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2014 Tour de Fleece competition

This past Saturday marked the first day in this year’s Tour de Fleece race on Ravelry. I was good this year and only joined 2 teams versus the 4 to 6 I have done in the past. I also decided to pace myself and just spin for a few hours everyday on one or more tools.

My primary fiber for the race is the Cambridge Fiber pack from Louet. This year I am spinning all of the fibers in their natural state and may have my friend dye a few of them but that isn’t a definite. For fun the new to me fibers which are in 8oz packages are being split into two 4oz sets. One set is being spun with a long draw method and one is being spin finer and semi-worsted. The difference in the two spinning methods is quite noticeable thus far. I have spun 8oz of Jacob Sliver and 8oz of Perendale sliver thus far. Shetland is on the horizon for later in the week. These are all being spun on my “workhorse” wheel the Louet S15.
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My Russian spindles are also getting into the race competition but of course this tool is for finer yarn. The project this week is cobweb lace weight paco-vicuna for a potential customer. For the race I started a new spindle of fiber that I can combine with the yarn I made last week. The 2 ply needs to be created prior to Sunday (washed and dried) to show to its potential owner. Hoping to accomplish this by Thursday as I have a big market coming up all day on Saturday so I’m anticipating being mentally and physically wiped out that evening.

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2014 Estes Park Wool Market

This year’s wool market was a lot of fun and found me stretching my comfort zone.  How you say?  Well first off I took a workshop on spinning Orenburg lace yarn with Galina Khmeleva which was amazing.  We had a lot of fun in class and I learned how to ply and set the twist in my fine fiber yarns using the Orenburg method.  Galina is great teacher and I would recommend taking her class if you have the opportunity.  She brought a wedding lace shawl and a warm shawl so that we could see and feel the difference in the two.  There were also several stories about Orenburg history, life and creativity.

IMG_3391[1] Me plying yarns the Orenburg way.

My second push out of my comfort zone was entering yarns in the yarn competition at the festival.  I was brave and entered 2 skeins into the competition.  My Navajo plied Romney wool skein (being used for the knit shawl) and a single ply of yak/silk yarn were humbly submitted to the judges for their critique.  To my surprise both won ribbons – yeah!

IMG_3409[1] They Romney took 2nd place in its category and the yak/silk yarn took 1st place along with “Best Use of Down Fiber” in the competition.   It was nice to read the feedback especially on the Romney yarn and to get confirmation that I do make really nice yarns.

As this was the annual Wool Market I of course went shopping for fleeces (probably more than I should have).  I actually had 2 days to do shopping at the market since I stayed overnight in town.   My fleece purchases were primarily “new to me” sheep breeds.  The fleece inventory now contains a beautiful gray Bond/Corriedale, a brown/cream Icelandic fleece and a glossy white Teeswater fleece.  The Teeswater was only 2 lbs and my least guilty purchase.  There was beautifully dyed rovings at reasonable prices so I had to snatch up a few of these and I purchased yarn from the local yarn shop that was represented at the Market.  Several of the fleeces have been listed in the shop – http://www.herie7.etsy.com and I am hoping to get to cleaning and packaging a few of them soon.

Starting to sell on Ebay

So tonight I took the plunge and listed items on EBay.  They are running a special which allows one to list up to 500 items auction style a month without an insertion fee.  They charge a 9% fee but I must admit it was quite easy to list items on their site since I had the pictures.  You can find items under “Herie7” as I am trying to keep things consistent from one outlet to another.

The green ruffled scarf has been finished – yeah!  I am going to sell it in the store on the ranch.  Need to block the alpaca neck warmer and redo the wooden buttons.  I put them on the wrong side of the neck warmer and didn’t notice until a friend was modeling it for me.   I do have really supportive friends who provide encouragement and occasionally modeling photos for me.  Still need to find a male to model the hats so I can post them on sites.

The merino silk roving is 3/4 spun simply because it is on the thin side.  It looks beautiful and I will post pictures soon.  Off to bed and relaxation.