Lizards in the Leaves

Rustlings in the green....imagination, art, whimsy

Jan 8, 2012

Spinning-Rock Day/St. Distaff Day

I did indeed spin yesterday.
Thought it would be most appropriate to spin with my spindle instead of the wheel. (Poor neglected wheel, I'll get back to you yet!)

As I spun, I thought about how I first started to spin, a story I may have told here before, but very long ago.

I started to spin as a homeschooling activity.  I liked all those books that showed children the origins of things. We had books like From Flower to Honey, Pelle's New Suit, Anna's Coat. 

I also liked experiential, hands-on learning experiences. (For "egg to butterfly" we opened The Butterfly Birthing Center, with a cardboard box and egg & caterpillar-laden dill from a friend's garden. There's a story here that mentions this but is more about my mother's experience of our homeschooling journey)

So, I ordered a spinning kit from a woman named Lucy in Wisconsin. What arrived was some combed top, small batts and two unusual Turkish spindles.  At the time, I didn't know they were Turkish spindles or unusual.

There was also a 2-page handwritten letter, with spinning instructions and a most generous spirit of encouragement. I just looked for that letter but alas couldn't find it.  (I know it's tucked in my copy of Lee Raven's Hands On Spinning.)

My kids were politely interested in the process, but I was besotted with it. I ordered lots of plant-dyed roving from Textile Reproductions and spun and spun and spun the last year I lived in Miami.

It's a good memory.

Here's one of the spindles:

I have other spindles, including the Ashford Turkish spindle, but I don't enjoy spinning on any of them as much as I enjoy spinning on these. I'm not sure if it's because I learned on these and spun only on these for years and years, or if it's because these are indeed The Most Wonderful Spindles in the World.

They aren't particularly pretty as spindles go, but they are beautiful.

So I spun, thinking of how much I love these spindles, glad I have two of them, thinking about Lucy from Wisconsin and how grateful I am to her. Her handwritten letter, these two homemade spindles...created a very human connection.  Not long after I received the spinning kit, she sent me a surprise - a package with another batt and some raw wool.
That's when I discovered just how far back in the process of sheep to yarn I wanted to go, and it wasn't as far back as the raw fleece!

Spinning on Rock Day was a nice way to 'get back to work' after the holidays.



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