Tour de Fleece 2012

Tour de Fleece, the annual spin - along to the Tour de France, has been in the back of my head for a couple of months. I kept hearing about it every few weeks and kept not deciding whether or not to join. Turns out, today, June 30th, is the first day of Tour de France and the Tour de Fleece. I thought I was out of the running this year until I checked the mail.

Waiting for me was a 4 oz. Spinner’s Hill Batt aptly named Garden Vegetable. I’ve never spun or even bought a batt before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Honestly, I was thrown for a complete loop. What am I supposed to do with this thing?

It’s huge and fluffy, and almost the size of my cat. (He’s also very fluffy by the way.) I’ve never tried to spin from anything like this before. Since the Tour de Fleece is all about challenging yourself and spinning yarn, I’m in. 

I might be going a bit overboard on my goals/challenges the first time around but why not? Whether I meet them all or not, I still be better than when I started.

  1. Learn new skills. I still pretty new to the whole spinning yarn thing and there is so much to learn and experiment with, and refine. This means that some days I might just watch tutorials and read articles. Then, the next day is all practice, practice, practice.
  2. Try new fibers. Till now, I’ve been spinning with nondescript wool, Bluefaced Leicester, and a little bit of Polworth. In my stash, there’s Corriedale, Faulkland, Alpaca Blends, and Silk Mawatas. It’s time to branch out.
  3. Expand my toolset. I’ve got a few heavier spindles, a niddy-noddy, a knitted plying ball, and a few dowels I’m using as bobbins. Turns out, I’m actually serious about this whole spinning thing,  so it’s time for a few more tools - a WPI gauge and a lighter spindle, for example. Any suggestions?
  4. Understand? Good. Play! I’ve spun a lot of the past few months and I’m light years ahead of where I was in March but I’m still afraid to pull out the good, hand dyed stuff because I might mess it up. Time to nip that in the bud, pull out the good stuff, and make some yarn.