Tour de Fleece, Stage 7

Today I continued plying the cormo.  While plying is faster than spinning, it still takes a long time when your singles are like thread!  I finished the first bobbin and barely started on the second bobbin.

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I haven’t mentioned this before, but I a towel under my spinning wheel to protect our hardwood floors.  The small movements the wheel makes while I’m spinning scratched my floor the first couple times I used the wheel.  I usually pick the towel up at night to keep it away from the cats.  I forgot to pick up the towel last night and someone puked on it during the night, so I put a different towel on the floor today.  Fortunately, the guilty feline missed my wheel and my bobbins of spun yarn.  I would not have been happy to find dried up cat puke ruining my beautiful singles!

WIP Wednesday: July 8, 2015

I wasn’t sure if I would have anything for WIP Wednesday this week.  I’ve been knitting a shawl, which I finished and blocked today.  I do have an update on my Tour de Fleece spinning and I cast on a new project!

Tour de Fleece, Day 5

I really, really, really wanted to finish the cormo today.  I didn’t quite make it.  I have 0.09 ounces left to spin.  That’s not a lot, but at the rate I’m spinning it’ll take at least 1/2 hour and it’s already 1 am.  I’m throwing in the towel.  I’ll finish it tomorrow.

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Miranda Shawl

I cast on and knit the first 4 rows of a new shawl.  This one is another test knit.  Since it’s knit from the bottom up, I had to cast on 418 stitches!

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Tour de Fleece 2015, Day 3

I didn’t spin yesterday as I was not feeling well.  Walking around, even for a short time, made me feel nauseous and dizzy.  I spent most of the day either napping or laying in the recliner and knitting.  Sitting up to spin was totally out of the question.  Chris took a vacation day today.  I still wasn’t 100%, so we took it easy.  A little hanging around, a few errands, a wee bit of housework.  I had time to spin this evening while we watched American Ninja Warrior.

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The picture on the left is my bobbin of cormo as of the end of Day 1.  The picture on the right is my bobbin of cormo as of the end of Day 3.  I spun 0.25 ounces of cormo today.  I have just under 0.5 ounces left to spin.  That’s just under 2 hours of spinning at the rate I’m going.  I’m not sure if I’ll have time to finish all that spinning tomorrow, but certainly by Wednesday!

Tour de Fleece 2015, Day 1

Saturday, July 4, 2015 is the first day of the Tour de France.  This means it is also the first day of the Tour de Fleece.  The latter is a (yarn) spinning event that takes place each year on the same days as the famous bicycle race.  The bicycle race is obviously a challenging event, full of world-class athletes.  In that spirit, participants in the Tour de Fleece set their own challenging goals.

The Tour de France starts on July 4 and ends on July 26 this year.  There’s two rest day during which the racers do not ride.  This year, those dates are July 13 and July 21.  There’s also one day that is particularly challenging.  This year, that day is July 23.  On that day, the racers will climb 5 mountains.  The Tour de Fleece encourages participants to follow a similar schedule.  Spinners don’t spin on the Tour de France rest days, and set a particularly difficult personal goal for the most challenging day of the Tour de France.

This is my first year participating in the Tour de Fleece.  I only started spinning in late April 2014, six weeks before the Tour de Fleece started.  I knew about the Tour de Fleece because I have friends who take part every year, but I didn’t feel ready to participate last year.  I’m excited about this year!

Goals

My personal Tour de Fleece will be cut short this year.  July 21 to 26 I will be in San Diego for The Knitting Guild Association Conference.  I’m not bringing a spinning wheel with me, so won’t be able to spin while I am away.  Since I’ll miss those dates, I’m not going to take any rest days for the rest of the tour.  I’ll also miss the challenge day.  I’m not worried about that though.  I think it’s apparent to anyone reading this blog that I tend to challenge myself every day 🙂

My Tour de Fleece goal is to spin at least 30 minutes each day from July 4 through July 20.  I hoped to finish the cormo before the Tour started, but I did not.  I’ll work on the cormo until I finish it and then I’ll start on 3 Feet of Sheep in Colors of the Capital.  I also plan to ride my bike at least 3 miles a day for each day from July 4 through July 20.

Today’s Progress

Since today is the first Saturday of the month, it was the regular meeting day of my local spinning group.  I started the day by spinning with them.

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imageThen I came home and spun some more.  At the beginning of the day, my bobbin of cormo looked like this:

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When I finished spinning for the day, my bobbin looked like this:

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I spun for about 7 or 8 hours today, far exceeding my 30 minute goal! I also rode my bike for 3.12 miles this afternoon.  Since it’s the summer in Florida, we had our usual afternoon rain showers.  Chris and I managed to sneak a bike ride in between two separate storms.  Despite the ominous hue of the clouds, we made it through the entire ride ahead of the second wave of storms!

I’m spinning the cormo very fine — it’ll definitely be lace weight 2-ply — which means it takes a long time to spin.  In fact, it’s taking 2 hours to spin 0.5 ounces.  I have about 0.75 ounces left, and I’m hoping to finish spinning it tomorrow so I can ply on Monday.  I can’t wait to see just home much yardage I get.  I think it’s going to be ridiculously high!  On Tuesday, I’ll start on Three Feet of Sheep.

