|Kate is spinning for Norwegian stockings. Photo: Kate Larson.
world is brimming with conversations about Tour de Fleece at the moment. TDF,
as the event is often referred to in virtual spinning communities, was first
organized in 2006 by Star
, a spinner, knitter, and designer based in Portland, Oregon. The
idea is to set a spinning-related challenge for yourself and work toward your
goal each day that the Tour de France cyclists ride. The event has grown each
year with thousands of spinners taking part. The Ravelry Tour de Fleece
alone has over seven thousand members, and dozens of spinning teams
competition began on Saturday June 29 and will end on Sunday July 21. It has
been great hearing all the different ways in which spinners are using the event
to work on techniques or tackle long-coveted projects. The official concept is
"Challenge Yourself. Spin. Have Fun." I hear many spinners say that
rather than work on a specific project, they simply challenge themselves to
find time each day to sit at their wheels. TDF allows us, en masse and in high
spirit, to identify what parts of our spinning life we want to improve. And for
some of us, that simply means making time for something that has been lurking
on the horizon, just out of reach. For my first year participating in TDF, I am
spinning four-ply sportweight yarn for a pair of knee-high Norwegian stockings.
I am using white Norwegian wool top and Gotland top from Louet for two-color
stranded knitting. Oh, the joy and delight!
Here are a
few spinners from my online neighborhood:
Habit is well-known as a knitter, designer, and all 'round artist. Now, we will
know him as a spinner as well! He is taking on the Tour de Fleece this year armed with a beautiful batt from LunabudKnits, and is getting more comfortable with handspinning. He is recording his spinning
journey on his blog, the Panopticon.
|Franklin at the wheel. Photo courtesy of Franklin Habit.
Lara Neel keeps a lively Crafty Living blog in addition to her Math4Knitters podcast for the Fort Wayne, Indiana, Journal Gazette. When Lara participated in Tour de Fleece last year, she had only
been spinning for a few months and was using a borrowed wheel. This year she
has a Schacht
Ladybug, WooLee Winder, and a
year of spinning under her belt. Lara also mentioned "the giant pile of batts I
impulse-bought from someone on Ravelry about a week before the Tour." Lara
has many happy spinning days ahead!
TDF requires a stash. Photo courtesy of Lara Neel.
Amy Norris is an accomplished
weaver and spinner. I met Amy at Midwest Weaver's Conference
a few years ago. I love following her on Facebook and seeing what she and her
friends from Complex Weavers have
on their looms. She says her Tour de Fleece goal this year is to spin an entire
fleece. "Kassia was a grey Corriedale ewe from Whitefish Bay Farm, Door
County, WI. The fleece was processed into pin-drafted roving by Ohio Valley Natural Fibers. Total finished
weight is 3.3 lbs. And I'm more than half way done—with ten Tour
|Amy has been busy! Photo courtesy of Amy Norris.
I would love
to see what you are making, too! If you would like to share your Tour de Fleece
project on Spinner's Connection, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.