There’s a pile of fibre growing in my work room, and it’s starting to alarm me.
You see, the Tour de Fleece starts in eight days. Eight days. No, not the Tour de France, though that starts in eight days, too. In the Tour de Fleece, spinners around the world spin every day that the other Tour rides, with an optional spin-something-challenging day during the high mountain stage. It all started here with 16 spinners following Keep On Knitting In The Free World; this year there are over 5,000 participants in the Tour de Fleece group on Ravelry. You don’t actually have to watch the Tour de France while participating, though since those nice gentlemen go to all the trouble of riding around France to give us something to watch while we spin, it would only be polite.
I’ve decided to join in. Lord knows why — I’m not so good at these ‘x’-along things and should probably resist this compulsion to turn the things I do for fun into sources of pressure — but here we are, and I’m kind of excited, and as I consider my TdF options, the fibre pile grows ever-larger. The front-runners so far are:
a lovely custom order from The Cupcake Fiber Company. I’m thinking 2-ply laceweight, or possibly a 3-ply sock yarn, depending on how the sampling goes.
This is actually from Cupcake Fiber Company’s sister shop, Meat Sheep Industries, which sells larger quantities of hand dyed top. I’ve gotten so hooked on Joan’s carded batts, though, that I asked her to card this Corriedale up for me. For these batts, I may try my hand at a cabled yarn for socks.
Another custom order, this time for the ongoing colour play experiments. It’ll become sock yarn, too.
For non-Cupcake fibre, we have:
Gnomespun Southdown roving. I’ve been wanting to try Southdown for a while, mostly because I’ve heard it’s perfect for — you guessed it — socks. Sigh. I should probably branch out more. For instance, there’s:
Finally, I feel ready to take on Merino. The red sliver was a gift from my beloved friend Anne, who is much too far away in New Zealand. The white fibre is a Merino/Angora blend I bought from Woolgatherings during the last Tour. A year ago. It’s time. I’m also taking a serious look at some raw fleece, as I’d like to try the sheep-to-yarn-to-finished-object thing, and I did unearth some ancient and venerable hand cards in the big house clear-out.
In addition to all this, there are the fibres I bought for various breed-specific spin-alongs* (6 oz. of Cotswold, the remaining 3 oz. of Cheviot, the rest of the Jacob, the never-ending Cormo, and probably others I’ve forgotten), as well as the rest of the Zombie sock fibre, though really, I’d like to get at least some of those done before the Tour. In the next eight days. Because this is fun, dammit. Fun, I tell you.
Which is why these days you’ll hear me muttering, “Options are good. You don’t have to spin it all. You don’t have to spin it all; you just have options.”
*This is not the entirety of the stash, of course, just the fibre I’m considering for this event. Looking objectively at those storage bins, I sometimes wonder whether I think all the world’s sheep will simultaneously develop spontaneous explosive baldness.