It’s Tour de Fleece right now. We are in the last week. There are many challenge days as the cyclists are in the Pyrennes, climbing up and racing down mountains. I am hignlighting some tips for handspinners. These originate during my FaceBook Live presentations (Thursdays at 1pm on the Flying Goat Farm Page).
In this video I talk about how to manage your fiber when making a large project, such as a sweater or spinning an entire fleece.
And here is a video about pre-drafting. I know that this is a controversial topic. I pre-draft nearly everything that I spin. In this video, I tell you why I do it and why you should too.
No, I’m not really in France! I wish!!! More than you know!!! Well maybe you do know that already.
A new episode of our podcast dropped this morning. It’s all about the Tour de Fleece 2021. If you’ve never heard of it, if you’ve known but never participated, you can find out about the tour, about my experiences and how to join our team.
We’re getting closer. I’ve been dyeing up combed top and I pulled out some mohair roving too. This mohair is really silky and shiny. It would be a great addition to an art batt. Or you could blend it in with other fibers. So far I have a lot of semi-solid colors and I’ve got a few variegated pans going too. Here’s what it looks like:
These are a minimum of 5 oz. Some are even 6 oz. They sell for $20 each with shipping! Get your’s here.
I’ve decided my goals for the Tour. For the challenge days, I will develop my skill to spin singles that will stay singles. And for the rest of the tour. I’m spinning up a 2ply fingering weight yarn to make the Tenga top pattern. I just started to spin up some samples that I can swatch, so I’m getting a head start. I’m using a roving made from some BFLxShetland fleeces that I bought from a partner farm. It’s a delightful dark brown/charcoal color and really pretty soft as well.
What will you make during the tour? Comment below and let me know!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!
Where to find us
Open by Appointment! Email me for an appointment or FACETIME
We are located in Frederick MD. You can shop in person with a mask and lots of social distance! Or buy online and stop by to pick up…I’ll run your purchases out to you in your car.
If you are coming here, please enter Flying Goat Farm into WAZE. That app will reliably get you to our farm.