1

And relax…

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Sadly I had to give up the Tour de Fleece towards the end due to a very, very painful shoulder. I most probably over did it a bit on the spinning, but that’s me, go at it ‘hell for leather’ and suffer the consequences after!

I did manage to produce some yarns I am very proud of and once this shoulder heals or I find a way to work with it, I will go back and finish the yarns I started.

The one above is a merino and embroidery thread art yarn, only about 20g as it took some time. Inspired by the final day of The Tour, coming down the Champs Elysees at night and the wonderful display on the Arc de Triomphe.

Th yarn below is another Limegreenjelly hand dyed merino. This is the finest I have ever spun, so producing a 2 ply DK yarn, which belonged to me for all of 20 mins. A friend saw it hanging on the line drying and bought it!

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There is another I am half way through spinning, a grey Gotland fleece, I haven’t got photos of it yet, but it has the most wonderful curls that I didn’t want to loose, so I haven’t carded the fleece, but spun it as it is, it’s producing a slubby art yarn, silver grey and black. I can’t wait to show it off.

One thing I did learn during The Tour, is the existence of Spindolyns. It’s a drop spindle that spins in a base, so you can prep the fleece with two hands.

I’ve ordered one for my birthday!! Woohoo!!

So until then, I have a little relaxing time now, making clocks, and hats for various people….

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2

Buns and bikes and batts…oh my!

*fanning myself franticly!*

The Tour de France got on it’s way on Saturday evening and as always, the house goes a bit Tour mad…the poster of the route has gone up and Cycling Weekly will be bought and ITV4 will be on almost religiously for the next three weeks.

And of course the fibre and spindles are out too for the Tour de Fleece…where spinners all over the world have wheels moving as fast as Cavendish on a winning sprint…or, maybe not going by yesterdays performance!

That was a pretty impressive crash!

So what’s my plan of action for the Tour? Well, Cycling Weekly gave me an idea. On the front cover it poses the question “What type of Tour rider would you be?” Now, during the TDFKAL the “riders” would state which jersey they would be working towards, but in the Tour de Fleece, we don’t do this so I decided to see which kind of rider I would compare to instead.

hmmm..

Cycling Weekly suggests that sprint climbers need to propel themselves upwards so being a small or medium in size helps. Yep, sounds good to me, not sure about the stocky build and large quadriceps…(where are they again?) though.

Climbers have long legs and ferocious aerobic power…that’s me out then being a measly 4ft 11″!

Sprinters can be any size (cool) have a strong core (yep) and arm and shoulder strength…hmmm.

and then Time trialists…have narrow shoulders and a small frontal area…(uh yeah, that’ll be me then), flexible, yep,  and feel more comfortable in a low position. sounds perfect. So the aim of the Time Trialist? Fastest average speed…

So, this concludes that I shall keep spinning as much as possible, speeding up for the straight and slowing for the bends. I had intended to spin everything I have until I bought a load more fibre. So now I’m going for as much as possible as long as I keep going, no days off.

During the prologue I finished Jo’s “My Velocity” BFL/Seacell

Sadly after spinning so much on Saturday, I had great difficulty spinning on Sunday as my hands and arms were aching but I did manage 50g of a Merino/Alpaca/Camel and Mulberry silk blend, which was incredibly light and easy to spin, although it made me sneeze like …a big sneezey thing!

Now this beautiful fibre is now spun into DK weight singles I have aptly re-named “Velo” .

Purchased from Limegreenjelly

Chunnky singles. Merino/Alpaca/Camel/Mulberry Silk

Laceweight singles so far. BFL/Bamboo which I think I may ply with some Black Welsh tops.

It’s back to the doctors for me today. After being told I will have to wait 6 months to see a specialist about my legs, I’m pretty annoyed so a fair bit of…not shouting but a little more than gentle persuasiveness (oooh think i just made up a word) and get this sorted. Just some non drug induced sleep would be nice.

Good luck with the spinning and knitting everyone!

5

There She Goes My Beautiful World…

(Nick Cave)

Well that’s that then, the Tour de Fleece is over. It was great! I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. I feel my spinning has improved greatly, I have learned to navajo ply, spin fine, consistant singles and I’ve had a go at art yarn, though not very successfully I have to admit.

