Tour de Fleece

Every year the Tour de Fleece hits me like a ton of bricks, but this year I have a plan. It’s not the plan I thought I was going to use.

For the uninitiated, the Tour de Fleece is a hands pinning event set to coincide with the Tour de France. Hand spinners around the world make a spinning plan that they follow for the duration of the Tour de France. On mountainous biking days, spinners challenge themselves. On rest days they rest their bodies too.

I had planned to spin two pounds of white Polwarth. I had taken this fleece, and had carded up more than a pound before life got in the way. I could easily have changed my plans, deciding to spin up something else. I have plenty of stashed fiber. It would have been easy.

Except that it isn’t. I had to face the fact that I haven’t spun anything in a very long time. I’m still a spinner. It’s still my primary craft, but I haven’t had the… Will? Heart? Energy?

This is how I know for sure when depression has well and truly dug in its fingers and wrested control of my life away from me. It’s not the snapping at my daughter. It’s not the forgetting to do basic hygienic things. It’s not even the lack of sleep.

It’s that I stop knitting and spinning.

Until a few weeks ago, I hadn’t created anything since October, when I went to SOAR. And if I’m being honest with myself, I only did the bare minimum of work at SOAR too, and hadn’t spun much for a while before that.

So I went back on my antidepressant. A week in, I started knitting again. Three weeks in, I spun a little, but realized that I was feeling guilty for not following my Tour de Fleece plan. I was feeling guilty that I haven’t worked on my Master Spinner homework. My guilt was making it hard to spin.

So I’m declaring my new plan: I’m not participating in TdF this year. I’m promising only that I’ll spin a little here, and a little there, but I’m not promising that I’ll get my homework done during the tour. I’m not promising that I’ll spin that 2lbs of Polwarth. I plan to knit a little. I plan to spin a little. Maybe I’ll finish the Spunky Eclectic fiber that’s on the Schacht Matchless. Maybe I’ll finish another pair of socks. Maybe not.

My new plan is that I don’t have a plan, and I’m coming to terms with that.

Spunky Eclectic, carded on the new Clemes and Clemes.



  1. Christiane says:

    Knowing what you need is always a really good first step. Even if knowing what you need is to not make plans. I’m glad you’re being gentle with yourself. <3

  2. melanie says:

    Sounds like a good plan – no pressure, just intention and doing what you love.

  3. Cat Sawyer says:

    You always have too much on your plate. Purging your plan is a good plan. Take time to smell the roses, or pot roast, or whatever gives you pleasure. Enjoy doing something or doing nothing. Life is too short to angst over a plan that unravels or a fleece unspun.

  4. Betty says:

    Good for you! I like your plan.

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