Sunday, July 28, 2013

Tour de Fleece 2013

July is always a blur, spent spinning during every available waking moment. Why? It's the Tour de Fleece,  a fun event that happens every year at the same time as the Tour de France cycling race (22 days). Ravelry hosts the Tour. Spinners challenge themselves personally and on teams, deciding whether they'll try for extreme yardage, extreme fibers, extreme amounts, extreme... well, you get the idea. It's all in fun, and prizes are awarded randomly, so it's not a competition (unless you want it to be).

I usually strive for a high number of skeins finished, and try to spin a variety of fibers from my favorite dyers. This year I started with a bin full of assorted handdyed wool from Southern Cross Fibre, Hello Yarn, Enchanted Knoll Farm, and Spunky Eclectic. The white is cotton.

I had several challenges for myself this year - first year acting as a Moderator in the Tour, attempting to spin as many different skeins as I could in the time I had, spinning skinny cotton on the charkha for a long-term handwoven handspun cotton curtain project, being sidelined by cataract surgery near the end.

But one thing never changes about the Tour for me - it’s FUN! I don’t worry about what others are doing, it’s all about ME ME ME. :) I challenge myself to reach higher and farther, and enjoy every bit.

I finished 12 skeins for the Tour, totaling 39 oz, nearly 2.5 pounds. Here’s their unwashed group yearbook picture.

The center skein is cotton, spun on my charkha: 0.4 oz (11g), 240 yards, 2-ply, 23/2 cotton weight, 9600 ypp (80 wpi).

Total Tour yardage this year: 4,113 yards. Yay!