Thursday, 1 August 2013

Tour de Fleece 2013

This was the year I took the plunge and joined in with the Tour de Fleece, and I'm so glad I did because I loved every minute of it.

Through the hottest British summer since 2006, I still managed to spin every day that the Tour de France cycled ... even if I had to wait until the evening so it was cool enough to do so.

Here's my final tally ... all 845g of it!!

I managed these 11 skeins of completed yarn, all 2-ply, but in a variety of fibers and in a variety of weights.

I especially love this skein of BFL sock weight yarn in a 'Watermelon Tourmaline' colour scheme I had custom dyed by Danielle of A Stash Addict.

I also tried spinning alpaca for the first time, albeit in a blend of merino and silk, but it was my first alpaca experience nonetheless. I'm really pleased with the results of this uber-soft DK weight yarn.

I also tried spinning a singles yarn for the first time. I'm seriously over the moon about this one as it ended up better than I expected. After asking some TdF team mates for advice, I slightly fulled the yarn by alternating it in a hot versus cold bath, and then hung it to dry with a weight on the end. I will definitely be trying this out again soon, as it provides you with so much more yardage than a 2-ply.

I was disappointed about not being able to finish the rainbow merino fiber on my drop spindle, but it really was too hot to spin yarn during the day. Despite that, I did have all the good intentions, and took my spindle out on numerous day excursions ... only to give up actually spinning after the first 10 minutes, drenched in sweat and in fear of felting my fiber between my hands! Here's a photo of me feeling optimistic on route to the beach, spindle in hand.

I was also half way through some lace weight luxury 50% baby camel and 50% tussah silk yarn when the TdF ended.

Badly timed I know, but the end of the event just crept up on me so quickly.

Not yet sick of spinning, I carried on my daily spinning to get it finished.

As I didn't want to be a Rookie-No-Mates, Team AYLM was founded on Instagram and Ravelry. Thanks so much to all who joined in. I've had some lovely messages from team mates who wrote to say that they also thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Please go for a look at all the beautiful yarn and spinning via hashtag #teamaylmtdf13 on Instagram.

As a thank you to my team mates, I pledged a prize drawn at random of a custom made drop spindle.

And I'm so pleased to announce that the lovely Jenni (IG username @baamekniits) was the winning member.

So it's over for 2013, and now I've done my first I can say that I will be there with bells on next year and probably every year after that.

It's such a wonderful opportunity to be inspired by others, develop your own skills, grow as a fiber artist, make new like-minded friends and enhance that wonderfully OOAK handspun yarn stash.

See you all there next year :)

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