Saturday, July 24, 2010

End of the tour

Yes today is officially the last day of the Tour de Fleece, the 25th of July 2010. How am I going? Well .. I'm not breaking any records ... but I've spun more than I have in any other three week space of time, 700g of Texel, nearly 80g of Perendale lace weight single (80g more to go), and 30g of silk merino blend, plus 100g of yellow Autumn Citrus merino ... I've done well 910g by my reckoning, which is a lot of fibre, an average of 40+ grams a day. I suspect spinning the bulkier Texel skewed my daily average upwards .. but I'm not bothered. I have managed to spin most days since the last post .. and knit. Yesterday was the KSG (Knitters Study Group) and we worked on Mobius. So now I have a new fun quick knit on the go ...

First up is my latest tour spinning, 30 grams of a wool and silk blend from Doe, no details on the kind of wool or the proportions of the blend, which is fine. Not everything needs to be documented and measured with precision. I spun this finely and then wound it into a centre pull ball .. and two plied it from the ball. I am loving this new spinning trick (Thanks Morag). I suspect this is under plied .. but I can fix that once its dry. This is still damp from blocking, and I've not yet hung it up to dry, so it may bulk and puff and not need more twist when it is dry. It is a lovely day here, warm still sunny .. not quite expected for winter but I'm not complaining. As you can see there was me with a camera on the front stairs .. so Yo-you came to check it out. I love the colour of this .. but it is a such a small amount .. perhaps wristers or another head band?

My other Tour spinning is no where near complete, more than half remains un-spun. I hope to finish the first half tonight .... but there will be no panic if I don't get there .. its only a hobby, and I had two loose goals for the tour, one was to spin the 700g of Texel which I have done, and the other was to spin every day if possible.

Rogue roses .. sock number two grows .. slowly, I'm well past the heel and working away the gusset. Last week I gave a talk at a local group, a repeat of my Stash conference paper, and I was asked by a member of the audience in a slightly awed voice if I could 'turn a heel'. I'm pleased to say I can, I most certainly can, but at the time I didn't have a complete heel on the needles as evidence. A friend in the audience offered to show the group the socks she was wearing, Salto, which I had knit for her. It was lovely, P sat there with a foot up on the desk allowing people to admire my sock knitting skills, I felt quite accomplished.

The KSG lesson this time was Mobius. Some time ago I swapped 2 skeins of VP Sock yarn for two of Cat Bordhi's mobius books. I posted in the In search of Books thread in Ravelry ... and found two knitters who were happy to swap. I have never knit a mobius before .. although I've had the books for ages and looked thru them often. The cast on she uses in the book is a lot like the tubular cast on I usually work .. so I went with that. This was sheer exploratory play .. I had a bit of an idea about the yarn (fingering alpaca merino) and a reversible stitch pattern (Birds eye lace from BW .. worked with the alternate rounds in purl) .. but no idea of how it would work or how many stitches. I've still not counted them. I wanted more than a plain chevron pattern, and more lacy than moss or rib.

It really is a kind of magical knitting, all round and round with no beginning and no end. I had not quite understood the mobius when knit works up a bit like spiral as much as a mobius. Yo-you was suitably impressed, and the eyelet lace seems very open but reversible. I do like the hexagonal shape these eyelets have become. I've gone with an i-cord edge as the cast off, and am working that now. Size was determined by one ball of yarn. I can see there will be at least one other of these .. although I'm keen to trial it in a more decorative lace .. or reversible stitch.

take care, I'm off to treadle (peddle away the rest of the tour), although as NZ is one of the first countries in the date:time line series .. technically I guess I could still be touring tomorrow when it is actually the end of the tour in France, and when we have spin-night. This time it is as my house.
na Stella


KathyR said...

Congratulations on your Tour accomplishments! You have done well to have spun so much as well as keeping up with all your knitting as well. Sadly, my knitting fell rather by the wayside as I seem to be kind-of-a one-horse type myself. :)

Knitting Linguist said...

Those are beautiful yarns that you've spun during the Tour! I'm very impressed. I also love the heel-turning story -- isn't it funny how impressive heel-turning is? I find it rather magical myself, even though I've been doing it for a while and it works every time (then again, maybe that's why it's so magical!).