Saturday, July 4, 2015 is the first day of the Tour de France. This means it is also the first day of the Tour de Fleece. The latter is a (yarn) spinning event that takes place each year on the same days as the famous bicycle race. The bicycle race is obviously a challenging event, full of world-class athletes. In that spirit, participants in the Tour de Fleece set their own challenging goals.
The Tour de France starts on July 4 and ends on July 26 this year. There’s two rest day during which the racers do not ride. This year, those dates are July 13 and July 21. There’s also one day that is particularly challenging. This year, that day is July 23. On that day, the racers will climb 5 mountains. The Tour de Fleece encourages participants to follow a similar schedule. Spinners don’t spin on the Tour de France rest days, and set a particularly difficult personal goal for the most challenging day of the Tour de France.
This is my first year participating in the Tour de Fleece. I only started spinning in late April 2014, six weeks before the Tour de Fleece started. I knew about the Tour de Fleece because I have friends who take part every year, but I didn’t feel ready to participate last year. I’m excited about this year!
My personal Tour de Fleece will be cut short this year. July 21 to 26 I will be in San Diego for The Knitting Guild Association Conference. I’m not bringing a spinning wheel with me, so won’t be able to spin while I am away. Since I’ll miss those dates, I’m not going to take any rest days for the rest of the tour. I’ll also miss the challenge day. I’m not worried about that though. I think it’s apparent to anyone reading this blog that I tend to challenge myself every day 🙂
My Tour de Fleece goal is to spin at least 30 minutes each day from July 4 through July 20. I hoped to finish the cormo before the Tour started, but I did not. I’ll work on the cormo until I finish it and then I’ll start on 3 Feet of Sheep in Colors of the Capital. I also plan to ride my bike at least 3 miles a day for each day from July 4 through July 20.
Since today is the first Saturday of the month, it was the regular meeting day of my local spinning group. I started the day by spinning with them.
Then I came home and spun some more. At the beginning of the day, my bobbin of cormo looked like this:
When I finished spinning for the day, my bobbin looked like this:
I spun for about 7 or 8 hours today, far exceeding my 30 minute goal! I also rode my bike for 3.12 miles this afternoon. Since it’s the summer in Florida, we had our usual afternoon rain showers. Chris and I managed to sneak a bike ride in between two separate storms. Despite the ominous hue of the clouds, we made it through the entire ride ahead of the second wave of storms!
I’m spinning the cormo very fine — it’ll definitely be lace weight 2-ply — which means it takes a long time to spin. In fact, it’s taking 2 hours to spin 0.5 ounces. I have about 0.75 ounces left, and I’m hoping to finish spinning it tomorrow so I can ply on Monday. I can’t wait to see just home much yardage I get. I think it’s going to be ridiculously high! On Tuesday, I’ll start on Three Feet of Sheep.
5 thoughts on “Tour de Fleece 2015, Day 1”
I love the idea of Tour de Fleece, sadly I don’t spin. Have a fabulous time.
Anyone who spins that fine and evenly after less than three months of practice is already an accomplished spinner. …Take that from someone who has been spinning for more than 30 years, and still can’t knit! (That como would take dye beautifully if you’re interested, by the way.)
I got the wheel at the end of April 2014, so it’s been just over a year. It’s probably better to describe my experience by how much fiber I’ve spun. Before Tour de Fleece started, I’d spun a total of 2.5 pounds, including the first part of the cormo I’m currently spinning!
I love the name – Tour de Fleece! Wow. I’m impressed with with your fiber craft skills!
Your spinning is beautiful and so even. Good luck. I chose not to participate this year.
I can’t wait to see all your spinning.