Thursday, July 2, 2009

Tour De Fleece 2009 Preparations

It's that time of year again, time for all spinners to race along with the athletes in the Tour de France, to complete their own fibery goals in the Tour de Fleece. Last year I set myself goals that I thought were achievable but not too stressful, being on vacation in Europe and knowing that I would be limited in the amount of fiber I could spin.

This year, the training wheels (ha-ha wheels, I kill me!) are coming off.

This year, I come home to my spinning wheel on almost every day of the tour. Interspersed are a couple of weekend trips that will necessitate some spindle spinning in order to truly meet the goal of spinning on race days along with the cyclists, but it's not like I'll be confined to the car nearly every day like last year.

This year, I have a METRIC TON of stash that I want to spin up. Okay, maybe not that much, but here's some stats from my Ravelry stash:

- 20 4-ounce bundles of combed top (80 ounces!)
- 14 ounces in other put-ups (some batts, some angora fluff, etc.)
- Some leftover gray fleece locks (maybe 6 or 7 ounces)
- About 7 pounds of dirty raw fleece (for you role-playing nerds out there, raw fleece carries a 2-point "fiber deliciousness" merit, but a 3-point "difficult prep" flaw.) There's a small pile of washed locks from the first batch, probably not more than 3 ounces.

Looking just at stuff that I could start spinning tomorrow, that's somewhere around 6 pounds of fiber. 6 pounds. Two years ago, I stashed sock yarn like it was on the endangered species list. It's been a big old fiber fest over here since then.

Now for some vendor statistics:

1. About 12% of the fiber stash is unspun Verb Fiber club fiber (I am very good about spinning this right away)

2. About 29% of the fiber stash is unspun Pigeonroof Studios fiber. I got a little carried away with my stashing rule for hard-to-find fibers. The rule is, if you normally see it less than once a month for sale, you are pretty much allowed to buy it whenever you do find it, even if you don't have a project in mind or are only mildly interested in the color.

3. About 45% of the fiber stash is unspun Hello Yarn fiber (28% club fibers, 17% from shop updates). This is what I hoard the most. With Adrian's colors, I still suffer from "I don't want to screw it up" syndrome so often found in new spinners. In fact, I have yet to actually knit with any of my Hello Yarn handspun! Clearly there are some issues I need to work through here, but until then, I have some very lovely stash to pet.

So here's what I'm going to do. I want to assign real, honest-to-goodness projects for a large chunk of the fiber stash, and spin for projects. There's already a couple I have in mind. I bought some Tactile BFL with the Verdigris pattern in mind, and there's my idea for the Danish Heather Shawl(Rav link) using Pigeonroof fiber. That one should take four or five bumps out of the running! I also have a bump of Sanguine Gryphon merino/silk roving that I'd like to spin to duplicate the Morning Surf Scarf I made last winter. Interspersed with this, I want to have a few skeins that I spin specifically without a really solid idea of what they will become. The idea is to balance planning with letting go of my need to control everything. On top of this, I need at least one spindle-appropriate project, singles will be done on the weekend of the 10th-13th, and to be plied at the end of the tour, the 24th-26th.

There's an awesome team called "Raw Power" who are all spinning a pound of fiber they've prepped from raw to spinnable form for the Tour. I'd love to do this if I wasn't working, and I think it would also be neat to see how much prep I could do during the tour on Blake's fleece. But the work schedule would just make me crazy, since it takes a few hours per washed batch of fiber, doing it the way I am now in my bins.

So I'm spindling, wheel spinning, spinning to reduce stash, spinning for projects, and spinning for fun. I nice side effect of the tour is that it keeps me blogging regularly. I did manage to get 4 posts in for the month of June, even though they were a little light on the knitting content. Today and tomorrow, I'll be clearing out the bobbins. Here we go! Vive la France!

1 comment:

Janice said...

hmmm...maybe I will make a TDF goal to spin for a tie-shawl.