Tour de Fleece Check-In
If you follow spinners or spinning groups on social media, you have likely seen some Tour de Fleece (TdF) buzz. The internet is awash in beautiful bobbins of singles and stunning skeins of handspun yarn. The TdF, during which spinners create yardage as the cyclists of the Tour de France log miles, has now passed the halfway point. (The event runs July 2‒24 this year.) I caught up with two talented spinners I have been watching from the sidelines since the Tour commenced. Here is a bit about their progress:
Kat Christensen: Team Wool n’ Spinning
Kat Christensen of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, keeps an excellent food and fiber-centric site, askatknits.com, and frequents many Ravelry and Facebook groups. She has participated in TdF for a number of years and has this to say about her 2016 experience: “I approached TdF a little differently this year. I am not focusing on spinning miles and miles, but rather spinning different fibers in different ways. I am trying to stretch my spinning skills, spin outside my ‘comfort zone,’ and learn something.” And what does Kat have on the horizon for the rest of the Tour? “I will finish plying up the vintage Crosspatch Creations batts today and start on the Sheepspot Montadale. I will then only have the Sheepspot Coopworth left, so I will do some stash diving to finish out the tour!”
Donna Molles: Team Three Waters Farm and Team Love My Lendrum
Team Three Waters Farm is an enthusiastic group of spinners who love color as much as Three Waters Farm dyer Mary Ann Pagano. Again this year, Mary Ann launched a special TdF colorway: Summer Jubilee. Team spinner Donna Molles of North Carolina has this to share: “What I love so much about the TdF is the camaraderie, encouragement, and support within our teams, and all the practice and learning that comes from a concentrated time of spinning our personal challenges. My own challenges have been to improve my fine spinning, try some new art yarn techniques, and learn longdraw using rolags that I am learning to make myself. It is exciting to see everyone’s discoveries and improvements throughout the Tour, which are quite evident through the photos and shared experiences on the forums!
“As the TdF was approaching, my mind was full of plans emanating from my beloved fiber stash, but when Mary Ann Pagano revealed her official TdF colorway, I was smitten to the core and bought six braids, determined to spin the yarn needed for my very first sweater! I’ve taken a short break from my fractal 2-ply of Summer Jubilee to spin a gradient from Satisfied With Summer, another Three Waters Farm colorway, which I plan to chain ply and knit up into a heartwarming memento of the 2016 TdF friendships and fun!”