This year is my first time to participate in the worldwide spin along called Tour de Fleece that goes together with Tour de France- a physical and mental challenge counted in 3000 km, 21 days (+ two days of rest challenge), 21 stages in different terrain types/ project types for spinners. Every participant can choose a personal challenge for her-/ himself. The goal might be the longest singles or the most challenging technique, the biggest speed or learning something new in spinning. There are many groups of spinners from all over the globe participating in the TdF and everyone can share photos of their spun fibre to the community in the Ravelry Tour de Fleece group.
There is a Polish team as well. My friend, Agnieszka, who lives in Ireland, created this lovely banner for us- we are called Team.PL. It is a coincidence but for me the PL part has a special meaning. Not only it is strongly linked to how the word Poland is abbreviated but also it is a Polish domain, which I use for my prawelewe.pl, as well as an informal abbreviation, which I use for prawelewe itself: simply PL.
Our group has its corner in the TdF group here (official in English) and here (in Polish). You are welcome to join us at any stage or just jump in with a visit to see what is currenly on our wheels and spindles. I am going to post my own challenges and achievements here, too.
Agnieszka used a graphic from a ready mug but actually there is a meaning to the jersey of the cyclist presented there. During the Tour de France the jerseys’ colours of the bikers differ and there is a meaning to each colour:
– yellow is the winner of the overall classification (this colour comes from the yellow colour paper that the first magazine announcing, and organizing, the race was printed on) = simply the best spinner
– green is the best sprinter = the fastest spinner
– white is the race’s highest ranked rider among participants 25 years of age or younger = rookie
– polka dot (like in the graphic) is the finest climber = somebody who set a very challenging goal and has reached it in a great style.
Tour de Fleece begins on 4th July and ends on 26th July. We are going to have two days of rest, i.e. 13th July and 21st July, the same dates when the competing participants rest as well. The most challenging day is going to be 23rd July, when the Tour participants climb five mountains- and for this day we all choose the most challenging project to work on.
My goals are several:
– I want to use up all the fleece and fibre I have stored and not spun yet. I will be working on quite a lot of new raw fleece soon and wish to have all my attention focused on that not having WIPs distracting me.
– I have couple of full packages of Malabrigo Nube, each set in different colour, and I am planning on spinning those first. The idea is to use different techniques for each set, e.g. navajo ply for the long awaiting WIP (Ocean Depths); fulled semi-fat, worsted singles (Dark Fruits); thick two-ply singles (the second version of my Seven Rainbows yarn is planned), slub yarn (Glitter Night)…maybe I will come up with some additional techniques for the other Malabrigo packages left.
– The raw or semi-raw fleece I have needs to be processed first so at some point I am going to card those with shorter fibres and comb those long ones. Alpaca is going to be worked into wrapped singles and spiral yarn.
– The challange day for me this year is all about core spinning but I still need to spun a thin single for the core or get some proper thread.
Great plan this is. Hopefully I manage with at least 75% of it. So far so good, here is my first day achievement:
finished yet another 113 grams of singles for navajo playing
tried to ply it already but it did not work well for me. It was late at night already so it was either that I under span the singles and would need to run them again to add more twist or I was simply too tired and the best idea was to leave the bobbin on rest for a while to get fresh approach to the playing in couple of days.
Here is the newly begun Dark Fruits singles yarn:
and the top colours are just amazing (it is such a fresh air after working with the greenish-blue of the Ocean Depths):
Off to sleep. Stay well everyone.