Tour de Fleece update

Published on Friday July 21st, 2006

In an effort to keep this blog mostly about knitting, and because you’d all be bored to tears, I haven’t been showing you the bulk of my fiber-related activity this month. Did you really need to see any more pictures of lumpy ginger-colored merino singles? You can just imagine the 3.5 other balls like that first one, right?

But I finished that hank of roving (hank? What’s the term for a mass of roving? Cortex? Hairball? Cocoon? Dreadlock? Just plain lock? Yarn potentiality?), and now I’m on to the teal:

teal_singles.jpg teal_singles1.jpg

I thought this was merino, but it doesn’t seem to be the same fiber as the gingery stuff. It’s…hairier, if that makes any sense. Okay, both of them are composed entirely of hair, but the teal hair reminds me of my great-aunt Priscilla’s (hers was red and then white, never blue-green, but it stuck up and the light shone through it in photographs, so as a kid I always thought she looked like an angel) – there’s a sort of halo of fiber left around the single, rather than all the hairs smoothing neatly into yarn as the ginger merino did. I like it, though. I’m able to make it slightly bulkier, and it’s more even as a result. I’m pretty sure my teal yarn will not be overspun, except in a few little problem areas. The teal is not going to be finished by the end of the Tour, unfortunately. But I should at least have a second ball of single finished after tomorrow’s time trial, so that on Sunday’s victory lap around Paris we can have plying. I’m sort of shaking in my boots (or rather, in my Chaco sandals, because who wants to wear boots when it’s supposed to hit a record 102 degrees today?) about the plying, honestly. I’m worried I’ll do it too tightly or too loosely and make the yarn worse, not better. Oh well, it’s a learning process, right?

I’m pulling for Floyd Landis to ride a great time trial and win the Tour, by the way. His unbelievable solo performance yesterday to gain back six of the eight minutes he’d lost to his rivals proved his fighting spirit. And how can you root against a guy who wants to ride so badly that he doesn’t tell anyone he’s suffering the constant agony of a ruined hip that would keep most of us from even walking? Plus, I want his man Axel Merckx to have the pride of having ridden for the winner. It brought tears to my eyes to watch Axel, a noted non-climber, pouring his whole being into setting the pace for Floyd up the Alps when none of his teammates could hang on, dropping back out of the peloton, and then somehow clawing his way back up La Toussouire to spatula his shattered captain off the side of the road and drag him to the summit. There ought to be a Domestique Extraordinaire jersey for guys like Axel and Michael Boogerd who ride well beyond their own limits for their team leaders and rarely get any of the glory for themselves.

Just because he deserves it, I’m going to name my teal yarn after him. This will be the Axel yarn, and maybe I’ll make up a pattern for some Axel wrist warmers to knit with it. But not until the present spasm of global warming has eased. It’s too darn hot to knit wool. Which reminds me that I have yarn for that Frost Flowers pullover from last summer’s VK…hmmm…

5 Comments to “Tour de Fleece update”

  1. gleek Comment Says:

    oh, i love the color of that stuff! look at how much yarn you’re making! axel wrist warmers 🙂 funny.

  2. schrodinger Comment Says:

    Axel looks really lovely, great color. Do you think that there is some mohair in it? I was spinning a mohair/wool mix, which I found to be pretty hairy too.

  3. Molly Comment Says:

    Okay, I know nothing about spinning, but that color is GORGEOUS! And for a mass of roving.. you could call it a mass. 😉

    I *totally* agree with you that there should be a prize for the best domestique.. after all, they are the vast majority of the riders of the Tour de France, but some of them do SO much better than others! And it’s really amazing to see a few “turn themselves inside out” for their team leader! I love the idea of naming the yarn after Axel.. could commemoration, even if he never knows about it. 😀

  4. Lisa Comment Says:

    Wow – that teal yarn looks gorgeous! You’re doing such a great job at spinning – it seems to be so even and consistent! Keep up the good work!

  5. Veronique Comment Says:

    Your yarn looks beautiful! It’s so even. And that color is luscious…