It was a case of keeping the breathing even and giving it a go today. This was true for trying spinning yarn on a wheel for the first time ever and also for bringing both babes along to an event like this. A new friend, made at a local knitting group I’ve been attending recently with M (thank goodness for the smoking ban that means I don’t feel guilty taking her to a pub/restaurant at night time!) organised the day at her home, invited us and assured me that she truly didn’t mind me turning up with a lively toddler in tow. True to her word, when we arrived her sons had sorted through childhood videos to find things P might like to watch, there were toys out for him and some very young rabbits and a rather old cat for him to make friends with. Coupled with the fascination of wheels used in a way he’d never seen before and rather more biscuits than he’d usually get his hands on he had a whale of a time. M meanwhile was passed from one pair of arms to another, was hypnotised by the gentle rhythm of the pulling of wool tops and treadling of wheels, eventually giving in to sleep under my Manu cardigan.
As for me, I finally got to try out spinning and unsurprisingly I loved it. Yes, I struggled with the wheel going the wrong way, let my yarn get too twisted, found it hard coordinating pulling out the fibres, pinching the thread and keeping the treadles going, got lumps and bumps in some parts then went so thin that the yarn snapped- in other words all the issues a newbie spinner has apparently, but I loved it all the same. It’s definitely something where you have to get into the ‘zone’ and be somehow aware of what’s happening, while letting go and almost ‘listening’ to the yarn. I love the idea that you can go right back to the source, creating the yarn and then knitting the garment from it- the connection with craftswomen of the past seems even stronger than with knitting alone.
I don’t think that now is quite the time to be acquiring my own wheel and starting up with spinning, but it’s firmly on the long-term wishlist!