sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Judging fleece at the wool show

I succumbed to a lot of distractions during the Tour de Fleece... hands down the best was attending the fleece judging prior to the Monterey Wool Show with Heather. She has a great writeup about the day as well. We met in person recently at Verb's Natural Dyeing 101 class, even tho I'd been reading her blog (I feel like I know so many people without ever meeting them in person, so it's always neat to get to do so.) She was kind enough to drive and we trekked it down early Saturday, coming into a room full of fleeces and a small clutch of attendees listening to (married) judges Wes and Jane Patton going over each.


This was the second time I had attended a wool judging, the first was at Lambtown last year with about a third to half of the number of fleeces that were at Monterey this year. In addition to blood classes (market/white and colored wool, ranging from fine combing/64-80s down to common/40s) Monterey has judging categories for breed as well (cormo, merino, cvm, etc.). For me, I prefer the finer end of the spectrum and am lucky that there were so many excellent cormo, rambouillet and merino cross flocks in Northern California represented for me to lose it over.


Goodness. Save me.

The thing is, I went to the judging because I had NO intention of buying more fleece and probably wouldn't attend the auction this year. (I can hear you laughing from here.) I went because I wanted to learn, and did... but fell in love left and right with color and hand while my brain was being stuffed with information. (too familiar, too soon)

Attending the judging does give a different perspective on buying the fleeces at auction later; I can also see a difference in the fleeces entered this year from last. Last year I fell for one of only three true black fleeces (not the dark brown tinted black, but honest to goodness black)-- color queens like me will flip seeing several up for bid this year. There were many more entries from fewer shepherds, and there seemed to be a lot of not for sale fleeces as well (several ribbon winners were shipped on back home and won't be at the auction.)

The thinking on this doesn't make sense to me, as the auction setting would provide the highest per pound price most shepherds could likely get (and they're able to provide the starting price per pound, so it could be returned later). I also didn't understand why several fleeces that were tender/had breaks were entered into the competition at all...


The up side of buying at a wool show that is judged is that these were culled and will not be available for sale-- the buyer knows that each fleece has been gone over and most likely will be sound. It's promising since you don't always know the shepherd or don't know someone who can vouch for them and you're not able to check the soundness of the fleece for yourself. For the seller who sends in a tender fleece though-- I just can't understand the thinking of sending them (unless they don't know they had breaks). There were a lot too-- maybe 8 rejected total? Out of 150+ fleeces that's ~5%, a HUGE number to me! Especially assuming shepherds intentionally sent the best of the best.

The judging was not the place to see messy, gross, mulch-pile fleeces, but the coordinators were awesome enough to set out several samples of flawed fleeces for the attendees to check out.


I'd seen some of these flaws before (mineral banding, vegetable matter/VM, breaks, center back weathering, cotting, leg/belly hair, breeding crayon) but had never seen bacterial staining, keds or a double coated fleece that had felted on the sheep in person before, so very very cool. They also had several excellent informational posters, my favorite being "notes on skirting":

(click for big, you can read the whole thing on my flickr stream)

Others were "Notes on Belly Wool," "Notes on Preparing Short Wools," and "Notes on Preparing Sheep for Shearing."

Overall, the judging was awesome. There was a bit of a disconnect for me though, attending this as a handspinner and not as someone buying large bales of wool for commercial spinning into commercial yarn. There were several items considered for each fleece during the judging:

1. Cleanliness
2. Fiber Length
3. Fiber Strength
4. Weight
5. Uniformity of Grade (fiber diameter)
6. Adherence to breed standard (for breed category, not market/colored wool)
7. Condition, including staining, VM/2nd cuts, etc.
8. Overall character

First, I was shocked to discover that fleeces entered in the Breed judging were not discounted for cleanliness (poor shearing jobs, excessive VM, or breaks/tenderness in fleece). There were some that were rejected for sale b/c of breaks, but the idea behind not excluding external factors when judging a fleece in the breed category is that it is not the fault of the sheep and that they do not affect its adherence to the breed standard. I can't remember a VM'y fleece earning a high ribbon in the breed category judging, but still-- interesting. And you know how I love interesting :)

There was also the issue of weight... It makes sense to judge a fleece more highly if it will have less loss (vm, lanolin) if you are a handspinner or a commercial buyer paying a set price per pound and one will leave you with more clean fleece than another. However, all things being equal (including assumed loss), several times Heather and I saw fleeces that were judged to be equal with one another in all other aspects and the fleece that was heavier would place higher than the lighter one. I understand needing a "tiebreaker" but being a wool show where most fleeces will end up in a handspinner's hand and not in industry's, I think many of us would prefer a 6# fleece to a 10# one :)

