Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ready? Set? Wait!

My Romney fleece before processing
It's that time of year again.  The time for some friendly competition.  Our weapon of choice? Spinning wheels.  That's right, it's Tour de Fleece time!  I think this is the third year I have taken part in this fun spinning competition organized by volunteers on Ravelry.  It's a great way to challenge yourself and find some motivation at the same time. Fortunately, three of my fellow knitsibs will be taking part in the games, so knit night should turn into a veritable wheel-a-palooza for the next three weeks. 

My team for the Tour is Team Sasquatch, which consists of knitting and spinning podcasters and their listeners.  It's nice to be on a big team of people with a common interest (well, other than knitting).  Competitors cheer each other on, offer advice and encourage those with spinning injuries or equipment failure.  Having your drive band snap just when you are just getting your spinning groove on is just not cool.  You need moral support for that kind of tragedy!

My goal for this year's Tour is to spin up a beautiful Romney fleece that a friend and I bought at Rhinebeck a year and a half ago.  We sent the fleece out to be processed and split what came back, each getting about 2.5 lbs of gorgeous wool, which is the most fiber I've ever purchased at one time. I want to spin all of it up on the 23 days of the tour and if I have time I'm going to try to ply it as well. 

Weighing one of my Tribbles!
While the Tour doesn't start until Saturday, there are things I can do to get ready.  Yesterday, I started prepping my roving and gathering all the various bits of equipment I'll need to spin and ply my yarn.  I split up the roving into 2oz bumps so that I could pace myself throughout the Tour.  I ended up with 20 of them, so that means I could spin just a bump a day during the tour and meet my goal.  My little bumps of roving look suspiciously like tribbles according to my husband... What do you think?  So, what I need to do in the next two days is check over my wheel and do any regular maintenance that I probably haven't done recently, like oiling all the moving part and tightening up the joints that inevitably work loose as you spin over long periods of time.  I already gathered up all the free bobbins I had available to me, so I think I'm doing pretty well. 

Now I just have to be a patient little spinning and wait until Saturday evening to get my spin on!

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