Sunday, 4 July 2010

And the wheel goes 'round

Tour de Fleece 2010 Stash

Today was Stage 1 of the Tour de France, the annual cycling extravaganza in France, despite having yesterday's prologue in Rotterdam, and today's stage, which went through Antwerp on the way to Brussels.

In this house, that means it's time for the Tour de Fleece, the annual spinning marathon I do through Ravelry: I've graduated to being an administrator on the group this year (I was a moderator last year), and this year's project is to spin everything in the photo above.

From left to right:

1.5 lb. grey Shetland/Icelandic fleece: it's got the double coat (tog and thel) of an Icelandic, but the outer coat is lovely and soft like a Shetland.
I'm spinning this by pulling out individual locks, drafting them into a piece of fluff that will let me spin both coats together for subtle shading. This will be turned into a three-ply yarn.
.5 oz plucked Giant Angora rabbit fur: I've had this box since the mid-1990s, when I first learned to spin.
One ply of this, combined with two of the fleece, will be used for trim on the vest I will knit from the yarn.
4 oz. white Polwarth roving: I'll be taking this down to Stampede to spin on my Turkish spindle. I've got 21 hours of demostrations to do starting on Friday, so I figure most of this will get spun up.

Here's how far I got yesterday on the fleece....
Prologue: Rotterdam 8.9 km

As I'm drafting the locks as I go, it's time-consuming, fiddly work, but I think the end result justifies the effort.

But to get caught up since my last entry: here are some of the 18 half-sheets of abaca (a relative of the banana plant) that I made at my papermaking class at the end of May.

Abaca to basics

I haven't quite decided what I'm going to use them for yet (do I want to put photographs on them? Words? A book? Artist trading cards?), but they are lovely to touch....

Had my younger brother-in-law out for a visit a week after the class, and found this cutie when out hiking with him one day.

Curious baby

And I started serious work on the cowboy hat I was invited to decorate that would be auctioned off for Tip Your Hat, to support providing artistic expression at local homeless shelters. Although I haven't painted acrylics seriously for probably fifteen years, I'm really pleased with how it turned out.


The auction is this Thursday: I'm curious to see how well it does.

As mentioned above, I'm back working at my usual place in Ag-tivity in the City down at the Stampede Grounds again: 21 hours of fun, spinning some lovely soft Polwarth roving, answering questions, and taking time to meet as many horses and dogs as possible.

I love that job, and it looks like we're going to have perfect weather for the next two weeks.

Better go do today's Tour de Fleece spinning while I watch the running of the 151st Queen's Plate horse race!

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