Thinking on it more, it does make sense in Breed-- you could skirt down a 6# fleece to 2# and have the nicest one in the bunch with only shoulder wool. In that instance weight would help keep judging apples to apples, offering the most fleece for judging. For market/colored though-- some breeds are just larger than others and produce a heavier fleece, and would have a leg up in this category even if all were equally skirted just by fleece proportion. I don't really find it bothersome, but just interesting when you think of the higher perceived value of ribbon winners.

Any disconnect with the above in judging was more than reconciled with the last judging factor... character.

selecting grand champion from all first place finishers

I'm happy that my internal barometer of awesome is actually a valid facet of judging fleeces. Jane Patton said something to the effect that a "champion should look like a champion." I'm a sucker for the look, the touch, the way I get excited over something even though I never meant to. And goodness knows there were a lot to get excited over :)

If you're interested in attending the auction this year and haven't before, you can check out my writeup about last year's auction and what to expect. Auction attendees do not have to pay admission (it's held during the Monterey County Fair), but they are going to have a guard at gate 4 with names (if you've attended in the past, you should be on it.) If you're new, you can email Claudia Ward and she'll add you. Even if you can't attend this year but want updates about future years (or about spinning in demonstration at the fair this year), drop her a letter and let her know to add you to their mailing list. Next year they're going all electronic, no more envelopes laden with awesome stamps :)

So see you there, and don't bid against me! ;)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

crossing the tour

Approx 9 oz and ~1600 yards of 3-ply
can you believe how big they look compared to the matchless bobbin? like 3x+ as big...

Just off of the bobbins this afternoon with the twist not set, but yay! I finished my Tour de Fleece spinning :) You may recall initially I wanted to comb, spin and KNIT Yvonne in the 22 days... but I am pretty pleased to have apparently spun enough for the pattern (and to spec!) in the timeframe instead.

I do feel I've gained something over the past three weeks, even if it wasn't a yellow jersey or a finished shawl. Sampling for the grist and even the possibilities of the different plies in knit samples was a bit of a chore (and waiting for them to dry was !!!), but all said and done, as I spun my singles to a consistent 32wpi unstretched...

(don't you just love the barberpoling in the single?)
edit: my spinner's control card can be sourced from mielke's fiber arts, and Girl on the Rocks has acyrlic and bamboo versions as well

...I felt free knowing I was spinning something that would (knock wood) definitely work when I was done. It's a strange feeling for me, picking a pattern first and ALSO the commercial yarn to copy/spin to. Prior to TdF I was spinning and knitting the 50th anniversary WoolGathering cardi/sweater (WG 79) from my black RamboxCorrie fleece, and my previous comb-spin-knit-comb-spin-knit is without a doubt going out the window after this experience. (A too-late discovery, one of my RxC skeins was much lighter/thinner than the others and I've basically "lost" being able to use it in that sweater... but more on that project later.)

Having so many singles to ply at once (over the past 3 days with a break for the fleece judging in Monterey with FranticFiberFun) was also really good for me-- I managed to do a decent job managing my 3 singles *without* the plying guide/diz from GVPencheff I had made especially for the job...

(5.5, 6, and 6.5mm holes-- special order in red oak)

...I love the diz! But am happy I can probably move it from my spinning basket and into my spinning/fiber tool case permanently now.

Backing up! Since I combed everything at once (oy, I have a LOT of combed sliver left!) I was able to really focus both on the technique and the finished fibers in a way I don't think I have before. I probably will not continue planking the fibers as I always had before; I didn't for this project because of the time constraint and didn't really see a noticable difference in not doing so. I will plank for some things-- I have a fleece with cotted tips that leave lots of little neps and planking helps me move them about and to catch more of those in the tines, but for regular lovely fleeces? Prolly not.

I also had the new combs (Valkyrie minis, did you hear the maker is going to restart produx on them this year?!) to compare to the larger English set... to be honest I don't really have a conclusion as to favorites. Both produce beautiful fiber and have a place in my heart/toolchest. The minis left marginally more neps in the sliver but also less waste weight, the English produce a heavier sliver but need to be clamped to a table and stood in front of to work.

