Tour de Fleece 2012 – Day 1

Today was the beginning of Tour de Fleece 2012. This year I’m going the Masochistic Tango version where I spin during Tour de Fleece, then knit using that yarn during the Ravelympics Ravellenic Games. I have two main projects planned: 1) laceweight singles spun from Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club – Dec 2010 – David’s Gift – SW Corriedale (pictured left) to knit a Citron Shawl, 2) 3-ply sport weight spun from Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club – Aug 2011 – Change – Falkland to knit a Autumn Vines Beret (Rav link).

Today, so far, there has not been any knitting.  I’ve been working on prepping the fiber.  The David’s Gift is a progression dyed fiber, and I want to maintain the color order.  I opened up the fiber and did a little pre-drafting without splitting the fiber at all.  I really only did the pre-drafting because the SW Corriedale can be a little sticky, and I want to concentrate on spinning it not on fighting it.  For the Change fiber I’m not sure if I’m going to spilt it 3 ways lengthwise or divide it into 3 pieces horizontally.  I want this one to have the colors mixed up so they don’t argue with the pattern of the beret.

Fiber Fun

Sadly, I’ve owned a drumcarder for about 3 years, but it’s just sat in my fiber room collecting dust.  Since the advent of Ravelry and my participation in the Friends of Abby’s Yarns (Rav link), I’ve come to have a renewed love for batts.

Almost as long ago, I participated in the Secret Pal 4 swap.  The swap partner who was supposed to be sending me things sent me one package before I never heard from her again (not even to tell me she was my partner when the swap was done).  Unfortunately, based on the package she had sent me, I don’t think she had bothered to read my filled out survey as the colors were all the opposite of what I had listed as my favorites.  One of the items in the package was a 4 oz. bump of dark, dark green merino with slight red and yellow streaks in it from Deep Color (who, sadly, no longer does any dyeing).

I spun up a little more than half of the merino to discover that it seemed to get even darker as I spun it, leaving me a bit disappointed.  So, I used the singles to practice chain plying.  Since it’s very nice merino, but too dark to overdye, I had thought I could pull out the drumcarder and blend it with something to lighten it up.  I found some tussah silk at Spunky Eclectic in a warm yellow color called Walking on the Sun and bought 1 oz.

Sunday night I finally got a chance to set up the drumcarder and play with it for the first time.  Here are the results:

The batts weight 2.75 oz. total, with 1 oz. being the tussah silk and the rest being the merino.

I had a lot of fun blending the fibers, although I was a little surprised to find out that it can be hard work.  I think I need to see about picking up a kitchen scrub brush for burnishing since my Ashford carder did not come with one.  I also need to find out the easiest way to clean up the drum and the licker as there are bits of merino and silk deeply inbedded in the carding cloth now.

Catch it now before it goes away

My professor gave me full credit for my final project. Yea! But she has said that she’ll be cleaning out our files sometime this week, so see it while you can. An important note: my website seems to only work in IE at the moment as FireFox has handling issues with the JavaScript I used. I don’t know if it’ll work in Safari as I haven’t checked it on my home machine, but if someone tries it and it works, let me know.

Edit: My professor has removed all my files from the server, so no more pretty website.

Pictures, pictures everywhere

I finally finished my lace bookmark for the Knitted Lace bookmark exchange. I blocked it last night, and it should be going out in the mail today. I used the diagonal lace pattern from Barbara Walker’s 1st treasury.

This was my first time adding beads to my knitting. It was an interesting experiment… trying to figure out which side of the stitch a bead had to be on to get it to show the way I wanted. I think it might be fun to try this pattern again, but putting the beads in the design… so they follow the diagonal.

The Sister Shawl is progressing and looks to be done in about a week… well, at least the main body of the shawl. Then, I need to do the lace border. I’m on row 96 and can currently get about 4 rows done in 2 hours. I plan on working on it tonight, trying to get to at least row 100. Then, I have a whole bunch of free time this weekend during which I hope to get at least one repeat section (16 rows) done.

I was very happy to come home last night and find not one, but two packages waiting for me. One package was from Inspirations Yarn containing my Surprise Sock Kit. I chose the warm colorway, which got me a really pretty coppery brown yarn.

The other package was from an eBay purchase I made… a pretty purplely and silvery superwash roving. I’m thinking socks… I like socks.