In between all of the Tour de Fleece spinning, I’m working away at knitting. One of the things I’m most excited about is starting in on a new sweater project. This is Walpole, which is a squishy, floaty, seamless cardigan with open fronts. I think this will be a really wearable sweater for work in the winter, and I’m pretty excited about it.

Walpole

Usually, a seamless cardigan isn’t my ideal summer knitting project. As things get bigger, it tends to get more unwieldy, and harder to tolerate when it’s hot outside. But it turns out, when one is down with a cold and cuddled up to air conditioning and Netflix, this is the best knitting project ever.

I’m working on the body right now, which is the very best billion-miles-of-stockinette ever. You have to do some very light ribbing at the end of each row, and a decrease row every twenty-something rows, but other than that it’s plain and mindless stitches for miles. I’m getting perilously close to finishing the body of this sweater, which is very exciting.

Walpole

I’m alternating skeins every two rows for this yarn, because it does have some variegation and it is hand-dyed. I do this every time I work with hand dyed yarn for large projects like sweaters, to break up any pooling that might happen in semisolid yarns. I’m not sure it’s making much of a difference with this sweater, to be honest – the runs of contrast colour are only a few stitches and seem to be pretty random, so there’s not much to ‘pool’ – but I know that it’s the kind of thing one doesn’t notice until the sweater’s done, so I’m sticking with it anyway.


My Tour progress started to slow down a little bit this week, as I’ve been laid flat with a pretty nasty cold for the past few days, but I thought I’d share what I did manage to get done.

I started by working on finishing up that braid of Into the Whirled Romney that’s been lingering in my stash for a few years, now.

Tour de Fleece Day 8-9

Tour de Fleece Day 8-9

I ended up chain plying it into some bulky weight yarn. The yardage isn’t fantastic – about 100m or so, but in bulky weight that’s enough for a fine hat or pair of mittens.

Looking at it and feeling it after a wash, it’s not that bad – the yarn is pretty consistent, and the colours are gorgeous. I just have a thing about that fiber, apparently. I didn’t love the feel of it in my hands, especially after spinning it, and didn’t have a ton of goodwill towards this skein. Because this really wasn’t this skein’s fault at all, I decided to rehome it to someone who will love it properly, which I think was a good choice for everyone involved.

Anyway, this skein went shockingly quickly (bulky weight will do that to a person), and I started in on another braid for Day 9 of the Tour.

ITW Polwarth

Tour de Fleece Day 9

This is more Into the Whirled from my birthday shopping. It’s Polwarth fibre (my FAVOURITE) in a colourway called “Blink,” and we are in love. I’m spinning it ever so slowly, and hoping for a three-ply fingering weight yarn. I split the braid into thirds, and am spinning each third onto its own bobbin with a plan to ply them together. This will be an experiment in seeing how well I do at having the colour changes line up, and I’m curious.

Tour de Fleece Day 10

I made pretty excellent progress on this before I got sick, and since then have slowed down a bit. I’ve made it through two bobbins over Tour Days 9 through 13, and started a wee bit on the third. Hopefully I’ll be able to recover and at least finish up this skein before the Tour ends next week.


So, I’ve been working on spinning through my stash for the Tour de Fleece. My spinning stash is not enormous, but I do have a few braids I’ve been saving. Mostly, I wanted to use the Tour to get back into my practice of daily spinning. I was really, really good about getting in at least 5-10 minutes a day from January to April, and then I started to get a little bit spotty.

It’s been a surprisingly motivating experience spinning with so many other people! The Ravelry groups are full of people posting their daily progress, which is very inspiring. Of course, I’m fitting my spinning in with real life and work, so I don’t always have tons of time for crafts. My solution to this has been to try getting up an extra half-hour early, so that I can get in some spinnning before I leave for the day.

The Tour started on July 5, and from the 5th to the 10th I worked on this braid of superwash BFL from Into The Whirled. The colourway is called ‘Mackenzie,’ and I’ll admit I picked it up because it is the same name as our kitten.

ITW Superwash BFL

Last Import-1

Tour de Fleece Day 3

Tour de Fleece Day 5

I spun long-draw, and my goal was to really focus on my long-draw technique for yardage. I’ve found that my put-up has gone down lately, and I’m not totally sure why. One of the thoughts I had was that I’ve been getting lazy about wide hands and technique for long-draw, and that might explain why I’m getting less yardage for weight than I’d expect. My plan was to split the fiber in half, and spin for a fractal-spun two ply.

Because I was paying attention to yardage instead of the weight of yarn I was spinning, I accidentally ended up with some fairly fine singles! I thought I would spin for a worsted weight, but as I started plying it became obvious that I’d spun fingering-weight yarn. I actually checked my WPI as I went, so I know that this comes out to about 15 WPI before washing.

Tour de Fleece Day 6

Tour de Fleece Day 6

Tour de Fleece Day 6

The finished yarn is definitely more woolen-spun – it’s got some nice spring to it, and isn’t too tightly plied. I think it would be a really amazing yarn for lighter-wearing accessories or sweaters, but probably wouldn’t work well for socks.

After finishing that yarn, I decided to open up a braid of Romney fiber that I’ve been neglecting. It’s an absolutely gorgeous colourway, and the prep is amazing, but I recently discovered that I super dislike spinning Romney. It seemed like a good thing to get ‘out of the way’ while I have the motivation of the tour, so I started working on that for Day 7 (yesterday).

Tour de Fleece Day 7


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