Tour de Fleece

I’m not supposed to sit for long. And my hips hurt today as a result. But yesterday I did some spinning and joined into the fun of Tour de Fleece. Where we spin our wheels as the cyclists spin theirs in de Tour de France.

Wolbeest’ Rhubarb rolls. I’m spinning them back to back, which gives longer colour repeats.

I watched the etappe of the day before, which was over cobblestones to Roubaix, in very dry weather. Dust everywhere!

Dusty Dutchmen:
tour de fleece spinning wool handpspuntour de fleece spinning wool handpspuntour de fleece spinning wool handpspun

A good man won, Degenkolb.
He was very manly and showed his emotions:
tour de fleece spinning wool handpspun

Me and Lillepoes enjoyed our views:
tour de fleece spinning wool handpspun tour de fleece spinning wool handpspun


Tour de France, Tour de Fleece!

The Tour de France has started today!
La Grand Depart actually is in Utrecht, one of the cities I used to live in.
The city also where Dick Bruna lives, illustrator of Miffy:
Miffy_20Knitting_large.jpg pic by Stevie Nixed, art by Dick Bruna

nijntje tour 2015 pic by anp

I got in the spirit of things and took some wheels and some wool from the wool room. Just a little bit…

Convenient to have everything out here because now I could make up the guest bedroom in the wool room and sleep there. It’s way too hot in the attic where I usually sleep. We’re having a heat wave in the Netherlands!

Today I sat inside, watched a little bit of tv and spun some wool. Little bits of green.

I even finished one skein!

60 meters out of 20 grams of fauxlags.

But now I’m closing up shop, it’s way too hot in here.
Here’s today’s collage:

Tour de Fleece end collage


and what do you know: it’s the day after the Tour ended and I’m spinning green. Finally!

On the other wheel the Fairy hair is still in progress. It deserves to be spun with love and attention, not in a hurry.

When it’s finished I will resume spinning the Gnome batt.

It will be Summer for a while yet here and me and my wheels will be outside  🙂

Finished yarn!

This is how 1355 gram and 503 m of sturdy rug yarn looked like late last night:

It fitted just so on the big bobbin of the Ashford Country Spinner!
The capacity is limited by the space between the core and the flyer holding the hooks. You can see there’s a little bit room left but probably for 10 meters of yarn max.

I spend the last two days just plying. Pffff!
First I plied the singles together into a yarn and then I plied that yarn with the yarn I showed you earlier. It was a lot of treadling!

Here’s me, stepping happily onto the veranda early morning on Thursday:
“Yes, finished all the singles! That whole mountain of white fluff is now gone!”

Let’s start plying!

As I needed one of these bobbins to ply the new yarn onto one of these singels had to be relocated.

I dragged my other wheel onto the veranda, the Louet S70, and treadled the yarn from the CS2 bobbin onto a Louet bobbin. It was just threadling, I added no twist.
I chose the single that had spend the most time onto the bobbin and would have lost some of its active twist already. Otherwise pulling a single with lots of active twist from a bobbin will make it twist back on itself and curl and dance and annoy me, especially on early mornings.

(Especially on this Thursday morning. The sleep psychologist encouraged me to start an experiment where I get out of bed by 6 AM. To improve the quality sleep. It’s shown to work in 80% of cases. Thursday morning was the first morning of the experiment. So no. No twisty singles for me.)

I bypassed the orifice from the Country Spinner and also removed its belt from the bobbin. This way it spun freely and I wouldn’t have to work against the friction of the orifice nor the belt. I did put the brake on firm so the flight would be stationary, not getting its hooks into my single. (past experience, lots of morning moods)

As it’s a heavy bobbin it won’t release the yarn too fast either and thus I expected a smooth threadle experience.
I did have some trouble keeping the supply even though. Sometimes the bobbin would spin too fast and if I did not speed up my treadling instantly the single would wind back up onto the bobbin the wrong way making the yarn attached to the active wheel go ZONK! when it ran out of yarn (while I had just upped the speed considerably). Luckily it never broke.
But let’s just say it was not very zen like treadling that morning.

