Today was the first day of the Ravelry Tour de Fleece (hereinafter called "TdF"). So I got up determined to get all my "must-do" chores out of the way so I could have the rest of the day to work on my fractal spinning project. The housework is just going to have to wait.
Slight detour on the chores... I just couldn't wait to get started. First order of business was to split the bump of Tropical Rainbow into sections for fractal spinning. . Although the colors are not what I would ordinarily choose, they are actually quite pretty - the photos don't do justice to it. When I unbraided it, I found that the colors are sequential - blue, green, yellow, orange, pink, purple - repeated 6.5 times. I think this will make a lovely fractal yarn.
Although I'm still a rank beginner at spinning, I like to try to be precise, so I did my best to make the first division as equal as possible. Not nearly as easy as it sounds. The piece weighed 3.85 ounces, and when I split it I wound up with once piece at 1.55 oz, and the other at 2.3. Split the 2.3 oz piece into four and got three .6 ounce pieces and one .5 ouncer. Debated about putting the smallest piece with the largest for the "big" half, but I doubt that I could have managed to keep the colors aligned. Then decided perhaps I would simply save that bit for later. The chances of me spinning two singles of relatively equal length even if the division was precisely even is nil, so I thought I would just set the smallest bit aside for a later date.
Then on to the must dos:
Pick up Tallulah's Fourth of July cards at Walmart. (Yes, my dog sends greeting cards to special friends on all major holidays). Check!
Pick up a case of Tallulah's food at the vet. (Tallulah has some food intolerances and requires a special diet.) Check!
Address and mail Tallulah's cards. Check!
I think I'm beginning to see a theme here...
Pick up prescriptions at the pharmacy. Check!
Toss a load of laundry in the washer. Check! But darn, I forgot about it and it's been sitting in the washer all day. Excuse me while I go finish the laundry...
The incentive to begin spinning makes me get my chores done in record time. By 10:30 I'm raring to go!
As it turned out, when I began to pre-draft one of the .6 oz. pieces, I quickly realized that I was dealing with a staple length that I haven't encountered before. So the extra bit turned out to be a good thing. I took the opportunity to spin that bit first, and had a chance to get acquainted with this fiber. I spent quite a bit of time spinning a little, stopping to check the twist, and fiddling with the tension and speed of the MS until it felt right. I still have a feeling I may be underspinning a little but whenever I check it looks ok so we'll see.
I'm adding the three .6 oz pieces to this -- since I'll be plying directly from the bobbin, the small bit will be at the end of what I'm plying and I probably won't even get to it before I run out of the big piece. It's really lovely to spin -- except for a couple of tiny slightly felted spots, it drafts more easily than anything I've spun yet. And it feels so soft running through my fingers.
Here are the five pieces -- in the midst of pre-drafting so they look like all random sizes.
Finally I sat on the back porch and started my spinning while Tallulah chased the birds and patrolled the perimeter of the yard. A very pleasant morning until the heat drove us both indoors. Since my porch is still loaded with plastic tubs full of fleece and assorted stuff, I cheated a little and took a photo of Bunny near the fountain. The sky really was that blue today!
You can't really see the yarn already on the bobbin, but at this point I had spun about a quarter of an ounce.
This Tropical Rainbow is a bit of lovely soft Corriedale top. I read up on this breed in The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook, which I highly recommend. The cool thing about this book is that you get the history of the breed, and there are tons of photos of the different fibers raw, washed, spun in different styles, and even swatched. Today I was excited to realize that I'm actually beginning to tell a difference between the several types fiber I've been spinning. Maybe I'm going to get the hang of this!
The afternoon just flew by. I alternated spinning with a bit of reading, catching up with email, a quick nap, and a dinner break, plus some quality time with Tallulah. I only stopped spinning for the day when I noticed a little ache in my wrist. Don't want to risk an injury this early in the competition!
So here's what I finished today. This is about 1.4 ounces, quite a bit more than I expected to finish today. Gotta get some rest so I can put another big dent in this project tomorrow.