Tour de Fleece Evangelist

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tour de Fleece is coming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (That is not an excessive number of exclamation points.)

Imagine if Christmas and your birthday and Rhinebeck with the most perfect sweater weather (and all the apple cider donuts you could eat, but you didn’t have to wait in the long line, you only had to wait in line behind one person and it was Stephen West) and your favorite vacation were all at once and all lasted a whole month. You feel that warm fuzziness? The excitement? Joy?

That’s what Tour de Fleece feels like to me. I LOVE TOUR DE FLEECE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you’ve never participated, TdF is a handspinning event that takes place during some bike race in France. Spinners all over the world set a goal to spin every day of the bike race and share their progress with the world. My goal is usually to spin at least 15 minutes a day. Some spin on a team, which is focused around a unifying thing such as a specific dyer, a wheel manufacturer, or a shared goal like a sweater spin,¬†and some spin on their own.

My first TdF was in 2011 and this was my very first day of Tour spinning. 8 oz of BFL that I plied with a undyed gray wool for a sweater. You know that thing that happens when you begin something new and have no idea what’s crazy and what’s achievable? Spinning for a sweater 6 months after learning how a wheel works is definitely squarely inside that newby optimism bubble.

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I did knit a wonky short sleeved sweaterish thing from the resulting yarn, but it was dense and unwearable. All photos have been destroyed.

Tour de Fleece is an event of community support. We…ok, I…spend at least as much time scrolling through photos of everyone else’s yarns and sexy bobbin shots as I do spinning. The massive number of spinners sharing their work inspires me to try new techniques, seek out new wools, and use no less than 1.4 billion exclamation points in cheering for friends, new and old.

Admittedly…it’s also about another tiny, small, fun thing…WINNING PRIZES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t think I’ve actually ever won a TdF prize, now that I think of it, but that’s not the point! The point is that every time I post a photo of my spinning I could¬†win a prize and that has been a huge motivator to encourage daily spinning. As proof, here’s some more photos from my first TdF.

Such fond, indelible memories.

I have no idea where any of those yarns/items is now.

However! I spun this during last year’s TdF and am currently knitting amazing mitts with it that I will certainly be wearing during Tour de Fleece 2025.

Ok, but prizes…

I can blah blah blah forever about how amazing TdF is, but I suspect the opportunity to win free wool is a bigger motivator. I’m hosting a team again this year and offering weekly prizes, as well as a grand prize of two custom batts (designed to your specific wooly desires), for spinners working with Knit Spin Farm wool. Full details in the Ravelry thread, but all you have to do is spin and share your amazingness with the world. Even if you only spin a half ounce over the whole tour, you could win – but OMG you are going to want to spin more than that because TOUR DE FLEECE IS THE BEST EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please join us.

PS: I’ll be adding some batts to the Etsy shop on Friday at 8 pm, if you’d like to stock up!