For years Spinzilla was the monster of the spinning competitions. See what I did there? Run by the National Needle Arts Association, TNNA, Spinzilla was a world wide spinning competition where spinners joined teams, locked themselves, and their spinning wheels in their homes, and tried to spin the most yardage humanly possible in the span of a week. But when TNNA announced that it would no longer be organizing the Spinzilla event in 2019, many spinners were disappointed.
Some were even disappointed enough to do something about it…
And Spin Together was born!
Spin Together is about the joy of spinning and the opportunity to share that joy with others who also love to spin. It’s also a fun team-based competition that will take place from October 6th through October 12th. It all takes place online, and you can participate from anywhere in the world.http://www.spintogether.org/learn-about-spin-together/
I had never participated in Spinzilla in the past, but I definitely watched from the sidelines as people posted their progress throughout the week. It was amazing how much spinning people were able to get accomplished. When I started putting my spinning adventures on YouTube and my blog, I was determined to join Spinzilla in 2019. Of course that wasn’t possible, so I was very excited to join a team for the first ever Spin Together 2019.
As the time got nearer to the event, I knew I needed to choose a team to join. But…which team. These kinds of things can have little micro cultures of their own and although all the spinners I have met have been wonderful and friendly people, I didn’t want to disappoint a team full of production spinners with my pitiful yardage. I mean, it is not really pitiful, but when put up with the quantities produced by serious production spinners…yeah. It’s pitiful.
So I did what any self respecting, socially awkward spinner would do. I posted in the Facebook group that I was lost and didn’t know where to go.
Fortunately I was met with laughter (the best!) and friendly welcomes. I finally decided to join the team that was closest to me geographically with hopes that I might be able to meet some spinners who are local to me.
As the time for the competition got closer, I started to panic. Did I even have anything to spin? Well…yes. I have a huge fiber stash. So in the interest of making the materials I have already acquired useful, I dug up everything from everywhere in my house to make a plan. Here is the first video where I sort through my stash and decide what I will spin in the competition.
The competition began on a Sunday at 12:01 am. I knew that I could not possibly stay awake to spin that early because I usually wake up at 4am. I figured a good night’s rest and a fresh start would be the best for me. It was a little nerve wracking to wake up and find out that people who did stay up to start at 12:01 had already spun yards upon yards, but I reminded myself of the Tortoise and the Hare. I knew I would be spinning while they were sleeping so I skipped my morning coffee and grabbed some rolags!
On day two, Monday, I knew I wouldn’t be winning the yardage competition. Honestly, I knew before the week began that I wouldn’t be winning a yardage competition. But I still wanted to give my best efforts. Really, I’m my own competition and so my goal for the week was to contribute to my team’s yardage total but pushing myself to spin more.
On day three, Tuesday, it was time to ply the large bobbin of hand dyed merino I had spun. I used that time to give a brief tutorial in my vlog of how I chain ply (also called N-ply or Navajo ply) my single to create a 3 ply yarn. If you are confused about how chain plying works, watch this video. It will simplify the whole process and you’ll love it and want to go chain ply every single you can find in your stash.
On day four, Wednesday I was half way through the competition. I was tired. I was staying up late to push myself to get more spinning done. Thankfully my husband is awesome and helped me stay awake by chatting with me and making me laugh. It was a good day in the end though, because I was able to total up some of my yardage. I felt like the progress I had made was good for the time I had to put into my spinning.
On Thursday, day five, I was ready to tackle one of my most daunting spins of the competition. I had to replicate a yarn I made 8 months ago. Fortunately, 8 months ago, I made a tutorial video showing how I spun these batts into a lock spun skein of yarn. So I did what every other YouTuber who makes tutorials has done… I watched and followed my own spinning tutorial. I think the yarn came out pretty close, although the first yarn I made definitely had a higher twist.
On day six, Friday, I was trying to get all my fiber spun up into singles. I filled 5 bobbins and realized that I might actually spin through all the fiber I had planned to spin. What would I do if I needed more fiber to spin? I started poking around in my stash. I didn’t have time to prep a whole fleece and most of the fiber I have on hand needs some sort of washing or carding or both.
And then Saturday finally came. The final day of Spin Together 2019 had arrived. I dug right in to plying all my yarn, but I was feeling pretty tired from the week. You can tell in my video. My happy bubbly self is more like a happy simmering self. But, I pushed myself. I got through all the material I had planned to spin. Achievement unlocked! But I still had some time so I decided to spin one last batt. It was an interesting spin of suri alpaca mixed with shredded denim. It is a heavy yarn but it feels so soft like a comforting pare of broken in, worn jeans. It is going to find itself in something I can wear around my neck, a cowl or a scarf, because it is amazingly soft.
DISCLAIMER: Before you watch the final video, you should know that spinning for a week straight can turn you into an actual zombie.
I hope you enjoyed this video series. I had fun spinning all the things and getting a basketful of yarn in the end of the whole project. I think the only thing left to do now is go spin more yarn! FIBEEERRRRR!