A Year of Projects 2015, Week 25

It’s been a busy week around here, and this coming week will be busy too.  However, there’s always time to craft!

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Here’s the list of goals I wrote last week:

Goals for the Week of June 14 – 20, 2015

  • Finish the Sand Tracks Scarf.
  • Finish the Raindrops on Roses Shawlette.
  • Finish half of the questions and swatches for MHK1.
  • Finish at least one color and weave scarf on the rigid heddle loom.
  • Cast on the Liquid Silver Shawl.
  • Knit the Grisou Scarf (another test knit).

I’ve finished the Sand Tracks Scarf.

imageThe Raindrops on Roses Shawlette is a stockinette stitch body with three repeats of a lace pattern.  I finished that, but did not bind off.  I have enough yarn to knit at least one, possibly two, more repeats of the lace.  Since this is a test knit, I e-mailed the designer and asked if she preferred that I bind off now, per the pattern, or if it was okay for me to knit extra repeats.  She said she’d like to see the shawl in a larger size, so I’m going to knit the additional repeats and expect to finish early this week.  Here’s how it looked on Wednesday, 4 rows shy of finishing the first three lace repeats:

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I haven’t done anything with MHK1 this week.  I need to make this a priority as I want to finish before I go to TKGA’s Annual Conference in San Diego from July 21-26.

Yesterday, I tied on a color and weave scarf.  This is a solid red warp.  The weft alternates one pick of the same red as the warp with one pick of a tweed.  I’ve woven perhaps 1/4 of the scarf, and plan to finish it early this week.

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I looked at all the crafting I plan to finish this month and decided to move Liquid Silver to early July.  I do want to swatch for it by the end of the month.

The Grisou Scarf is a test knit.  I am using a different yarn than the designer, so swatched for it.  I ended up knitting swatches with three different size needles!  I’ve just got to finish the border, and expect to finish knitting it today.

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While I was waiting to hear back from the designer of Raindrops on Roses and for the Grisou swatches to dry, I cast on another Heart Illusion Dishcloth.  I got about 1/2 of it knit.

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Finally, though this has nothing to do with knitting, I wanted to post a picture of me with my father, since today is Father’s Day in the United States.  I often say that I’ve birdwatched since I was 6 months old.  My father started birdwatching shortly after my parents married, and once I came along, I was in a backpack on his back.  This morning, my father, mother, aunt, uncle, and I went birdwatching for Father’s Day.  We went to a newly opened 11 mile drive that skirts along the northern edge of Lake Apopka, not far from where we live.  We only saw 22 species of birds, all of which are common in our area, but we saw many, many individual birds of most species.  Here’s a picture my mom took of my Dad and I, looking at birds:

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Goals for June 21 to 30, 2015

I’m writing this set of goals through the end of the month, to cover the class deadlines for the HPKCHC.  I honestly don’t expect to finish all of these items, but I’m going to do my best!

  • Finish Raindrops on Roses Shawl (Headmistress Challenge)
  • Finish Grisou Scarf (homework, but which class?)
  • Finish Solid / 1×1 Scarf (OWL)
  • Three more color and weave scarves to meet OWL 50% (highly unlikely to finish)
  • Finish current Heart Illusion Dishcloth, plus 4 more (COMC?)
  • Tier Scarf (Charms or Potions)
  • Crochet Dishcloths (Transfiguration)
  • MHK1 swatches (Divination and / or Charms)
  • Small stuffed bird (DADA)
  • Cast on Sweet Summer Shawl (Quidditch Round 3; due July 8)
  • Liquid Silver Swatch (OOTP; due July 19)
  • Cast on Begonia Swirl Shawl (Headmistress Challenge; due July 28)

Updated List of Goals for 2015

Knitting

  • Knit myself a sweater
  • Improve my finishing techniques
  • Finish MHK Level 1
  • Dishcloth Advent Calendar
    • Tribbles, finished January 18, 2015
    • Leaves, finished March 30, 2015 but never blogged
    • Heart Illusion Dishcloths (in progress)
  • Charity Knits
  • Do some test knits
    • Sand Tracks Scarf, finished June 16, 2015
    • Raindrops on Roses Shawlette (in progress)
  • Finish or frog all UFOs
    • Traveling Scarf
    • Bigger on the Inside Hat
    • Evenstar
    • Quinn Bag
    • Baby Blue Monster
  • Socks
  • Other Projects
  • Design at least one project from scratch

Crochet

  • Learn to read crochet patterns
  • Learn all the basic crochet stitches.
  • Make at least one non-granny square crochet project
  • Dishcloth Advent Calendar

Spinning

  • Breed Specific Spinning
  • Learn to spin on a drop spindle

Weaving

  • Continue playing with color and weave drafts
  • Learn pick up stick drafts
  • Learn Inkle Weaving
  • Learn Kumihimo braiding
  • Explore Twill weaves on the floor loom
  • Make items for the Guild Sale
  • Other

Dyeing

  • Finish dyeing the MAPLE LEAF Shawls
  • pH / water source experiment
  • Return to dye triangles project