Tour de Fleece 2019 – Week 1

Photo-heavy post! Rather than post daily progress of my Tour de Fleece 2019 spinning, I saved up photos for a week. Here are my results for week 1.

I know several folks who are participating in this same team who are using only hand spindles – no wheels – for the Tour. I’m not only using hand spindles, I’m using supported spindles. Spanish Peacock ones, of course! I’ll be a bit slower than everyone else, but my personal goal is to spin or ply daily. This will be a major spinning workout for me.

The team I joined, organized by Patty of Budding Creek Farm, had specific challenges for each day. Some days I played along with the challenge, other days I just kept spinning whatever work in progress (WIP) I already had going.

Day 1 – Spin something easy. I already had a spinning WIP, the Peach Gummies combo spinning project I mentioned a while back. Rather than start something new, I took a photo of where I started that day…

My spinning at the beginning of Tour de Fleece 2019 day 1
My spinning at the beginning of Tour de Fleece 2019

…and a photo of where I left off. This is being spun laceweight, so it’s very, very slow going!

Tour de Fleece 2019 - day 1 spinning progress
Tour de Fleece 2019 – day 1 spinning progress

Day 2 – Time trial. We were supposed to see how much yardage we could spin in 15 minutes. I didn’t have any good way to tell where I started and stopped for 15 minutes, since I was in the middle of a project. So I just kept spinning.

Tour de Fleece 2019 - day 2 spinning progress
Tour de Fleece 2019 – day 2 spinning progress

Day 3 – Thinner than usual. Haha. I just kept spinning. I had to start a second spindle, luckily my favorite bead was free.

Tour de Fleece 2019 - day 3 spinning progress
Tour de Fleece 2019 – day 3 spinning progress

Day 4 – Spin something easy. I just kept spinning. I had a lot of time, since we took Peachick #1 to the airport for a trip to Europe through her high school.

 Tour de Fleece 2019 - day 4 spinning progress
Tour de Fleece 2019 – day 4 spinning progress

Day 5 – Spin thicker than usual. I decided to try this challenge, since one of my frustrations with my spinning is that the resulting yarn is too thin for anything but dainty little lace shawls or scarves. Thicker yarn would be wonderful! I started a whole new spindle and fiber for this, because I didn’t want to spin thick in the middle of my Peach Gummies punis! And yes, of course I coordinated the colors between my spindle and my fiber! The fiber is the “Crushed Velvet” colorway in superwash merino top from Knittyandcolor.

Tour de Fleece 2019 - day 5, trying to spin something thicker than usual
Tour de Fleece 2019 – day 5, trying to spin something thicker than usual

Day 6 – Some people on the team opted to get a kit, and today’s challenge was to spin from bag #1 of the kit. Since I was focusing on stash busting, I did not buy the kit. I continued spinning thick to challenge myself. I had more time in the car as we took Peachick #2 to the airport for a trip to visit her grandparents.

Tour de Fleece 2019 - day 6. So pleased with my spinning, I took it out for a beer.
Tour de Fleece 2019 – day 6. So pleased with my spinning, I took it out for a beer.

Here is the results and the end of day 6. The photo makes the fiber look more blue than it really is. I may have to start another spindle… I wonder where I can get another one, hmmmm.

Tour de Fleece 2019 - day 6 progress. The photo doesn't show the colors correctly.
Tour de Fleece 2019 – day 6 progress. The photo doesn’t show the colors correctly.

Day 7 – Spin something easy, or spend the day plying. I opted for plying, and tried to record the process for a new YouTube video on using the Spanish Peacock Supported Spindle Plying Stand. I say “tried to record” because it was a series of small disasters! We’ll see whether or not I recorded any usable footage!

Tour de Fleece 2019 - day 7 plying on my Supported Spindle Plying Stand
Tour de Fleece 2019 – day 7 plying on my Supported Spindle Plying Stand

From a productivity management perspective, Tour de Fleece is a struggle because I now have two spinning WIPs so I could try one of the challenges. Tomorrow (Day 8) is a “spin thin and thick” and I certainly don’t want to inflict that on either of my current WIPs. Do I play along or not? But why be part of a team, if you aren’t going to do (at least some of) the challenges?

Also I am working on Angelique less because evening times when I would have knitted, I am spinning instead.

Speaking of Angelique, I made it to row 18 before Tour de Fleece started. After talking to a friend and fellow knitter, I am going to try reading the chart for the next several rows to see if that is easier for me. She shared that she had struggled with a particular lace shawl until she switched to using the chart. I almost always use written instructions rather than charted ones, so we’ll see how this goes!

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