Tour de Fleece Wrap-Up

So, as you may know, there has been a big competition across the pond where men in funny outfits kill themselves on two wheeled contraptions. It’s called the Tour de France.

Anyway, while those crazy people are doing their thing over there, we fiber people do our own crazy thing over here, the “Tour de Fleece.” It tends to be pretty free-form though some people get together for specific challenges and such. Last year my own TdF was more organized.

This year my main goals were to spin every day, even if only a tiny bit, and make progress on some standing projects.

In those generalized goals, I succeeded. One of my specific goals I didn’t make, I wanted to finish spinning the handprepped romney/mohair batts into sock yarn, a project that’s been kind of hanging over me for a long time. Oh well. I did get a lot done.

For one thing, right at the beginning of it I flew down to North Carolina for a family thing. I managed to keep up my spinning at least a yard or two every day, and got a lot of spinning done in the airports. On the plane I started a basic beanie hat with my own handspun.

The hat
Merino Hat

And the handspun. Abby Franquemont batts. These are going to be weft for a woven twill weave scarf I’m working on.
Green and blue Abbybatts

Both spun up on my lovely Spindlewood top whorl.
Green 2

Once I got back, I finished sleying the reed on the loom for the scarf project. I’ll post more photos of the weaving project progress start to finish once I get a few more steps along.
Sleyed Reed

I also spun some cobweb weight from cormo handprepped by the Tsocktsarina.
Handprepped Cormo!

Spinning it on my newest spindle, a zebrawood spindle called a Tiger by… Cascade bought from Spunky Eclectic as my one purchase at MA Sheep and Wool. Love it. Spins great, especially things like silk for superfine stuff.

Then, right near the end of the Tour, the first of my new roving came back from the mill. Very exciting. Domestic Perendale and Polwarth. Since I’m going to be putting some of the Perendale up in my next shop update, I thought I should spin some myself since it’s a new fiber to me. So I grabbed my Bosworth Midi spun some up longdraw and plied it, washed it, fulled it, and dried it. 3-ply on the left, 2-ply on the right.
Perendale Yarn

3-ply close up
3-Ply Perendale

2-ply close up
2-ply Perendale

It’s an interesting fiber. Spun this way it’s a fairly prickly fiber but makes a much softer yarn than you expect. So I went all the way and knit it up, washed it and blocked it. Well, as much as you can block a 1.5″ squarish.
Perendale knitted

And a closeup. You can see it’s got more luster than your average downs wool. It comes from the Romney in the bloodline. It’s VERY springy and lofty with a big halo. It’s not super soft, about what non-specified “wool” sweaters usually are. So good for anything a mid-level romney would be good for, sweaters, hats, mittens, heavy-duty socks, outerwear, etc.
Perendale knit up close

And that’s about it for my TdF. Other than keeping Gnomespun running, and expanding things slightly and examining a few new possible paths.

TdF 2010
TdF 2010

And now, back to the dye pots. Perendale and Polwarth roving. A couple new things coming up!

Until the next time!

~The Gnome

3 thoughts on “Tour de Fleece Wrap-Up

  1. Very nice TdF production. I love the AbbyBatts for weft; the colors will look great together.

    I LOVE my Cascade Spindles! I have a Cougar, the Tiger’s twin, as well as a bunch of others.

  2. Those weft colors are very nice, and I’m impressed at how much you managed to handspin in, well, I have no idea how long the TdF ran, but still, it’s a lot!

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