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Newly Added! In Person Spinning Class

Are you a fiber lover? Have you dreamed about making your own yarn? Now that vaccinations are in place and the virus is starting to wane. I am going to start offering my in-person classes to a small select group of people. 

This spinning class will be limited to 2 people at a time.  Depending on the weather, we may be able to do this outside on the porch unmasked. Or if we need to be indoors we will wear masks at least until that mandate is lifted.  I will be offering this once a month for the next few months.  If my dates don’t work for you, please contact me and we can work out an alternate date or time.

blue green marled merino yarn

This is a 3 hour class offered from 1-4pm on each of the dates.  You don’t need to bring anything, I have spinning wheels and spindles for you to use.  If you do have equipment that you would like to use, just let me know.

Really early FGF dyeing

You will learn how to prepare the fiber for spinning. You will learn how to use a spinning wheel and/or a spindle to make yarn from roving.  If there is time, you will also learn how to ply your yarn too.

You can reserve your spot here.

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Tour de Fleece 2021

It’s ON!! Flying Goat Farm will have another TdF team this year. And I thought I should put out an invitation to my readers. Tour de Fleece has been running for many years. I’ve had a team for the past 6 years, I think.

Here’s what it is….. This is a spinning event that runs concurrently with the Tour de France. Participants are to spin all the days that the cyclists are racing on the tour. You can rest on their rest days too. The days that are mountain stages, each participant will determine a spinning challenge for themselves. This year the tour runs from 6/26 to 7/18. The rest days are 7/5 and 7/12. The mountain stages are July 4, 5,7, 11, 14 and 15. Whew! That’s a lot of mountain stages.

Why do it? Well since my first year, I have found that this 21 day spinning event has done so much to improve my spinning skills. Just the act of sitting and spinning each and every day for 21 days builds my confidence and builds my skills.

For the FGF team, here’s my suggestions (not rules): First of all spin each of the race days. Spin for at least 10 minutes. If you can spin more, do that. Make a goal for yourself for those 21 days. In the past, I have challenged myself to make yarn for a handspun sweater or picking several art yarns and practicing spinning those each of the challenge days. Or last year my main goals was to spin fibers I hadn’t tried before like linen and faux cashmere.

So this year, I haven’t yet picked my overall challenge. I am taking some spinning classes with Jillian Moreno during MD Sheep and Wool in a couple of weeks and I think that will inform my decision.

If you are interested in going our group your can do that on Ravelry here. Or you can join us within Facebook here.

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WIP Wednesday–Alpaca Roving Edition

I’m working on replenishing my hand dyed roving…. Here are the ones I just took out of the dye bath.

Remember these will dry lighter of course. I’ll post in social media when they are available for sale. This is superfine alpaca top. It is pretty slippery, and so makes some really fine singles if you like to spin fine yarn!!

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tour de fleece- part deux!

I haven’t talked to the spinners in our community for a month, since the TdF part un concluded. Why 2 parts? Well, a little background. .. The tour de fleece is based on the tour de France and that was delayed due to covid 19 concerns. The spinning community decided to hold the tour de fleece at it’s usual time, just in case the cycling race was cancelled over all. I went with that. And now it looks like the tour de France will be on starting this Saturday. It runs from 8/29 through 9/20. There are 2 rest days: 9/7 and 9/14. And there are challenge days when the bike race is in the mountains, spinners challenge themselves to do more or do better or do different. There are a lot of those days this year: 8/30, 9/5, 9/5, 9/11, 9/15, 9/16, 9/17.

Tour de France map

This time I’m collaborating with Patty Sanville of Budding Creek Farm. We will be combining our teams for the prizes. Both teams are on Facebook. The prize categories will be most yardage spun, most different types of spinning fiber (plant, animal and man-made), most different “Shave Em to Save Em” breeds spun and most different spinning equipment, such as electric wheel, number of treadles, different kinds of spindles and even a charka if you have one (hint: I do!)

Hand Dyed BFL Roving

So how do you participate? First join one or both of the facebook groups. Click here for FGF Tour de Fleece group. Click here to join Spinning in Circles group. Have a goal for these spinning days whether that’s spinning for a certain project or just stash busting. Then spin everyday. Do you have to spin the whole time the race is running? No! You can of course do that and you would be in the running for the most yardage. But any spinning every day is fine. I’ve found this to be the single greatest way to improve your spinning. You are building up hours of practice. You are learning your wheel and your fibers and building stamina.

