Friday, July 22, 2011

make more and make it faster

It is so hot here. Too hot to spin because the wool sticks to my sweaty fingers.

Better to spend the day cooling off in the river, which btw, was still cold and too high and swift for me to actually get some "real swimming" accomplished, but it was very refreshing!


Cooled off and back at the cabin, my Tour de Fleece Challenge of spinning the 3 lbs. of Shetland Samples mocked me. What I need, I thought to myself, is a good old antique Double Flyer Spinning Wheel. Those machines can spin twice as much yarn at one time.

I don't own an good old DFW...but I do have more than one me crazy..or maybe I was out in the hot sun too can be done! Just push two wheels together and add a distaff! This one is dressed with nice fluffy wool from Punkin's Patch.

I'm thinking of running away to join the circus when it comes to town. Maybe I can take this act on the road... ;-)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

recap and red raspberries

Still spinning shetland samples!

This week "Sass" was on the wheels...


There were 3 years of Sass...09 (lamb) '10 and '11. Lots to learn from.


and then there was Mandy...


She looks so pretty...but oh..I worked hard for this yarn.

And I worked hard for these berries too! riverrim red raspberries&blueberries with chocolate mint.



Monday, July 11, 2011

taking the tour

Photobucket 22 Shetland Samples ready to spin

The Tour De Fleece is in full cycle, and I have joined several teams. Team Spindle Wheel, Team Antique Spinning Wheels aka Team Russian Underpants, and Team My Favorite Sheep. For my overall challenge, I have decided to spin all of my Shetland Samples over the twenty-two day span. It works out perfectly. I have approximately 22 samples to accomplish. The samples have been scoured and weighed and on average consist of approximately 2 ounces per sample. On days that the Tour de France is riding, I will be prepping and spinning a sample.

Photobucket Shetland Sample Moorit Lamb picked and drummed day6.

The best laid plans are subject to change. So far, there have been days that I have not had time to spin, so I just prep. And days that I haven't been able to get to a wheel, so I use a spindle. For the most part, I'm still in the race.

Photobucket Shetland Sample Moorit Lamb Great Wheel spun & plied day8.

When I finish a stage of spinning, I photograph my work and make notes about my time. Then I post it to my Team Group Thread on Ravelry. Some of the photographs of the yarn being made during the TdF are amazing..and I'm really happy to be participating in this, it is lots of fun!

Photobucket day 9~ Shetland “RiverBend Dahlia”~

For notes might look like this for day 9... 1.5 oz. woolen prep on handcards with long draw CPW spin = 2hr.&44min. ply singles = 40 min. 142yds. of 2ply @ 16 wpi total time = 3hr. 24min. 44 seconds

As part of my challenge, I am learning how to use and design an Excel Spread Sheet. My brother has been a wealth of information and help with formulas. He likes to ride, so he enjoys watching the Tour De France. I explained to him about the Tour De Fleece, and I asked him to help me create a spread sheet...he did ...And I LOVE my spreadsheet!

My brother separated it into: Stages Completed, Cumulative Prep & Spin Time, Cumulative Spin Time, Cumulative Yards Produced, Best Stage Total Time, Average Time Spinning per Stage, Average Time in Yards per Minute. For each Stage, I put in the data…(date, sheep sample name for the stage)…grab my stop watch and spin, spin, prep and spin! Each stage has its own spot for entering prep time, spin time, and yards produced per stage and total time of stage.


I’m using today’s “rest day” to enter data. I’m not finished yet…I have to wind and count yardage on the spindles that I did earlier in the week when I was away from home…but the yards are adding up. So far, I have over 500yds produced. (I forgot to tabulate for singles and ply…have to tweek that ….)

This spread sheet is part of my TdF challenge. Since I spin for commissioned work (mostly alpaca) I wanted a good way to keep accurate track of my time spent for each project. The excel spread sheet is the answer. It really helps me see where I can improve..or pick up the pace!

I thought the yellow he used was a nice touch ;-). He really is the best brother for helping me learn how to do this! Thanks K!

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