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A Very Quiet Tour de Fleece

Shortly after my previous blog post, I received some devastating news. My younger cousin of 25 years had left this earth. The news really pained my soul for many reasons that I cannot revisit. The days moved along like a long, drawn-out movie. I packed for a road trip to Maryland to be with my family and relatives. Most of the trip, I felt like I wasn't really here. I spent a lot of time having dialogue with God.

Death never brings closure

but the revelation of God's perspective can.

I feel as though I have gotten an understanding. Additionally, the gathering of family both near and far brought a sense of unity. It brought back the memories of Devon, which brought on lots of tears and laughter. In this very difficult time, I became more silent. Even the flight back home was quiet and, of course, there was a another delay. Go O'Hare! Nevertheless, I managed to arrive with plenty of time to celebrate my younger son, Ezekiel's 4th birthday. That brought me so much joy!

With all of the recent happenings at the very beginning of TdF, I had to make a huge switch in plans for spinning. TdF is an abbreviation for Tour de Fleece. It is a yearly event in which handspinners spin yarn while the cyclists of the Tour de France get their wheels turning in the 23-day long race. Some spinners spin solo; others join a team. There are no strict rules. Here is the basic idea:

*Spin everyday of the race if you can. Challenge yourself on 'challenge days'.*

*Rest on the official 'rest days'. Enjoy the time spent spinning.*

It is optional to wear colors that correspond with the cyclists' colors. Yellow is the color of the leader. It can be won on the final day to announce your victory of reaching your goals or individual days where you feel successful. Green is for sprinters. Wear your green when you breeze through some fiber at record speed. Polka dot is for the climbers. That color could be worn on challenge days or even on days when you are trying to catch up. White is the color for rookies. Maybe it is your first year participating in the tour? Maybe you are the youngest in your team? Show off your white.

Last year was the very first year I participated. It was a very active TdF for me as I made posts almost everyday for the tour by reporting the stats of the race and interesting historical facts about many of the cities featured in the tour. I also participated and uploaded photos to share with a lovely Facebook group called Love My Lendrum. My favorite yarn spun during last year's Tour was this beauty:

It was spun from a 21-micron merino braid of Frabjous Fibers on my Lendrum DT. The colors were separated into strips and spun on two different bobbins then plied together. I love the outcome of it. It definitely was a bonus that I had spun it after only 6 months of teaching myself to spin.

This year's work so far is shown below. I originally had planned on fulfilling part of a contract spin of alpaca and soff silk. However, I figured it would be best to spin something that I wouldn't mind being more inconsistent. I gave myself free reign to go with the flow.

From left to right: The first two hanks are Finn. The natural colored one was homegrown on a farm, the colorful one was a commercially dyed yellow and orange roving (plied with a sequins thread). The middle hank is leftover Malabrigo Nube spun as a single. Up next is natural Romney that I hand-processed and is also from a local farm. The watermelon colored hank is a sample from a Merino batt I recently made. The hank at the bottom is an art yarn. It is Corriedale spun into a beaded flame thick and thin art yarn.

Spinning these have really brighten up my days. Although it has been a little quiet over here, I am still around. Sometimes when it rains, it really feels as though it is pouring. I just wring my clothes and keep walking until the I see the rainbow appear and the sun coming through the clouds... There are so many more great days ahead. I sincerely believe it. Thank you for swinging by and checking out my progress.

Now it is your turn, Lovelies!

Handspinner Questions: Are you participating in this year's Tour de Fleece? What are your goals and challenges with handspinning?

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