Sunday, July 25, 2010
The first reason that things came out very differently this time around is that early on, the nature of the Tour changed. Last year, winners each day were determined by votes on the daily thread. In order to do this, you had to be willing to go through several hundred posts of pictures and vote on each one. People that were more adept at photography, or used more brilliant, eye-catching colors in their spinning, or posted earlier in the thread before you were exhausted at looking at all the yarn, or those that just plain had more friends were far more likely to win in this setting (and they did). By the end of last Tour, I'd gotten my stride in taking some really interesting pictures and had hopes of finally winning something this time around. In fact, I'd specifically saved some very special, very colorful fiber just for this year's spinning (seen above). So when it was announced on the second day that voting would no longer be occurring (because people couldn't be trusted to NOT VOTE until the day was over, even when clearly instructed to hold off), all of a sudden these careful plans of brilliant photography and color went out the window. Now it was all about random numbers. This was a bit of an annoyance (after all, I'd been planning a year how to "work the system") but even more of a relief. No more stressing about pictures. No more stressing about popularity. Now I could just stress.. about the yarn. And my own, personal goals.
Rather than spend my days going crazy spinning bright colors and trying to figure out fabulous photography, I would use the Tour to spin enough yarn to make a sweater. That's a lot of yarn! Sandi's first lesson put me with an estimated yardage of 1800. A lot of yarn. But I had a lot of wool with no clue how to use it, and now I had a goal. In fact I had two supporting goals between the Sweater KAL/SAL and the Tour. Whenever one goal wasn't quite enough to keep me spinning the same thing day after day after day, the other goal popped up and said, "Hey, shouldn't you get a little bit done on this project?"
The final three bobbins are waiting to be plied, true. But they've been spun and this last batch should easily put me over my yardage needs. The yarn is a heavier weight than I'd planned, true. But it's still within the KAL's gauge, and I really like the yarn anyway. I learned a lot about long-draw, and about spinning to get a particular type of yarn (or not). I learned how to slip spinning into my day so it didn't interfere with anyone else, and I still made progress. I learned that I still like my spindles and they're really nice to have around so I can have an on-the-go project, too.
I learned that I love spinning, and I still love knitting, and that the fiber arts are just awesome all around.
It's been a great Tour. I hope you all had fun, too!