Here it is, the first update of 2018’s Tour de Fleece!
Every year, I head up a team of intrepid, talented spinners as we challenge ourselves to spin yarn every day that the cyclists of the Tour de France are riding. It isn’t a concept that I created, but I’ve embraced it happily since I first heard about it. I love spinning, I love challenges, I love community – how can I not love something that combines all three? The fact that it is centered around a sport I don’t really follow doesn’t bother me one bit. I love the humor in the concept.
After checking my Ravelry records, I found that I’ve been participating in TdF since 2011, and I’ve headed up a team called Nevermore since 2012! I totally thought it was more recent than that, but it looks like I didn’t start getting “serious” about it until I started posting a team roster and prizes here and on Facebook. Pretty cool!
People ask me all the time about the rules… but really, there are no rules, at least not on my team. You set your own pace and goals, you spin to make those goals happen if you can, you share your achievements on social media and our Facebook group, and you gather your accolades… and possibly prizes!
The basic guidelines: Spin every day the Tour rides, if possible. This year’s dates are Saturday July 7th through Sunday July 29th, with Monday July 16th and Monday July 23rd as our days of rest, just like the riders in the Tour. Try to spin something challenging on the challenge days – you choose your challenge. This year those days are Tuesday, July 17 [stage 10] and Wednesday, July 25th [stage 17]. That’s it!
It costs nothing to participate, and in my team we have some fabulous prizes offered from team members – many of them have fiber businesses, but some do not. I love how so many generous people pitch in to make this event run smoothly and be so much fun for all.
I encourage teammates to post their progress, and in that spirit, here’s mine so far. We are on Stage 4 today, and I haven’t spun anything yet but I plan to ply some of these yarns together tonight so I included today’s stage in the photo. Here’s some details about my yarns:
The blues are both spindle spun, on an old eyeball spindle of mine. The thin singles is a very special yarn, made from precious fiber that was a gift from Maiysha Somers-Jones of Zebisis Designs, a dear friend who the world lost much too soon. I have been hoarding it to spin for so long… it will be going into part of my Elements project for my Artist In Residency with Fibery Goodness, for sure. Spinning it was like getting a gift all over again.
The other blue was from a small textured batt, and was full of life and fun. They seem to be meant to be together, these two yarns.
The corespun yarn and singles that match are delightful BFL wool that came from local dyer Tiny Owl Yarn. BFL is always a joy to spin and this is one bouncy corespun yarn. The plan is to ply these two together, perhaps with a lurex strand as well.
The thick and thin yarn is a super-poufy Targhee wool that came from the talented hands of Hanks In The Hood. I was lucky enough to have Jen as a FibreShare partner, and she sent me some of her ah-may-zing braids of top to play with… I plan on spinning all of this during TdF if possible. It makes THE BEST thick/thin yarn, with easy puffs that feel so soft. I also have some of this in progress as singles and I may ply with that. Not sure yet. [I often spin without a plan, because whee, living on the edge!]
…I am beyond delighted by my perfect @fibreshare package from @mthoodjen – seriously, it’s so me that I almost cried 💖 Jen caught my love of pink and orange together perfectly, and in fibers I love and am itching to spin – Targhee and Cheviot. The summertastic handspun yarn in smoothie colors is currently being petted by me. 960 yards of worsted weight Falklands wool? What CAN’T I make with this?! And the finishing touches? Local, fresh roasted coffee and chocolate covered espresso beans… Jen, you outdid yourself. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Get you some of her amazing fiber and yarn at @hanksinthehood !! @fibresharetribe #fibreshare #fibresharetribe #hanksinthehood #yarmmailisbestmail #cantstopsqueeing #fiberfriends #mthoodoregon
So that’s my first TdF 2018 update – are YOU spinning? And if so, what is on your wheel/spindle? Did you join a team? Is this the first you’ve ever heard of TdF? I’d love to hear all about it!