TdF: Finish Line

So, I crossed the finish line of the Tour, with three yarns, one short and fluffy, one firm and silky, and a spindle spun yarn.

My Three TdF Yarns

As a reminder, here were my goals:

  • To spin every day, for a minimum of 10 minutes
  • To spin one yarn with a pattern in mind, which means being intentional about my spinning technique, yarn weight and trying to aim for specific lengths.
  • To spin some silk successfully
  • To spin at least one yarn:
    -Long Draw
    -From the Fold
    -Chain Plyed
  •  To spin with intention, and make sure that no matter what I enjoy the activity
So I succeeded at a few things, I enjoyed all my spinning during the Tour, and I spun some silk on a spindle. I also spun most days, and I have learned how calming I find spinning and how helpful it can be at dealing with stress.

My Golding Spindle and a Tussah Silk Sample

I have been much more successful in the week following the tour than I was during the whole tour. I spun some  semi-woolen/long-draw singles, which I haven’t chain-plyed yet, also I  have silk singles spun on my wheel, soon to be plyed.

Three Bobbins Full: Two Silk and one BFL

I have even started my first art yarn, a corespun using crochet cotton and my Golding Ring Spindle to manage the core (something that was keeping me away from corespun yarns).

My First Intentional Art Yarn: well at least one that I didn't dread making.

I look forward to next year’s Tour, but I have a hard time putting aside my knitting and crochet projects to spin, so I think I need to clear my calendar so I have a clear run at my spinning.

FO: Stardust Neckwarmer

Soft, squishy, and such a pretty blue.

This yarn has been burning a hole in my stash since I frogged the Stardust Mittens back in January.  It is so soft, and the color so subtle and blue (a color that I frequently over look in favor of green).

The stitch pattern was easy to remember but still engaging.

This spring when I started doing trail pass checks twice a week I knew I needed a pattern that was in the round, easily memorized and not too elaborate to work on at the trailhead, and I found the Twisted Rib Neckwarmer.  The pattern seemed designed for the yarn and so I set off.  After two months of working on it, I felt the need to finish it, mostly because as much as I like to think I can have many, many projects on the go at once, I really am a serial monogamist when it comes to projects.  I finished it a while back, but I didn’t have the time or inclination to block it, and then I kept forgetting to get pictures.

So here it is, finally, the Stardust Neckwarmer, slightly out of season, but just so very, very soft.

The yarn has squish and the pattern has drape, so the two worked well together.

Project Name: Stardust Neckwarmer

Pattern: Twisted Rib Neckwarmer by Michelle Johnston of Lush Yarn

Recipient: Me, me, me

Yarn: Handmaiden Bess in Stardust (80% Superwash Merino, 20% Cashmere)


  • Used a slightly larger needle and didn’t gauge swatch so I presume that it is larger than gauge.

New Skills:

Feedback: Nice pattern, nice yarn, however I hated the bind off.  It was tedious and unattractive.  That said, I do want to figure out a way to match cast on and bind off and retain stretchiness.

Re-Knit?: Not likely, it was a nice pattern, but there are many more types of cowls out there in the world.

On Hooks and Flowers

After a week of only working on this project (and doing my TdF spinning) I finally have all 90 flowers done in my crochet blanket.

Flower, flowers, flowers

I am still undecided onto how I will arrange them, any suggestions? I am looking forward to having this project done by next weekend.

I have no idea what order they should be in ...

I want to get working on my next pair of socks, I haven’t even touched them in a week, I hope they aren’t too lonely.

On Sliding and Flying

As a treat to myself, inspired by the Tour de Fleece, I finally got some accessories for my wheel, namely a sliding hook flyer and a lazy kate, and oodles of bobbins (for the new larger flyer).

The Lazy Kate shows how much larger the new bobbins are.

Neither of these things were totally necessary, I could make do with the standard flyer and the built in lazy kate on the front of my wheel, but it sure makes things are more fun.  Although I do like the larger bobbin, I can hold a full 4oz of plyed yarn on it, which is awesome!

The Sliding Hook Flyer in action, with a fantastic BFL top from Gale's Art


I ended up getting 8 bobbins (one came with the flyer), mostly because I wanted to be able to get into all sorts of trouble, and work on two projects at once.

Bobbins, bobbins, and more bobbins. I love this shot and all the potential it holds.

TdF: Week 2

So I am totally failing at the Tour de Fleece.  Never mind all those lofty goals I set, I am finding it challenging to spin every day, I didn’t spin at all on Monday or Tuesday. Never mind that I fell into bed at 9pm both nights, but I could not even bring myself to look at my wheel.

The reason I was so exhausted was that I helped out at the Angry Seagull 24-hour adventure race that happened in my town.  I was responsible for CheckPoint 7, which means I got a text at 2:30am on Sunday to get out to a spot about 5km south of town and sit there till noon waiting on teams.


My 2oz Golding Spindle with a Tussah Silk Sample from Gale's Art

I did get some spinning done, imagine the strange looks you get when you are sitting in the back of your car, looking like you woke up at 2:30 and have a spindle going.

I managed to spin and ply a small sample of tussah silk that I got from Gale at Gale’s Art back in the fall.

The three finished bobbins of Bohoknitterchic Merino/Silk that I have been working on for a week now.

Since Wednesday I have perked up on my spinning, first because a box of goodies I ordered from Gale’s Art back during the Postal Strike finally arrived and yesterday the Sliding Hook Flyer and Lazy Kate I ordered arrived.  I bribed myself that I can’t start anything with the new flyer until I finish up the singles of the Bohoknitterchic Merino/Silk that I have been working on for a week now.  So Thursday night I managed to get halfway through the second (of three) bobbins of singles.  I will use the new flyer to ply because the bobbins are so wonderfully large.

Between my 8 new large bobbins and the 4 old smaller bobbins, I now have the ability to get into lots of trouble.

The TdF is really poorly timed for me, as someone who works in recreational trail management, I spend most days in the summer either outside doing trail maintenance or figuring out what sort of work needs to be done next.  Also, it is currently the nicest and busiest time of the year in Parry Sound, with all sorts of activities from classical music festivals to dragon boat races.

However, I move on to week three of the Tour and it is time to see whether I will crash and burn any worse than the riders this year.