In her page-a-day calendar, the Yarn Harlot wrote that Gandhi thought that every person should spin yarn for 30 minutes a day. He “believed that the practice of quiet, structured, peaceful work would promote those same qualities in the people who did it”.
I spent a good portion of my summer wanting to learn how spin, which was problematic, since there aren’t any local yarn stores near me that carry spinning supplies, or teach spinning classes. So I was pleasantly surprised while in Colorado to stumble upon a yarn store named “Shuttles, Spindles and Skeins.”
There, I met the very kind Maggie Casey, author of the very helpful book “Start Spinning”, which has been my guide on my spinning expedition. Once I explained that I was interested in learning to spin (and was allergic to wool), Maggie grabbed a handful of plant fibre, a wooden drop spindle, and sat me down for a lesson in spinning 101. I left the store happily caring a bag of Alpaca fibre (already prepared into roving), and a Schacht Spindle, made locally in Boulder, Colorado.
But even while struggling, I began to understand what Gandhi meant. Spinning was, well calming. And creative. It was the act of taking useless fibre and binding it together into something useful. Creating order from chaos. Reverse entropy.
Maybe it sounds like I’m exaggerating or romanticizing, but that is truly how it feels, at least to me, to spin. If you don’t believe me, try it yourself. You can borrow my book.
Anyways, after all my trial and error, I have, finally, produced…yarn!
Yes, it’s lumpy, and its gauge changes every six inches or so (which should make for some pretty interesting knitting), but its yarn. Honest to goodness yarn.
P.S. The yarn is actually black. I don’t know why it looks brown.
P.P.S. I learned how to wind a centre pull ball here, which I think is one of the best knitting tricks I’ve ever learned.