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My New Hobby: Spinning!

January 5, 2011

I guess I was meant to be a spinster after all…

I always thought I’d be spinning yarns when I got older, but I didn’t mean it literally…

Now Tim and I are both in to spinning! And for the first time (and maybe the only time) his version is more expensive than mine by far! Timmy gave me a Turkish Spindle for Christmas and I love it! Well, after extreme frustration, near tears, and almost giving up for good… I love it! For those of you who are unfamiliar with the spindle, let me provide a bit of history. The first handspun fiber garments date back to about 20,000 years ago. Spinning was a necessity for families during medieval times and girls and unmarried women (“spinster’s” origin) spent any extra time spinning yarn for clothes. Over time, with industrial and commercial developments, spinning became increasingly uneconomic. Although, Gandhi practiced spinning in conscientious rejection of international industrialization (wikipedia) and hand spinning was widespread in poor countries as late as the 20th century. Now spinning is popular among fiber artisans because it allows the spinner to control the fiber content, and qualities of the yarn.

My spindle and yarn

I like spinning for the same reasons that I like knitting: you get a sense of accomplishment, and feel a connection to history. These hobbies have a certain meditative quality that is hard to find elsewhere. I hope I can pass this on to my future children and grandchildren like it was passed down to me. Of course, if I’m completely honest, the BEST part of spinning and knitting comes when some one asks you where you got your sweater/scarf/mittens/etc, and you can say, “Oh, I made it!”

So for now, my spinning is a little rough, but with some practice I’m confident that I will be able to make some pretty nice yarn. Then I’ll have to move to the next step up the chain– buying a farm and raising sheep!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Auntie Pam permalink
    January 5, 2011 3:12 pm

    How wonderful! Enjoy your new found hobby.

  2. Mary Kay permalink
    January 5, 2011 3:56 pm

    Quite impressive making yarn with that little wooden thing! I can’t wait till you’re raising sheep so I can have a fleece too!
    Mary Kay

  3. Darlene permalink
    January 6, 2011 1:31 am

    I think that is just awesome. You go girl.

    Bill made me 2 “nostepinne” (nost-pen) out of Black Walnut for Christmas. They are Norwegian yarn winders. Very cool. Similar technique as your spinner, but for hanks of yarn to wrap into balls with a center pull.

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