July 4, 2012


I swear to you that I wasn't going to do the Tour de Fleece.  I swear it. I'd considered the idea carefully and weighed the pros and cons, and then, after careful deliberation I came to my conclusion, which was essentially "Screw that."  This month is killing me.  I've got a ton of stuff to do, the family's busy, I'm away for a week, the Rally is at the end of the month, hours a day are going to training rides that are starting to hurt, and frankly I need another goal this month like I need a hole in the head.   (Also, I thought that if I did one more bike related thing I would probably barf.)

The hardest thing about the commitment to the Rally has been the time.  I guess I don't mind riding my bike this much (sort of. I'm pretty tired) but the time it takes to do it is crazy.  Now that we're in the home stretch, this week I'll do "quick rides" which are 90 minutes every morning, and then the whole weekend is taken up by back to back whole day rides- and that doesn't even get into going to the meetings, going to the bike shop, managing fundraising... I'm the one who made the commitment, so I don't mind, but it doesn't leave a lot of free time. Just the idea of adding another thing made me flinch, and I'm pretty jumpy these days anyway.  I don't know if you've thought about this- but you can't knit on a bike.  The basic minimum amount of knitting I need to do - the little that it takes to keep me from being a horrible person with no patience is already endangered. Why would I want even less time to knit by setting a spinning challenge?  No. No way.  I wasn't going to do it, and I decided not to. It was final.

Then the night before the Tour started, I had a complete change of heart.  I realized that I've got no issues with spinning, I love spinning, and it's almost as good for your personality as knitting, and it would be great to get a bunch of spinning done... and all of a sudden it came to me.  I had no problem with the Tour de Fleece, I just needed a reasonable goal. I just couldn't let it get crazy.

Now, I've met me, and I realized pretty quick that I was going to have to be careful here.  I'm forever setting "reasonable goals" that then kick the snot out of me. I'm reasonable about most everything else, but when it comes to goals I just take all leave of my senses.  This mostly works out and just means I experience some stress for a bit, but I'm good with stress - so no problem.  Now though? I'm already under stress and I don't see any reason to pump it so totally over the top that I take an emotional blowtorch to the whole month of July.  This is uncharacteristically clever and mature of me, and so I really gave it some thought.

Someone suggested that I think of a reasonable goal - and then cut it in half.  Someone else suggested that then I cut it in half again.  There were lots of good suggestions, and then it came to me.   Instead of doing what I've done before - which was setting a goal of a certain number of grams spun (1500 or 1400 to be precise) I would make a vague goal.  I'd make a goal that was more about effort than it was about amount, and I'd let myself off the hook on days that spinning happened in huge quantities on the bike, rather than at the wheel. Once I thought about it like that, the Tour started to sound like fun again.

I made my goal that I was going to try and make the spinning stash retreat back into its bins.  There's lots of ways to do that too- I can tidy up, I can give some away - or I can spin it.  It's a nice vague goal that should stay reasonable, and so far, so good.  I've had this beautiful North Ronaldsay roving in the stash for a few years, and it's the first thing up. 

North Ronaldsay sheep are an endangered sheep breed.  They live in Scotland on the northernmost island of the Orkney Islands, on the beach.  They mostly eat seaweed (they're totally odd) and they're not found anywhere else. Just one  three mile long island in the whole world.

I've got a total of 500 grams of nice soft roving in three colours (I'm pretty sure it came from Scottish Fibres) and it's so nice it almost spun itself up while I sat in the backyard.

All told, 200g of the brown became about 440m of a fingering weight yarn- and it's pretty as all get out. 

I've traditionally given away everything I spin during the Tour, but this?
It makes me a little greeedy.

PS: It's day one of my little vacation alone.  So far, I'm planning pizza for dinner, and feeling proud that they've been gone for three hours and I'm not totally feral yet.

PPS: Happy July the 4th to my American friends.  Have a great holiday.

Posted by Stephanie at July 4, 2012 1:26 PM