No wheel? No problem.
When I first heard about tour de fleece, I shrugged it off as an event for spinners with expensive wheels and luxury fiber hookups. "I don't have time and I don't have the equipment," I thought to myself. Well, the first part of that statement may have been true but after picking up Respect the Spindle from my local library I began to think about my drop spindles differently. Perhaps a spindle isn't as quick or as efficient as a wheel, but it can certainly produce yarn, and beautiful yarn at that. Spindles are ancient and simple tools. Thinking of them in that context quickly made me fall in love with the idea or spinning tour de fleece on a drop spindle. I hastily joined my local spinning circle's tour de fleece Facebook group and set about tracking down some fiber to spin before the race commenced.
Getting the hang of it...literally.
When learning to use a drop spindle, you will quickly learn one way that the spindle gets its monicker. The thud of my spindle on the living room floor as my fiber broke time after time early this week was discouraging and annoying. Luckily I had a major motivator to improve my technique: dropping my spindle always wakes the baby up. A startled baby isn't good for anyone! One of the things I love about spinning (and simultaneously find so frustrating) is that there's only so far that reading can take you. You need to actually lay your hands on fiber and spin to learn. So I practiced and focused so singularly on my spindle each night that I'd find myself literally on the edge of my seat as I slowly lowered the spindle and increased my yardage, staying up far past my bedtime.
Spin, spin, knit
It's been a wonderful week of learning and I'm already so proud of the progress I've made. Not only have I learned a bit about spinning, but I've given myself a gift of hope. New skills can always be learned and with some tenacity and perseverance I can do the things that I've dreamt of. That's a mighty feeling.
So, week one is over and I'm now the proud owner of 100g of two-ply, handspun merino yarn. The colors scream Mardi Gras to me and aren't my normal palette. What would you knit? I'm considering Elizabeth Zimmermans mitred mittens but the softness of the yarn makes me want to knit a cowl! What to do?