"Try Spinning"

Monday, December 02, 2013


I had a very busy weekend indeed. We had the family visiting, dinner for eight, baking and making for the Christmas market, lots of adventuring in London and further afield with grandparents - and even, a spot of spinning.


I ordered a drop spindle and some fibre about three weeks ago, and I've been waiting patiently for it to arrive. Every day, I ran to meet the postman. I felt like I was living the lyrics one of the Carpenters' songs. You know the one. And then, finally, the fibre (Jacob Wool) arrived. It smells like sheep. I often bury my nose in it and inhale the scent of the countryside. I offered whiffs to all of my dinner guests. Would you like to smell my sheep?

Mad sheep lady.


Really and truly, spinning yarn is wonderful. It's amazingly mathematical; you have to coordinate both hands, the amount of fibre you're spinning, the drafting and the pinching, and all the while keeping an eye on your drop spindle which is spinning dangerously close to the ground. 

I had initially thought I'd dye this yarn, but I rather love it just the way it is. My first handspun yarn. I've only spun up about 30 grams, so it's not quite enough to knit anything substantial, but after all the rushing around and Christmas Market preparation is finished, I think I shall retire to the sofa with a huge mug of tea and a bit of drop spindling.

Also, the title is a reference to an old South African advert in which a rather camp man advises a group of women to try spinning, referring to the intense aerobic exercise often likened to torture. This spinning is much nicer. I keep replaying that phrase in my head, satisfied that I have in fact tried spinning, and it is wonderful.

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