Although I didn’t begin the Tour de Fleece with a specific goal, one gradually coalesced in my mind as I sat down at the wheel each night: to spin and ply one pound of fibre. If I could do that, I promised myself, then I could buy a new four-ounce braid. For every sixteen ounces out, four in. At that rate I will spin down my stash nicely. (And if I don’t make the goal by the end of the Tour, then I still won’t let myself buy anything new until I’ve spun and plied at least a pound!)

Wednesday was a Tour “Rest Day” but Thursday was the “Challenge Day”. I challenged myself to finish the Rambouillet that I’ve been working on for two weeks already. It took more than two hours of spinning to get through what was left, but now it’s all finished and resting on the bobbin, waiting for my first real attempt at chain-plying. I’ve been watching tutorial videos and I hope I can coordinate my hands well enough to come up with a nicely plied sock-weight (possibly heavy sock-weight, in places) striping yarn. The oranges and golds of this yarn will go wonderfully with dark jeans. Once this is plied, I’ll be more than halfway to my one-pound goal, but with only three spinning days left in the Tour, I’d better hurry it up. Six more ounces to spin and ply – can I do it? Will my ankles hold up to the workout? The physiotherapy is definitely helping; I have my fourth appointment this afternoon. Hopefully they’ll say I’m all cured before too long!

On my way home yesterday, I saw these three butterflies crowding each other for space on a thistle-blossom. They were so captivating that I stopped the car in the middle of the road to watch them, and then got out to take a picture. Unfortunately I only had my phone instead of a real camera, but I think it’s worth sharing anyway. The dark butterfly is a Black Swallowtail, and the two orange butterflies are Eastern Tiger Swallowtails. I am lucky to live in such a gorgeous place; every day I make a point of admiring the view as I drive up the mountain. I never want to become jaded to the beauty of the semi-wilderness.

Next up, I’m going to spin something thick, quick and woolen. It will be a nice break after the thin, slow worsted spinning I’ve been doing for what seems like forever… and it will give me half a chance of being able to reach the one pound goal by Sunday night.

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