I may be falling behind on getting posts written, but I did not fall behind on my Tour de Fleece* competition. My goal – to spin the singles needed to complete the Knitmore Girls SPAKAL (spin-along, knit along) project, to do some sampling in preparation for plying for the same, and to listen to some new podcasts while I was at it. I scored in all three events.
I filled 26 storage bobbins with a fairly fine singles yarn totalling about 41 oz. I had already spun around 25 ounces before the TdF started, but to get a pound of these fine singles done in about 3 weeks when I was away from my wheel for 9 of those days was a big achievement for me.
To guide my sampling, I mixed the bobbins randomly and then pulled out 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5- ply strands and let them ply on themselves. This is not sufficient to really tell what a balanced finished yarn will look like – you have to soak the samples in warm water which releases the energy that may have been quieted by long storage. Here is an example of this energy release – see how the yarn, as it absorbs moisture, curls on itself?
A good soaking lets the yarns even out and bloom. Here is a before and after shot, on top, before a soak, and after is below.
I then used these as guides for how much twist to put in as I plyed.
In the weeks between the TdF and the Olympics, I kept racing. I’m finally making progress on my Hanami shawl, well over halfway there!
But I’ll cross that finish line sometime later, because my current event is the Ravellenic Games**. I’m knitting a Bohus hat, the Large Swan. I’ve gotten well into it, and as always am absolutely enamored with the softness, the design, the lovely gauge of Bohus reproduction knitting.
My pace will unfortunately be slowed up by returning to work tomorrow after a lovely weekend. It included a bike ride and a run, both of which make me feel better about sitting on my bum and knitting while I watch the Olympics!
What are you sitting on your bum and knitting these days?
*For our readers who don’t spin and follow this sort of thing, the Tour de Fleece is a personal challenge set by many spinners, coinciding with the Tour de France.
**And the Ravellenic Games are likewise a personal knitting challenge, coinciding with the Olympics.