19 December, 2009

No Longer a Beginner Spinner

A year has gone by since I took up spinning in earnest.

I fell hard for the process and results of handspun. This level of commitment and love was entirely unexpected. So was finding out I'd had latent natural talent all along.

I feel grateful. I feel cheesy for feeling grateful, but it's true. Spinning came easy, progress came after practice, many many friendly folks helped me and encouraged me, quality tools and materials were within reach, all that and more.

Here's the Coles Notes for the past year:

I love using a top whorl drop spindle, rather than a spinning wheel. I relish the way a drop spindle feels. It hums. I appreciate the price, the portability, the simplicity (no moving parts but me*), the quiet operation, the connection to thousands of years of history, the versatility of the tool for producing thick and thin yarns.

I love spinning Blue Face Leicester wool of all the wools I've tried because BFL is glossy, soft, and well-priced, and also because the sheep that grows BFL wool is derived from a heritage breed and I think that's cool.

I like using wool combs to prepare wool, even though the amount of waste and work is considerable. The result has qualities you just can't buy.

My favourite way to get spinning equipment and materials is directly from an independent, small-scale producer, preferably in person.

I love to demonstrate the drop spindle and get people to try spinning. I think the skill is useful and would like more people to know about the tool.

I don't want people to think of spinning as only something quaint done by folks in funny costumes on special occasions for spectators.

*see a video clip of me, spinning

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