Getting Ready for Tour de Fleece

Nest, BFL, Chasing Deer colorway.
Nest, BFL, Chasing Deer colorway.

This year I won’t be spinning for the Tour de Fleece. I’ll be be between teaching gigs, unpacking and repacking. I will be spinning, but not at a TdF level or with much focus.

I love the massive amount of spinning, or just focused spinning I can do in three weeks. I like to not stress about it, including not watching actual bike racing.

Some years I spin pounds, some (most) years I spin a skein of yarn. Last year I spun one skein of thick-ish sock yarn for a pair of shorty socks.

I am always happy with what I get done, and I always learn something.



Here are some suggestions for a smooth and fun TdF:

  1. Baby your wheel. Make sure your wheel is clean, oiled and has fresh drive and brake bands if it needs it.
  2. Empty all of your bobbins. Get your storage bobbins out and set up your bobbin winder (if you use one).
  3. Make a plan, even a little one. Are you spinning down your stash by two pounds? Spinning one perfect skein of fingering weight singles? Swatching for a sweater? Practicing worsted draft everyday for 15 minutes? Write it down somewhere, so you don’t get caught up in other people’s goals.
  4. Prep your fiber in advance. Make your rolags or batts, unchain and fluff your braids. If you are doing a combo spin make all of your nests.
  5. Spin something new. If you think you’ll need a distraction, make sure to have something new in your basket of fiber. You don’t have to buy anything new (though lots of dyers have TdF colors), do some swapping with your spinning pals.
  6. Watch or listen to something, and it doesn’t have to be the bike race. I always set aside shows or movies that I’m excited about watching and only watch them while I’m spinning.
  7. Spin with friends. online or in person. You don’t have to join a team if you don’t want to, but it helps to have a group of friends to cheer each other on.
  8. Keep track of what you accomplish; you will be amazed.
  9. Post on your social medium of choice about your spinning. It can be the push you need to keep spinning for three weeks
  10. Don’t compare. Don’t compare your goals, spinning, fiber, or yarn to anyone else’s. Have fun and celebrate every inch spun!

I can’t wait to see what everyone spins. I am always inspired and amazed!

(542 Posts)

Jillian is the​ author of the best-selling spinning book Yarnitecture. She is the editor​ of Knittyspin and Developmental Editor for PLY and PLY Books. She kinda loves this spinning thing and wants everyone who spins to love it too, so she teaches and writes a lot. She knits, weaves, and stitches and tries to do as much of it as she can with handspun yarn. She's always cooking up all kinds of exciting and creative things combining fiber arts. She likes her mysteries British, her walks woodsy, and to spend as much time as she can laughing. Spy on her on her website