"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.


Urban Craft Uprising showcases the best in local, handmade crafts and arts including clothing, jewelry, plush toys, felted objects, art, note cards, journals, paintings, bags/wallets/purses, accessories, housewares and more.

urban craft uprising

Indie author signings scheduled include: Susan Beal of Button It Up and Bead Simple, Diane Gilleland of Kanzashi in Bloom, Nikola Davidson & Brookelynn Morris will be signing their new book, Feltique, Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching will also be signing her books and selling her work.

Hourly demos for hands-on DIY fun, will include Becky Stern, Associate Editor for CRAFT and MAKE magazine and indie authors (listed above).

The first 100 attendees each day receive a free “swag” bag filled with items from vendors and sponsors. Throughout both days, attendees can also win gift baskets during the hourly draws.

The Urban Craft Uprising: Seattle Center Exhibition Hall on 1-2 August 11am to 5pm.

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news and events

by kath_red on 07/01/2009

in News+Letters

A Little invitation for the Art Stream Studio print show. All prints are welcomed. If you are interested in participating contact susan via her website and she will send you more info. Prints can include everything from digital to woodcuts and silkscreen and everything in between.

create a handmade valentine for charity – for how to participate go to Fred Flare.

Submit images to be considered in a new Lark Books publication called 500 Found-Object Works, due for release in Fall 2010. More information check out lark books.

Inkubook – for the month of January, Super Big Calendars are 20% off! They’re regularly priced at $19.95, but this month you can get them for $15.96 each.


news and offers

by kath_red on 17/11/2008

in News+Letters

Paper cloud are running a sale through December with 15 to 25% off all of their pillows, lighting, journals, and apparel to start off the holiday shopping season.

New photo book-making site, Inkubook invites whipup readers to make a FREE book (not including shipping). I have not yet tested the site – but will do so soon and let you know my findings.

1. Log onto and create a free account by November 30, 2008 to start your book.

2. Using the “Invite Friends” feature, invite someone to join Inkubook and submit a few photos to include in your book. We’ll send your friend a promotion code to use for a free book.

3. Finish your book and order it within 30 days of joining Inkubook, using the promotion code PBK266. For promotion details, visit LINK.

Indie fixx postcard contest: To enter, readers need to make a handmade card card or postcard and snail mail it to me postmarked by December 20th. They can choose a holiday to commemorate or just celebrate the winter season. It can be little or big, 2d or 3d, use recycled materials or not…they have complete creative control.


Get free shipping until December 5th when you spend over $35 on regularly-priced items at – Just enter the code “Fall2008″.

The fourth annual Urban Craft Uprising Holiday show is on soon – with over 100 indie designers/makers.
When:Saturday, December 6 and Sunday, December 7: 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Where: Seattle Center Exhibition Hall

Popknits Submissions are now open for Issue #03: Spring 2009!

New feature on blog – with every Wednesday a roundup of fiber-related news from all over the world.

Bazaar Bizarre San Francisco: The Northern California branch of this nationally renowned craft fair will take place on November 30th 2008 from 10 am to 5 pm at the San Francisco County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park.

The Textile Study Group of New York
presents Gail Martin of the Gail Martin Gallery – with a lecture about Ethnic Tapestries: Wednesday, November 19th at 7 pm at Community Church of New York Unitarian Universalist.

Felt Club’s Holiday 2008 event is here!
Where: The Shrine Expo Center: 700 W. 32nd Street, L.A. CA 90007. When: November 16 11am-6pm – $5 entry fee.