I listened to the latest Yarnspinners tales podcast, and she encourages spinners to issue themselves an Olympic spinners’ challenge (most knit blog readers probably know about the Yarn Harlot’s immortal knitting olympics, which, as far as I know, will not take place this year but only at the next winter Olympics in 2010). The Olympic games will take place from 8-24 August. I’ve decided that my challenge will be to spin up one of the packages from the Fyberspates fibre club. They are about 4 oz each, and my choices so far (by the start of the Games I’ll have received one more) are:

Fyberspates supersorted ShetlandFyberspatesclub1 001
(Supersorted Shetland on the left, superwash merino on the right).

This doesn’t sound like much, but the explanation is that the days of the Olympic Games, 8-24 August, will be the busiest period of my life for several years. I will move into a new home and start a new job. If I manage to spin anything at all, let alone 4 oz, it will be a pretty good indication of how important this new hobby is to me. If I do manage to meet my challenge, I will consider (gulp!) getting a wheel. Wish me luck. If you do decide to make yourself an Olympic spinning challenge, I’d love to hear from you!

Speaking of spinning, I have a couple of new WIPs:

Fyberspates silk hankies

I started this a little while ago, but haven’t posted a picture before. This is Fyberspates silk hankies in plum and gold, on my Bosworth mini (17 g) in zebrawood. Silk hankies are fully drafted before you spin, and require a great deal of pulling and tugging, much more than I’m used to from wool. The colours in this fibre are absolutely glorious.

spinWIPs June 001

This is some carded wool bought at a hobby store when I first started experimenting with spinning. It was natural-coloured, so I dyed with some bags of Kool-Aid grape. I divided the fibre, all 250 grams, into several pieces of different sizes, wet them and put them into different microwave bags. I mixed up different amounts of the Kool-Aid, poured into the different bags, closed them and steamed the packages for 40 minutes. I’m very excited to see what the finished yarn looks like. I’m spinning it on my Bosworth midi in maple using what I think is long draw. Since this is a carded fibre, and the dyeing process compacted the fibre a little, I thought that woollen spinning would suit it nicely.