Thank the Internet for things like Tour de Fleece. Without it I would never get the nudge I need to spin the small stash of fibre I have and keep my wheels from getting dusty.
I really like to spin. I just like to knit more and I confess I get this weird anxiety about making MORE yarn when I have a huge stash already (somehow fibre itself doesn't seem to produce these feelings; I suspect it's a defence mechanism). It's also because some of this yarn seems unusable because of the quantity, colour, or how I spun it. I do better when I set out to spin for socks or a sweater even though I rather like setting up the wheel and letting the fibre and my mood determine the outcome. I guess that's what happens when a product knitter meets a process spinner...
This year I took a relaxed approach to the Tour and didn't even spin everyday, but I make three skeins I love.
The first involved finishing a project I started this winter. Indigodragonfly Pandabaa 50% merino, 50% tencel in Abstract Repressionism.
The undyed bits did nifty things to the coloured parts and it was fantastic to spin. I went for a long draw two ply with maximum squoosh. This will make a great hat.
Feeling confident, I went for colour. I bought a braid from a little shop in a little harbour town in PEI. I decided to try my hand at gradient spinning.
I'm very happy with how it turned out. About 290yds, sport weight, two ply. I'm going to wind this up and make a simple shawlette. The colours are a bit crazy, but it will be nice to wear in the depths of winter. Turns out the key to a two ply gradient is to be willing to stop during plying and cut out the yarn that messes with the striping. I think I prefer chain plying instead, but was glad I gave this a go.
The last project was singles. And it was a continuation of something I started...a while ago. I don't actually remember when. The fibre is good old "wool top", cheap and cheerful for a project like this where I can't predict how it will go.
I spun up 100grams of this before and made some nice bulky yarn. So now I had to make the second braid look the same. My advice: don't do this many months later.
It worked out pretty well, though. I had the same problem as the last time. The yarn was too twisty so I had to run it through the wheel the opposite way to remove some twist.
I over handled the yarn when I washed it and it felted more than the first skein. I wanted to felt it a bit so it would stay together, but I over did it. It won't show in a cowl (especially with a stitch pattern) so I'm happy with the result. Blue strings is this year, pink strings the older yarn.
I rather like spinning a bulky single. I think this is a good use for those pretty braids of many colours.
Now my plan is to knit up the pink and green and try to spin a bit more often and knit up more of what I spin. At least until something else catches my fancy!