Monday, June 11, 2007

No Men Please

I miss spinning terribly, I really do! I actually think about it a lot, how it feels when the carded fleece feels when it passes through your fingers in it's way through the wheel, the soft and rhythmic sound of the process of spinning, the state of mind that can define peace----- yes, spinning! My first foray into spinning was 28 years ago when I was living in South Jersey, back in the days before Bruce was Boss. I found the then sleepy town of Mullica Hill and a shop there that gave spinning lessons, among other interesting things. So I learned all about fleece and purchased one, picked up a pair of curved back carders and set out to sort, clean, card and make ready my fleece for spinning. I was infatuated! After only one lesson on the wheel at the shop I knew that I was going to have to purchase one and I settled on a lovely Ashford Traveler. Not then (nor now) being known as a technical or assembly required girl it was an effort to put that baby together, but oh it was a thing of beauty when completed. My first efforts were clunky chunkies but I loved them. By the time I got through that fleece I had dyed wool, spun lovely yarn in several weights, plied colors and generally become a Spinner. The clunky chunkies became parts of my handweaving, I had a floor loom that made my heart sing then too. The finer yarn became sweaters, scarves and socks, and one fabulous lacey shawl that lives in my memory in technicolor. I hauled that wheel everywhere, it traveled with me for a year when I felt as if I lived on the road. The wheel came into many a hotel room with me and the hotel maids would giggle at the places I found to hang the washed yarn.

I do not own a spinning wheel any more, how deeply sad is that? For many years I lived in Hawaii and fleece and spinning was far from my mind, seemingly impractical. The Ashford did reside in my sewing/craft room, while the Louet floor loom had been sold, sadly not to have made the trip across the Pacific. My beloved Ashford met it's untimely demise one day at the hands of the man that was in my life at that time. Horrible really, that a human being would be such a twit to find breaking things that meant a great deal to me such a pleasure. I remember it like it was yesterday, I was shocked, amazed, hurt, angry, and more (as you can imagine). But then it is why he's an ex, and quite happily so.

I am currently (and forever more) man-less. My children have grown up into lovely people (even though they frown on the possibility of their Mother getting a tattoo) and I have entered into a time that is mine. That is not to say that I think everyone should give up men, this is no more true than the fact that everyone should only knit green socks! It's all about the love, about what works for us as individuals and how we accept and support each other. Isn't it great that knitters as a community are generally such fantastic people?

I think that someday I will own another spinning wheel, it's probably in my future. I really am not wild about the use of drop spindles, somehow this klutzy woman has an awful time with them. So I'll just continue to daydream about spinning, maybe I'll even go to Border's today after work and pick up Spin-Off. Or maybe I'll just finally finish that sock and move on with it.

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