Spinzilla 2017 Is Done

Spinzilla 2017 ended on October 8th, and although I didn’t quite match my yardage from Spinzilla 2015, I did pretty damn well this year.

All the yarn was spun from Sweet Georgia fiber club selections. I spun and plied it all on my Schacht Flatiron except for one skein that was spun on the Flatiron but plied on my Schacht Ladybug.

The Sweet Georgia Spinzilla team was great. The moderator ran the Ravelry Group and team to perfection. She was supportive and kind, as were all the team members. And as if it wasn’t enough that we all got to be part of such a great team, Sweet Georgia (aka Felicia Lo) sent me this to thank me for being on the team.

Yes, that’s a braid of fiber and a water bottle. There is also a card included with a coupon code.

The other side of the water bottle. I love that it’s in Sweet Georgia’s signature color, hot pink.

Really, I should be thanking her (and did thank her) for welcoming me to the Sweet Georgia team. It was an honor and a privilege to represent Sweet Georgia Yarns during Spinzilla.

I don’t think I’ll be doing Spinzilla again. It’s just a little too intense for me. But I don’t regret participating this year.

Post-TDF Spinning 

I will soon have some knitting to share with yinz, but until then, here’s some spinning for your viewing pleasure.

Spunky Eclectic Carpe Diem on Farmer’s Woolpool Sheepswool from the March 2017 Spunky Club. It’s a 2-ply that I spun on my Ashford Traveller and plied on my Schacht Ladybug.

Spunky Eclectic TACO on Polwarth from the November 2017 Spunky Club. This is another 2-ply that I spun on my Schacht Flatiron and plied on my Ladybug.

Last but not least is another Spunky fiber, from the June 2017 Spunky Club in the color way Cold Feet on Cheviot. Mmmmm. Cheviot. I am spinning it on the Flatiron and I hope to end up with a 2-ply sock yarn.

Tour De Fleece 2017 Day 20 Stage 18

Tomorrow is the final day of the Tour de Fleece and all I have left to do is wind my final project off the bobbin. Of course, all the yarn I made during the Tour still needs to be washed and measured.

Into The Whirled Elevenses in the Shire Cheviot singles are awaiting plying.

And this is Elevenses in the Shire after I plied it on my Schacht Matchless.

ITW North of the Wall 2-ply. This is the fiber that I spun supported long draw to make a nice woolen-spun yarn.

ITW Zephyr fractal 2-ply is all skeined up and ready to be washed.

Preparations Have Begun TdF 2017

Today was another gorgeous day in Pittsburgh. The past few days we have had sunshine, with highs in the upper 70s and low humidity. If summer weather was always like today, summer just might be my favorite season. But sadly, the norm is hot and humid. Yuck! So I am going to enjoy the pleasant weather while I can, and what better way to pass a beautiful day than to prepare my spinning wheels for the start of the Tour de Fleece 2017, which begins on Sunday.

I gave both my Schacht Matchless and my Schacht Ladybug a thorough cleaning. I don’t use anything fancy, just plain tap water with a couple of drops of Dawn dishwashing liquid added. I used a microfiber cloth soaked in the water and then wrung out so it’s just damp, not dripping wet, to wipe down the surfaces of the wheel, then dried it with a dry microfiber cloth. Remember, water is the sworn enemy of wood.

To get the treadles extra clean, I used a little piece of 0000 steel wool and some mineral spirits. This removes all the dirt, grease, and grim that accumulates on the treadles, including footprints if you spin in your bare feet. I always wear socks when I spin, but the treadles still get dirty. After wiping off the mineral spirits with a shop towel, I applied two coats of clear Danish oil to the treadles, following the directions on the can. I used shop towels to apply the Danish oil and also to wipe off the excess.

The next step was to check all the screws in both wheels to make sure everything is tight and secure. I only had one loose screw on the Matchless, which is probably indicative of how little I have used her since I got the Flatiron. The screws on the Ladybug were all ship-shape. All that is left to do is to cut and tie a new drive band for the Matchless, and I’ll be ready to go.

The Flatiron is currently in use, so she didn’t get the spa treatment today. She will probably have to wait until after the TdF to get a thorough cleaning. But she will be getting a new drive band before the race begins.

I’m pretty excited about the TdF this year. If it goes well, who knows? I might give Spinzilla another go come October.

The Matchless after a thorough cleaning, waiting for a coat of Danish oil to soak in

A close up of the left treadle after the second coat of Danish oil had been wiped off. It looks so nice!

The Matchless striking a post after her spa treatment

Now it’s the Ladybug’s turn.

These treadles also got a thorough cleaning with mineral spirits and two coats of Danish oil.

You can see how much the maple wood has darkened on my Ladybug’s MOA (mother of all). The lighter spot is where the front maiden sits on the MOA and protects it from the light.

I went through a lot of nitrile gloves today.

Schacht sisters are all cleaned up and ready to race.

The Tour De Fleece Is Here Again!

It started on Saturday with the start of the Tour de France. It’s the Tour de Fleece 2016! This year I plan to spin as many different varieties of sheep wool from my stash as I can in 24 days.

Yes, this is all fiber from my stash, and every single bit is either Spunky Eclectic or Into The Whirled. And, yes, this represents less than half of what is in my fiber stash. No, I’m neither embarrassed nor ashamed. My fiber stash is nowhere near S.A.B.L.E.

These are all fibers from Into The Whirled. Starting at the bottom left, we have superwash Merino and Cheviot, and in the back, left to right, we have Falkland, Targhee, and English Shetland.

From Spunky Eclectic, there is Romney, BFL, Corriedale, Wensleydale, Manx Laoghton, and Icelandic.

That’s eleven 4-ounce bumps of wool. It’s unlikely that I can spin all of that in the 12 days of the Tour de France/Fleece, but I plan to spin and ply as much of it as I can.

In the first two days, I’ve gotten a lot of spinning done.

These singles were spun on Day 1 from Spunky Eclectic Wensleydale in Island Dreams, and I will be plying them together to make a lace weight yarn. Doesn’t Wensleydale have a lovely luster? It has a nice halo, too, but you cannot see it very well in this picture.

In addition to the Wensleydale on the left–can you see the lovely halo?–I also spun part of a bump of English Shetland from ITW in a colorway called Studio West spun up. That’s a lot of spinning for Day 1.

On Day 2, I finished spinning the English Shetland from ITW. I did a fractal spin, so when I ply the two singles together, I will get a 2-ply yarn with a subtle striping effect.

On Day 2 I also started spinning a bump of Romney from Spunky Eclectic. The colorway is Little Bluebird. For this yarn, I decided to divide the bump into 8 strips and spin two bobbins of 4 strips each. I will then ply the singles together to make a 2-ply yarn.

That’s the English Shetland on the left, the Romney on the right. So far all of my spinning has been done on my Schacht Matchless in double drive. I will be doing the plying on my Schacht Ladybug in Scotch tension.

The Tour de Fleece 2016 is moving along smoothly here in beautiful Brookline, Pittsburgh. I have enjoyed each fiber so far. I will keep yinz updated, but probably not daily because I’d rather spin than blog. Peace out!