Tour de Fleece Frivolities

Last year, two days before the cyclists of the Tour de France finished their 23-day-long journey on the Champs-Élysées, I started spinning for the first time in my life. As predicted by some, I was immediately hooked.
By now – using spindles, not a wheel – after spinning for well over eleven months, it is a very interesting ride.

Dirk and Dolly

The Tour de Fleece is the yearly event of spinners collectively coming together to spin during the Tour de France. They meet in real life, share their spinning online, or both. I am thankful for the digital era I live in. It enables me to meet and connect with people despite being housebound with ME.
While cheering on friends participating in the Tour de Fleece on Ravelry (the knitting community I’ve mentioned before), one of them sent me some fiber. I built a spindle from three brushes and a hook, and off I was on my new adventure. It didn’t take me long to buy a proper spindle and more wool – from then on referred to by me as Dolly.
As with all things new, there was a learning curve. Which is a polite way of disguising the cursing I did whenever I broke the thread I was working on. Living up to its name: down it went, the drop spindle. After deciding to call it Dirk I made huge improvements, bringing back my swearing to its normal level.

Apologizing to My Loo Rolls

In most cases two or more threads need to be plied before it can be used as a yarn. With the hand spun single threads I gathered on Dirk, I needed empty loo rolls to temporarily store the spinning I had done. Two spindles can give two singles that can be plied with a third spindle. And indeed, I have three spindles to do just that, but I am not very handy with it. So the loo rolls played an important role in my spinning life so far. That was until I won a Turkish spindle by Jenkins on Ravelry.
With a Turkish spindle you wrap the hand spun thread around its four legs turning it into a sort of rectangular ball. When finished you simply take out the stem plus the legs (not sure if that is proper spinning language, but the spinning police is more about helping than berating for getting things mixed up. I am counting on my fiber friends to correct me if I am wrong and they think it matters). Next, you take the beginning and ending of what you’ve spun and ply it. This way the loo rolls are no longer needed.
It saves a lot of extra work, time, and most importantly: my personal energy. The downside is that I feel like I am letting my loo rolls down. I am guessing they enjoyed their upgrade to be pensioners dressed in colorful threads after spending days (which is quite a long time for a ME-patient with tummy troubles) in the smallest and darkest room of the house. Even if they got sick as a dog from going round and round on the wool winder, but perhaps this is not as bad as being crushed and thrown in the paper bin.

The Recycle of Life

The upside of being discarded is that a loo roll could end up becoming a pizza box. Perhaps it has been dreaming about this from childhood, but being recycled could also mean that a loo roll turns into… a loo roll. Or a paper towel roll, being in the kitchen cupboard watching things go past their shelf life for weeks on end. Now that would be disappointing.
If only someone invented a spindle made from waste paper, wouldn’t that be cool?! I am thinking it can be done, since even apple fibers (leftover from producing juice, imagine the useless apple fibers in a factory all huddled together and being cast off for decades, breaks my heart) can be used to make vegan leather. The same goes for pineapple. Even mint, rose, aloe vera, and pearl dust can be used to make fibers.
I would love to have Dollies like that one day. The few empty loo rolls I’ve got left are already begging me for such a glamorous outfit.




Perhaps you enjoyed this article, in that case you might want to read iManor – knit your own nest box.

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This post is also available in: Dutch

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