Sunday, 14 July 2013

Training for Tour De Fleece? Get Inspired!

For those of you setting new targets and reaching new spinning goals for this year's Tour De Fleece, we thought that we would give you a flavour of just how much work and
dedication goes into becoming the world’s fastest spinners and knitters. We
asked one of the UK team members from the Back to Back Challenge, Steve Plummer, to tell us just what his role involves
and how he helps ensure that Team Groenewoud is the
fastest. Here’s what he has to say:

a mathematician and keen knitter/designer it is perhaps not surprising that my
part in the challenge is as a verifier and my interest is in the analysis of
the event to bring the World Record within reach.The
planning required for an attempt at the world record is quite substantial and
precise and the analysis that needs to be done to even get close to the record
is often undervalued. The yarn, for example, needs to be 2 ply and, for an
attempt at the world record, plying needs to be underway at about 3 minutes.
Casting on the front of the garment by the fastest knitter needs to be going on
at about 6 minutes.

are very strict rules as to the number of stitches, rows, needle size, type of
garment, etc, etc, and adjudicators/assessors are required to ensure that these
rules are all met and no person outside the team is involved in any way.

an adjudicator I create an unbroken video of the record attempt as proof that
everything is done according to the rules and that nobody else has been
involved in any way. From my videos I can pick out the times that various key
events take place: 

  • From the
    start all knitters/spinners need to be involved in spinning.

  • Spinning
    begins within 8 seconds of the shearer’s first clip.

  • Plying
    begins at 3 minutes 20 seconds.

  • Casting on
    for the front of the sweater, by the fastest knitter, begins at 6 minutes 12

  • At 11
    minutes 30 seconds the front is passed to the second fastest knitter and the
    fastest knitter begins casting on the back.

  • Casting on
    the first sleeve begins at 57 minutes and 31 seconds by the third fastest

  • At 1 hour 26
    minutes 37 seconds the first sleeve is passed to the fourth fastest knitter and
    the third fastest knitter begins casting on the second sleeve.

that point only the front and back of the sweater are worked on continuously,
the other team members alternating between spinning and knitting so that the
production of yarn for the fastest knitters is not interrupted.

  • At 4 hours
    36 minutes 13 seconds the first sleeve was completed and sewing up was begun.

  • At 4 hours
    49 minutes 49 seconds the second sleeve was completed and could be sewn up.

  • At 5 hours
    22 minutes and 9 seconds the front was completed and 2 minutes 46 seconds later
    the back was completed.

  • Sewing up
    then took 7 minutes and 42 seconds to complete to finish the event after 5
    hours 32 minutes 37 seconds.

analysis is now taking place with a view to bringing the time down to within
the Guinness World Record time. Strangely, it is likely to be “resting” the
fastest knitters by alternating tasks that does bring this time down and make
the record achievable.” 

A huge thank you to Steve
for sharing this incredible breakdown of what it takes to be a winning team in
the Challenge. It certainly puts my average garment knitting time into
perspective! We wish the team the best of luck for next year’s event and all
the preparation that is no doubt already under way. 

Friday, 12 July 2013

We've Been Nominated!

Exciting news! We've been nominated in TWO categories for the Lets Knit British Knitting Awards 2013.

It is such an honour to be chosen amongst such a select few as one of the best in British producers. We are entered for the 'Best Luxury Yarn Brand' and 'Best Independent Yarn Brand'. If you would like to check out the other fabulous yarnies nominated or vote (for us!) please visit the voting page here. Good luck to all the other nominees!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Back to Back 2013

Are you taking part in Tour De Fleece? Is spinning ALL you can think about? Here's some Fyberspates news that might just hit the spot.


Some of you might remember us posting about the opportunity to sponsor UK
representatives for last year’s International Back to Back Wool Challenge.It's a phenomenal challenge with exciting attempts to break world records for
knitting and spinning and this year, Fyberspates were once again proud
sponsors of the UK members of Team Groenewoud….. the winning team!

Team Groenewoud comprises of 7 highly skilled handspinners and knitters
from the UK, Netherlands and Germany. 9 teams of blade shearers,
handspinners and knitters entered at their different venues around the world
in the nineteenth Challenge, on Sunday 9th June 2013. This event represents
a challenge to break the Guinness World Record for shearing a sheep,
spinning and plying the yarn and knitting a sweater to the International Wool
Challenge pattern standards. In supporting the two UK team members role in
the challenge, Fyberspates have helped Team Groenewoud come a step
closer yet again to beating the world record of 4 hours, 51 minutes and 14

The team consists of a blade shearer, a sheep and seven handspinners and knitters and preparation for the event is a yearlong. The international team includes the world’s fastest knitter and other record-breaking spinners and knitters. This year, the Groenewoud team knitted a jumper from sheep’s back to theirs in 5 hours, 32 minutes and 37 seconds in a record breaking European Record to win this year’s International Back to Back Wool Challenge.



Once again, Fyberspates is proud to support the UK representatives as so
much of what we do is driven by a strong enthusiasm for the fibre world and
the community that enjoy crafting. We think this challenge is fascinating and
can’t wait for next year’s results, as the team seem to be going from strength
to strength!