The Beast that is Tour de Fleece

Chez Strategos has been taken over by spinning. If I’m watching episodes of Psych via Netflix, I’m spinning. Taking a break between random chores, I’m spinning. Waiting on water boil, you guessed right, I’m spinning. I even packed a spindle and a few ounces of fiber to take with me on a road trip. Still don’t have around town spinning though so knitting still reigns supreme in my purse.  All the same, Tour de Fleece is the 800 pound gorilla in the room that keeps handing me spindles and great fiber. Can’t say that I mind.


CosyMakes Falkland Roving - 4 oz. - Flabbergast


Blue Dog Fibers Bluefaced Leicester Top - 5.3 oz. - Rhonda

It’s really great having him around since I can take these lovely clumps of fiber and create actual yarn. Why, no, the novelty of the whole process hasn’t worn off. 


Flabbergast became the second skein of Tour de Fleece. I’ve had this roving in my stash for so long that it became this great precious thing that I couldn’t bear to mess up. Goal 4 for the Tour - Understand? Good. Play - is all about pulling out the good stuff and making yarn in spite of myself. When I unchained the roving, I noticed it had been dyed in a repeating pattern. I tore it lengthwise down the middle to preserve the repeat and set to spinning one long single to chain ply. The result is 150 yards of self-striping, aran-ish weight yarn. The Bearded One has already laid claim to it. 

Chain plying, aka Navajo plying, is great and definitely not as hard or scary as people seem to think it is. Just takes practice like everything else. I like this written, sans photo article and this video (done on a wheel but the process is still the same for a spindle).


Hello, Rhonda. This recent addition to my fiber stash became 368 yards of sport weight 2-ply yarn and my third Tour de Fleece skein. I really underestimated how long it would take to ply this yarn. The upside is that it gave me the chance to refine my plying process towards maximum efficiency. It involves rolling the spindle with my feet. Not as awkward as it sounds.

So far, Tour de Fleece is going quite well even though I probably won’t meet all of my goals during the Tour’s last week. I’m going to miss that gorilla.