Still Spinning Along With Tour de Fleece


Somehow, I was under the impression that Tour de Fleece is a lot longer that 3 weeks. I read the dates and wrote them down but my mind kept telling me that I had months and months to spin. I had this same mistaken thought last year too. So, I let myself be distracted by Steam Summer Sales, new video games, and long walks on the beach. So much for my goal of spinning everyday of the Tour. Well, Tour de Fleece ends this Sunday and I’m still spinning the second single. It is for a fingering weight yarn, in my defense, but I’m still got to get my butt spinning, spinning, spinning.

Spinning the second ply for a fractal spun yarn turned out to a bit harder than I thought. I spun the first ply from all the small divided chunks of fiber. My hands adjusted to all that thin fluff and switching to the bulkier, undivided roving threw my hands for a loop. It was hard to spin a matching, consistent single to match the first. My spindle kept dropping and my frustration kept rising.


The only solution was to break down and predraft, aka thinning without adding twist to, the roving. When I first taught myself to spin, I always predrafted the fibers. Once my hands learned the motions of drafting and I could keep up with the spindle, I didn’t have to predraft before spinning anymore. Not predrafting became a source of pride. I thought that if I had to predraft fiber that I was taking a step backward and would lose all my spinning cred. The truth is that predrafting is just another technique in the spinner’s tool box. Sometimes you’ll need it and sometimes you won’t. When you’re first learning to spin, predrafting can be be a huge help but it isn’t strictly necessary. Using it later down the road to create consistent, matching singles won’t get your spinner’s license revoked. Just like there’s no knitting police, there’s no spinning police either. Do what works for you and the yarn you’re creating.


There are just 5 days left in the tour and I’m going to make the most of them. I’m going to finish the second single today and then there will be ALL the plying. It’s definitely a race to the finish. How’s your Tour spinning along?