So – the Tour de Fleece starts in about six weeks. Having failed miserably at my goals last year and at spinning in general from June until about December, I want to make good this year.
This year I am no longer in possession of a spinning wheel, but I do have a new tool in my arsenal in the shape of my supported spindles – which are arguably even more perfect for the sorts of yarn I want to spin.
To this end I have joined Team Support Spindlers on Ravelry and plan to spin only with support spindles for the duration of the Tour.
I guess the next thing is normally to set some goals, which I’m not too keen on doing as I might fail miserably. So instead, I’ll list out some of the fibres I’d like to try and get through as part of practice and the actual Tour:
60g of Ixchel Bunny – Camelbunny Silk:
I’m spinning this up at the moment on a couple of my Gripping Yarn spindles – it’s my first support spindle project and I’ve learned a lot from it so far. I’m just over the half-way point, so it will be interesting to see how quickly I can finish this.
50g of 50/50 Cashmere/Silk:
This has driven me mad every time I’ve tried to spin it. The long staple of the silk combined with the short staple of the cashmere makes it REALLY hard to spin. Last time I tried it on a support spindle I nearly flung it out of the window – so this might be a good one to leave until after I’ve done a bit more practice.
46g of Abby Batt:
This is arguably the thing in my stash that I’m MOST scared to spin. For fear of ruining it, given how hard these are to come by. It’s 55% merino, 30% tussah silk and 15% cashmere. It’s so soft and I know it will become the most beautiful laceweight… but I’m still scared. What a wimp eh?
100g of Dehaired, Carded Yak Down:
Feels like I’ve got loads of this because I have a full 100g. Not sure if I’ll try spin up the whole hundred, but I definitely want to make a dent in it. It is ludicrously soft and should be great for improving my technique. I’ve never spun from cloud before and I have no hand-cards with which to make rolags, so I’d better learn fast!
Oodles of Baby Camel:
I have over 300g of this that I bought in two goes – some, from a friend in a destash, and 200g from World of Wool quite recently. NO WAY will I manage to spin all of it, but I will definitely use some for practice and try to spin up a reasonable amount into some sort of usable quantity.
There’s loads of other stuff I could put on here too, such as the 2 x 100g braids I have of 50/50 merino/angora which is crying out to be support spun. Or some of the lovely merino/silk blends that I want to turn into ultra-fine lace. But there is only so much time during the tour and it feels better to start off with smaller amounts of something to start with, before building up to a massive project.
I also have 4 more spindles on the way, which should help lots with fibre selection.
However spinning lots for the Tour also means that my Self-Imposed Sock Club might be a bit impacted. I have until June 15th to finish the pair I’m on right now (cast on for sock #2 last night – and I also want to squeeze in a bonus pair) – and then from June 16th until the end of July for the next lot. What I’m most likely going to have to try and do is speed knit a pair of socks in the last two weeks of June so that I can do nothing in July but spin for the Tour. It’s going to be tight!