What was interesting was both still worked as combs should work, that is both allow the comber to draw off the longest fibers first and leave the shorter parts behind. I'm a bit compulsive when it comes to measuring staples and getting the same lengths lashed on the comb to begin with (I had jokingly toyed with the idea of tattooing a ruler on my hand but my twitter friends thought it may be a bit... intimidating outside the fiber world ;)) and this fleece was no different. You may remember how my half grey, half white stapled Romeldale lamb pulled off into a striping sliver? The half grey, half brown Corriedale lamb here did something similar.


I've laid the first end of the sliver (bottom) against the last end of sliver pulled off of the combs (top)-- it may be hard to see, but the first end is not only darker, but has more crimp than the lighter colored last bit. I could tell when spinning just by feel that the end of the sliver was approaching-- the last length (it was not very much for each sliver) was discernably softer, more downy soft feeling than the rest. I washed the fleece in lock formation and sorted for length, so I don't think this is an issue of sorting prior to combing but that each set of combs did its job in sorting the longest fibers out even though they were grown in and amongst the naturally locking staples. I also don't think it's a coincidence both were lamb fleeces that changed dramatically in color and perhaps type over the course of a year. Dunno, but it makes me love lambs even more :)

I'm not a purist in combing, I don't mind mixing staple lengths among the sliver and don't strive for a true worsted (that would require all fiber in the sliver to be the same length). I sort it to try and reduce waste-- which is why I didn't just remove the last few inches of sliver on each bit. I also like the idea of random shots of concentrated lighter grey the last few soft inches showing up in the 3-ply yarn... I spun one bobbin from only slivers from the English combs, one bobbin from slivers from the handheld Vikings, and one by alternating slivers... we'll see once I start knitting how those work up, if they stagger like I think they will.

So yay for TdF, and tell my yarn to hurry up and start drying! I can't wait to get knitting it up :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

weekend at brownies (day seven thru nine)

day 7-9 of tour de fleece 2009
one lone bobbin down

A face only a mother could love? Cos really, not something that gets you all hot and bothered.


A Verb for Keeping Warm cashmere/silk, "Intergalactic Space Travel"
(June 2009 ultra fiber club)

Or maybe you go both ways. All I know is that I am itching to spin some color once Tour de Fleece is over.

Back to brown(/grey) :)

Friday, July 10, 2009

day six and finally spinning

day 6 of tour de fleece 2009
finally spinning

Finally! :)

It is slow going for me so far... My short term goal is to fill three bobbins relatively full and ply them into however many skeins I need to to clear the singles, then start spinning again. I could spin all of singles at once and just do one straight shot at plying, but I'm reallyREALLY looking forward to plying as a rest in spinning. So, it'll be lots of brownish grey singles on bobbins for me over the weekend and beyond.

As far as my bobbin progress shot goes... spinning wheel cupholders are rad, but I think my spinning wheel tripod is pretty up there too :)

Joby Gorillapod-SLR
(there's also a newer gorillapod-SLR version with a bubble level)

It's a tripod with prehensile legs (doesn't that word just do it for you?!) that can wrap onto slim objects and hold my Panasonic Lumix (and any other camera with a tripod hole) in odd ways as well as traditional tabletop tripod ones. The clearance is also good enough on the Schacht for the flyer to turn and spin while the camera is attached... so of COURSE I had to take a video while spinning some (more) singles.

Don't you love the whoooosh? You don't normally hear that (or the taptaptapping of the camera strap against the footman's chamber door :)) It'll be fun to take another video of a heavier weight or multicolor single being spun so you can see it actually filling up on the bobbin... can't think about that til TdF is over though! :)

Happy weekend!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

sample spinning to spec (day five times fast)

day 5 of tour de fleece 2009
spinning and knitting swatches

Yesterday felt like a bit of a time suck projectwise... I spent the day spinning little samples of singles at different tpi/wpi, plying 2 and 3-way, and knitting them up into swatches. And watching them dry. :) I should probably have done this before the Tour de Fleece started (I did knit the alpaca/silk swatch before), but since it was such a last minute decision for me to attempt the TdF... hindsight and all :)

As I've mentioned, I am just in love with cocoknits' new pattern Yvonne and am spinning for it for the Tour de Fleece. The original is knit in Verb's Alpaca/Silk yarn, which I've actually used before (for weaving, the longskinnytextured scarf) and it's a *really* nice yarn. I frankensteined it (it's a 3 -ply), and used the bits and pieces and the original whole as my jumping off point in deciding the kinds of samples I wanted to spin. I decided on the 3-ply, tightly plied (relative to the original) sample with the 32wpi singles.


