Category Archives: TourDeFleece2012

Le Tour de Fleece 2012: Day Twenty-One

As well as being the last day of the Tour de France today was also the day of the Singleton Rare Breeds show. Here is the view across to the show rings while the set-up was going on:

There were lots of animals to look at, including some very cute alpacas:

I was delighted to find some Southdown sheep since that is the breed of fleece I am spinning with at the moment, they look like teddy bears πŸ™‚

There were lots and lots of sheep, from the very large like these black Wensleydales:

To the really pretty tiny, like these Castlemilk Moorits (I hope I have identified these right, I failed to include their sign in the photo).

There was also a section for fleeces and handspun, where my friend Lisa won a very well deserved two rosettes for her spinning. Well done Lisa! There were lots of lovely things on display, I’m afraid I was so busy looking at them that I failed to take any pictures in the handspun tent.

I did buy a little bit of fibre, this is a mixture of merino with a bit of trilobal nylon which makes it sparkly.

The weather was the best it has been for months. I think it is the first time this summer I have worn suncream and my sunhat in this country!

This evening I spun a bit more of the purple Southdown while we watched the last stage of the Tour. I am now part way through the second bobbin.

Today’s coin is an Isle of Man pound for Mark Cavendish’s win. What a great tour this has been for the Brits!

And this is a pile of all of the yarn I finished during the tour, I had spun about three-quarters of the singles of the brown alpaca before the tour started.

Altogether there is 1545g and 3427m. Not bad really! I think I shall have a lie-in tomorrow πŸ™‚

Le Tour de Fleece 2012: Day Twenty

We have had a lovely couple of days. Yesterday we went over to my in-laws and watched yesterday’s stage of the Tour in HD (which we don’t have at home). The scenery was beautiful, and the HD makes it very detailed, the only difficulty is it does make our telly look a bit rubbish in comparison πŸ™‚ We had fun spotting the places we had visited as they cycled through. My in-laws have been holidaying in the Dordogne region for many years and so recognised quite a lot of places, one year the Tour even came past the campsite they stay at! I have only been down to that area once, but it was still fun to recognise Rocamadour, one of the very impressive towns built into the side of a hill.

Then in the evening we went up to Stratford to see A Comedy of Errors at the RSC. It was great fun, very well done, and my face hurt from laughing by the end. I love the theatre they have built, this play was in the main theatre, we had excellent seats, and with the audience on three sides of the stage you really feel part of the action.

Today we had a lovely lunch, then watched the cycling time-trial again in HD and then came home. A very enjoyable couple of days.

I have done a little bit of spinning this evening, this is the first bobbin of the Southdown I started yesterday. I forgot to mention yesterday that I bought this fibre from HilltopCloud, and the colour is called Crushed Plum.

Today’s coin is a UK one pound, the Brits have been having an excellent Tour, with Cav winning yesterday, and Bradley and Chris coming first and second today. In case you are interested this is actually a Gibraltar pound.

Le Tour de Fleece 2012: Day Nineteen

I’m looking forward to today’s racing. They are going close to an area we have been to on holiday which always makes it quite fun.

Today I started spinning some Southdown fibre. This is the first time I have tried this breed. It is quite different to the merino blends I have been spinning recently, but good fun, and quite springy.


Apologies for the photo being on its side. I am having an iPad fail. Today’s coin is a US 5 cent, another random coin I liked the look of πŸ™‚

Le Tour de Fleece 2012: Day Eighteen

Happy birthday to my father-in-law Dave! We are in a season of family birthdays at the moment, it is a bit like having another Christmas πŸ™‚

Another mountainous stage for the cyclists, though unfortunately their weather looks rather like ours at the moment and not the lovely sunshine they had yesterday. They are probably glad that it is not quite so hot, but not thrilled about the rain. We have only got part way through today’s coverage but hopefully will catch up with them tomorrow.

I realised that I haven’t shown my new flyer I bought for my wheel and have been using for the last week, here is my spinning from earlier today:

This picture also clearly shows the two different shades of navy in the fibre before the spinning. The new flyer is the E-system fine fibre flyer (say that three times fast!) and is ceramic lined which makes it very smooth. Although I love the versatility of the delta flyer that came with the wheel, the new flyer allows you to spin at different angles which I think will be handy when I have more of a go at longdraw.

Since I took that photo I have finished spinning the singles of the navy merino, and also finished the plying!

This is a 3ply, and I am hoping it will be suitable for socks. Today’s coin is a slightly random choice because we haven’t finished watching the stage yet so I haven’t been able to choose a relevant one. It is a Brazilian 25 centavos. I’m not sure whether there are any Brazilian riders in the race this year, but I thought the coin was interesting πŸ™‚

Le Tour de Fleece 2012: Day Seventeen

A day with lots of mountains for the cyclists. It looks like it is hot in the Pyrenees, it has been cool and wet here, luckily ideal weather for staying indoors and doing a bit of spinning while I watch the lovely scenery on the telly. They cycled through an area I have never been to before, and it does look very beautiful and very dramatic. More places to add to the holiday list!

I have spun another bobbin of the navy merino.

