Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Another first

I spent the morning teaching spindle spinning to three people. Grandmother, mother, daughter. Now, that was a buzz, if you will.

All three delightful people, and set fair to be talented spinners. I had met two before, at one of our Woolfest sessions, so not quite beginners, but near enough for me to be thrilled with the progress that they made - all three of them in fact. We spent three hours at it, during which they spun and plied wool, and then were eager to try other fibres. They expressed interest in the wool with different staple lengths, and then fell on the silk I brought down to show them. I wouldn't expect spinners of little experience to cope happily with silk, but these three did! Grasped the principle of spinning from the fold in a trice; and listened when I said not to remove the centre-pull ball wound on to a nostepinne.

Ain't life grand?

I have been learning myself. I couldn't resist, having decided upon doing it, to begin the mindful spinning of cotton. And the Universe seems to have had quite a few lessons to teach me already. Firstly, even though you can legitimately call yourself an able spinner of cotton, you can still end up with a shower of little fragments around your feet and a frayed temper to boot. Take deep breaths and master the temper; progress comes from slow, reflective practice.

Master your temper too when small snowshoe cats hurl themselves on to your lap and lunge at your yarn and or fibre supply - more than once. Angry shouting does no-one any good; better to calmly but firmly remove the cat, cuddle it somewhat and place on the ground (and yes, I mean place not throw......) Kittens will be kittens, and the Universe loves them as well.

And do remember how much twist cotton needs, thus avoiding having to run a bobbinful through the wheel again when it starts drifting apart at a crucial point.

Book Group last night turned in to a conversation about knitting, and indeed spinning. Something very strange is going on, but I'm not complaining about it.

It's all very exciting. And definitely grand.


Josie said...

The thought of teaching three generations of a family a new skill appeals to me as well.

Glad you enjoyed it so much.

Anonymous said...

The universe has good lessons, indeed! Ones that I could learn from, as well.

The spinning lessons sound lovely. How neat to teach an entire family.