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Sunday, 5 August 2018

TdF Weeks 2 and 3

Just in case you thought I'd given up part way through, here are my final contributions to this year's Tour de Fleece.  I must admit life got very busy during the second week and I didn't get as much spinning time as I'd planned.  I only managed one skein during week 2, and one and a half in week 3.

For this week's challenge, I chose "tonal yarn" where the yarn is dyed in different shades of the same colour.  As you'll see at the end, this didn't actually work that well, but never mind, I like it as it is anyway.  I went rummaging in my fleece store and came up with some of this :-

I have no clue what this fleece is - it was stuffed in an old pillowcase and I couldn't find a label in there.  I'm pretty sure this will have been gifted to me by someone in the past, so maybe it isn't labelled because I never knew what it was in the first place!  It's pretty good fleece though, quite fine.

I carded up about 100g of it and spun it as finely as I could.  The fleece helped there because it really needed to be spun finely.

After filling the bobbin I transferred it off and made a plying ball.

By this time I was pretty tired of seeing natural coloured fleece.  I really needed some colour in my life!  So I quickly got it plied and skeined off

and probably went a bit mad with the hot pink dye I chose.  I washed and rinsed it, then lay it in a bowl and applied the dye in different strengths around the skein.  When it came out though, the stronger colour seemed to have seeped into the lighter areas!  You can just see a few lighter bits on the next photo, but it really just looked badly dyed!

So at the end of week 2, this was my "Non-Tonal Yarn" :-

As I said, it may not be tonal yarn, but it is pink!!!

For week 3's challenge I picked out some more of my lovely super-kid mohair fleece and dyed it in the team colours again (grey, teal and violet).  I used the same dye batch as I had some left from week 1, but I think I maybe put more dye on this time because it definitely looks stronger in colour.

I separated it into the three different colours again and started carding.

Finished rolags :-

The challenge I chose this week was "Accidental Boucle" which is actually an opposing ply yarn, i.e. one ply is spun clockwise, one ply anti-clockwise, and then ply anti-clockwise. So one ply loses twist (the clockwise) and one ply gains twist (the anti-clockwise).  First bobbin finished and looking good :-

Second bobbin was spun anti-clockwise.  Here it is alongside the first bobbin :-

After plying and taking it off the bobbin, I was a bit disappointed.  It was supposed to have loops and kinks, but mine just looked a bit wavy.

In the next photo I put it alongside the skein I spun during the first week, so you can see that not only is there a difference in colour, there's definitely a difference in texture.

After throwing it into hot water though, my loops and kinks suddenly arrived.  Magic!

Final photo shows it off quite well I think.  So from "Accidental Non-Boucle" before washing, I think I can now call it "Accidental Boucle" after washing!

I finished this one with 2 days left to fill before the Tour de Fleece ended so I needed a quick project to use up those 2 days.  I chose some alpaca (from Cadbury, my neighbour's animal) which was in pretty good shape and I knew it wouldn't need much preparation before I could start spinning.

For alpaca, it didn't have an awful lot of vegetable matter, but it did have a lot of dust!  I just pulled handfuls out of the bag, pulled it apart, removing vm and second cuts as I went, and literally threw it through the drum carder.  Each batt went through twice and I made little nests ready to spin from.

By the time Sunday came to an end, I'd managed to spin this much :-

but I still had more to spin.  I've since finished and plied it, but it still needs to be dyed :-

At the moment it's still on the bobbin, but I plan to dye it soon.  In fact, a couple of friends are really interested in natural dyeing so I'm hoping to invite them over for the day and we'll have a woad dyeing session.  I'll be interested to see how this colour fleece will take the dye.

Final round-up of yarns achieved during this year's TdF (except for the alpaca) :-

So, that's the end of the fun for another year.  Time for a rest?  No chance, I now have to spin and knit a baby blanket for my brand-new step-granddaughter who arrived 2 weeks early on 2nd August.  I'm going to have to be pretty quick with this one!