Sunday marked the end of the Tour de Fleece, and right up until the last minute I was spinning like a fiend. (Actually, I kept going after the end. I was in the middle of something, and I really want it done.) I felt a keen pressure this year. I always give away all the yarn that I make during the tour. I know, it's weird, but it has always been a stash busting thing for me, and so it makes no sense to just move it from one category of stash to the other- or at least that's what I tell myself. I spin a whole heap of different yarns, and out the door they go. This time was a little different. I wanted really, really pretty things, because I knew I was going to be (mostly) giving it away as Karmic Balancing gifts, and I thought that it would be great if they were unusual or especially pretty handspun. I also knew I wasn't really going to have that much time - that this year really wasn't going to be my most impressive year, so I went for quality over quantity. Here's what I had at the end.
All the North Ronaldsay, in all its colours.
That started out as 500g of roving, and now is about 1100 metres of the prettiest 2 ply fingering weight yarn - perfect I think, for an Icelandic shawl - one of the ones like The Brimnes Lace Shawl (except for you could make two with this yardage) or Svinavatnshyrna (I have no idea how to say that.) You could even do something like my Jacob Damask.... or rather, that is to say that Megan C could do something like that, and I hope she does, because it's her name that I just pulled out of the hat.
(Man. I really hope she's not into chunky blue cotton.)
This was a nice quick and dirty spin. A friend saw this in the stash recently, and fell promptly in love. It's BMFA's BFL - in a colour that I can't name (I bet Tina can.) In exchange for a donation, she asked for a woven scarf, out of this roving, handspun.
Phase one is now complete. Weaving's up next.
Next up, I wanted something a little fun. Spinderella's Thrums to the rescue, as always. (I love this little company. It looks like they don't have batts right now, but maybe soon. I hope so anyway, because this was my last one, and although I know the point was to use stuff up, I suddenly feel lonely for these batts.)
This one was called Confetti on Ice, and ended up being a charming and quirky little skein, not more than about 175m of a two ply. I think it would make amazing mittens, but it will be up to Rosemarie R to figure out. I hope she thinks this yarn is as fun as I do.
Finally, last but certainly not least, and also not done, is this little beauty.
That's one half of what should be one really luxurious yarn - 50% merino/ 50% yak down. It's so soft it makes babies seem like sandpaper, and it was the only thing I really wanted to finish for the Tour - but I'm not giving up. Gimme a few days, and some knitter's going to score big on that one.
Overall, I'm not ridiculously displeased with how much I spun - I guess. It was an interesting thing, doing it without a real goal. In the past my goal has always been a certain amount. 1500 grams one year, 1400 another. This year I only produced 900 grams - although I did ride my bike almost 400km during that period. (I hate the part of me that just added 900 grams and 400km and decided that was only 1300 grams (???) and that it was still less. How did I figure that?) The decision to have no goal this year, to just "do my best" was one that didn't sit well with me at all. It turns out that I don't just use goals as motivators - but also so that I can tell when I'm done, or if I did well, or if I accomplished anything. Without a goal, I really wasn't sure whether or not this yarn was "enough", which is Stupid with a capital S. Of course it's enough. Of course when you have a lot going on it's okay to just do what you can - I just wish I'd set a lower goal than usual, and then met that. Maybe I'm just someone who needs to be able to see the finish line.
I'd like to thank the two knitters who made donations in exchange for the beautiful hat and scarf yesterday. You guys are amazing. Also amazing? Tomorrow's bid item is Omelet. (At least I hope someone thinks that's amazing) and there's still more Karmic Balancing gifts coming... from my stash and wheel too. I hope I have time to fit them all in. 4 days and 17 hours until the ride. Not that I'm counting or can't stop thinking about it or anything.