The sage advice when approaching any strenuous athletic event is to begin training early. As the Tour de Fleece approaches rapidly, I have to wonder if a week of prep is too early, especially for someone like me who as been all about the last minute far too often in my life. I will be spinning for the Team Sierra Spinderellas and we invite anyone who wants to join us to do so!
I started off by a warm up "spindle in public" session on Saturday afternoon at the Willow Springs Living Skills Day. Rowen had agreed to set up a spinning area, had really cool "Learn to Spin" kits complete with novice spindle and locally raised gray fleece batt, and invited some of us Foothill Fiber Guild grrls to join in. I decided right then to make the Tour include both wheel spinning (road racing days) and spindle spinning (mountain climbing). I am not necessarily going to match the cyclists day to day, but you get the idea. I managed to finish up my red romney from Sue Flynn's Sweetwater Farm (clearing off my Moosie spindle) and continue working on the Rambouillet/Angora blend from Wooly Wonka Fibers(Rav link). On Sunday, I finished plying the reds for a nice two-ply, shown below. My spindle goal for the Tour will be to complete the 2 ounces of Ramb/angora and ply it so I can begin a nice little shawlette from it. I am very happy with how fine a thread I can spin with my little chopstick spindle, and hoping for a nice challenge here.
Also on Sunday, I began the process of clearing off all of my bobbins and washing the finished yarns. From left to right, the white Rambouillet (from Harvey Farms) is some of the squooishiest yarn I have produced on the wheel to date... I have three partially-filled bobbins still to ply with more of this.
The red tweed is Sweetwater Farms Romney and is spindle-spun on the Moosie, some of the most balanced spindle-spun yarn I have made to date.
The yellow/orange singles skein is some of Wooly Daisy's hand-dyed merino roving, the first thing I spun on the Moosie... I had wound it off onto the knitty noddy, but never finished the skein so it got thrown in the bath and hung to dry too... the grey/green is a bit of Navajo-plied yarn, also wound off a bobbin, and leftover from my Circle Vest project. Margene gave me the batts, from Spinderellas.
You might have caught that note up above, about having three partially-filled bobbins left to ply... there's half a possibility that finishing the plying task will be part of this week's training, though I might just charge ahead with the other three bobbins I have empty, since I picked up a wonderful bag of two huge batts Rowen had carded on her drum carder, and began 'stretching', and 'training runs', of at least ten minutes a day with this lovely combination of wool, silk, bamboo and sparkle (provided by recycled sari silk!). My wheel-spinning goal for the Tour is to spin and ply all five ounces of this lovely combo. The bonus round will be trying to fit in plying that white Rambouillet.
OK, enough about me already... what are your plans for the Tour de Fleece? Leave me a note in the comments.