“Spin Together is about the joy of spinning and the opportunity to share that joy with others who also like to spin.” Spin Together is a celebration of Spinning & Weaving Week, a team-based competition that ll takes place online. Over 500 team members participated, from 11 countries.
Noon on October 1, 2022 to Noon on October 8, 2022. Your local time. Spin where you want, as much as you can, whatever fiber you want. Then measure your yardage, report to your team captain. And in between support your teammates and form a community.
I had participated in 3 Spinzillas, so I knew the fiber I’d spin—Chevy, the ram at the Chardon Farm Park. I had plenty of it cleaned, dyed and ready to card. I took part in Tour de Fleece for the first time this year, and I liked the Facebook group format for forming community. Now, to choose a team as they formed up. I didn’t want to join anything ultra-competitive, and feel like I was letting the team down—I do work full-time, so I can’t spend 10 hours a day spinning. Some teams might be able to meet in person, or by Zoom. Again, might not fit my schedule. Anywhere in the world, remember? Choose by name? Wool Witches, Dances With Wool, Twisted Spinners. Clever, clever. I chose Team 52 Weeks of Sheep. They are based on a Facebook Group (public) and created a Facebook Group for the team (private.) Easy to make connections, and so much information about sheep!
Teams could have 25 members, tops. We had 11. Pretty sure we were all in the US, but I really only know where 3 of us were—and I’m one of the three. But we started connecting, sharing plans for what and how we’d spin. Spindles, wheels, e-spinners. And we started encouraging one another.
Because, you know, life happens. Illness, accidents, sick pets, equipment issues, work schedules. Best laid plans.
That week, I spun 1,410 yards of woolen yarn and made a skein of Art Yarn. I mainly used my bottom-whorl drop spindle, but at the very end I broke out my Scottish dealgan and tested how much I might be able to spin in the final 15 minutes before noon. (11 Yards, as it happens.) I didn’t waste time taking the last singles or plied yarn off the other spindles.
Five days to report yardage to your captain. Then the captains report the yardage. Then the teams wait for the results to be tabulated. Meanwhile, there are the two contests members can enter and vote on: Most Beautiful Skein and Wildest Art Yarn. I entered both.
And then more waiting. But at last the results came up. Most Beautiful Skein: there were five pages of beautiful yarns up for vote. No way I was getting that. But maybe Art Yarn, I had a chance. I mean I had handspun, scraps of dupioni silk, locks of wool, yarn that’s partly Chevy and partly a sheep he sired. Wild. Named it “Dragonspun.” Nope.
Well how did Team 52 Weeks do? I started to scroll down the results. Before the Team stats came results by method. Some spinners use spindles and wheels. Some use just one method.
First came “Highest Yardage on a Spindle.”
1st place: 2,945 yards. Well over a mile (1760)
2nd: 2,379 yards. Well over a mile. My best ever was a mile and a quarter.
3rd: 1,752 yards. Now we’re in my range. If only I’d filled my spindle a couple more times…
4th: 1,530 yards. If only I’d spun another hour…
And then: I realized there was a 5th place. And it was me! 1,410 yards for the honor of Team 52 Weeks of Sheep and a couple of cool fiber prizes. I wasn’t the high yardage spinner for my team, but I was the only one spinning exclusively on my drop spindles.
In that first week of October, spinners spun 1,794,813 yards. The top wheel spinner did 49,077 yards. The top e-spinner made 61,515 yards. Our team yardage was 10,732 yards. Over 30 teams, and we weren’t last! (Always my cherished position when running Fun Runs with various dogs.)
And we had a lot of fun. We shared, we supported, we learned how much we could create, as we spun together!