I got there, I got all the single onto the Louet bobbin. Even though I used the lesser filled bobbin of the Country Spinner the single filled the Louet bobbin to the brim:

That’s 500 m of Heideschaap singles on a Louet bobbin. These S70 bobbins have the same dimensions as the modern S10 bobbins, only they’re made from solid oak.
Looking back I’d say there’s about 335 grams of wool on this bobbin and it could have fitted a little more. Maybe another 25 grams? Again: bulk it up until the wings of the flyer graze the wool too much.

After a little lie down and a lunch which involved chocolate ganache and whipped cream I set up for plying the two singles into a yarn.
It was to become a 3 ply yarn, adding a commercial yarn -it’s in the box-, and wrapping it with a silk thread -on the floor before the box-:

That’s truly and thoroughly Tour de Fleece Plying

It took hours… as does a day in the Tour.
More ganache and whipped cream were called for.

Halfway through I needed to use the last of the commercial yarn which was still on the skein. I brought my umbrella thingy out onto the veranda and started to wind it into a ball until I got smart:

Plying directly from the umbrella swift. It’s the chocolate that brings on the smart, I’m sure.

On the table you see the first yarn I made. It’s waiting there patiently for it’s brother to be created. They will be plied together into a cabled yarn.

hours and hours.

Then I ran out of the silk thread. I knew I must have plied about a 1000 m in total now as that’s how much was on the silk cone.
I still had some singles left but without the silk it just wouldn’t match the yarn I already made. Especially when I dye it which I plan to. The silk adds lustre.
So the rest of the Heideschaap I made into a 3ply, not adding extra twist as I had done previous. This 3 ply gets no additional plying, it’s finished yarn.

Nice round yarn, made up of my two singles and some Bergå Møbelgarn which had the same weight and was a single too.

170 grams, 138 m, 3 ply, aran weight.

Finally I got there and filled me another big bobbin of yarn! It was late at night so I didn’t take a picture.
I fell into bed. Knowing I had to get up at 6 AM the next morning.

Friday. Final plying set up:

It was the hottest day of the year. I didn’t feel like watching the tour, I just sat on the veranda and threadled.

The cat melted during the day:

that evening I was nearly done:

nearly there….. treadle treadle

the last bit of plying really tangled up my patience:

But I got there!

And this is how 1355 grams and 500 m of spun Heideschaap looks this morning:

Texture of the cabled yarn:

Tour de Fleece 2014

Tour de Fleece has started!
During the Tour de France spinners world wide will let their wheels spin too. And their spindles.
Each night we’ll come together in some virtual place on Ravelry or Twitter and post pictured from our wooly accomplishments of that day.

Pip the wooden spinning horse is purring, while the cat’s snoring. I’m wearing ear mufflers because the Dutch commentary is annoying. That’s why, as soon as I post this, we’ll switch over to Belgian TV. Belgium knows cycling!

During the first few hours of the tour I filled one bobbin with around 250 grams of Heideschaap:

Tour de Fleece

The Tour de France has started. Around the world, all kinds of spinners are spinning their wheels and worls also: Tour de Fleece .

During the tour we are spinning fibres and we are sharing what we do in pictures and posts all over the internet but mostly on Ravelry.

I have prepared a lovely mountain of purple dyed fleece. This is a Swifter Texelaar mix. Dyed by Lia from

I have combed out the tips and the white coarsier hairs (used a dog comb) and have started spinning.

Trying out drafting from the fold:

But settling for drafting from the grow tips. For a smoother thread.

It will be a 2 ply, about the thickness of DK.

Although the locks are pretty long and the majority of it is dyed fuchsia, the thread ends up much darker. The dark tips wrap around the thread, darkening it.

the locks are all well over 10 cm/4″. Closer to 15 cm I think (6″)

This is my wheel. A Louet S70. All solid oak, including the bobbins. I very much like this wheel, it has character. It is also great for sitting outdoors. It is a good wheel.