OK, I confess—I haven't actually watched the Tour de France. Not having a television or cable (by choice) means I only pick up tour news here and there online.
BUT! Things are spinning around here, nonetheless. The Tour de Fleece has been great fun and productive. Instead of spindling 15 minutes a day, I've mostly been doing 30 minutes or more.
Some things I have learned: As your spindles fill, they get heavier. Which means they are going to topple over if you put them in a small glass jar. I've switched to a heavy ceramic mug filled with rice; no more toppling.
Also: Be patient. Really patient. It is humbling to learn a new skill and be a beginner again. When I see the perfect, beautiful yarns being produced by more experienced spinners on Team Spindlers, I admire them and envy them and want my yarn to be just as fabulous. Maybe it will be, someday. For now, I have to be patient and just keep spinning.
Another lesson: Don't mistake feet for yards. (Seems obvious but not for me, I guess!) My niddy noddy is a foot long, so when I wind my plied yarn onto it, I count the feet as I go. For one glorious morning I was thrilled at how much BFL I had spun—wow, so much! Although I was also a little puzzled—how come it doesn't look like that much? Finally I remembered I needed to divide the number of feet by three to get the number of yards I'd actually produced (a mere 62).
Yet another lesson: Spinners are generous. My sister Jenny (an expert spinner) has shared spindles, books, a DVD ... not to mention loads of information and good advice every time I ply her with questions on Ravelry (pun intended). Without her, I wouldn't even be doing this.
And thanks to Christine of Skeinny Dipping, I've also started spinning some dark brown CVM/Romeldale. Out of the blue on Instagram, she offered to send me a little. Of course, I said yes! It's springy and gorgeous and I had it on a spindle within minutes of opening the package.
So far I've produced two spindles' worth of mixed BFL and plied that into a 62-yard skein. I also tried dyeing the test skein of BFL I made before the Tour with hickory nuts (saved from last fall). I loved the resulting brown and may end up dyeing all of the BFL yarn the same way.
I've also spun one full spindle of Cormo and wound that off; a second spindle of Cormo is now in progress.
When I first signed on for the Tour de Fleece, I wondered if I would regret it. Would I have time? Would I enjoy it? But instead, I'm so into it I have to remind myself there are other projects that need my attention (like a couple new designs I look forward to sharing soon). If you're taking part, I'd love to hear about your spinning. What lessons has the Tour de Fleece taught you?
A quick sale reminder: The Tour de Fleece discount on the Shallows cowl, mitts, or set ends July 26. Use the coupon code TDF2015 to save 25% in my Ravelry shop.