So, apparently there’s an event called the Tour de Fleece, that coincides with the Tour de France.   Yarn spinners, spin along with the cyclists on their three week adventure.  All of the basic information and “rules” can be found here.

Really, there aren’t many rules and that’s what appeals to me.   I’m not known to be much of a rule abider.   The Tour runs from July 4 – July 26, and if you’re trying to stick closely to the cycling tour, you will challenge yourself on their “challenge days”, and take a break on their rest days.   Other than that:

Have fun.

Challenge yourself.

Spin.

Those are rules that I can abide by!    So, next, I had to figure out what team/s I was going to join. There are a few main groups on the main page I linked to above, but a lot of wildcard teams that can be anything from a group spinning fibre from an independent dyer to a group of people who like the same thing (like Sherlock or Harry Potter, just two of the groups I happened to notice).

I decided to go with Team JulieSpins because I have so much beautiful fibre from her and this seemed like the perfect excuse to spin it and because you’re allowed to join as many teams as you want, I decided to join Team Canada as well.   Mostly, because Canadians are pretty awesome and Team Canada has about the best team logo ever!

I mean, who doesn’t love a knitting beaver, riding a goose and wearing a rainbow bikini!!

The first step of getting ready Tour de Fleece 2015 was to finish up some projects and empty all my bobbins.   I had started spinning a fun multi-coloured braid called “Dubstep” by Northbound Knitting:

Grey Sheltland 70% & Silk 30%, I love how the grey gives it a heathered look.

In between spinning sessions, I also pulled out all my JulieSpins fibre and tried to figure out what I might want to spin:

All the pretties

After I finished the “Dubstep”, I decided to ply it with “Nightshade”, by Sweet Georgia .

Nightshade, wrapped around the Dubstep bobbin

 

Nightshade on the bobbin, 100% merino.  Colour isn’t quite accurate, but it was such a pretty picture, I couldn’t resist.

I stayed up late last night to finish plying the Dubstep and Nightshade.   This morning I set up my new  skeiner, yardage counter and swift to skein it up.   I also re-skeined the Bougainvillea and the Twilight/Moonlight that are now dry.

 

The interesting this is that on the two skeins that I had already counted, I got completely different yardage.   I’m guessing that my trying to count 300 wraps on the niddy noddy wasn’t quite as accurate as I hoped it was.    Here is the lovely skein finished in all it’s glory.    I love how the nightshade made the colours pop but also muted it overall.
Dubstep by Northbound Knitting, 70% Shetland, 30% silk plied with
Nightshade by SweetGeorgia, 100% Merino
535 yds (pre-bath)

After I finished plying them, I had a fair amount of the Nightshade left over, so I decided to attempt a Navajo ply (or chain ply), which involves looping a single strand through a loop to triple ply it.   I was actually pretty pleased with the attempt.

About 30 yds of Navajo plied 100% merino.

And with that bobbin empty, ALL of my bobbins were empty and I’m ready for TourdeFleece 2015.

Here is what I plan on working on over the next three weeks (all JulieSpins fibre):
10.2 oz of Ocean Depths, 80% Merino, 20% Black Tussah Silk
6.1 oz of Monet’s Sketchbook, 80% Merino, 20% Black Tussah Silk
15 oz of Tartan, 100% Shetland.
My personal challenges are to be to try to spin everyday the tour rides, fractal spin the Monet’s Sketchbook and just try to make it through the fibre.   I also have plans for this yarn as well, which I don’t typically do.   I usually just spin for the sake of spinning.   Over 31 oz might be a wee bit ambitious but I’m willing to give it a go and it may mostly depend on how my ankle holds out.
And with that – I’m off on my first Tour de Fleece! And?  It means that my blog is now caught up to the present, YAY!   Happy Spinning everyone!