Monthly Archives: October 2016

Spinzilla 2016 — 4,661 yards (4,262 metres)

Last week I participated in my fourth Spinzilla event. Spinzilla is a monster of a spinning contest that lasts an entire week. Starting at 12:01am on Monday, October 3 and ending at 11:59pm on October 9, teams of as many as 25 spinners spin like mad and submit their yardage to their team captains. It’s all done on the honour system – anyone who lies about their yardage will be plagued with snapped drive bands and shattered spindles.

Much to my surprise I am a very competitive person about some things – seems that a spinning contest is one of them. So for the first three years of the contest I worked harder and harder to spin as much as possible. Even booking three days off work last year so I could maximize my spinning time. I was rewarded in year 3 with a spinning total of 8,672 yards. That’s nearly 5 miles of spinning.

This year I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t take the time from work so my spinning from Monday to Thursday was limited to lunch hour spindling and wheel spinning in the evenings. As I have an early start to my day, I couldn’t stay up late or get up too much earlier to get in some spinning.

So I resigned myself to simply doing my very best with the time I did have, and not to fret about what I couldn’t get done. Here’s the photo story.

I started Spinzilla spinning some lovely grey Romney/Crossbreed fibre that I washed and combed over the summer. My aim is to make a fingering weight yarn for a friend’s weaving project. By Thursday evening I was tired of spinning fine and grey, so I switched it up, grabbed a bag of Mardi Gras by Kinfolk Yarn and Fibre. I took this lovely yarn and spun a two-ply thick and thin yarn. It only took about two hours to do both bobbins. Spinning slubs really chews into the fibre. It wasn’t going to give me a lot of yardage, but it was such a treat to make that yarn and play with colour and texture for a while.  Here’s a photo of what I had spun by Friday morning.

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On Friday I finished spinning all the grey I had prepped and started plying.

On Saturday I pulled out some Clun Forest roving from my neighbour. Talk about 100-mile wear – this yarn is from sheep living one mile away. I spun this woollen — using a long backwards draw. Here’s the first bobbin.

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And I spun for most of Saturday, in between making vegan cabbage rolls, pumpkin pie and apple crumble for Thanksgiving dinner. This is what I had by the end of the day.

On Sunday, I plied all the singles I made. Spun a bit more to finish up a bobbin and plied that in between stuffing and roasting a turkey and getting other items for the meal prepared and eaten!  By 9pm I was done. Really done. Unlike last year where I stayed up right until the last minute wildly plying hyper-energized singles into a three-ply yarn, I was ready to pack up my wheel. And so I did.

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Here’s my total production for the week. Eight skeins of two-ply yarn and two mini-skeins of singles yarn from my spindles for a total of 4,661 yards.

It’s a decent amount of yarn. Yarn that I am very happy with and have plans for. It was a good week.