23 Days in July (aka Tour de Fleece yarns 4-6 and a wrap up)

So, the last week or so of the Tour de Fleece I spent with a pound of Falklands top, half dyed in the colorway Five Plum Pie, and half in Grouch.

A first date

Grouch was the June 2010 Fiber Club offering, while Five Plum Pie came from May 2009. I decided to spin these two together when I browsed through my Hello Yarn stash and discovered that not only were they the same fiber, but they were very similar colorways. Five Plum Pie was mostly purples, with some greeny-yellow and brown accents, while Grouch was mostly greens and yellows, with a bit of purple.

I've been thinking of spinning up some yarn to knit a striped vest for a while now, using some lovely dark brown alpaca I've had sitting around for a long while. So I decided to do three different yarns: each colorway plied on itself, and one yarn that was one ply of each.

I prepped the fiber by splitting each 4 oz bump into five or six long strips and then mixing them together so they got spun in a random order.

Grouch prepped

Five Plum Pie prepped

Grouch got spun up first. I wasn't all that excited by the colors in the top, but as I spun up the singles, I got more excited about it. Yellow and greeny browns aren't really my thing, but these colors were amazing - mustard, bark brown, pea soup green, and dark plum.

Grouch bobbins

I was aiming for a DK weight 2-ply, so I spun the singles a bit thicker then my default. Next up was Five Plum Pie.

Five Plum Pie singles

This really could have been called Iris instead - beautiful blues and purples, with some bright green and beautiful dusty brown...gorgeous!

Then it was time to ply - first up was the mixture, Grouchy Pie.

Grouchy pie

Grouchy Pie

After a warm soak, I ended up with 160 yds/3.4 oz of ~12 wpi yarn - right in the DK range. Then I did a bobbin of Grouch plied to itself:



Swoon...I ended up with 344 yds/6.6 oz of Grouch, and then did the rest of the Five Plum Pie plied together.

Grouch and Five Plum Pie

Five Plum PIe

292 yds/6.3 oz. I was planning on alternating stripes of plain alpaca with each of the three colorways, but I'm not sure there will be enough variation between the Grouchy Pie and the other two to show up. So I may just use the 5PP/Grouch skeins for the vest, and save the combo for something else. But this is just another reason why this club is so good for me - I would never have picked out the Grouch on my own, and I think it's my favorite of the three yarns.

My 23 Days in July* ended up being pretty darned productive on the spinning front. Three different fibers, one of which (Wensleydale) I'd never spun before. Laceweight singles, matching skeins of 3-ply, color progression 2-ply and a colorway mixing experiment.

Tour de Fleece total output

I ended up with 2420 yds of new yarn, 39.4 ounces spun, and a whole new level of inspiration for my spinning. This challenge was just what I needed to get my mojo back after the endless purple cabled yarn, and I had an absolute blast seeing what everyone else came up with. I even won a prize! I can see getting a bunch more yarn done before it gets cold, and then I'll have a wonderful fall and winter knitting with handspun!

*with apologies to John Wilcoxson