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How to Prepare Your Team for Spinzilla 2017

Posted By TNNA HQ, Thursday, August 10, 2017
Updated: Thursday, August 10, 2017

How to Prepare Your Team for Spinzilla 2017

By Jaime Jennings

It is August and that means it’s time to start thinking about Spinzilla! With team sign ups increasing day by day, I have some great ideas for anyone interested in hosting a team to help make Spinzilla a successful, community-building event for your store or brand. 

Since we are a shop located in Denver, almost all of our team members are local. One of the keys to our Spinzilla success has been our team spinning meetups and prep work. It is important to host a team meeting before Spinzilla starts to get your team amped up and ready for the competition. Even for teams with non-local members, hosting a Google Hangout planning session, or setting up a communication board will help get everyone planning and excited. 

At our team’s pre-Spinzilla meeting, we encourage our team members to bring any fiber they need to prep. We set up as many drum carders as possible and have them available to our team. It is helpful to have all fiber prep done before Spinzilla starts so your week of Spinzilla can be dedicated to spinning. Carding and pre-drafting is a great way to get ready and save valuable time. This meeting is important for our team to meet each other and build camaraderie. We talk about our spinning plans and goals for the week. 

Every year we pick a slogan for our team and then design and screen print tees for the group. These have included “Clear Eyes, Wool Hearts, Can’t Lose!” (Friday Night Lights), “Back with a Roar” (tiger crushing a spinning wheel), and “Hail to the Horned” (metal themed sheep skull) and “We will crush you with our soft fibers!” Shirts are distributed to our team at our inaugural team preparation meeting. We also have team members choose their own spinning name for the year that fits with the theme. A few of our favorites: Nine Inch Niddy-Noddy, Treadlin’ Tammy Taylor, Lumpy Bobbins, Queen of the Darned and Wool Huffer. 

During the week of Spinzilla, it is crucial to support your team while they’re spinning. We have several ways we like to do this. We host mini competitions throughout the week to encourage people to interact and get amped up to spin their hearts out. These include photo competitions on Instagram and fun things like “most interesting place to spin.” We have small prizes we give away for these mini-competitions within our team. 

A team leaderboard is another great way to motivate your team. We create a shared google spreadsheet that members can enter yardage for each skein they spin. Our leaderboard automatically adds up spun yardage during the week, keeping the numbers rolling in and the excitement growing. This way everyone can access real-time minute numbers for the whole team! It’s a fun and friendly way to boost numbers as people work to achieve top standings. 

The most important thing we do for our team is to host public spinning outings. We try to host at least four or five meet ups during the Spinzilla week. We will have a couple of evening spin-ins at our shop during the week. On the weekend, we like to get out in public with our team. We’ve spun at Denver Union Station, Denver Botanic Gardens, the Molly Brown House, and the Denver Art Museum. These are excellent ways to promote spinning to the public and it lets the Denver community show their support and cheer for their local spinning team! We haven’t won a Spinzilla in a few years, but we always say, “We win in fun”...and really, that’s what this is all about, right?


About the Author

Jaime Jennings is co-owner of Fancy Tiger Crafts in Denver Colorado. Their Spinzilla team, Team Fancy Tiger, won Spinzilla two years in a row in 2013 and 2014! Jaime is an avid knitter and seamstress and makes all her own clothes, including knitting sweaters from her handspun yarn. 

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