Hand spinning on an electric spinner

I do hope you will join us! Its a fun community. I will be doing at least one Zoom spin-in. More info on that on the group page.

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unboxing my new e-spinner

I’ve been thinking about getting an e-spinner for several years now. I couldn’t really rationalize the high price of the most popular model. Last year at the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival, I saw a woman spinning on an eel nano. It seemed so small and delicate. I looked at reviews, I looked at other espinners. And I found the one for me.

I bought a Heavenly Handspinning Vespera, Gen 2. I had it unpacked and put together in under 30 minutes.

And I was spinning very shortly afterward. HH has nice YouTube videos to help you set up the machine and to get started spinning. And I did use them to make sure that I had all the cords connected in the correct way.

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Dyeing up roving for Tour de Fleece

I’ve been busy getting ready for Tour de Fleece. I’ve dyed Polwarth wool and silk top and BFL so far.

This weekend I’ll probably get to the alpaca top. I’ve got some fun colors coming along. I will have a shop update Friday by 5pm.

I think that I have decided that my goal is to just spin color. To try some different color spinning techniques and I think I will do some dyeing especially for ME! I haven’t done that for a few years. The last 2 Tours I was concentrating on getting this lamb fleece spun. 2 YEARS!! It was white. And I still can’t figure out what color I want to dye that handspun yarn. I have an idea. I want to make one of those yoked sweaters…probably make it as a steeked cardigan. So I want to work on some handspun yarn that might coordinate all together to make another kind of sweater. That’s my goal.

What is your goal? Do you want to join my team? Drop me a line and I’ll send you a facebook invite.

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Tour de Fleece: what kind of roving do we have?

It’s T-6 days until the start of the 2020 Tour de Fleece. Since it’s inception, the point of the tour de fleece is to spin all the days that the tour de france is running…Get it? spinning yarn while they’re spinning their wheels across France. In the past there are challenge days when the cyclists are in the mountain stages. There are also rest days when the cyclists are also resting. What I’ve loved about the tour is that even if I’m just spinning a few minutes a day. I’m always improving my skills. I’ve done the tour 5 years now. I’ve even transported my wheel when we arranged a vacation during the tour. I am hosting a team for the 6th year. If you would like to join us, click here to get to our facebook group.

In that vein, I thought you might want to know what kinds of rovings we have available.

Our organic Polwarth Wool/Silk is a blend of cultivated silk to add additional shine and luxury to the beautiful fine wool. It is 80% Polwarth Wool / 20% Silk. You can actually see the lustrous silk in amongst the wool roving. It is a really fun yarn to spin and can also be a beautiful addition to felting projects. The Polwarth sheep was developed in Australia by breeding Merino rams to Lincoln/Merino ewes with the resulting animals being 75% Merino/25% Lincoln. You get a longer staple length and more lustrous quality from the Lincoln and a micron count between 22-25 from the fine wool Merinos. These sheep are raised primarily in Australia, New Zealand, Falkland Islands, and South America. Definitely next to skin softness. Yarn made from this roving are known for its elasticity, durability it is still considered a delicate fiber with bounce and drape. 3ounce portion Retail $16

Blue Face Leicester is of British provenance. This sheep is one of the most prolific in the British Kingdom. It is a lustrous long wool . It is typically 25-27 microns with a staple length 4 ¼ inches (110 mm). The fiber feels finer than the micron count would suggest. The luster promotes beautiful results whether you are spinning or felting with this fiber.  This is a great roving for beginners. 3ounce portion Retail$15

Superfine Alpaca is 100% alpaca combed top.  It is incredibly soft, so the yarn you make will be next to your skin soft to make handcrafted items.  The fibers are very fine (24-26 micons) with a 3-4 inch staple length.  and the preparation is combed top, so you can spin this roving in a worsted way and get fingerling weight yarns that will show your stitches very well.  Any yarn or felt that you make from this will feel so luxurious that you will want to wear it all the time! 3ounce portion Retail$15

Our Mohair roving is made from the fleeces of our lovely goats. It is highly lustrous and takes dye really well.  Because it is a farm roving, there will be some veg matter in it that is easily picked out while you are spinning. 8ounce portion Retail $20

Our Puck and Friends roving is made from BFL fleeces that we grow as well as those from friend’s flocks. This is a natural charcoal yarn. It is great for beginners. 8ounce portion Retail $20