The 2016 Tour de France just ended. Apparently André Greipel won. I really don’t know anything about competitive cycling and normally wouldn’t mention it on my blog, except that Ravelry has a simultaneous annual event in honor of the Tour. Its called “Tour de Fleece” and it’s a celebration of spinning.
It’s very simple. Every day during the Tour de France, participants spin, and share pictures of their progress. On rest days we don’t have to spin. Certain days we’re supposed to go for more challenging spins. I’m still inexperienced enough that it’s all challenging to me.
My Personal Tour, a Learning Experience
I think I’ve finally gotten the hang of supported spinning. The key seems to be to use the right bowl. I initially had some really nice results using an old malachite paperweight, but then I noticed that the tip of the phang was literally wearing away. I switched to a plastic one, which was acceptable, but I’ll be looking for a wooden bowl in the future.
You will notice that I slipped the cop directly to the dowel on the lazy kate. I ended up with huge, hateful snarls during the plying process. It’s definitely worth the time to wind the singles onto spools before plying.
The finished skein has an almost boucle look. I think that’s because I didn’t spin the singles as hard as I usually do with a drop spindle. Whenever I tried to spin the elasticity out, the single broke, so I decided not to do that any more. I don’t know if that’s a characteristic of the wool, of the spindle, or of my inexperience as a spinner (spinster?)
In any case this project took so long that I chose not to start a full braid to finish up. Instead I tried an experiment I’ve been thinking about for a while – spinning polyfill on a turkish spindle from TurtleMade. It was wonky, and left me with singles so weak that I gave up on plying them. I expect that the issue was the (really) short staple length. Still, the result is almost 40 yards of interesting.
Yes, the single is a bit thick (that’s deliberate) and irregular (that’s not).
It was a fun event, and I’ll probably do it again next year.