Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tour de Fleece Update: I made yarn!

So, I got a shiny-new Ashford spindle from Nature's Yarns this past Saturday, since my little tiny spindle was Full-o-Yarn. I also got three little $1 bags of merino roving, and a three-minute impromptu how-to-draft properly lesson. Here's what I've done with it so far:

Tour de Fleece Day 9 (aka "Saturday"):

The plan is to make one long yarn from the red, orange and yellow fluff (1.5oz all told). I was able to get all the red done Saturday during the NASCAR race (not the most exciting race of the season, as it turned out), and thanks to actually *finally* being able to draft as I go all the time, it went quickly, comparitively. The heavier spindle actually helped with that! Also got much thinner yarn.

Tour de Fleece Day 10 (Sunday)

Started spinning up the orange the next day, and got very, very tired. Soooooo very tired. I think I only got a quarter to a third of the bag spun up. Near the end, it started to get thicker, too, so I called it quits for the day.

(Day 11, Monday, was a Rest Day)

Tour de Fleece Day 12 (Tuesday)

I was *beyond* tired Tuesday. Not only was it really, really hot ("93F, feels like 100F!" at 5pm), but the air quality was HORRID. It would've been a Red Air Quality day under the old system. So, in addition to not sleeping, I got to add "not really breathing" into the mix. On the other hand, of all the crafts I do, at this point, spinning takes the least amount of brain-power. (Getting the photo posted in time on the proper TdF thread on Ravelry? That almost didn't happen!!)

Tour de Fleece Day 13 (Wednesday)

The third and final color began, and except for interruptions due to some amazing dance routines on SYTYCD, went smoothly. So, by the end of the evening, I had about 120 yards of a three-color single.

Tour de Fleece Day 14 (Today)
Now, suddenly having the ability to try the whole Navajo plying thing was too entrancing to hit the snooze alarm, so this morning, I tried it. I got some stuff that actually looks like a nice little three-ply yarn:

... however, on the main, it's a wee bit of an overtwisted mess. When the spindle is going slowly, it's pretty easy to get about five feet of nicely-twisted looks-like-yarn stuff - but then the spindle has to stop, get wound with yarn, and things just *happen* in the middle of it. Part of it, certainly, is a practice thing, but part of it is something that just plain works better on a spinning wheel. Constant tension on the stuff being plied, on the resulting thing, and constant motion? That would actually work. (Possibly having caffiene *before* plying might help, but I think it's mostly mechanics.) Anyway, it resulted in 40.5 yards of yarn that *will* be used to make a tiny bag - since that's about all one can do with 40 yards of yarn.

I think I probably should've been able to get double that - but it's horribly overtwisted for the first third, badly overtwisted for the second, and almost real yarn-like in the final third. Oh well, that's why Attempt at Plying #1 was with the $1 bags of fluff! Back to the silk tomorrow!


  1. I just started spinning! I got about 90 yards of somewhat sportweight yarn from 4 oz of roving. It's not very consistent yet, but I had a lot of fun doing it.

  2. I love the green yarn--so pretty! Unrelated: I found your blog via One Geek to Stitch Them All. I'm a grad student at the University of New Hampshire and I'm conducting a 10-minute demographic survey of bloggers over at I'd love it if you took the survey! All questions are optional and the results will be kept anonymous. There's a giveaway going on the site right now, too.
    Thanks! Happy knitting!


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