See Ya Next Year, Tour de Fleece!


Aaaaand another Tour de Fleece is in the books. Do you know about the Tour de Fleece? It happens every year at the same time as the Tour de France.

It was the brainchild of a vey cool woman named Star, the blogger behind Keep on Knitting in the Free World. The idea was that while the Tour de France riders spun their bicycle wheels, fiber spinners could spin along with them on their spinning wheels or spindles and cheer the cyclists and each other on.

For the first two years, Star actually ran the whole Tour herself. The idea took off, though, and what started out in 2006 as a handful of spinners chatting in the comments section of her blog had by 2008 become 15  organized Ravelry teams, sharing daily photos and competing for prizes.

These days, there are a well over a hundred teams, maybe even two hundred, and people all over the world take part. It’s crazy to think about thousands of people out there spinning their hearts out for 23 days, but it happens. I just love that!

tour-de-fleece singles 2

For the second year in a row, I spun with a team organized by the fabulous Dorothea of Spinfoolish Designs. She is ahhhhmazing! I know for a fact that she was born knitting, and she probably would have come into the world spinning, but her poor mother (“Saint Mummy,” I know you’ve heard of her) had to draw the line somewhere.

Every day, Dorothea sent us an email with info about the Tour or some interesting spinning topic. Plus, she organized all kinds of contests and games to keep things fun and keep everyone in touch since some of the team was pretty far flung.

With everything I had going on this year, I only managed to spin a tiny bit, but even that was nice. I also entered the team yarn swap. My swap partner lives in Canada (so cool), and I’m sending her the batch of alpaca/BFL in the photo at the top of this post. It’s some of what I spun last fall. I’m hoping she’ll like it.

Dorothea asks a few people to join her in writing the Tour emails each year, and this year I contributed an article about knitting with your handspun. As I was writing it, it occurred to me that I never posted a picture of my finished handspun pillow on the blog! I actually had to go back and check to be sure. I posted about making the pillow, but I never showed you the final result.

Here it is!



I can’t tell you how much I love this misshapen, lumpy bumpy pillow. It’s from my very first handspun, and everything about it makes me happy.

Speaking of happy making:


Augie is exhausted from the Tour frenzy. He’s so tired he can’t even guard the tummy.

And more happy making:


Banana cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Also known as dinner. Yes, I did. Found the recipe here.



    • melinda

      I’m so glad you like the pillow! And that’s so nice of you to compliment my handspun. It always seems like it could be so much better. I think that’s one reason I like the pillow. It’s sort of like that particular handspun realized its potential, even if that was just to be a lumpy little pillow. Lol 🙂

        • Knit Potion

          I think the absolute best way to learn is by doing it around other people who can spin. There are so many tips they can give you that you’d never get if you were trying to figure it out by yourself. Also for what it’s worth, I started with a drop spindle and never really got comfortable with the basic process. It was only after I got a wheel that things started to make sense. Now, I love the drop spindle as well as the wheel, but that’s because I have a sense of what my hands are supposed to be doing and what the spindle itself should be doing. If you wanted to try spinning on a wheel, I’m sure you could find some spinners with an extra they could loan you. I’ve found that after you get the itch to spin, one wheel just isn’t enough. 😉

  1. I agree with Katherine on the pillow and handspun! Yum for Banana Cake and yes, it totally counts as a fruit 🙂 I’m going to check out the recipe. I actually made a dessert with bananas this weekend too; however not quite as decadent as yours. I had a dinner party on Saturday night and one of my friends is gluten free and allergic to almonds. So, I made Healthy Flourless Fudge Brownies (1 cup overripe mashed bananas, 1/2 cup cashew butter, 1/4 cup cacao powder). Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Let cool and then place in the refrigerator to chill before eating. They were very yummy with a dollop of whipped cream on top and some blueberries!

    • melinda

      Thank you, Paula! And thank you for the recipe!! I am always looking for gluten free things to take to fiber guild. The woman who hosts it is gluten intolerant, and I like to make sure that she can eat whatever I bring. These sound perfect!

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