Finnsheep yarn on a sheepy book.

Proudly wearing the maillot de mouton

So I’ve wrapped up my first Tour de Fleece, literally and figuratively.

I’m happy with what I was able to accomplish: maybe not the plentiful miles of yarn I was vaguely picturing, but a huge improvement in technique. During the rare spinning downtimes, in lieu of posting here, I worked my way through Anne Field’s Spinning Wool: Beyond the Basics, as well as large chunks of the Alden Amos Big Book of Handspinning, a couple of DVD workshops, and various other pedagogical materials. (Question: would you be interested in reviews?)

While all this frenzied reading has been humbling– there’s so much left to learn!– I’m already much happier with the yarn I’m able to produce. I’ve successfully spun woolen yarns, reined in my tendency to overply, created and dyed a hideous bouclé yarn, and experimented with some new and interesting breed-specific wools. I think my favorite of those so far is a half-ounce Finn sample that I picked up in Vermont:

I’d like to try some more of this soon. There’s something in the luster and the shade of white that’s very appealing– and it was fun to spin. (In point of fact, I think I am developing a small problem when it comes to breed-specific wools. And sheep. My computer desktop wallpaper is presently adorned with a charming Herdwick.)

As you may have read in my last post, the hardest part of the Tour for me was actually keeping up with the Ravelry forum. (In my defense: it’s gigantic!) I focused my posting efforts on a once-a-day photo, but even one photo is surprisingly difficult to wrangle when you’re taking it late at night: poor lighting and operator fatigue do not make for the greatest shots. However, results of the experiment are presented below for your consideration.

There are some more crafty activities occurring around here, but I think we’ll save them for a future post. Spinning may not be physical exertion like… well, riding a bike*… but I am bushed.

___

*Not necessarily true. I have had the pleasure of observing a homemade bicycle-spinning wheel hybrid in action.

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