Saturday, July 2, 2011

Vive la Fleece!

If you cruise around some knitting blogs today (and some of you probably have, I'm sure), you'll know that today is the first day of Tour de Fleece. This is the challenge that spinners can join each year that runs during the Tour de France, and it's a time to set challenges for yourself with your spinning skills.

The Tour de Fleece group on Ravelry posted some of the guidelines:
  1. Spin every day the Tour rides, if possible. Saturday July 2nd through Sunday July 24th. Days of rest: Monday July 11th, Monday July 18st. (Just like the actual tour)

  2. Spin something challenging Friday July 22nd. (The Tour’s toughest mountain stage over the Col du Galibier for the second time, and finishing up on Alpe d’Huez.)

  3. Wear yellow on Sunday July 24th to announce victory. Why not wear yellow on any day you feel particularly successful? (Yellow is the color of the race leader in the Tour - but here we are all ‘race leaders’)

  4. Other colors if desired: Green (sprinter - think FAST), Polka-dot (climber - as in uphill), and white (rookie)

You can also join teams and win prizes. I'm on Team Spindlers 2011 (naturally) and in the Rookies 2011 team as well. The Spindlers team asks you to post a picture of yourself spinning with a proof of date in the background somehow. I'm not sure what I could do to make that happen. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment and let me know!

My goals for the Tour are:
  1. To spin at least 20 minutes a day.
  2. To try out long draw drafting. It's a way to stretch out your wool to make a loftier, springier yarn.
  3. To try out spinning from the fold, which is another way to get lofty yarn.
I actually already started spinning at least 20 minutes a day a couple of days ago, and it's amazing what you can get done. Yesterday, I set some bread to rise for 30 minutes, and got my spindle out to spin during that entire time. I'm working on one of the bags I got from Olds: my 80/20 Alpaca/Merino. It's so lovely and easy to spin. I plan to spin it as fine as I can and then ply two singles together. We'll see how well that works.

What's amazing is that, all of a sudden, I'm spinning steadily without having to park and draft (where you have to stop the spindle so that you can get the wool ready). It's like things have miraculously clicked! Maybe it's because I've been watching so many YouTube videos of people spinning. I learn very well from watching and listening.

It's exciting jump in and play with my spindles. All I've been thinking of is spinning these days, which is making it really difficult to finish my current knitting project. I'm bound and determined to get it done in the next week, because I'm really quite bored with it, but I refuse to start anything new until it's done. One project at a time... pah!

J'espère être un champion de spin à la fin de ce défi! (I hope to be a spin champion at the end of this challenge!)


  1. Spinning seems so foreign to me.. like magic! I'm sure someday I may get into it. But for now I will watch in awe!

  2. I love this time of year both Tours going on. I am very eager to see what you're able to do. Good Luck!

  3. @Kina: It IS magic! I mean, even after studying how it all works, it still amazes me. I twist and twist, and it all stays together. Whaa?

    @YarnKettle: I just had to rip out some of the knitting I did yesterday. I may have to just let go of the knitting for now and give in to the spinning... but we'll see!

  4. You should post a newspaper following the Canadian tour of Canada for the royal couple during your tour de fleece as your proof of date! :) Everyone is touring!
    - Linette

  5. That's a good idea! I guess I better go out and buy a newspaper!

  6. Don't worry about speed spinning, concentrate on getting the yarn you want which is way more important.

    After a day of doing what you have to, having 20 minutes to spin is a perfect wind down. Keep up the good work!