The Tour, 2009 Edition

This summer, I am once again going to participate in The Tour de Fleece, a spinning-wheel take on Le Tour de France, a bike race. Related only in that there are wheels involved, and marathon-like goals! I participated last year with my Golding spindle, but this year, I get to use my Hitchhiker spinning wheel. She’s just come back from being tricked out (i.e., made into a double-treadle wheel instead of a single treadle.)

Yesterday was the first day, and after returning from vacation, setting up my new flyer and tension knob, I was ready to spin. Here’s the day’s progress:

My first goal is to finish (spinning and plying) this yummy stuff from Coperpot Woolies that my sister sent me at Christmas. The name of the colorway is “Cowboy Up” and it’s red, white, and blue. Very appropriate for a start on the 4th of July!

I also did some combing, and spun up 4 combed rolags of a teeswater-and-alpaca blend.

My comobs are new to me, and blending on the combs is very interesting. I have a little more than one ounce of the teeswater locks to blend with this yummy alpaca, and when the teeswater is gone, that will be it for this experiment. The Ravelry group Spinner’s Study is the main reason for doing this – they study two different fibers each month and prod us to try fibers that are new to us. Since I’m so new to spinning, most fibers ARE new to me, so this is right up my alley right now! I do have more alpaca for spinning, and blending, though. Yum! A member of my spinning group was giving lots away at our last meeting, and my sister and I were quite tempted. We came home with this bunch of white you see here, plus a bag full of a gray color. Fun, fun!

So, one of the ideas behind the TDF is that each spinner spin toward a set goal – time or an amount, etc. I think I will aim for an amount. I want to get to some yummy things I’ve been dying to spin up while my wheel was away from me. So, I’ll set as my goal for the end of the tour, the following:

1. Spin and ply the Cowboy Up with it’s matching blue alpaca roving.
2. Comb and spin the teestwater/alpaca blend. Ply it (not sure “how” yet).
3. Finish spinning my light/dark Coopworth yarn (this involves combing half of it and making rolags, so long process!)
(4. “Emerge” singles to match skein/hank 1)
(5. Pick a fiber from stash to practice skinny spinning for 3-ply yarn.)

I guess I don’t really need five separate goals, but I’m assuming the first three will be easy-peasy to finish. It’s Summer Break, after all! Heh.


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