How I Won Spinzilla

I started Spinzilla a day late on Tuesday by spinning 1 ounce of a batt. Wednesday, I spun the second ounce and finished the single. I let the twist rest Thursday and Friday. Saturday, I wound the single into a ball to ply it back on itself. On the last day of Spinzilla, I plied and had a lovely new skein of handspun to drool over. 

This year I thought I’d spend a few minutes spinning everyday until the end of the challenge. Enjoying spinning and not rushing the process was the name of game. I also wanted to spin through my stash of batts which, while not large, is enough to play with. Didn’t really happen like that. Certainly enjoyed the spinning and process, but I didn’t spin every day or clear out my batt stash. I spun just the one batt, and an awesome batt it was, into 130 (390 yards with the plying credit) yards of worsted weight 2-ply yarn. 

That one skein was all it took to win Spinzilla. I definitely did not top last years winning total of 20+ miles spun by a rogue spinner, but I did change the rules. Instead of spinning as much yarn as I could in week, I had fun spinning a batt; added a great new skein to my handspun stash; and got excited about spinning again. The weekend before Spinzilla, my bobbins still had leftover singles from Tour de Fleece on them. Other projects - daily drawing, finishing the Norma Blanket, and yoga - took over my time. Spinzilla brought me back to my wheel after a long drought. Now that I think about it, that long drought is probably the reason I wanted to revel in the process instead of pushing to spin, spin, spin. Now that Spinzilla is over I’ve got plans for for new handspun to make, and spinning is going to be a regular part of my routine again. In the end, 390 yards was all I needed to win. 

What was your Spinzilla like? I hope you won too.

In The Middle of Spinzilla

We’re three days into Spinzilla and I still haven’t finished filling my first bobbin. The fiber, a batt from Fairytale Fibers, is lovely, so why am I not filling all my free time with spinning? Simple. I don’t want to rush my spinning. I know Spinzilla is a challenge to spin as much yarn as possible, but there are other priorities higher on the list this year. I want to enjoy the fiber. I want to enjoy the process of spinning. I want to enjoy the ritual of sitting down at my wheel. I can’t do any of that if I’m rushing to make miles of yarn in a single week.

That said, I’m not ditching the challenge part of Spinzilla. Just redefining it. Instead of spinning all the yarn, I’m spinning all the batts and the wilder stuff I’ve got stashed away. There are batts, mini-batts, and mashups of fiber. This is the week I step out of my comfort zone and spin something with texture. Maybe even art yarn which I want to make, but have no idea what to do with afterward. If I happen to spin a mile of yarn doing it, great. If I don’t, that’s great too.

The rest of my goals for the challenge are pretty simple. Spin every day. Don’t hurt myself. Have fun. These are things I can do. 

What are your Spinzilla goals?

Updated Yardage Calculator for Spinzilla 2015

Spinzilla is next week! The deadline to sign up for the annual challenge to spin all the yarn is this Friday, October 2. You can join a team or spin Rogue if you just want to challenge yourself. Spinzilla costs $10 to join and the money goes to support the NeedleArts Mentoring Program which teaches kids spinning, weaving, knitting, crochet, and spinning. Signed up? Great!

I've spun Rogue since Spinzilla began in 2013 and I'm doing it again this year. In 2014 I wanted to spend more time making yarn and less time totaling yardage so I made a spreadsheet to do the math for me. I've made a few improvements to this year's version and it still calculates plying credit. The first is that the calculator will now tell you how many miles you've spun. The other improvement is actually a second calculator that converts meters to yards and gives all the same information as the first calculator.

To use this spreadsheet, please click "File" in the main menu under "Spinzilla 2015 Yardage Calculator". To use in Google Docs, click "Make a copy..." To download for use in Excel or as an Open Document, click "Download As".

Thanks and Happy Spinning!