This year, I've managed to get organised enough to take part in the Britspin event. I failed completely last year, and had to make do with watching vicariously from the sidelines.
I've joined The Towpath Twizzlers group on Ravelry, having a tenuous connection to the canals by living very near the Leeds-Liverpool canal and walking and running along it with the boyz often. In fact, I did that today; I was out between five and six, with the sun setting and a clear transparent blue sky. At seven it started chucking it down, but I was inside baking by then and it didn't matter.
So I have been organised, and started some serious fibre-prepping for a change, instead of a random dive into the wool piles. This first photo is 80g of some of my own dyeing, Summersky, dyed on pale grey Shetland top. I've split it in half lengthways, pulled it off into staple-lengths, and then wrapped each piece around a Sharpie pen to make what could either be called a dense rolag or a loose puni. There are two matching halves here, if I remember which end to start from. (The little coil in the middle is a small part that I didn't process).
This pile of stuff is about 600g of a blend of Manx/bamboo (about 80/20, I think). It was a one-off blend that Adelaide Walker's did last year, and only did it once; this is the last of it. I love it, the bamboo gives a lovely silver shimmer to the moorit-coloured Manx wool, though I have blended it further on the drumcarder (hours on Sunday afternoon, listening to Skipinnish and Runrig).
The plan is to spin a fine 2ply yarn from the two fibres above and knit a sweater - either a plain garter stitch yoke in the colour and the rest in the plain Manx, or a Fair Isle patterned yoke. I won't have to spin all the Manx if that's the case, as that will only need about 300g or so for a whole sweater. But we will see.
Now this stuff below, processed in the same way as the Shetland above, as about 50g of white BFL/tussah blend dyed in Away Wi' The Fairies.
I may or may not get round to this - it's a quick drumcarded gradient blend I whizzed up on Sunday afternoon too. This may be spun, or I may leave it as an example of what can be done for next weekend's workshop I'm teaching on colour-blending.
The advantage of processing the tops into the 'rolags', fauxlags as some people call them (cringe), is that I can spin these long draw into a woollen-type yarn, and far faster than other styles of spinning. A woollen-type yarn is much lighter and airier than a worsted-style one, and better for knitting (IMO, of course). If I was processing fleece, of course, I would be using hand-cards and making proper rolags, but I haven't got around to actually pulling out any washed fleece.
I may be desperate enough for some other movement with my arms and shoulders in a day or two that I would welcome the chance to do something other than spinning.
My Timbertops Leicester wheel is out of action at the moment, but all is not lost! The Manx will get spun up on my Majacraft Suzi; it's my workhorse wheel and, as this is the biggest job, it needs consistency.
My Haldane Lewis wheel will come out for, I think, the Summersky Shetland. It's got five bobbins, so I should be able to spin all the singles before plying.
The Away Wi' The Fairies may end up being spindle-spun. We will see, but I do want to do the Spring Challenge on both wheel and spindle to see exactly how well I can do on both. This challenge involves seeing the total amount of yarn that can be both spun and plied within an hour,
I don't work Fridays anyway, and I have booked Thursday off work. Let's see how much I can do!