Tour de Fleece is a fiber spinning event, so why do the wool and wheel hardly figure in this photo? And why did I call this post Tour de Fibre instead of Tour de Fleece?
This is my first year participating in Tour de Fleece; I’ve heard of it before but never knew what was going on till it was too late. There seemed to be a lot of pressure to spin as much as possible, to have GOBS of wool on hand, to have all one’s bobbins empty at the beginning and full at the end. None of this appealed to me (except the gobs of wool). It felt like a recipe for stress and undesirable results, i.e. no time to ponder what you really want to do—or try—with this lovely yarn you’ve just spun. Of course, no one is really suggesting that you do this, but it felt pressure-some.
In addition to spinning, I also love to weave, particularly on pin looms. Seemed a shame there was no Tour de Weave option, so on the Facebook Pin Loom Weaving Support Group, I proposed a Tour de Fleece–Pin Loom style. Gabi suggested we call it Tour de Weave which seemed appropriate (if far-removed from the original name), so that’s what we’re calling the pin loom version of the event.
I recently had the opportunity to become an administrator on another Facebook group: Yarn from the Spinning Wheel. This was a heaven-sent opportunity for me—just what I needed—because I’ve been wanting to improve my spinning and learn new techniques (like bouclé). It appears I need a group in my corner cheering me on, as do many people. Last week I felt prompted to issue a challenge to the group, so I asked for suggestions. That’s how I learned Tour de Fleece was just around the corner. We’re going to start a YftSW team (or group) to urge each other on in our individual goals. (I wanted to call it Yift Spiw—in honor of Hermione’s S.P.E.W.—but not sure how that will go over with everyone else. Secretly I call it that myself—yift (a yarn product) spewing from the wheel.)
In order to avoid confusion between Tour de Fleece and Tour de Weave (most of the time my tongue calls it Tour de Farce), I’m dubbing the month of Juillet: Tour de Fibre (the spelling preserves the hint of Frenchness).
Sue’s TOUR DE FIBRE GOALS
- Spin 1-2 hours per day—wheel or spindle—fun stuff as well as specific goal
- Spin “Blackberry” silk
- Ply “Blackberry” with previously spun “Whales Road”
- Study spinning (about 3 hours per week)
- Weave 1-2 hours per day (this is interchangeable with spinning: work at least two hours/day on fiber craft)
- Finish 6″ red-and-green squares and join to those already woven and joined
- Free up 4″ Wunderwag looms
- “Other” activities to consider
- Weave words: W-I-N-T-E-R, S-P-R-I-N-G, S-U-M-M-E-R, and A-U-T-U-M-N
- Make 8″ loom
- Design 1-2 patterns/week (mostly 2LW); it would be nice to weave some of them too—hint, hint
- Spin something that terrifies (or intimidates) you (like that black Wensleydale)
- Work on joining squares for previously woven projects (and/or: work in ends!)
- Work on rigid heddle
- Make more bears for Little Lambs Foundation (1-3 bears/week)—these are made of fleece and felt, so they definitely belong in Tour de Fibre
- Sub-standard effort (1-3 points per day)
- Standard effort (4-5 points per day)
- Extra effort (6-8 points per day)
- Super Duper Trouper effort (9-10 points per day)
(Rewards for point totals to be determined. I’m thinking a big haul of fiber to spin. A pound per point? Nah, that’s probably overly generous. An ounce on the other hand… Ha ha! We’ll see.)
Don’t forget to RELAX (though all caps isn’t relaxing-looking), HAVE FUN, and above all, HAVE A GREAT PLAYLIST lined up!