Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Are You Ready?

I really look forward to the Tour de Fleece every summer. Not as much as maybe the Knitting Olympics, but that's only because I'm a Winter Olympics junkie and that only happens every four years ;-).

I've spent so much time sitting on the mower, painting the porch or various other necessary farm chores that I thought maybe I should do a little "training" this year. I've been wanting to spin some of Buddy's wool. I haven't since the Trinity many years ago???

Buddy is one of my all-time favorite sheep. I like to refer to him as The Kindest Sheep in the World. He really is. Not only does he look after everyone in the flock, especially Miss Ewenice, but he also has to "assist" with any medical treatment anyone requires. He'll come stand by their side, offering support and frequently his back is commandeered as a spot to set a shot or extra paper towels...

Cotswold is a beautiful fiber. Curly, lustrous, strong, with a nice halo, sometimes called Poor Man's Mohair. I wanted to spin a lace weight yarn, knit a sample from Knitted Lace of Estonia (one of my favorite go-to books when I want to be inspired by some gorgeous knitting) and see how it would feel. Buddy's not a super soft lamb anymore ;-).

Even carded out you can see how it wants to curl up in ringlets.

The fuzz factor.

Freshly washed two ply yarn, maybe just a tiny hair over true lace weight. But not much.

I picked the Madli's Shawl pattern. I've not done nupps (the little "beads") before and wanted to give that a try.

Not a problem - actually a quick knit! But it sure doesn't look like much here.

My favorite part - blocking :-).

I thought the pattern was completely do-able and I now have the confidence to try anything in that book. I think the yarn worked well too. It was easy to knit and strong enough that I didn't have to worry about any breakage. While not as soft as say merino or silk, I wouldn't hesitate to take it out in public. A lace shawl would involve many, many hours of work. I worry about these things. I'm a worrier. Kind of like Buddy.

And it's pretty to boot.

SO, I'm ready to start spinning for the 2011 Tour de Fleece!

Team My Favorite Sheep is once again being chaired by the ever lovely Miss Ewenice. The prize this year will be a print of her 2011 calendar photograph and a bag of her roving - I need to weigh it, but it fills a paper grocery bag.

Here are the "rules". (I'll post more specifics on how to sign up tomorrow. It's late and I need to go do my chores.)

This TDF group is open to anyone who has a favorite sheep, wishes they had a favorite sheep or didn’t even know you could have a favorite sheep. While we’d prefer your Tour de Fleece challenge is spinning wool, we’ll still let you join in if your challenge involves spinning other fibers…but might make you sing a silly sheep song to prove you are worthy of ‘sociating with Miss Ewenice and her Punkin’s Patch friends at Equinox Farm ;-).

Your challenge should be a true personal challenge of any level and anyone completing their challenge will be entered in a drawing for a beautiful photograph of lovely Miss Ewenice and a big bag of special Miss Ewenice roving at the end of the tour.

Enjoy the ride!

Are you ready?


Alice said...

It's amazing how you take those loose fibers and by spinning them together they create something almost magical that is lacy and airy and stronger than it's parts.
Beautiful workmanship, Sara.

k.somerville said...

wow. that is so beautiful. I'm the kind of person who needs adult supervision when I get out my spinning wheel. I just don't do it enough. that lace weight is amazing. sheep are people too.

Terry said...

The yarn is just beautiful, and so is the knitting.

Michelle said...

Oh my; you tempt me. I'm already on Team Footloose (are you?), Team Spindlers and Team Corgi; can I really fulfill the challenge of yet another team???

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

What a treasure Buddy is!! The whole process of spinning intrigues me and seeing the yard I imagine the possibilities!!

I hope you're having a good week!

cyndy said...

Buddy's yarn looks beautiful (maybe a dash of creme rinse would help when you set the twist?), and your swatch looks perfect!

Love the lace, (watch out, soon it will be all you want to do)

...and for my TDF, I'm on (Antique Spinning Wheels) Team Russian Underpants and Team Spindle Wheels...but my challenge will be spinning Shetland samples. If I pick my favorite sheep out of all the samples when I am finished, do you think I would qualify to join Team My Favorite Sheep?

thecrazysheeplady said...

Ah Team Footloose. I was looking for the miniSpinner team and couldn't find it :-). I've got a corgi you can have if you need a spinning 'familiar' ;-).

Cyndy - we'll let you in if you post pictures of your Shetland as you go ;-). Can't wait to see your beautiful work!

Spinners End Farm said...

Awesome fleece that Buddy has...even if he isn't a lamb anymore! Beautiful lace sample too.

I'm ready this year! My favorite sheep is Miss Fancy Pants! (but don't tell the other sheep, 'kay?)

Anonymous said...

Tour de Fleece sounds like fun! I'm taking an Intro to Spinning class this Saturday, so maybe I can join the Tour de Fleece next year.

My dad's name is Buddy- and he's the gentlest, most nurturing man I know. So maybe Buddy the Sheep was destined to be the kindest sheep in the world just by virtue of his name!

thecrazysheeplady said...

You can join this year! Open to anyone, regardless of experience :-).

Michelle said...

I might just have to join a fourth team; in fact, how can I not??? I have some of my favorite sheep's roving, so no excuse, really. I only have one request (for you to do in all your free time). Design us a cute little team logo to put on our blogs! :-)

Christine said...

I can't get logged into Ravelry. :(

Peacecat said...

I am awed by the beauty of your yarn and your knitting. I am looking forward to TDF!! You've inspired me to treadle for the stars.

Sheepmom said...

You spun Buddy like this and made this swatch and still gave Jan Baby grief on her first lace?? You're no slouch, you know. This is wonderful. Can't wait to see it finished! (And in progress, too). Good, sweet Buddy.

small farm girl said...

Beautiful,just beautiful. I'm jealous. hehehehe

flowerweaver said...

The sample is lovely! Maybe one day I can participate with my dog yarn LOL. Have fun!


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