Tour de Fleece 2021 – First Win!

Yesterday, on the sixth day (or stage) of Tour de Fleece, I finished my first project! (If you missed my original list of goals for 2021, you can find them here.)

First Win of Tour de Fleece 2021! A Spanish Peacock supported spindle full of spun singles yarn.
First Win of Tour de Fleece 2021!

This was about .8 oz of merino-silk blend which had been hanging around forever not getting finished. There was nothing wrong with the fiber, I just continuously fell in love with new colors and new textures to spin!

I learned two crucial lessons during these first six days of Tour de Fleece 2021. First off, it takes me 6 days of pretty consistent spinning to get almost an ounce, i.e., it’s not my imagination that I am a very slow spinner even after all these years. Maybe we’ll call it “deliberate” or “methodical”, or even “meditative” (as a wise woman once suggested) rather than slow!

Second lesson: it’s a really, really, REALLY bad idea to wait so long between starting a spinning project and finishing it. I can’t say exactly how long I’ve been working on this four ounces of fiber but just look at the difference in consistency between these two spindles!

The problem with procrastination - inconsistent quality in singles
The problem with procrastination – inconsistent singles

OOOOOF. I had originally been planning to chain ply the singles yarns, because … well, my official story is that I am still practicing chain plying for last year’s Tour de Fleece spin. But in actuality, I didn’t plan this spin at all, so I have no idea how many ounces of fiber I have per spindle, and how on earth I would manage a three ply using four spindles.

The four spindles of my Tour de Fleece 2021 WIP 1
The four spindles of WIP 1

If I chain ply, I will (I think) get nice pops of blue and teal in a mostly brown yarn. But then about half the yarn will be lumpy and uneven where the singles on those lower two spindles are plyed back on themselves. I will have to make a two-ply yarn, and hope the nice, tight, even spin of my last two spindles balances out the haphazard, chaotic nature of the first two. Hopefully the colors don’t end up looking awful in the yarn like my mitt-a-long yarn did last year.

This is what happens when you spin just to spin, rather than actually designing your yarn. Even though I’m a process spinner, rather than a project spinner, I clearly need to plan better!

How is your Tour de Fleece going so far this year?

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