A couple weeks ago I took a jump and signed up for two Tour de Fleece teams for this upcoming season. My friends from Hanks finally have time to play along with the Tour this year, so they’ve got a team (Team Procrastinating Peddlers), and there’s a Nerd Wars team too, naturally.
For those of you who are unfamiliar (and I include myself in that group), the Tour de Fleece is a celebration of spinning that runs simultaneously with the Tour de France. The guidelines (not rules) are to roughly parallel le Tour: spin every day le Tour rides, do something challenging the day of the most challenging Tour stage (July 22nd), and wear yellow on July 24th to celebrate victory. I’ve heard of the Tour de Fleece before, but have never participated, not having been a spinner and all.
Which leads me to this: have I mentioned that I’m learning to spin? I am! I finally set foot down that slippery slope a few weeks ago and have been really enjoying it. I thought I probably would and, yeah. I was right. I’ve been playing with a drop spindle and a BFL roving in some lovely blues and purples and am having lots of fun.
A few weeks ago a friend had a KIP event and I took my spindle. Evidence of me spinning (and looking fat and haggard):
As I’ve been spinning along, I’ve wrapped my new-spun yarn around a very classy former-paper-towel-roll bobbin. I need to figure out how to get it off of there, next, and do all that set-the-twist thing. I showed this to Diana at the shop last Friday and she was impressed. She said I had a “natural affinity” for spinning, which made me pretty proud. I think it’s all the time I’ve spent with Lorena, Sharon, and Ginger — their spinning awesomeness must have just rubbed off on me.
For the Tour de Fleece, my goal is to try as many different fibers as I can. I’m not going to do production spinning at this point in my career, but experimenting seems like a reasonable goal.
Clockwise from the top left, we have:
1. Some Wensleydale a customer at the shop gave me to try. I’ve seen this spun up and it is exactly the kind of thing I want to do, so this will be a little later in the Tour, when I know more of what I’m doing.
2. Some Corriedale from the same customer.
3. I’m not entirely sure what this was, from the same customer. I think it’s alpaca, but I’m not 100% certain.
4. A 75/25 BFL/silk blend from Abstract Fibers. I want to eat it up. Om nom nom.
5. A Corriedale cross from Inspiration Fibers, in the lovely Outer Rim Planets colorway. Eee!
6. Merino wool combed top. Who doesn’t love merino wool? Other than those with allergies, I guess. I love this colorway, too…it looks like cinnamon to me.
Not pictured: about an ounce and a half of the blue and purple BFL that I started spinning with.
I need to get some drafting going so I’m ready to kick off the Tour on the second. Hurray for new hobbies!