Friday, July 27, 2012

We made it to Paris, off to London now!

Just in time for the Olympics to start, a blog about the final stage of the Tour de Fleece.
I had a blast, it was a great stress reliever to get some spinning done in the evening after a hard and long day's work. So, without ado, my newly acquired knitting stash:

I spun lots of naturals this year, which was great fun. It has resulted in enough yarn to knit a small Celtic or Shetland patterned blanket. Still thinking about how and what. The other skeins are now just lying in my yarn basket, being pretty.
The silk is 3/4 done. And it will remain that way for a few weeks. I've spent this afternoon (what was left of it after finishing my final project and the VAT returns) to pick projects for the Ravellenic Games aka Raveoly aka Spoldemort aka The Olympic Games. USOC, we have forgiven you (we knitters never hold a grudge for long), you apologized, but we will continue to enjoy making comments at how silly you guys behave. In a way that won't result in a Cease and Desist, again, that is.
No way am I ever going to knit all this in two weeks, but one can try. It would truly be an Olympic Feat. And don't worry, I won't want a medal. Just a chocolate bar will do (Tony Chocolonely prefereably).

The first project is Live, designed by Marleen van der Vorst. I'm knitting it with lace handdyed by Marleen herself, and ading beads. I've no idea if this will work, but I think it will.

The second project is also a shawl, Sherilyn, designed by Ysolda Teague. One can never have enough shawls. I think I have around 13 now. And yes, I have two already in this-ish colour. But it's nice to have a choice. Knit in Araucania Botany Lace. Dream stuff. Just don't put it in the washing machine (one of the reasons why I'm not knitting socks with this yarn brand again, snif...). Bought at Wereldwol.

And last but not least, a bag. One can never have enough bags. Pattern by Bernat, cotton by Wibra. 

So, needles at the ready, knit-off is at 10 tonight!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tour de Fleece - stages 16 and 17

For these two stages (and the rest of the Tour, to be honest) I will be spinning silk...
I started on the Challenge day. Not only a challenge because of doing something different than normal wool roving, but also challenging because it's extremely busy, and I usually don't get anywhere close to the spinning wheel until around 11 pm...

So how does this work? First, you buy one or more stacks of hankies (if you're silly like me, about 4), you pell one off, pull it apart, pull pull and pull some more until you get the thread as thin as required, and then you start spinning. This time, my silk is thin, very thin...

Definitely challenging and slow, but fun!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tour de Fleece, stages 10-15

Oooooh, it's been soooo busy here! We've been working like mad to get all our work done before we go away on holiday. Add a trip to Ikea with corresponding furniture to put together, and you have total mayhem when it comes to blogging... Luckily, I have been making my collages every day, so here's a low-down of the spinning of the last few days!

July 10

On the first rest day, I decided to do some dyeing. Especially the teal came out beautifully! I have some more curls and some more teal dye, so this experiment will probably be repeated. The drying took forever, but this bag full of soft, colourful curls is now in a basket next to the spinning wheel.

July 11

Spinning the ouessant I had carded, was not really great. I was spinning too thin and it should have been carded again, as there was still quite a lot of 'fluff' in the fleece. But, after n-plying, it came out okay, and a wash will probably do miracles. I have a bag full of this left, so there will definitely be enough to make some cool cushions out of it.

July 12

The first day of the Fries Melkschaap... I decided to spin up the entire basket of different colours I had carded before, and started on the white. What a dream! A little bit of fluff - I think I might start saving up for proper hand combs - but this is lovely stuff!

July 13

More spinning and all the white plied. 217 grams in two days, nay bad... ;)

July 14

And some more Melkschaap, dark brown/black this time. Another three skeins (smaller), and 133 grams in total. Definitely not as soft as the white.

July 15

Yeah, the bottom of the basket! The grey Texelaar is so beautiful in its variety of colours! and a small skein of lighter brown Fries Melkschaap done. These skeins are still lying there looking pretty, but will get a wash soon.

