I am gearing up to participate in Spinzilla. “What the heck is that?” you ask? Well, I’m happy to fill you in, because I’m so excited about participating this year!
Spinzilla is a fun event organized by The National Needlework Association where hand spinners from around the world compete in teams (I’m on Team Uniquities, a wonderful yarn shop in Vienna, VA) or as rogue spinners (as individuals) to see who can spin the most yarn in a week. There are prizes, and of course, bragging rights. This year, plying counts toward your yardage. I won’t have to buy extra bobbins to store my singles! Yay! And I’ll have finished yarn at the end of the week, ready to be knit or crocheted or woven into something fantabulous!
Oh, it’s on… from 12:01 am October 6th to 11:59 am October 12th, I’ll be workin’ the wheels. Um yeah… plural. Spinners have a joke about having 2 wheels: They mate and have babies! I have 3 wheels and many drop spindles. For Spinzilla, I’m sticking to my treadle wheels for speed: an Ashford Traveler (it’ll fit in the car!) and my beloved Saxony (or Traditional) wheel my Dad made for me.
My main goal is to spin as much of my fluffy stash as possible. I have some super wash merino (the fibers have been treated to prevent felting), alpaca, and some mystery roving that’s a lovely chocolate brown (I bought it in Kentucky while on vacation many, many years ago and the label has fallen off!). It’s at the top right of the photo here (looks a lot like intestines, now that I think about it).
I have some particularly precious fiber (from a Shetland lamb named Samson) that I’ve had as a fleece for years – we’re talking around 14 years, now, I’m ashamed to say. I kept thinking that I’d wash it, but it was so beautiful. It had fine crimp, which means a lot of wavy-ness to the fibers. And it was a wonderful color. I just liked to look at it. My Mom had a fleece from the same shepherdess (we went to her shearing day and purchased two gorgeous Shetland lambs’ fleeces). Mom hadn’t done anything with hers either, so we decided to finally get them processed by a mill instead of trying to do it ourselves.
So, we sent them off to Ohio Valley Natural Fibers to work their magic. And, ta da! We got back clean, soft, beautifully processed roving! This will be the first thing I spin for Spinzilla.
I definitely have my work cut out for me if I’m going to make a dent in this mountain of fiber, but I plan on getting my household chores done before October 6th. I also plan on doing the grocery shopping for the week ahead of time. Even though it’s my husband’s birthday during Spinzilla (how dare he!), I’ve promised to spend time with him and ignore my wheel that evening. So, that means I’ve got to put the pedal to the metal on the other days to make up for lost time!
I think I need to put myself into a training regimen. I’ve been so busy preparing my fibers that I haven’t actually sat down at my wheels. I haven’t spun in, uh, well, I think it’s been, well, let’s just say it’s longer than I should probably admit. I don’t want to let my team down! So, I must get spinning!
I’ll keep you posted on my progress. Wish me luck! Three cheers for Team Uniquities!