Tag Archives: tour de fleece

Spinning My Wheels

Spinning My Wheels

It feels like I don’t have any free time anymore.  But I do.  What I have is things I’m doing that are taking up all my free time and keeping me from doing other things that would take up my free time.  For example, for three weeks in July, I did the Tour de France.

Well, no, I did the Tour de Fleece.  But it’s totally the same thing.


For those of you who are new around here, the Tour de Fleece is a spinning challenge that happens on Ravelry and off where spinners set goals based around the Tour de France.  The usual goal is to spin every day the Tour rides, but each person sets their own goals as well.  My goals were simple:  Spin a pound and a half of lovely Gotland wool I got at Rhinebeck last year, and then anything else that met my fancy, and to get comfortable with my new wheel.

I went a little crazy.


The spinning went with me everywhere.  It went to DC.


It went to a taping of Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me!


And every night, I did at least two ounces of the endless gray Gotland.


All that in addition to being the head honcho of the Tour on Ravelry.  Free time?  Yeah, what’s that?

In then end, though, I finished a lot of yarn.


A LOT of yarn.

Now that it’s over, I find myself desperate to knit.  ALL THE THINGS.  I have started and finished a hat, started a headband and a shawl, and am set up to start a shrug, all out of handspun.  And if I haven’t had enough, I’m starting another spinning project.

Oh, and we’re starting to plan for next year’s summer Ravellenics Games.  Which start the week after next year’s Tour.

Who, me, crazy?

The Wheels Spin On

The Wheels Spin On

Only four days left of the Tour, and I’m still spinning madly.

TdF Day 9TdF Day 10

I’ll save the finished yarns and show them all off at once.


TdF Day 11TdF Day 12 collage 

But this will give you a sense of what I’ve been getting done (if you haven’t seen them all already on my Twitter or Tumblr feed).

TdF Day 13TdF Day 14 collage

These are the last of the Nerd Wars projects I have to get done, and then I can spin whatever I want just for fun.

TdF Day 15 collageTdF2014 Rest Day 2 collage

I’m exhausted, today, though.  I’ve been getting to bed waaaaaay too late.  Like after midnight for four days out of the last week.  I can’t do that.  I suffer too much for it.  I crashed at about 10:30 on Monday after hero’s 4H meeting, feeling completely justified as it was a rest day. Plus I took my wheel with me to the meeting and kept on plying.  An hour and a half later and I still wasn’t done.  I hate having unfinished plying around, but I’d been working on this for two days on a wheel that isn’t best suited for plying and I was losing it, so I bailed on it when we came home.

Me, competitive?  Noooooo….

Nerd Wars (Finally!)

Nerd Wars (Finally!)

As you read this, be aware that I am currently lounging on a small beach or reclining in a hammock, hopefully lost in the adventures of Harry Dresden and Phryne Fisher.  Not together.  Although that would be incredibly epic.  Hrm…

But anyway.

I promised you tales of Nerd Wars.  So let me tell you about Nerd Wars.

Actually, I thought I must have talked somewhere about Nerd Wars.  It’s been a major part of my crafting life for two years now.  But when I went to find my posts on it to c&p (okay, so I’m lazy), I’ve got nothin’.  So to any of you who have heard all about this, I’m sorry to be redundant.  But who knows, maybe you’ll learn something!

As I said in a previous post, after the 2012 Rav Games, I felt at loose ends.  The Games had been incredibly focused and productive and fun.  The wait until the 2014 Games felt interminable (little did I know what they would bring…)  I wanted something else to do in the meantime.  I’d seen icons around Ravelry with the Nerd Wars caption, but didn’t know what it was.  Then the captain of the 221b team came into the 221b forum (they weren’t affiliated at the time) and asked if anyone wanted to join.  So I checked it out.  And haven’t left.

Nerd Wars is a game, inspired by all things nerdy and geeky.  Players join teams based around their favorite nerderies, whether it’s a TV show, movie, books, art, science, genre, you name it.  Each tournament runs for three months, and the teams reform each tournament, so there might not be the same teams every time, although the major teams do tend to reform every time.  Then each tournament is divided into three rounds, with the round starting on the first of the month and ending on the 28th (which makes February a hard one, as there’s no rest days before the next round starts).  In each round, there are five challenges.  The challenge categories are:

Discovery:  All things math and science
Encyclopedia: Arts and humanities
Nerdology: Geek culture (just like it says on the tin)
Giving Geeks: charity
Flexible Schedule: Works in progress and destashing

Every round, the mods set a specific challenge in each category.  For example, this time around, the Discovery challenge is based on substitutes for silk and the science of polymers, the Encyclopedia challenge is the social construction and marking of time, the Nerdology challenge is squee (something geeky that fills you with joy) and the Giving Geeks challenge is support for besieged populations, like abuse victims, transgendered people or bullied students.  For every category you complete, you earn points for your team.  The Flex projects don’t have a specific theme, but they are worth fewer points.

You can also do a dissertation, which is a project that will take the whole three months to complete.  These are worth a LOT more points.  You still have to tie them in to one of the categories, and the dissertation proposals can be rather artful in their own right.  For example, here is the proposal for a star chart shawl I made for my mother in Tournament 8 and for the spinning dissertation I did in Tourney 7 (and the completed turn-in, just because I’m pretty proud of it).

The new round started yesterday, so all this camping is getting a bit in my way.  But the Tour de Fleece starts on Saturday (oh look, something else to explain!  But I’ll save that for next week), so I’m planning to spin all my challenges this round.  I’ve started the Discovery challenge by spinning a merino/bamboo blend which feels lovely in the bag, but is fighting me like a sumbitch on the wheel.  the rest we’ll see as the month goes on!