Le Tour de Fleece begins

I’ve been mostly knitting and crocheting as of late, so the start of Le Tour de Fleece was a great opportunity to pull out my wheel and get back into my peaceful Zen square of handspinning.  Spinning yarn seems to occupy a different part of my brain than other fiber crafts; I find it especially calming when I have a really hectic week.

First, I spun some BFL (Bluefaced Leicester) that I got at Andersen Fiber Works a couple of weeks ago.  The indie dyer is Dicentra Designs, and I just love their bright, clear colors.  I predrafted this fiber without splitting it up in order to preserve the super-long color repeats, and then I chain plied it to make a bouncy 3-ply yarn.  When I knit this one up, I should see stripes that transition gently from shade to shade. 

This is another Dicentra roving, but this one was a 75% BFL/25% silk blend.  This fiber got the same treatment as the previous yarn, yet it’s amazing how the silk changes the final product.  This yarn turned out less bouncy, but will a smooth drape and a subtle sheen from the silk content.  Another self-striper!

This one was kind of a surprise.  This started as hand dyed BFL roving by Whorling Tides, also purchased at Andersen Fiber Works.  The roving reminded me of tarnished metal, rough steel and brass and iron.  I broke the roving into two even pieces, spun each onto a separate bobbin, and then plied them together into a two ply yarn.  The plies puffed up considerably after I soaked the yarn and set the twist, giving me a lofty, puffy yarn that’s roughly worsted weight.  The colors also separated out a bit and the brass bits all lined up in one section – it might make a neat knit cap for Dan if I start the brim with the brass section and then let the yarn transition to the greys on the crown of the hat.

Anybody else spinning for Le Tour?  What are you working on?