Saturday, 29 June 2013

Tour de Fleece 2013

I think I might have mentioned that I wasn't going to take part in the Tour de Fleece.  I thought I'd maybe spin a bit without bothering to post photos and join in with the chat on Ravelry.  It's why I've not really talked about it on the blog.  If you've never heard of this spinning challenge that takes place alongside the Tour de France, then you are probably not a spinner.  I mentioned my decision not to take part on Yarn Raising's Ravelry board and Melia told me that there were amazing prizes for taking part and it was well worth just posting a photo every now and again.  So finding out I didn't need to post photos every day meant I somehow managed to end up joining the Rookies Team and Team Hilltop Cloud, because that is the fibre I'm currently spinning.

So here is today's progress, which I did whilst watching the start of the Tour de France kick off.  It's great that ITV4 has got such good coverage and I'm sure I will get to watch a lot of the race during the next few weeks.  I don't know much about road racing, but I hope to pick up a lot as I watch.

Tour de Fleece 2013 - Day 01

I feel like my spinning is definitely improving and I think that monitoring it over the course of the Tour will show me how I'm doing.

To accompany my spinning, I have decided to cast on a project that uses some of the handspun I've already made.  I have heard that it is better to knit your handspun yarn as soon as possible, because as you improve your technique, the less you enjoy knitting up the early yarn!  So, I have cast on the lovely coloured Beach yarn that I spun from The Yarn Yard Superwash BFL.

The pattern I have chosen is from Knitty, First Fall 2012.  The pattern is Unleaving by Lee Juvan.  It is a pattern that is designed for handspun yarn and is a narrow shawl that is knit sideways, in garter stitch with a lace panel down one side.

I have managed 3 repeats of the chart so far.

Unleaving 01

After knitting this small amount, I can see why people suggest knitting early handspun yarn soon after it is spun.  This yarn is very loosely plied.  It's actually an education knitting this yarn, because I can see what I did wrong with it.  The lose plying means that the strands are not bound tightly enough to each other and it is very easy to split the yarn and it will be easily damaged.  However, it is still rather wonderful to be knitting something from my handspun yarn, and each time I do it, I will learn more.

I am not planning on updating each day with my Tour de Fleece progress, but I'm hoping when I do I don't bore the non-spinners too much ;-)


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