put this yarn in the dryer!

Good luck!

A ery special thank you to Mrs. Sock Pixie for providing the fiber in such pretty colors, and for making this fiber a joy to spin.

July 05, 2010

Tour de Fleece

Well, don't say you haven't been warned!  For the next few weeks this is going to be a spinning blog and maybe a little bit of a knit blog too since I'm working on a shawl, and a pair of socks.

Day 1: choose your fiber: some lovely BFL from Sock Pixie called Lady in White.  Let me just say that Sock Pixie has the most beautiful colors and the fibers are so clean and beautiful that I keep them around just to look at.  Her fibers never disappoint - ever.  Thanks Sock Pixie!

Then separate fiber at top speed because day 1 determines my pace for the rest of the race:

Pre-draft fiber so it spins up faster:

Then spin it up as best as you can because it's now 9p and you don't have much time before the photo has to be put up on Ravelry for prizes.  When that was done, I plied it up:

That's the photo that was put up on Ravelry, but in real time, I managed to get it plied, bathed and now it's hanging outside to dry (if a bird or squirrel hasn't gotten to it):

So there you have it.  Day 1 and from then to now, I've spun 3 more bobbins of fiber in this blazing heat and humidity.  Once the skein is up, I'll determine if it's gift-worthy and if so, it'll be gifted to someone who will leave a comment on this blog.

There's just one disclaimer: I have a cat, and while I don't believe she rolled around on it, and though it's been washed, if you're allergic, you shouldn't want this skein or any of my skeins.

When you see the skein pictured - that's when the counting begins.

July 03, 2010

Another Challenge

Ten Shawls for 2010 is probably going to wear me out, but I'm finished with shawl #5.  Cascata was a cinch to knit and it's pretty, too.

(A special thank you to Amanda, my unwilling model who
came out and posed.  (Where's the rest of your pants, girl?)

The sun was shining so brightly that the picture came out kind of faded, so I took a picture inside:

Too dark, but you get the idea.  It's pretty and shorter than I thought it would be, but ti's a worth it knit.  The pattern is by Susanna IC and can be found at the Twist Collective site.  I used US #7 needles and the project dates: started June 5, finished June 12.  If I was going to make a change to the shawl, I'd make it longer.

Shawl #6 is on the sticks.

Now for the moment some of you have been dreading: the world famous TOUR DE FLEECE!  See the button on the side there?  That means spinning, spinning, cussing, and more spinning.  Aren't you excited?

I ran into a little problem signing up, but I think I made it to Team Lendrum (if they don't kick me off the team for being the last to sign up at the last moment!).  At any rate, I'm in the Peloton which is open to all.

Meanwhile, I'm going to be knitting and spinning until my arms and legs fall off, and you my reader friends, are coming along for the ride.  I'll try to make it interesting for you by giving away certain skeins that I think are gift worthy.  Some of them will no doubt be crap, but what can I say to that?  Nothing.  But I will do my best.

The goal is to clean out my fiber cabinet to make room for more fiber.  This is the fiber that fell out of the cabinet when I opened the door:

All that fiber was saying, 'pick me, pick me!'.  So I did.

Day 1 results will be posted on Ravelry tonight, but you will get the whole story behind each braid of fiber from start to end.  Doesn't that just make you want to hurl squeal with delight?

Stay tuned.