Aside from being a 3-ply, and knitting up at 5 sts/inch on US 6's, the corriedale and the alpaca/silk yarns are pretty different. Of course the alpaca/silk is going to be much drapier than the crimpy corriedale, and I could have spun and plied the corrie more loosely to try and mimic that effect of the original yarn, but decided against it. First, close but no cigar on that one-- my crimpy, sheepy fleece is just not similar to the alpaca/silk fibers of the original yarn to begin with. I chose wool and want that to be a highlight, not fought against. Next I'm worried about pilling, I loveLOVE my handspun Wisteria but have to give it a good shave before wearing. Maybe if I had spun a 3-ply worsted instead of two I'd have less of a problem (but it might have been less soft and huggy too, don't know cos I didn't sample). This sample feels like it will hold up well to abrasion and wear, and hold its shape. I'm also biased towards tightly spun and plied yarns because I like the way they look, sock yarns and no... and in this yarn the crimp of the lamb's fleece busting out from the ply looks as squishy as it feels, can't say no to that. All over in love with the wooliness of it all :)

This is all pretty new to me (spinning to spec, and not to the fiber)-- I've even strung up my spinner's control card on the wheel to spotcheck my singles as I go. (Have you seen girlontherocks' wpi spinner's gauge card? not to mention her owl needle gauge? too cool.) It's helping, but I hope by the time the project is over I hope I get a better sixth sense about knowing my singles are consistent and not having to secondguess as much as I have been. We'll see :)

Speaking of my Matchless... two nights ago I finished combing the wool kind of early in the night and I decided to get the wheel ready for spinning the next day. After oiling I pulled out my tub of Wood Beams (handmade oil/wax wood paste by goodies unlimited, smells so good) and gave him a rubdown til he shone. I know there are many lucky souls out there hiphoppity about the 40th anniversary cherry Matchless (and rightly so!), but sitting crosslegged on the floor in my pyjamas in the middle of the night, turning him over in my hands this way and that, I couldn't help but fall even more head over heels for my big vintage boy and his lovely darkening and flecked maple.


Definitely a nice way to start this project. Lots of love, for both of us.

Hoping to get some yardage under my belt tonite, the only thing.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

comparing wool combs day 4

day 4 of tour de fleece 2009
650 grams combed total
544 grams sliver (106 grams waste not pictured)

As usual, coke can for scale :)

The foam boxes my slivers usually hang out in were overfull twice over, so I'm storing the little nests in the cleaner's supply bags as they wait to be spun. Their tops are folded over to give you an idea of the color and variation in the fleece outside the plastic but are pretty much full to the top. I stored the original washed locks in one of these bags and it wasn't even halfway full, lots of air in the little bits! :)

I used my handheld 2 pitch combs all day yesterday like on day 3, hitting 13% waste yet again. Looking at my numbers above it seems I've averaged ~16% in waste fibers over combing the entire fleece, not bad at all. I went ahead and used one bag for the slivers I dizzed from the English combs and one for the slivers from the Vikings; I'll definitely be looking for differences in spinning them but mainly it's to try and break up any possible color banding/striping as I spin. If I can alternate or spin odd lengths I'm hoping to break any repeating color effect the finished yarn may have-- I'm also going to be spinning a 3-ply which will help as well.

I can't see any differences in the sliver from the different sets of combs by eye. There is definitely a weight difference-- I randomly pulled 6 nests from each bag and weighed them, 22 grams for the 2-pitch and 34 for the 4-pitch. It doesn't sound like a lot until you start thinking about that difference over a whole fleece's worth of fiber (and that you'll expend similar amounts of energy for each combful, assuming each took the same number of passes before a spinnable sliver was formed.) Also keep in mind that the sliver from 2-pitch combs is not going to give you a "true worsted" spinning experience if it's important to you (all lengths in your sliver will not be the same as they will with higher pitch combs), but for me that's not a big deal since I default to Paula Simmons' draft against twist/spinning for softness and speed spinning anyways.

