Sunday, 21 July 2013

Tour De Fleece/France 2013

Chez Sassy has been a hive of industry over the last past three weeks........ 

Well one half of the household has been beavering away creating lots of lovely yarn and clean fleeces, the other half has been watching the race unfold and very little else!!!

The Tour de France represents a special place in Mr S and my relationship, for it was during the race way back in 1987 that we had our first and only proper date - July 21st to be exact!  He took me out to dinner (we both had garlic mushrooms!!!!!) and the rest as they say is history!.

Certainly the coverage of the Tour has improved - from a half hour of highlights to almost full coverage of the entire race....  Not sure whether that is a good or bad thing - for me it means that I can spin without fear of interruption, but it also means that a large part of the day is taken up in just watching TV.  Actually sport is our major TV viewing - don't do soaps, quizzes or anything that is featured as essential viewing.....  We have eclectic tastes and are generally very particular about our viewing - currently boycotting the golf as Muirfield  doesn't allow women members!!! Sexist or what - they employ women, but women aren't allowed on the course!

So to the other part of the Tour, the Tour de Fleece - an event held on Ravelry, in which you challenge yourself in the fine art of spinning.  This year I have been co-ordinating a Team for the Blissful Woolmakers which has been fun!  The only rule for this team is that all spinning must be done on a Bliss spinning wheel - so a small select team!

I have spun over 3000 yards on my Bliss in three weeks and haven't really made any impact on the stash at all!

Two days stand out - the first individual time trial - we used this day to spin for the same time as the riders the longest singles!  This is when I found out that I treadle really quite slowly - I average 53 a minute compare to others who go at over 100!  Anyway I managed a very creditable 96 metres of white Shetland.

The second was Stage 18 - the day the riders went up Alpe d'Huez twice, when I challenged myself to master long draw - no  cheating and slipping in some short draw!  Well I have to say it wasn't my best spinning ever - but I did managed to let go and pull the fibres out in what I may say was quite a stylish manner.

This was carded Corriedale, in a particularly lurid pink and lime green with added Angelina and this is what I managed during the entire television coverage of the stage - not a huge amount, but it was done using a long draw.  Yes I know I am labouring the point, but it really does frustrate me that I haven't master this technique yet.

I couldn't wait and plied up my efforts straight away and yes if you look closely there are some thick bits, but they held together!

Here are some of the yarns I have spun during the Tour

Eric - a double dose of SCF Polwarth 1040 yards, 2 plied.

Wildcat - a 60 gram sample of World of Wool Lynx - 272 yards, 2 plied

Aquamarine Sari - from a Loop Bullseye Bump - not sure of the yardage, forgot to write it down - dumbo!

Dark Wings - my take on a SCF colourway - 100 grams, 275 yards, N-plied

Light Wings, so called because the wrapping split and I lost a lot of colour (i.e. same as Dark Wings, but lighter)  100 grams, 300 yards, N-plied

A small sample skein of BFL and silk that I oven dyed.

80 grams of Polwarth - to finish of a small shawl....

And just for relaxation in the evenings, because it has far too hot to knit - some silk spun on Demelza

Need to find something special for tonight - the first evening stage on The Avenue des Champs-Élysées.  Chris Froome is the second British winner (Bradley Wiggins won last year) and will Mark Cavendish win for the fifth consecutive year?  I will have my fingers crossed, well not really as you can't spin with crossed fingers!!! 

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