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Hand-Dyed Yarns

Woolfiend Hand-Dyed Yarns


Tour de Fleece Prep

Emily Swenson

Top Left to Right: "Butte Shadows" -Finn x 2, "Perfect Sun" -Falkland    Bottom Left to Right: "Rose Hedge" -Corriedale, "Running Through Puddles" -BFL/Nylon, "Antique Portrait" -Polwarth/Silk

Top Left to Right: "Butte Shadows" -Finn x 2, "Perfect Sun" -Falkland

Bottom Left to Right: "Rose Hedge" -Corriedale, "Running Through Puddles" -BFL/Nylon, "Antique Portrait" -Polwarth/Silk

Ahh, Tour de Fleece.  I skipped last year, but this year my spinning mojo is in full swing, and I joined the Three Waters Farm TdF Team.  You can find their fiber at their Etsy shop.  I decided not to join any other teams, but I really wanted to!  I have enough TWF fiber to spin that exclusively, and luckily the Ravelry group is very active.  

I wanted to do a few color experiments, as I'm used to spinning across the top and then plying however I feel like plying.  I am currently spinning a fractal, and am enjoying it, and realized I'd like to do more planned spinning with regards to color placement.  I thought I'd use this post to talk about the way I am planning to prep the fiber for Tour de Fleece.

First up was the larger spinning project for the Tour - I keep seeing these awesome handspun skeins on Instagram with blue/turquoise peeking through a red-brown color.  I bought "Butte Shadows" because of that little pop of blue!  I'm going to do a traditional 2-ply with these two braids (or bags, since they're not currently braided).  I really want the barber-poling to stand out in the blue areas, so I'm going to try not to match the blues up to maximize the yardage of the skein with that blue in it!  I'd like to make this into a giant shawl, and I'm hoping to get about 800 yards out of the two braids.

"Perfect Sun" was a little more difficult, but with the long bit of yellow I thought it would be an interesting fractal! It would definitely be perfect to add some interest, instead of spinning yellow for miles.

For the Corriedale, "Rose Hedge," I am going to chain ply it.  It has a lot of nice contrast that I think will be interesting as a striping yarn, although I am not sure what the knitted product will be in that case!  Maybe some mittens or a hat.

"Running Through Puddles" is the Tour de Fleece exclusive colorway for this year.  I am going to spin this on my spindle - I'm not sure which one yet.  I wouldn't normally spin on my spindle (I'm slow as shit) for Tour de Fleece, but I am going on vacation in mid-July.

"Antique Portrait" is a braid I've saved for a few years, with good intentions!  It deserves to be spun, and it's time for it to transform into yarn.  I have decided to do a simple 2-ply from this braid.  There are lots of surprise colors in this skein, and that'll make for fun pops of color.

I generally try to attain a fingering weight from almost every braid I spin, but with the 3-ply (chain or traditional) I don't usually spin the singles fine enough to get a fingering weight out of it.  I have no plans to try and do this during the Tour, but it would be nice to get a 3-ply fingering, because I just like the way those yarns look more than 2-ply (in most cases).

As far as order, I'm going to start with the Finn, then do whatever I feel like after that.  For the spindle spin, I'm prepping the fiber for spinning as soon as possible.  I'm hoping to spindle spin at least 30 minutes a day, although I think that's generous.  I have a bad track record with spindle projects taking a bit too long, and I've only ever completed four, so we shall see!

I plan on doing weekly updates for the Tour.  What are your plans and goals for Tour de Fleece this year?  Let me know in the comments!