Needle Review: Chiaogoo Red Lace needles

Today is a rest day for Le Tour de Fleece. Instead of spinning, i’m reviewing products. Let me get this out of the way first: Knitting needles are subjective. By that I don’t mean that the existence of knitting needles depends on your perspective. Rather, I mean that knitting needles, cables, tips, materials, are a matter of personal taste. I like the sharpest, pointiest, metal tips I can find. My ideal needles are Signature Needle Arts 6″ Stillettos, but since I can’t afford too many of those I buy other needles to soothe my soul. A few weeks ago I received a lovely...

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TdF day…nine?

This is a shoebox full of locks. I spent my weekend washing, then flicking locks from the fleece I brought home from Maryland Sheep and wool. In the video I did some months ago I talked about what I look for when I pick a fleece, and why I chose this one. At some point I think I say that the fleece isn’t as greasy as a full Cormo. Someone needs to monitor me when I say things like that. Really. This fleece is easily as greasy as the finest Cormo I’ve spun. It’s totally worth it, but I wanted to be honest. This started out as 3.8oz pulled from the center back of the...

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Tour de Fleece day 5

Happy Independence Day! Today is the day we here in The United States celebrate our decision to declare independence from Britain. I’m ashamed to admit that I’m in my mid thirties and I’d not read the Declaration of Independence fully for a VERY long time. I’d forgotten how specific our founding fathers were at listing the king’s misdeeds. The fact that I’m celebrating while spinning a British wool dyed here in America, and following a French bicycle race is not lost on me. I’m spinning Blue Faced Leicester wool, a breed of long wool sheep. According...

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Le Tour de Fleece day four

Ok, that skein on the right? That’s the plied, but unwashed cabled skein. I cant quite decide what it wants. I’m going to wash it and see what it looks like, and if it’s still not what I want I’m going to take it apart and add more twist to the two ply skeins before re-plying. The straight four ply? It’s lovely. The yarn is smooth and round, just what a multiple ply yarn is supposed to be. Both skeins are SUPER soft and squishy. Together they’ll make an awesome hat for my kiddo. I’m glad that I have a second four ounce braid, because I don’t...

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Tour de Fleece day 3

Actual work is getting in the way of my spinning. This is that same four ounces of fiber, now wound up onto little four inch weaving bobbins. See the maroon fiber wrapped around each bobbin? That’s the spacer yarn, which indicated where to start/stop each bobbin of fiber. The little bobbins are pretty consistent, just by my eye. The scale plays that out, for the most part: 25g, 20g, 18g, 19g, 17g, 20g, 21g, 21g Considering that I just eyeballed the splits on these, I’m happy with how even these turned out. There will be some spare singles, sure, but nothing too egregious. The...

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Tour de Fleece day 2

Now that’s a nice bobbin. That’s four ounces of organic merino wool on an Ashford Jumbo bobbin. Theres PLENTY of room for more. I don’t think I could get a full eight ounces on, but I could easily fit six.  In fact, since this is worsted spun, I might be able to fit eight ounces on if I spun woolen. What’s the difference? Worsted spun yarn has all of the air squeezed out of it. It’s denser than woolen spun  yarn, somewhat harder wearing. Why did I spin it this way? Well first, I’m spinning for consistency. I wanted the most even, consistent yarn I could...

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