Wednesday, July 21, 2010

TdF: Days 16-19

Day 16-- I make a concerted effort to spin a few hours. 

Day 17-- I'm pretty sure this bobbin will never get full. I have 2 bags of alpaca, 10oz total, and the first bag is still half full. I decide to weigh it. I have only spun 1.5 oz. I will never ever ever ever ever ever ever finish spinning this alpaca. Goodbye dreams of returning to something colorful and fun before the Tour is over. I return to spinning the giant bag of grey alpaca which, under bright light, turns out to be more brown than grey and not more grey than silver at all, which means I've accidentally spun Scott's grey/brown alpaca roving and not my silver/grey alpaca. To my credit, it does look grey with silver, right? Please don't tell him. Spin. Spin. Spin.
Day 18-- Time to catch up on the real Tour. I'm 3 days behind not including today. I do my real work until I remember that it is July and my long-standing rule is that I don't work when the Tour rides. This self-employment/self-preservation thing is a good habit the rest of the year, but it is getting in the way of my leisure time. I try to delude myself that watching the Tour de France is work if I sell the yarn I spin while watching it.

I give up on the first bobbin and decide to do a 3-ply, instead of a 2-ply. I load the 2nd bobbin and spin it in a stage and a half, about 5 hours. Wait, what? Yeah. I spun the second bobbin super fast. I even took lots of breaks to eat junk food and stare at cyclist butt in that 5 hours.  I have no idea what I did differently. I start the 3rd bobbin and spin for another 3 hours. It is a hard 3 hours where I discover I have forgotten how to spin. There is a big pile of alpaca left to go. That second bobbin must have been an anomaly. I think I hate alpaca.
Day 19: I sit down to watch yesterday's stage. Before they even get up the 2nd climb I'm through bobbin 3 and on to plying. I'm plying so fast I break a sweat, although that might have something to do with cuddly cats and a heat advisory. Still, I was plying fast. It made the floor squeak. Good.

Everything clicks and bam! Yarn. I am not even finished watching the stage and there are 5 skeins of lofty, fluffy, woolen, super-soft, super awesome, rustic, slightly fulled, alpaca 3-ply handspun straight off my wheel and in to the sink.

I can't believe I'm done with that alpaca. I'm not sure why that first bobbin took so long. Bobbin black hole? It was like spinning on the Traditional again before I upgraded the flyer to a faster ratio. My experience with my new wheel is that it takes me about 5 hours to spin 4 ounces of singles and the old Traditional was more like 12 hours for 4 ounces. Weird. That's over now. Look at my pretty yarn!

5 skeins, 108 yards per skein, 3-ply rustic alapca, pre-washing. See how under a bright light that it is brown and not at all grey? Oops.