Monday, June 30, 2014

TdF Contests

Here is the info on the Team Dyeabolical contests! 
Contest #1:
Tell us what your goals are for the Tour. Anyone who joins the group and submits a goal will be entered to win a digital row counter. Drawing for this contest will be on Monday, July 7. [Post to the chat thread]
Contest #2:
Fancy Pants
 July 19th is the hardest stage of the Tour, and also the TdF challenge day. To participate in the Fancy Pants challenge, challenge yourself to spin it fancy, and post a picture of your fancy pants yarn on or before July 19th. Fancy can be a luxury fiber (silk, yak, angora, cashmere, etc), a new-to-you knitting technique, an art yarn, or spinning in a way that is different from how you normally spin. Challenge yourself! Drawing for 1 bag of hand-carded rolags will be pulled from the submissions on July 20th. [Post to the Fancy Pants thread]

Contest #3:
How I spin contest
How do you spin? Everyone spins a little bit differently and we would love to see how YOU spin. Upload a video of yourself spinning sometime during the tour to earn a chance to win a prize! The video can be anywhere from a few seconds long to a full tutorial. Just show us your spin! Winner will be chosen at random and awarded a braid of fiber chosen by me. Drawing will happen the Tuesday after the Tour ends. [Post to the How I Spin thread]

Contest #4:
Your Daily Spins
Upload a picture of your daily spin to the chat thread. Anyone who spins every stage will be entered to win 8oz of  the fiber of their choosing. Drawing for this contest will be the Tuesday after the Tour ends, to give everyone a few days to upload their final progress picture. I can't keep track of everyone, so you will be responsible for letting me know whether or not you have completed your goal. [I will open a separate thread for this drawing as the Tour comes to a close.]

Tour De Fleece Countdown

A little over 4 days until the Tour kicks off! Are you ready? My friend Lacey and I have put together this blog post to answer any questions you might have about Tour de Fleece itself, about joining the Dyeabolical Team, and a little about prepping for the Tour.

History: Tour de Fleece was started by  Starathena through her blog Keep Knitting in the Free World. in 2006.  In 2008, TdF moved to Ravelry and has since grown to a very active group, with 7 official teams and over 160 Wildcard teams.

TdF Basics (borrowed from the TdF group): 

The concept is simple:
Challenge Yourself. 
Have fun.
This year, the Tour de Fleece starts on Saturday July 5 and runs until Sunday July 27th, 2014.
Guidelines (NOT RULES):
  • Spin every day the Tour rides, if possible. Saturday July 5 through Sunday July 27th. Days of rest: Tuesday, July 15th and Monday July 21st. (Just like the actual tour.)
  • Spin something challenging on the challenge day (usually the toughest high mountain stage: this year, it’s Stage 14, on Saturday, July 19th, when they climb over 3,000m at grades from 4-6%).
  • Wear yellow on Sunday July 27th to announce victory. Why not wear yellow on any day you feel particularly successful? (Yellow is the color of the race leader in the Tour - but here we are all ‘race leaders’) Other colors if desired: Green (sprinter - think FAST), Polka-dot (climber - as in uphill), and white (rookie).

Getting Ready: Are you in? If so, have you...

- Joined your teams? You can join as many teams as you would like. There are official teams or Wildcard teams. Team Dyeabolical is a wildcard team.  --> IMPORTANT: Joined the Dyeabolical group to stay current on our team's activities, get more information about contests, and post your daily progress.
- set your personal goals? You could try and spin a pound over the course of the ride or spin a specific amount of yardage or keep it simple and just try to spin daily.
- cleaned your bobbins off? (Scott uses the Andean Plying Technique when he cleans the last of the singles off his bobbins.)
- got your wheel up to fighting weight by tightening things up, checking your drive band, and cleaning and oiling? Knitty has a good article on basic spinning wheel maintenance.  
- prepped your fibers? I (Rachel) like to "pop" my fibers if they have been in storage for a long time, especially if they have been squished down in the bottom of a plastic tub for months *cough*years*cough*. I unbraid the fiber, hold a section about 8-12" apart and snap it back and forth. I find that it opens up fibers nicely. Is your goal to spin woolen style like a production spinner? Check out Beth Smith's article on prepping fiber for production woolen spinning.

CONTESTS! We're having them! See the team threads or this blog post for more info!
Helpful Resources
- Not a spinner? Learn to spin videos: 
          - With a wheel  (Caveat: The video recommends pre-drafting. Some spinners pre-draft, but it is not necessary to pre-draft a well-prepared fiber. Just give it a little "pop" or "snap" and spin!)
          - with a drop spindle 
- Want to join lots of teams? Check out this thread to see what other Wildcard teams you may want to join. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Row counters and Tour de Fleece

 If you love spinning and you love sales, then read to the Tour de Fleece section of of this post. 

Heyo! It's feast or famine when it comes to blogging around here. I have been under the weather the last few days and I've wrapped up some big projects recently. That seems to have freed up some of my mental and creative resources. I have had so many ideas lately, started so many new projects, and finished a few others. For instance...
B(ias)^3 by AECDesigns out of my new superwash merino Bounce base in the Thunderboom colorway

Two consignment stockings. Not only did I knit the once, but I spent an entire weekend reknitting and repairing parts damaged by a red that wanted to bleed. I am never knitting bright colors and white colors in the same project ever again!

Whoops, I lied.
Mixed Wave Mitts by Sybil R. Knit out of a Highlighter set on my Super Ego base.
I don't currently have any Super Ego dyed up on the Highlighter base, but I do have some available on Bounce and Sturdy.

The Tour de Fleece starts on July 5 and I have a surprise. Dyeabolical is hosting its own team! Team Dyeabolical is a low-key group for spinners of all skill levels. Here's the main rule: Try to spin every day that the Tour rides. If you miss a day, we'll still love you. We prefer that you spin at least one Dyeabolical yarn, but we want to see everything you spin! Other than that, there are no hard and fast rules. Here is the Dyeabolical Team Page and the official Tour de Fleece group.
It would be rude to announce a Dyeabolical team and not give you an opportunity to buy fiber, right? So we're having a SALE! 15% off all made-to-order spinning fiber between now and June 15. If you order in that window, then you will have your fiber dyed just for you by the first week of the Tour. No coupon code needed. The prices have already been marked down.


Row counters are now back in stock.  You are in luck if you really like red & pink, as that was the bulk of what was sent this time. There is also 1-2 of some other colors. I have another shipment that should be here in a few days. The assortment sent each time is random, but I am super duper hoping for an assortment heavy in purples and blues next time.

And now some news, 3 customers (that I know of) received counters from the last batch that jump a number whenever the large button is pressed, regardless to whether the screen is awake or asleep. It should only jump a number when the screen is on. The counter is perfectly usable (I've been using them) but it is not consistent with the other products. I am currently discussing this with the manufacturer. If you received a counter like this and would like a different one, please contact me.

Every counter in every shipment is now tested individually, so any counter you order from the website will work as advertised. However, I now have more jumping counters than I can use. I would be happy to sell one for $3 + shipping (normally $4 + shipping) to anyone who contacts me. I mostly have greens & browns.