Knitters have their Olympics. Spinners have the Tour de “Fleece.” The “Tour de Fleece” is a spin-a-long that follows the Tour de France, which this year runs from July 2nd to July 24th. The Tour is not just for experienced spinners. It’s a great opportunity to dust off your wheel, dig out your spindle and find that fiber that’s been languishing in the back of your stash. If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to learn to spin, now would be a great time. Spinning is like having your cake and eating it too. Not only do you get to play with fluffy fibers, you then get to knit or crochet with it after you spin it. It’s like getting to enjoy your yarn for twice as long! The basic guidelines (not rules, remember there are no spinning police!) for the Tour are as follows:
1. Spin every day the Tour rides, if possible: Saturday July 2nd through Sunday July 24th. Days of rest: Monday July 11th, Monday July 18st. (Just like the actual tour). You don’t need to spin a lot every day. You can commit to as little as 10-15 minutes a day. You’d be surprised how much you can accomplish in that amount of time and how quickly you hone you spinning skills. In fact, you might start to become addicted to it and not want to stop!
2. Spin something challenging Friday July 22nd. (The Tour’s toughest mountain stage over the Col du Galibier for the second time, and finishing up on Alpe d’Huez.) The Tour is hosted on Ravelry where you can find out more information about teams, prizes, and how it all got started. fibre space™ has its own team in the Tour, “Team Spin in Space.” Join the forum and encourage your fellow spinners along the tour! Come out to fibre space™ on Saturday, July 2nd from 10-noon to kick off the tour. There will be a “spin doctor” to help you get your wheel up and running again or help you take the “drop” out of your drop spindle. Looking for something to spin? The classroom is filled with loads of fibery goodness as well as books and DVDs on spinning. There’s something for all levels of spinner:
The “classics” great for newer spinners or spinners that haven’t spun in a while – Merino top from Pear Tree and Squoosh, and BFL top (Blue-Faced Leicester) from Miss Babs Looking to spice up your merino or BFL – Miss Babs has 3 yummy combinations of either BFL or merino combined with tussah silk or silk and bamboo.
Imagine spinning your own lace-weight singles or 2-ply fingering weight yarn for that special lacey something. Want to try something different – Try Polworth by either Pigeon Roof Studios or Squoosh. Polworth is medium staple fleece similar to merino and oh so soft. Or try Wensleydale (not just a cheese!), a lustrous longwool by Sweet Georgia. Lastly, there is roving by Imperial Stock Ranch in 3 natural shades. It’s a great fiber to practice a long draw or more woolen spinning and would be great knitted up into cozy items for Winter.