Saturday, July 02, 2011

LeTour de Fleece - Day 1

This is my chosen fiber for the 2011 Le Tour de Fleece. The idea of Le Tour is to to spin every day that the Tour de France cyclists compete, plus including challenging oneself, doing something difficult during the most difficult day of the Tour de France... you get the idea.

I've started Le Tour de Fleece the past 2 years, and haven't finished. This year I'm on the start line again! My big challenge will be to finish Le Tour. My stretch challenge will be to complete the above batts. I'll be using my Majacraft Rose, and the days I'm not at home, I'll have one of my trusty spindles with Shetland fiber. I have moorit and white in work that I take with me for demonstrations.

I took the Designer Batt class at Shepherds' Extravaganza this year - taught by Amy Wolf. These batts came from that class. The class was incredible. If you ever have the opportunity to take a class from Amy, or listen to her judge sheep or fleeces, DON'T MISS OUT!!! She is an incredible instructor and judge, always with something positive to say.

The batts are:

(Vertical from left) - Rescue batt, Gradations (dark), Gradations (light), Rainbow, Water Lilies, and horizontal - Sunset.

They're all made from Washington grown fiber :-) and include kid mohair, Romney, Gotland :-) :-) :-) , Jacob, Icelandic, Shetland, Corriedale, and some I don't remember. We got to add silk, more mohair, flash, and other assorted goodies. Amy had some examples and walked us through making shade and tint gradations, rainbow batts and rescue batts (something didn't turn out well - instead of tossing the fiber, add "things" to it!)

I think I'll start with the shade and tint gradations. I won't be alone in my spinning. My "helpers" Toby and Kat are always close by!

And just so the sheep don't feel left out... This is my favorite Gotland ewe: Gem.
Gem is 75% Gotland and 25% Finn. She has lovely, lustrous, dark grey curls, and classic Northern Shorttail conformation, plus is friendly and easy to handle. Lovely ewe!

This year, Gem gave us two beautiful 87.5% lambs. The lighter one is a ram with the tight pincurl type lamb fleece that I love. Her ewe, Crystal, has the more traditional curly fleece. Their sire is Hamish Black's (Chocolate Wool NZ) Gotland ram, Ralph.

More Le Tour and Lamb updates to come!


Theresa said...

Love the Gotlands! Thanks for putting up the pictures!

Donna said...

I will cheer you on from the sidelines! Go Franna!

Michelle said...

I'll cheer to the finish line! Love the batts; can't wait to see all the yarn. I've started Inky on a spindle; plan to start the combed top on the miniSpinner tonight.

Kelly Bartels said...

What a lovely Gotland! My favorite color of fleece.

Franna said...

Mine, too, Kelly. That's one of the reasons we have them. :-)