"Breeze Sunflower Spindle" by Lab Cat “Breeze Sunflower Spindle” by Lab Cat

July is one of my favourite times of the year, and that is because thousands of spinners around the world dedicate a couple of weeks to spinning in the Tour de Fleece. The idea is clear – challenge yourself, spin, and have fun.

This event, started in 2006 by Star Athena on her blog Keep on Knitting In The Free World, is a spin-along that happens for the duration of le Tour de France. Spinners spin on racing days, and rest on rest days. On days when the cyclists are climbing mountains, lots of spinners challenge themselves, by using a difficult technique, or by treadling out amazing lengths of yarn. Over 7000 spinners are registered on the Tour de Fleece Ravelry group, where they encourage one another, chat about their spins and post photos of their fibres and yarns.

9287046915_8a2b3fb53a_b “Why are there so many songs about rainbows?” by Fluid Pudding

Like the cyclists on le Tour, spinners can join teams like the Peloton (main group), Rookies (first years), Sprinters (fast, or high mileage of yarn), Climbers (personal challenge), Breakaway (art yarns), and countless Wildcard teams which may be sponsored, friendship groups, local spinners, spinners who use the same equipment or brand of fibre, or based on just about any interest you can imagine.

Even though I spin all year round, I really love having a dedicated annual spinning event, which reminds me to clear some crafting time and devote it to spinning, and gives me an opportunity to form some spinning goals. This year my own goals are to finish off some yarns that have been works in progress for some time, and to work towards turning fibre stash into usable yarn. I’m not achieving as much as I had hoped, but I’m still glad to be a small part of a worldwide community of spinners, taking some time out to make yarn together.

9270753740_3f7c799b5c_b “Tour de what?” by knitting iris

These images are all from the Tour de Fleece Flickr group. Pop by and have a look at all the gorgeous yarns, wheels, spindles, fibres and finished objects from this year’s Tour.

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Who’s at WhipUp

by KateG on 14/07/2013

in Whip-Up

We are Jules and Kate, and we are very proud to be working with Kathreen’s family on WhipUp. We thought you might like to know a bit about us.

We have both been working with Kathreen on WhipUp in one way and another for a few years, and between the three of us we’ve shared hundreds of pots of tea and more projects and crafting talk than we can remember.

Jules
I’m Jules and I live in Canberra with my love and my three daughters. I am a mother, wife, crafter, baker, dishwasher, story reader, paper airplane builder, wound dresser, hug & kiss giver and all round mess maker. I blog sporadically at procrasticraft.com  but am more likely to be found on Instagram or Twitter. As well as having an unhealthy fabric obsession, I am stitching and crafting obsessed. I dream of slow. Stitching and baking help me find that pace I so desire.

Kate
I’m Kate, and I also live in Canberra with my busy, noisy, wonderful family. I make all kinds of things, and my favourite materials to work with are fibre, yarn, fabric, dye, paper, hardware and food. I’m not very good at sitting still, so I almost always have a project of some kind in my hand, and lots of projects on the go at all times. I spend possibly too much time online, and I am constantly in awe of people whose creativity makes the world a better place.

As you can imagine, we are still finding our feet, but we are excited to work with the WhipUp community to keep this site as a place to celebrate creativity and hand-made.  We would love to hear from you.

Jules and Kate

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Today we welcome Helen Gladman, a new reviewer to the whipup team.

Helen is knitter from Canberra with a reasonably sized stash and a love of knitting shawls, cardigans and socks. She is learning to quilt, sews mainly little girl clothes and blogs at Bells Knits where you will find stories and photos of her creative output and dreams.

thefineredge1

The Finer Edge: Crocheted Trims, Motifs & Borders by Kristin Omdahl is a book with wide ranging patterns that will spruce up all manner of items. The author has taken the notion of the standard framing use for edges and applies the techniques to a broader range of items.

While the book contains a stitch dictionary and basic introduction to the use of crochet borders and trims, it is not really a book for beginners. It is assumed you already know how to crochet and how to read crochet charts.

I really liked the way the motifs and borders are set out – one to each page with the chart and written out instructions provided in case you are more comfortable with one form of pattern reading than another.

fineedge2

The designs are varied and attractive and the possibilities greater than my previous crochet experience led me to believe. I could add a lot of stitches to my repertoire with this book and learn ways to do more than just trim a tea towel or piece of fabric. There are designs for hats and scarves which I think is a great way to show the way these stitches can be used.

The book makes me want to dig out a crochet hook and start adding borders to anything I can lay my hands on. You can’t recommend a book with higher praise than that, I think.

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Impossible

 

Kathreen put this post together on her travels. I thought it was a wonderful thing to share. – Kate

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During most of 2013, Whipup.net will be hosting a monthly mini-series, each month edited by different crafters and designers. Enjoy!

The theme for this month is Make It Local :: with Alexandra Smith of Lola Nova. Today, Alexandra shares her last post for the month. Thank you so much Alexandra for sharing your inspiration, taking us on a tour of your local farmers market and for sharing your great tutorial for making market bags. Also, for introducing us to Annie and her local woollen mill, Nancy and her Macrame and to Lindsay and her pesto recipe (yum!).

 

Last year when Kathreen invited me to be a guest editor for a month on WhipUp, I was deeply honored and jumped at the chance. Though I never met her in person, I considered Kathreen a friend, a kindred spirit and a supporter of the utmost kind. Through her hard work and gorgeous spirit, she brought together a community; fostered art and craft, endlessly inspired and encouraged so many wonderful people.  She made such a tremendous impact on me and I know so many others. She created an amazing legacy and I truly believe she made this world a better place. She reminds us to live life with passion and intent; to live deliberately with love and to continue to follow our hearts.

bags

I cannot ever repay Kathreen’s kindness to me, though I would like to contribute to her legacy in some small way. The 3 Origami Market Bags from my previous tutorial are up for sale in my Etsy shop 50 percent of proceeds from each of these bags will be donated to the trust fund for Kathreen and Rob’s beautiful children, daughter Otilija and son Orlando.

If you would like to donate in another way, please follow the link HERE.

Thank you and much love,

Alexandra Smith

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