Tour de Flop

The Tour de Fleece began July 3, and I happily sat down in front of my spinning wheel with the hopes of seeing it through to the end.  This was my first time doing the Tour de Fleece, and I signed up with Abby Franquemont’s Team Suck Less because I wanted to focus on improving my technique as well as Amy King’s Team Monkey Farts because I planned on working my way through some of my Spunky Eclectic Club backlog.  I spun on Saturday.  I spun on Sunday.  I spun on the Monday Holiday.  On Tuesday I had the beginnings of a bad headache, which revealed itself on Wednesday to be something wrong with my back, right between my shoulder blades.  I felt like someone was ramming something into my spine.  My shoulder hurt.  My head hurt.  Spinning was not going to happen.  Thankfully, my chiropractor got me in for her last available appointment Wednesday afternoon, but I was instructed to ice and take it easy for a few days.  That’s all it takes to fall off the wagon.  For the rest of the tour I found excuses not to spin.

On the upside, I did manage to fill 3 bobbins with singles on their way to becoming what I hope will be a sportish 3-ply.  I tried to spin so that the yarn would have a bit more loft, thus make the final yarn more fluffy.  I have such a bad habit of making smooth dense yarns that are all thinner than I want.  So, this yarn is an experiment.  I have no idea if I did the right things to get the yarn I’m hoping for, but I’m willing to accept that.  (I still have another 4 oz. of this fiber/color combination, so I still have a chance to make a gorgeous, usable yarn.)  I had discovered when I took Janel Laidman’s spinning class at Stitches West 2010, that if I draft faster, I get yarn that’s fluffier.  Now, granted, I was doing that on a spindle.  But, I gave it some thought and tried to apply what I did with the spindle to my wheel.  Like I said, I have no idea if I did it right; for all I know I did the complete opposite.

I wanted to ply faster.  But, plying faster means nothing if the yarn is sitting around waiting to move onto the bobbin.  I also figured that a fluffier yarn needs less twist to hold it together (this may be one of the places I’ve gone completely wrong and find myself with singles that just fall apart as I try to ply them).  I was basing this on thinner yarn needs more twist, thicker yarn needs less twist.  So, I turned up the uptake on my wheel and plied like the wind.

Who knows, maybe the bobbins of singles sitting around while I do nothing with them for 3 weeks will work in my favor allowing the twist to settle in a bit.  Or I might just be on my way to ending up with a huge mess.

That was loads of fun… not

I apologize right up front to anyone who visited my bog in the last month and found it redirecting them to some stupid, fake “anti-virus” site.  My blog was somehow hijacked, and a script was inserted in every. single. frikken. post.  Thankfully, my server host provided me with a SQL statement to run against my database to clean out the script.  And I wasn’t affected by any of the other hijacking symptoms that were possible.  I’ve backed up and upgraded, so hopefully, this won’t happen again.  I have plans for backing up more often and keeping on top of making sure I upgrade in a timely manner.

In other circles, I completely failed at Tour de Fleece.  I spun for the first three days, then I hurt my back and didn’t get my wheel out for the rest of the tour.  On the upside, I did manage to get the singles for a 3-ply yarn spun, just need to find the time to ply it up and see if my experiment to try getting a specific type of yarn worked.

I’ve been knitting, working on a baby blanket for my niece, who should be joining us in October.  I’m also working on designing a pair of socks.  This isn’t the first time I’ve created my own pattern, but it is the first time I’ve done something more than just stockinette or ribbing.  I’ve actually put some thought into it.  It’s been fun enough that I’m already thinking of a second pattern for the first installment of the Mean Girls Yarn Club, Part Deux that I just received.