Thursday, July 7, 2016

Black Sheep and Tour de Fleece

It's been a wild couple of weeks! I'm thrilled to announce that the wonderful Pearl Fiber Arts in the Pearl District of Portland is now a retailer of Tell Tale Yarn Co yarns! They carry my favorite (but shh don't tell my other bases I said so!) 100% mulberry silk lace weight-- Siren Silk-- in five delicious colorways. If you happen to live in PDX or are passing through, you should definitely hit them up. Cindy specializes in local handdyers of the Pacific Northwest so it's great to find that skein (or five...) of souvenir yarn. I mean, it doesn't count as stash, right? Tell her I sent you! <3

This past month it was the 42nd annual Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, Oregon. It's a fiber fair, sheep & fleece market, with great classes and a huge fiber/yarn marketplace. Noriko of Norichanknits and I drove down from Seattle to spend the weekend down there and shop and network and yknow generally geek out over all things yarny and fibery and spinny goodness. Typical yarn people things.

I'm pretty sure this is right after Noriko just bought her new Jenkins spindle, so you can see why she's so happy...!
I totally meant to take a *billion* super cool photos so I could gush about all the things I saw, but I got around to pulling the photos from my memory card and they're like... 90% cute animals. My only excuse is that I was just completely overwhelmed by the massive amounts of fuzzy cute?

It was kind of amazing. And smelly. But that's okay.

Conveniently, this segues nicely into the second half of our post. I'm competing in an annual spinning event called Tour de Fleece-- obviously a play on Tour de France. I've decided to captain the Reddit Knitters team on Ravelry this year, and I'm planning on rounding up (and hopefully dyeing up!) some cool fiber and yarn prizes for the participants. It's all a big self challenge, so the only pressure is the pressure you put on yourself. The idea is that you spin something for fifteen minutes-- spindle, wheel, whatever-- every single day the Tour rides. It's a great way to try out new things, tackle overdue spinning projects, and get better at your craft-- all in a super laid-back and supportive atmosphere. It's never too late to join in, so grab a tuft of your favorite fiber and go! I'm hoping to do a weekly recap of my progress on my projects!

I'm trying to challenge myself by spinning a thick-ish (worsted?? aran??) yarn. I have 8oz combined of this great fiber and I've split it down the middle so I can 2 ply. I will have to make two skeins, since I only have 4oz bobbins, but I think this is one of the few times I'd ever want the 8oz bobbins haha. :p If I manage to finish that, I've got a couple colors of some solid dyed merino that I want to card into a nifty gradient and spin that up too. I highly doubt I'll get through all of that, but if I some how do, I'll have to come up with another project. At least I've got the stash for it?
Left: Fierce Fibers Merino/Bamboo in Bleeding Heart Gradient. Right: Fierce Fibers Merino/Bamboo in Peacock Gradient.

So, look forward (hopefully!) to another post in a few days, and I'll show some of the stuff I've done so far!