Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Tour De Fleece Recap: Crawling Across The Finish Line

In previous years, I have dutifully spun every day of the Tour de Fleece - even on rest days, even when traveling. There is something programmed deep within me that makes me want to check all those boxes off of my list, even if there isn't an actual end goal or anything at stake. I just have to do it because I can (and, you know, it's fun)!

This year was a little different. I started out strong, spinning every day for the first two weeks...and then on Saturday the 21st, things just ground to a halt! I spent all day working on this blog tutorial, and planned to spin in the evening but then my husband texted to say that a customer gave him free tickets to Pitchfork that I met up with him to see The War on Drugs play their set, have a few beers, and be reminded of why I never leave the house (actually, it was fun, but people, y'know?).

I also had some swatches for new designs that needed to be finished by the end of last weekend, so that comprised all of my Sunday, and by Monday I was fighting the recurring hand/arm issues I get from overuse, spinning. It wasn't til Thursday of last week til I dared to sit back down at my wheel for a bit of spinning.


All that to say that I spent the first week spinning the top two projects to completion, and the remainder of the event struggling to finish both of the bobbins spun from the most luscious moorit shetland fiber that I bought last fall at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool festival (I can't wait to ply it!).

It was actually a bit freeing to let myself not do something 100%, is that weird?!

Speaking of not doing things, I have decided not to reprise my role as the Captain for Team Louet for Spinzilla this year. I loved our team of awesome spinners over the years, Dave at Louet was a fabulous, generous host, and winning it all two years in a row was extremely gratifying.

However, it has always been a struggle to find time to participate, especially since I physically can't spin for very long without hurting myself. Also, October is typically a very busy month for me in terms of workload, so I always felt guilty that I wasn't a bigger help to the team (also, I was never able to crack 4,000 yards, which was kind of frustrating). It seems silly to feel stressed about an event that was supposed to be fun, but I have definitely felt that way in recent years.

Also, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the fact that last year's event was under the new management at TNNA, rather than the original organizers of the event. This was painfully obvious to me and countless other spinners (just check out this Ravelry thread - yikes), as there was a lot of disorganization (and perhaps even some all-out mismanagement) that really left a bad taste in my mouth. I had many team members privately tell me that they would not be returning in 2018 for a variety of reasons (not all related to the afore-mentioned issues with last year's event), and I had already been pondering the same thing. Supposedly a new team is in charge of the event this year, and I wish them well - but I think I'll be sitting this one out.

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