In the daylight I can spot that there are two shades of navy, and I really like the effect it is creating. I am looking forward to seeing how this will look plied (I am planning to 3ply it), and then knitted.

Today’s coin is a 50p, as the UK is still 1 and 2 on the general classification, and I have run out of French coins to celebrate Thomas Voeckler’s win πŸ™‚

I’m feeling a bit under the weather with this cold, but it isn’t too bad luckily, and I think the tea and spinning are definitely helping πŸ™‚

Le Tour de Fleece 2012: Day Sixteen

Today was the start of the National Exhibition of the Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners, and Dyers, so I popped down to the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum this morning to see the exhibition.

Lots of amazing stuff! Very varied and inspiring. It is being held in the gridshell building which is lovely and light and airy and a very interesting space.

I have done a bit of spinning this evening while we watched the cycling. We are only part way through today’s coverage, there is a rest day tomorrow so hopefully we shall catch up then. I found it hard getting into the rhythmn of my spinning this evening, I think I am a bit tired.

This is some navy merino from Wingham. There are actually two shades of navy mixed together, but once I have spun it I am finding it jolly hard to see the two colours and it just seems to blend to one. Hopefully it is a slightly more interesting one πŸ™‚

Today’s coin is a Β£2.

Le Tour de Fleece 2012: Day Fifteen

Happy Birthday today to my mother-in-law Monica! She has got a new tapestry loom for her birthday which I am looking forward to seeing. We have had a nice day here catching up with the cycling, and in my case doing a bit of spinning. Rather shocking to hear that all the punctures today were caused by tacks on the road.

I plied up my merino / silk, and had a bit of a winding failure, so this is now in two skeins. I am planning on making socks with this, and the two skeins are roughly equal so actually having two rather than one isn’t a crisis πŸ™‚

Today’s coin is a German 50 Cent for AndrΓ© Greipel’s win yesterday, I’m afraid I don’t have any Spanish coins for Luis-Leon Sanchez’s win today.

I also finished weighing and measuring the alpaca /merino I finished spinning last week:

I have a total of 1025g, and 2208m, and it is a bit thicker than a 4ply knitting weight. I am planning to knit the Vitamin D cardigan, having seen those knitted by Joanne and Chrissy at knitting group. I should have plenty of yarn, and even have enough to make it a bit longer if I would like.

Le Tour de Fleece 2012: Day Fourteen

First off, Happy Birthday Nanny Ashby! (my one remaining grandparent), 99 today! Also happy Bastille Day.

On my travels out and about today I spent some fun time at Fibre East. I had a lovely look round at everything and had a go on a Spinolution Bee, and a great wheel! I was not too bad on the Bee, and pretty rubbish with the great wheel, but it was good fun and has spurred me on to have a proper go at longdraw on my wheel. The best bit of the day was all the lovely people. It was so nice to catch up with people I haven’t seen in a while and meet new people too (hello Margaret!), and also to put faces to names I have been chatting with or buying things from on the internet.

The weather was a bit squelchy and there was a bit too much mud for me, I am a big wimp! But luckily it wasn’t torrential rain during the day and it actually stopped raining and warmed up by the time I headed home. Thank you for the tips Anna on driving in the mud, I got out of the car park with no problems. My shoes are drying out in the porch, although I was impressed that my feet stayed dry, and my trousers are in the wash as I write. I hope the stand holders didn’t get their stock too muddy, there were some very wet bits of the marquees.

We have been catching up with the cyclists this evening, but are still only part way through today’s coverage. I have finished spinning the singles of merino / silk. Tomorrow I shall ply it.

Today’s coin is a 50p. Well done to David Miller for yesterday’s win.

Le Tour de Fleece 2012: Day Thirteen

Today was the longest stage for the cyclists, with some stunning scenery. We have only managed to watch half of it so far, hopefully we will catch up tomorrow.

I’m afraid the spinning is a bit samey, another single of teal merino / silk. This is nice to spin, and it has been nice spinning some 100g amounts for the instant gratification after the 1kg of alpacaΒ  / merino!

Today’s coin is a Β£2. Yesterday’s single is in the background.

Le Tour de Fleece 2012: Day Twelve

Another exciting day of cycling in the mountains, and another great win for the French and Europcar.

I have started spinning some merino / silk in teal from Wingham. I’m not sure whether this is the end of a run, but the silk doens’t seem to be as well blended as it has been with other colours of this blend that I have spun before. Hopefully it will just make for an interesting tweedy look in the finished yarn.

Today’s coin is a Β£1. I have run out of interesting French coins (sorry Pierre Rolland – today’s winner), so thought I would use a British coin to celebrate that Bradley is still in yellow and that Chris has I think moved up a place in the General Classification.

On a tip from the Knitty blog I have been experimenting with using Tyvek wristbands (the kind they use at festivals) as yarn labels. The big advantage over paper is that they are washable, so I have been investigating writing on them with my permanent markers to see which ones run when washed.

Interestingly the red, and the thick black pens have run a bit, but the others seem fine, and none of them seem to have changed colour. I am interested to see whether you could use these labels when dyeing skeins, or whether the wristband would take up the dye and would obscure the writing. I must have another dyeing session soon and find out.