Le Tour Thus Far

At the 11th hour, I decided to join in on Tour de Fleece. I’m taking it easy. No specific goals aside from just spinning a bit each day. Unfortunately, I’ve already missed a day — Fourth of July. I’ll take that as my rest day and spin on the next official rest day.

I have set my DVR to record Le Tour. I try to stay away from the news and watch the race that evening while spinning along. This has worked fairly well so far. (Can I just say that Corsica is beautiful? It’s going on my travel destination list.) During Stage 5, as the TV was showing the spectacular collision, my drive band shredded.

This isn’t the first time my drive band has shredded. I doubt it will be the last either. This time, instead of the usual knot and cut, I added one more step. No, not the sewn knot that Judith recommends, but a dot of fray check. I took a close look at the point of shredding. It always starts close to the knot. My guess is that the ends started to unravel and worked itself through the knot. We will see if the fray check will wear better.

Tour de What?

I had good intentions of spinning a little bit each day of the tour on my little Aegean spindle. Unfortunately, the equipment met with catastrophic failure within the first couple days. Completely due to my own stupidity. But it also meant that it could not be repaired, and replacement was going to have to wait until I returned home from my vacation.

No matter. I was too distracted to spin more than a token amount to say I did it. Not a huge loss from a progress perspective.

As soon as I returned home, I emailed Wanda and requested a replacement.

Here’s a picture of the broken shaft (center) and the new replacement (left), and my pitiful Tour de Fleece progress.

While I have spun a little bit on my little Turkish Delight upon return, there’s not much to blog about. I also haven’t spun for a week because I’ve been knitting away on the Circle of Life Shawl. So, I officially bow out of the Tour. No surprise here.

Incidentally, I queries several people and search high and low for fiber that I could spin in the Aegean that wouldn’t become a wet soggy felted mess in the heat and humidity. The fiber I chose was a merino/bamboo blend from New Hue Handspun. It was/is lovely fiber to spin.


Spinning some merino/bamboo fiber in the Aegean color way with my Aegean Turkish Spindle while sailing in the Aegean Sea.

I brought the spindle and fiber for my Tour de Fleece effort on my vacation. Unfortunately, I broke the shaft of the spindle shortly after this photo was taken. But it was for a good cause — I was having too much fun playing cribbage. Alcohol may have been involved…

I’ll get a replacement shaft. In the meantime, I’ll need to find another spindle to play with for the duration of the tour.

TdF – Results

Tour de Fleece 2010 Results

Here are the all the fibers that I spun during Tour de Fleece. Not too shabby. The final tally?

Breeds Spun: Merino, Targhee, Clun, Border Leicester, and Polwarth
Finished Yardage: 3,852 of assorted 2 and 3 ply.
Singles Spun: Over 5,000 yards of singles, without counting the Polwarth. There is likely to be another 1,500 yards of singles in there.
Weight: 40 oz. (2.5 lbs)

The Polwarth is the one still on the bobbin in the basket. Here’s what the other half looks like.

80/20 Polwarth/Silk

I am spinning it continuously from white to the dark brown.  I am feathering in the last few inches of one color with the new to soften the transition. And with the inconsistency of the splitting the fiber into halves and spinning, that will soften the transition even more. The colors should more or less flow into each other. The singles are approximately 60-70 wpi. It’s slow going. I only just finished the white. It will take me the rest of the week to finish spinning the singles and ply it.

TdF – Last Day

Not a whole lot of progress over here. I’m still working on the Polwarth/Silk blend. I went camping for the past 3 days and forgot to load the mSpinner in the car, so I am far, far behind. I’ve only started the second bobbin this morning. The first bobbin had about 155 grams of fiber — about 5.5 oz. The single is coming in around 72 wpi.

This yarn would definitely qualify for the longest single in a single ounce, but I can’t prove that until the second bobbin is spun and the 2 plied together. I definitely can’t do that before end of today.

So, I will have a leisurely spinning day to wrap up the day.