Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Tour de Fleece 2011 - Chakra and alpaca question

Taking a break today from spinning purple fibre to work on my Charkra.

Maybe it's just sitting on the floor, or the stretch of the shoulders when you do the long draw. Whichever it is, I find this wheel really enjoyable to work on.

On a slightly related topic: do you think it is possible to wash Alpaca fibre in Cold water? There is very little grease in it, so I imagine that water temp is less important. And before you tell me what soap or detergent to use, I will use Orvus paste (due to allergies).

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Tour de Fleece 2011 - ply

Sometimes I feel like I'm cycling on one of those exercise bikes: stationary.

Right now there is so much else going on that it took three days just to spin one bobbin worth of singles. There is no noticeable decrease in the amount of fibre left to spin for this project... I just have to have faith that I am actually going to finish this one day.

But in the mean time, I thought I would ply today.

I like Navajo plying for sock yarn. If done properly it is easier than regular plying and makes a really smooth yarn. It also helps show off the colours of the wool to their full advantage.

As for mummy hen, she's still hanging on. She can drink on her own now, but still has internal bleeding. We will just have to wait and see.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Tour de Fleece 2011 - the crash

Yesterday on the Tour de France there was a moment when a spectator stepped out into the road into the mas of cyclists. A great tangle of bicycles and riders literally, piled up, delaying many of the top riders by over a minute.

My first day on the Tour de Fleece didn't go much better.

Thanks to the time difference, I settle down to watch the Tour de France in the pre-dawn light. The rhythm of my wheel counters the banter of the sports castors. I love this event because I get so much spinning accomplished in three short weeks. I suppose I get into a 'zone'.

Yesterday morning a hen came cooing at my window - far too early in the day for a chicken to be out of bed, especially if you consider that I hadn't unlocked the hen house yet. It turns out that someone else had unlocked it for me and helped themselves to a hen, several baby chicks and just about ripped off the head from my mummy chicken!

This hungry bandit was a raccoon.

I spent a great deal of time yesterday nursing mummy hen back to life. She has one chick still alive, so I hope she will pluck up the strength to pull through.

Since yesterday's spinning is so pathetically small, I decided to share a picture of mummy hen instead. I know she looks just awful, but truly, she is doing worlds better than yesterday.

She can open her other eye now and can stand up on her own for almost 20 seconds. She's far more alert but I'm still not certain if she is eating or drinking on her own yet. It's still touch and go, but hens are remarkable creatures, so I have hope.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Tour de Fleece 2011 - the start

I don't remember how many years I have participated in the Tour de Fleece now. But I tell you, I look forward to it all year.

The Tour de Fleece is an event that hundreds (maybe thousands) of spinners take part in. We spin yarn while the brave cyclists race the Tour de France. Every race day during those three weeks that the cyclists ride, we spin.

For me, this year has been a bit different. Life has been overwhelming! I feel buried beneath a mountain of fleece and other projects that need tackling yesterday.

My goal for the Tour de Fleece this year is to slowly plug away at some of these projects and hopefully by the end of the next three weeks, be less swamped by fibre.

If I am very lucky, I will be able to start spinning the fibre from my recently shorn alpacas!

Today I start spinning this Lovely fibre for a friend. She will me knit me socks, I will spin her sock yarn.