I still don't have a preference for either/or, I think they both will have a happy place in my tool stash for a long time coming. I wanted to share comparison pics of the difference in size/tine spacing and circumference, just because I like these forest-thru-the-trees images :) I also am including comparison pics of the Valkyrie Standard combs, also no longer in production.

craftsmith 4-pitch "fine" English combs

valkyrie 2-pitch "standard" Viking combs

valkyrie 2-pitch "fine/mini" Viking combs

Note that the Valkyrie standard set has the largest diameter tines of all 3-- where the Craftsmith and Valkyrie minis are much closer in terms of tine size. There's also the issue of how those tines are spaced, not only next to one another in the row but how far the subsequent rows are spaced as well.

valkyrie standard (left) and mini

craftsmith 4-pitch fine (left) and valkyrie standard

craftsmith 4-pitch fine (left) and valkyrie mini

The rule of thumb is going to be the finer the tines and the more they're spaced together, the more appropriate they are for finer fleeces. (Think of the more teeth per sq inch in carding cloth/finer fibers rule, same idea.) The larger, wider set tines of the Valkyrie standard set (or other "standard" Viking sets) will be optimal for coarser fleeces... or other applications like blending, pre-combing, etc. I'll definitely be trying the standard set on some (more!) new fleeces... but that's enough for tonite :) I need to get spinning!

Miss you.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

combing fleece on handheld valkyrie vikings, day 3

day 3 of tour de fleece 2009
514 grams combed total
426 grams sliver (88 grams waste not pictured)

Yesterday I spent my Tour de Fleece time combing fleece (again), but this time on my new-to-me set of Valkyrie handheld 2-pitch Viking combs instead of the Craftsmith 4-pitch fine English set. I swapped for the Valkyries on the Ravelry Spin or Dye swapping board (along with a bunch of other stuff I should show you sometime, super awesome forum for spinners, dyers, and raw fleece junkies) for some of my unloved stash and I'm glad I did.

Don't get me wrong, I love my big combs! For a while now though, I've wanted to be able to sit and comb. It sounds silly, but the first day of TdF I stopped combing for the day not because of time or upper body fatigue, but because my legs were starting to hurt. I'm not used to standing in one place for a long time at this point in my life, and the time does take a toll when trying to comb for volume and not just the day's spinning.

So yesterday was all about the Valkyrie handhelds... their "mini" size. Valkyrie isn't making these anymore but sometimes you can find them used (their tines are not stainless, be sure to ask on their condition if you find a set.) They are great, solid tools. I also swapped for the "pad" that holds the combs so you can pull off the sliver with both hands, or I suppose use it more as a fixed station to swing at like a large set. The appeal for me with these was to be able to use them freehand so I use it to be able to pull sliver off more easily.

(sunlight's giving the fleece a gorgeous, not true color)

I've been weighing my waste fibers and finished sliver as I've gone along on the TdF challenge, more for curiosity than anything (I didn't plan on using the Valkyries for combing to compare.) It is worth noting though that yesterday I hit 13% waste using the handheld 2-pitch versus the ~20% when using the 4-pitch English. It makes sense, more tines catching more waste. The fleece is also a shorter staple than probably optimal for the English set (3").

I also was using one less pass on the Viking set than the English (3 vs 4)-- since I use the English as a "fixed comb" (the stationary comb never leaves its pad), I need to pass fiber by a multiple of two (taking off, putting on) before dizzing off. With the Vikings as handhelds, I keep the stationary comb in my left hand and the working comb in my right, transferring fiber from left to right. Once I'm ready, I just switch hands (the full fiber comb goes to the left, the empty/now-working comb to the right) so I can transfer fiber in any number of passes before I decide to diz off.

gvpencheff diz and one of my dining table chairs

It is nice, being able to comb anywhere I like. Here I'm set up on the couch, watching star wars with the kid and making sliver with the Valkyrie pad attached to a chair. Tonite I'm combing at my desk watching Hulu :) I think I'll be done with TdF combing tonite!!

I like both sets, English and Viking. (Really!) I think a truer test as far as waste production goes should be made using a slightly longer stapled fleece-- I think my numbers were higher than normal on the English because of the short staple. (I also did not plank on either set.) There is also the body tradeoff... I found standing for several (several!) hours with the English set to be tiring on my legs, but I never feel tired in arms or upper body since I let gravity do most of the work. With the handhelds I could feel my arms and hands get tired just from repetition and grip, not as much a strength issue. Keep in mind I'm also trying to power thru combing to get to spinning for the Tour; I'm not doing it to the point of exhaustion but it is probably more than I'd usually do any other time. I do get more volume off of the big combs with less effort (fewer passes for weight combed, etc.), but it becomes a cointoss with everything else considered.

