(Photo above is yarn spun for Spinzilla 2016)
Spinzilla – the monster of a spinning contest, started in 2013. Since then it has grown in size in terms of the number of teams participating and the number of miles (kilometres) spun. It is a fun, wild week.
I have participated every year it has been held – spinning for Team Sweet Georgia. Over time I have learned some things that have made my spinning week more pleasurable. And here they are:
- Spin for a project: this is a great time to spin up a huge amount of yarn. So if you have been wanting to spin up for a sweater or to weave a blanket, now is the time. This year I am spinning for a sweater I want to knit. It’s in the Down issue of Ply Magazine. It is a good time to get it all done, and to ensure that it’s the same weight and grist.
- Add some fun, wild spinning moments into the marathon of project spinning. Last year, I spun for a weaving project. It was grey Romney, yards and yards and yards of it. After a few days of that, I took a break and spun a two-ply thick and thin yarn. It was only 100 yards or so, but it also only took 1 1/2 hours and gave me such joy to be doing something with colour and something different with my fingers.
- Spin on days 1 – 5 and ply on day 6 and 7. Or some variation on that theme. I learned that my yarn benefits from sitting a bit. The twist relaxes and this makes plying a bit easier. This means you have to have a lot of bobbins, but it’s a good excuse to get more. Or borrow some from non-Spinzilla spinning friends.
- Skein and measure yarn when Spinzilla is over. As curious as I am about how much yarn I’ve made, taking the time to skein and measure is time away from spinning. So unless you desperately need those bobbins, don’t waste time on it. You will have time after the event is over, a couple of days, to skein and measure.
- Have fun. Seriously, everyone says it, I say it. And then I put my head down to my spinning and get all competitive and lose track of things. Feel resentful when I have to work, make dinner or do anything else beyond spinning. It’s taken a few years, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I enjoy this more when I re-focus the competition. For me this is about how much yarn I can make in spite of the busy life I lead as a woman in the twenty-first century working full-time and involved in my community.
So this morning I was up at my regular time – 6am. Got a cup of coffee, took a few sips and then sat down at my Ashford Traditional to spin some lovely wool into a sweater. Just starting the day spinning is the thing that makes this competition worth while.
And now I have to get down to work and move away from the wheel. So enjoy the week, enjoy the attention spinning is going to get this week and the role you will play in drawing attention to the wonderful activity of making yarn.