Whether it’s the Zombie-pocalypse, more run-of-the-mill disasters like floods or hurricanes or tornadoes, an annual family picnic you plan, or a simple playdate for your kids, it’s generally agreed upon that being ‘prepared’ is a good thing. While it’s true that I am prepared for a whole lot of scenarios at any given moment (we can thank Mr Knitting Sarah for that), there is one event that I am most expertly prepared for: the Tour de Fleece. I spend all year building a stash that I can’t possible spin through at any normal rate. I train with great vigor and dedication. I plan out the fibers I will spin. I bring them out of storage and get them ready to go as the start date nears. I keep my wheel in good repair with my different flyers at the ready and am ready for minor repairs should they be necessary. When the start date arrives, no one is more prepared.
If you haven’t joined the Tour de Fleece yet, if you are a spinner I really encourage you to do so. Whether you are a newbie spinner or very experienced, it is a great opportunity to meet other spinners, pick up some new tricks and tips, and be inspired. You can spin on your own or find a team — there are no shortage of teams out there — just check out the official Ravelry thread. Many teams, like Team Cloudlover & Team Dyeabolical, for which I’m spinning are super laid-back — you can spin as much or little as you like and whatever fiber you like. There are even a number of brand new spinners — so new spinners don’t be intimidated! I can’t say enough how much talent and knowledge and awesomeness are on these teams. Honestly, I’m not sure if I love the spinning or camaraderie more!
Having joined — as I said — both Team Cloudlover & Team Dyeabolical, I’ve been turning over spinning options for this TdF for the last few weeks and this morning I finally pulled out my options. Yes, this morning was full of the scent of vinegar, the flood of color, and the anticipation of all the possibilities that lay before me. It is my instinct to save my favourite things for last, to savor them and let all those possibilities linger in my mind for longer. I learned, however, from the last TdF to do what I love most first — I think I better appreciate everything when I allow myself to just take that leap with the colors and fibers that most inspire me in the moment. With that in mind, here are some of my very favourites from my stash that are on deck for this TdF.
The top two fibers are from Dyeabolical and are from L to R: Golden Afternoon in Polwarth/Silk & Themyscira in Mixed BFL/Silk
The bottom three are from Cloudlover Yarn & Fiber and are from L to R: Blue Hawaii in BFL/Silk, Harvest Moon in Polwarth/Silk, and Rivendell in BFL/Silk
If I opt to undertake a challenge, I think it will be these two braids in a double marl — both from the Cloudlover Yarn & Fiber Fiber Club.
It wouldn’t seem right without pulling out a couple braids that have just been lingering in my stash.
On the left in 100% BFL from Sun Valley Farms in the Gone Fishing Colorway that I picked up at WI Sheep & Wool last year and on the right is a merino/cashmere/silk blend from Frabjous Fibers in the Fiddleheads colorway that I think I bought shortly after I bought my wheel… 3 or 4years ago (whoops).
And last but not least, this braid of 100% extrafine merino found its way to my house last week from Fairmount Fibers.
In the Blue Jay colorway, how could this bird nerd resist? When I was showing my husband this braid, one of our neighborhood blue jays alighted on one of our feeders. We both looked from the bird to the fiber and back to the bird and nodded at each other. Yep, it definitely is the colors of a blue jay!
I’ve promised myself a relaxed TdF and most of the fibers I’ve pulled out will be spun into lightweight yarns, so I don’t expect to even spin through half of these braids. I just never know where my wheel might take me though, so that’s what all the ‘work’ this previous year has been for. I’ve been training. I’ve been filling my shelves with supplies. I’m prepared for anything. Now it’s time to get spinning!