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I’ve also written a new pattern after discovering a neat little trick.

It’s quite a strange feeling after continuously watching the Tour on TV and spinning like a very spinny thing…to nothing. I have started some socks with a merino/solk blend that I beagan spinning at the beginning of the tour.

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The fibre was very kindly given to me by DeepSea Knitter.

And this one is next on the cards….

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This is 50% Faux Cashmere and 50% Silk,  “Cherry Kiss” from Limegreenjelly.I’ve also got some fibre coming from HappyNeedle which I’m really excited about but I’ll have to wait a while for that, it’s coming from the states.

During the passed two weeks it suddenly dawned on me why I began blogging in the first place…this whole internet community thing can seem a little wierd at times. Especially when you have stories in the media telling us it’s bad for our health and state of mind, people are going out less and all that…where I see where they are coming from and no doubt for some people it can be a bit of an obsession…but without the internest (I quite like that typo so I’m leaving it in) I’d still be knitting in secret, I’d have never even thought about spinning my own yarn, or I would have done but I’d still be crap at it!

I’d never have been in touch with people like Jo and the LimegreenJelly group,  Anne and Kath, all the Plurksibs, The Ravelry lot, the Mobbloggers without whom Jim wouldn’t have been able to cycle 300 miles and to everyone who reads my blog and takes the time to leave a comment.

And though I have a tiny little voice, I just wanted to say, no, shout,  thank you all, all of you are wonderful and helpful and fantastic!

So what’s next?

I’m waiting for the other half to get back from London then we’re going to stay in Bosherston for a bit where I’m going to be giving some spinning lessons. I’ve got plans to give a friend of a friend some lessons on a knitting machine and no doubt I will be doing some craft sessions at some point, but those are still to be planned.

At the moment I am being tested to see if I have Coeliacs disease, which is a bit of a pain…as we’re in a pretty small town gluten free stuff is hard to come by (and if anyone out there also needs a gluten free diet and has any tips…they will be greatfully received). It also means no more Riggwelter…the beer that is, or whiskey…Do they do gluten free ale? Hmmph!

And on that bombshell (sorry I’ve just been watching Top Gear)…see you soon.

6

Dipping into my “energy overdraft”

The first day of the Tour de France and Phil Ligit manages to get one of his famous Ligit-isms in straight away! Yes, it’s that time of year again when fibre freaks around the world don a pair of lycra shorts and tool of their choice. For two years I did the KAL, obtaining a Polka Dot Jersey both times. This year I’m going for my biggest challenge yet, but not with pointy sticks, oh no…this year I’m doing the Tour de Fleece.

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I am on Team Jelly Legs initially, also in Team Rookie and team Drop Spindle

I am planning to spin 400g of fleece and hopefully learn to navajo ply. So far I have spun 100g of the Merino/Silk that was in my last post. It was so easy to spin and looks wonderful as a yarn. I’ve left it in singles, as there are so many colours already in it, I think adding more would be too much.

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Next up is “Precious” from Jo at Limegreenjelly

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I am so very looking forward to spinning this BFL, the colours are just what I want right now.

As for the Tour de France…Armstrong, Wiggins and Cavendish are looking good (these are the guys I particularly look out for). Cadel Evans and Contador are looking good too…I wish all the guys the best of luck!

Watch this from YouTube

2

I’m Back!

I know, I’ve been away for such a long time with internet breakdown’s, lack of knitting to show you and just generally busy, but it seems I am getting back on track.

I’m now on a new computer, well no an old computer but no longer my laptop as it has been swiped by my husband who needed it more than me!

I’ve been concentrating mainly on getting this “Pembrokeshire Wildlife” exhibition going which I think is going to be great. I have an art competition going on with the local school and people from Nature Trust, and their friends, Misu Hughes a local artist, and all sorts…this is all being set up next Friday, just panicing now and hoping everyone will turn up!

I’m also trying to get a piece done myself, in crochet, for speed! I’ll show you photos once I can get the camera linked up to this computer.

What else?

I have signed up for the Tour de France KAL again this year, as it was so much fun last year. I’ve even taken on being a team leader. I’m going for the Polka Dot shirt again,

learning new techniques, not sure what yet though.

Now to catch up on everyones’s blogs!