July 16

Another day of rest, and I didn't even come close to do any crafting. Apart from putting away knitting, spinning and sewing magazine in a new Expedit ;)

More spinning on Wednesday: challenge day! I have bought silk hankies, so pictures of those tomorrow!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Tour de Fleece, stages 7, 8 and 9

A combined post for three days, again. And as I was still working on the same yarn, it's a quick post... The BFL spun up like a dream, but as I had little time every day, it did take me 3 days to do. After n-ply, it turned out to be a 144 m skein. Very squiggly, as I overplied. But after a bath and a light beating, it's now hanging on the line, much more relaxed... 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Tour de Fleece - stages 4, 5 and 6

And then it was Saturday! How time flies... Yes, I was spinning, and yes, there are collages. I was just a bit too busy to upload and write a post every day...
On Wednesday, July 4, I spun another load of Gotland curls. So soft and nice to spin with!

The two batches were plied, washed and dried on Thursday, just in time before the heavens opened...

And yesterday, I spoiled myself and spun some colour... As I'm translating a veggie BBQ book, we decided to fire up the barbie. I marinaded some veggies, hubby got out some meat for the Mo/asses and we all had a great evening. Spinning wheel whirring, we patiently waited until everything was done... Especially the BBQ'd pineapple was lovely!

Today is more spinning, and a bit of knitting...  Plus lots of enjoying the lovely weather outside!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tour de Fleece - stage 3

A day with lots of falls in the Tour de France, but with a bike returned here (yeah! I can cycle again!). In the morning, I quickly skeined up the yarn I'd finished plying yesterday... So, not one, but two collages!

This will be combined with some purple alpaca and knitted up into a baby toy. This week or weekend, preferably...
And after doing lots of work, cooking, doing the Judo run (well, drive) and finishing another chapter from my course, it was spinning time. After some debating, I started on the Gotland I had carded/combed a while ago. I'm on my fourth mini-batt now, and have enough to fill up at least two bobbins, so I can make a nice plied skein out of that. And then card some more, as I have over a kilo of the stuff... I saw a cool technique to core-spin locks of Gotland, which I might do as well. I want to dye them in a few funky colours first though... That's a nice activity for the 'rest day', next Tuesday!

This Tour de Fleece is quite a good way of making a nice dent in that huge stash of fiber in da house...

Tour de Fleece - stage 2

Stage 2 was a finish and ply stage for me. I had nearly spun up the Dympna batt, and last night I divided and plied. It turned out really nice (and thin)! Today I'll have a look how long this spun skein is... it took ages, so I think it's quite a bit!
We also received the school pictures today, and I sepia'd the one of our two beauties together. The loves of our lives... <3

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Tour de Fleece - Stage 1

A great, but very tiring day! It started with a car journey, listening to our astronaut André Kuipers touch down safely after more than 6 months in space, and the rest of the day was spent behind or in front of the stand of the National Spinning Group. We welcomed 12 new members, which was great! The weather was amazing, and I did a bit of spinning too.

Of course, I couldn't just sit and spin and chat to people. I had to buy some stuff too... I bought a bag full of lovely dyed Texelaar from Iboy Udema, and some firestar from Wol met verve. Otherwise, I managed to contain myself ;) I almost rán past the fleeces, haha...

Orvelte is a lovely town, a real 'living museum', where the past comes back to life. We would definitely love to see this type of wool fest again next year. We'll be there again!

And yes, I did wear my crocs today... ;) The ground was just too uneven for the lovely high heals you see top left. And the nails got quite a few comments! It's fun to paint your nails in funny colours for events like this, because people are really looking at your hands when you're spinning (gosh, I wonder why...), and at your feet as well, of course... So, I was glad they were still a lovely shade of sparkly green when it was getting hot in my crocs.

I was spinning Dympna, from Dutch Wool Diva, which will hopefully be spun up tomorrow!