Sunday, July 12, 2009

Tour de Fleece

Yes, I am once again participating in the Tour de Fleece - you can read about it here. Basically, it gives me an excuse (or maybe incentive) to spin for most of the month of July. I really don't pay close attention to the Tour de France - mostly I spin while I watch the Brewers play baseball - unfortunately, today they lost to the Dodgers - they need to stop doing that as they are in second place behind the Cardinals and they need to get back into first place.

Anyway - I am spinning about two and a half pounds of Coopworth roving that I hope to, someday, knit into a sweater or a vest (depending on how much actual yardage I end up with when I am done - I have never taken on such an ambitious spinning project before and am kind of winging it). So far, I have made it through about a pound - although technically, not all of it during Tour de Fleece. The two bobbins on the left are a three-ply yarn, the two bobbins on the right, the spun singles. A bit of the roving sits there in the picture as well. It's reddish, with small bits of yellow and bigger bits of blue. It spins up into a reddish yarn - a dark reddish, not a bright orangey reddish. I tweaked the color in the picture, but I'm not sure I quite ended up with the actual look, so you'll just have to take my word for it. But I think, in the end, if I manage to actually knit up a garment, it will go very nicely with jeans, which is primarily what I wear these days, being a full-time shepherd and all.

The roving, by the way, is Tapestry from Carol and Paul Wagner at Hidden Valley Farm and Woolen Mill. It spins like a dream and the plying issues are all mine (first time I have ever done a three-ply - maybe I should have experimented with that on a smaller project first!) I think I have a rhythm down now, but I am still afraid I may be overplying a bit - well, we'll see in the end, I guess!

Well, I just wanted to post something about Tour de Fleece, so anyone that was actually paying attention could see that I was participating. I think I still have one Shetland yet to lamb - or maybe she is just fat - hysterical pregnancy? I still have a sheep or two to roo - although that experiment went nowhere this year. I only managed to roo two sheep totally so far - even one of the ewes that rooed like a dream last year is not rooing at all well this year - I will probably harvest what I can and then take the hand shears to the rest of her - hopefully not totally destroying the remaining fleece in the process. Maybe I can get that done in the next few days, as the temperatures are supposed to be warm, but not hot and the humidity is supposed to be low. But we really do need rain - I am starting to worry that the pastures will stop growing - they should have a good root system, but I need something to worry about.

Hope the weather is good wherever you are!