The make of the handheld Valkyrie combs overall is very nice. Like I said the Valkyries are no longer in production, but the new sets designed by Robin Russo and manufactured by her husband Pat under the name "St. Blaise" are very similar and in several ways nicer (the pad can be used for storage/hackling across, finished cherry wood as opposed to unfinished, commercially available now etc.) You can order St. Blaise combs from your favorite fiber pusher; I just was drooling over a set at Verb (they'll ship if you're not local.)

Off to finish my tiny pile of locks and oil up the wheel for spinning tomorrow. Yay!

Monday, July 06, 2009

handcombing wool two and natural dyeing 1(01)

day 2 of tour de fleece 2009
362 grams combed total
294 grams sliver (68 grams waste not pictured)

I had to start putting the sliver in cleaner's supply bags since my foam boxes couldn't hold any more after this picture :) (meghan, these are the boxes i was telling you about from a while back!)

Not a bad showing, especially since Sunday was my last installment of the 3 week "Natural Dyeing 101" class I've been attending at Verb for Keeping Warm's Workshop in Berkeley. In the two previous weeks, Kristine had taken us thru mordanting...


...dyeing and dyestuffs...


...and yesterday was washing all of the beautiful BFL we had created.


I knew how intense the setup and work involved in natural dyeing was, but didn't body-know it. It really did take us three weeks to get from white wool to color, which is just crazytalk to me when I think about dyeing with acid dyes and being said and done in a matter of days (drying time occupying most of that).

I'm glad to have taken the class-- Kristine is an excellent teacher who fielded our questions like no book ever could. I know she'll offer the class again in the fall (after the cakewalks of vending at sock summit and soar :))... and it'll be a prereq to further classes such as cochineal, natural dyegardens, and indigo (lovely indigo discussion on anne's blog here today) that I'm already looking forward to.

For me, I was mainly interested in natural dyeing as it would apply to dyeing fleece... it really has gotten out of control here again fleecewise and for some reason, dyeing fleece would make it somehow more acceptable to have a wall of fleece come avalanching down in my closet as a regular occurance. Anyhow, I was able to take away enough information about natural dyeing to actively start daydreaming about how some of these colors would look over fleeces washed in lock formation, naturally colored and no...


Back to combing :)

Sunday, July 05, 2009

handcombing wool, day one

day 1 of tour de fleece 2009
170 grams combed total
134 grams sliver, 36 grams waste

Have to admit, kind of pales when I already see others' finished yarns and full bobbins :) I do enjoy seeing the brown overtake the grey of the half-colored fleece, though it's a little less in different lights and makes me realize I was right... I have too few grey colored fleeces in the stash.

Sarah aK: (a) teleknitter helped me on that one, recently...

"Florence," CVM from teleknitter yarn farms

No, I can't believe the crimp either :) Flo's already been washed up and stored waiting for inspiration to strike; she's actually half a fleece, around 2.2# raw and ishouldhaveweighedherscouredbutobviouslylessthanthat and even less once I'm done combing :)

Combing for the tour is going to be a good way for me not only to work on building up more muscle memory with the combs, but also to be able to track where I'm hitting re: waste fiber. Velveeta is a shortish stapled fleece, 3"... so I'll see more than if she were longer and less likely to get caught in the tines. She is also a lamb's fleece so I'm getting the lamb tips in with the waste as well, but 20% loss isn't too bad. I'd like to get it lower but I also admit I'm working more for speed than cleanliness with the deadline ahead.

I am also still deciding on how much to comb prior to spinning. Yvonne only calls for a little under 1300 yards over 13 ounces, and I'm pretty sure I read Julie say that she didn't use all of the 3rd skein when knitting her sample. I don't mind combing, and part of me thinks I should just get it all done so I don't have to go back and stop to comb if I run out while spinning... but another just wants to get in front of the wheel right about now.

We'll see :) Off to finish more prep before my day is thru :)

Saturday, July 04, 2009

tour de fleece 2009 day one

I've missed you more.

I joined the Tour de Fleece this year (via Ravelry) because I can't live in my pyjamas behind shuttered windows like the past months anymore. I needed an intense distraction from the choke of my heart and the TdF was a last minute decision to get me moving and burying, or at least on my feet.

I'm not going to spin the whole 22 days-- instead I'll comb the latest lovely corriedale lamb fleece from Whitefish Bay Farm, spin it and knit Yvonne from CoCoKnits before the end of the challenge.


Ready to go. Or at least move.


(Not really ready. But still.)

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