Tour de Fleece 2015 is over!   I am currently taking a few days off of spinning and trying to work on some knitting.   But, first things first, allow me to do a recap of my personal Tour de Fleece.

As posted in the last blog, I started out with the Ocean Depths colourway and ended up spinning my finest yarn yet, definitely in the fingering weight category.   I got over 1100yds of 2ply from about 10oz.    It’s so beautiful and I can’t wait to make it into a shawl.

I seriously can’t stop smooshing it.

All of the fibre I spun for Tour de Fleece was from Juliespins, and the next braid I had in mind was Monet’s Sketchbook.  Like Ocean Depths, it was 80% Merino and 20% Black Tussah Silk.   I absolutely loved spinning this blend, it was so soft and spun like butter.

Here is the braid before spinning.   The colour isn’t great in this photo but it’s a gradient of purples and blues to green.

I decided to fractal spin this.   Basically you divide the top (fibre) into however many sections you’d like and then divide each section more and more.   The above link gives a much better explanation of what fractal spinning is.   For Monet’s Sketchbook, I decided to make a 3-ply.   So, I divided the braid into 3 pseudo equal pieces, and the second section I divided into 3 pieces and the third section I divided into 6 pieces.

It looked so pretty on the bobbin.

I was very interested, and a little excited to see how this experiment of mine would turn out, and I was pretty thrilled.   This actually turned out to be one of my most favourite skeins I’ve spun so far.

On the skein winder


Finished.   390 yds, 3ply

With one week to go on Tour de Fleece, and plans to go to Calgary Folkfest on Saturday, I was feeling really intimidated.   All I had left to spin was the Tartan, 100% Shetland, but,  it was 15oz  – eeeeek!    In comparison, Monet’s Sketch and Ocean Waves had totalled about 16 oz between them and it took me two weeks to spin them.   I was aiming for a thicker, more worsted/bulky weight yarn with the shetland, so I hadn’t given up hope completely yet.

So, I did what any spinner would do in that situation and started spinning!   What a time that last week turned out to be – my dog had to have emergency surgery and the weather was pretty intense, including a couple of tornado warnings – but, I just kept spinning.    I divided the 3 braids I had into fibre to make 2 skeins,  gradient from purple to green.
And?  What do you know? I did it!  I will admit to doing some plying on the Monday morning after the Tour was technically over but I spun all the fibre I wanted to spin during Tour de Fleece.   Not a bad result for my first Tour, if I do say so myself.   I spun the same amount of days that the bikers did, I just took my rest days on different days and I challenged myself with both spinning finer and the fractal spin.   All in all, a resounding success.
Here are all my pretties:
If one were inclined to do the math, and I was, then the yardage spun totals were:
Ocean Depths – 1170 yds
Tartan – 685 yds
Monet’s Sketchbook – 390 yds
Total yardage including plying – 7125 yds
Total without plying – 4880 yds
What does that mean?   Well, it means that I did a helluva lot of spinning in three weeks and that just over FOUR miles of yarn passed through my fingers during Tour de Fleece.
As as bonus, I won some lovely fibre through my Team Canada team!   I’ll post a photo when I get it!