Monday, March 29, 2010

Spinning, Yarn and Animals

It has been a week of discovery. A local college is hosting a fiber arts festival and the library is hosting some cool classes. Nuno felting is beautiful, something to aspire to someday, (see earlier post), but the spinning lessons have spoken to my spirit and imagination. Spinning is an art and necessity. While spinning one begets a connection with women (and men) from time immemorial. I have notions of falling into a trance of visions as well as the domestic industriousness of Almanzo's mother in "Farmer Boy" and the independent spirit of Ghandi as he sat spinning his own homespun and conversing with international figures.

I met Jeanette, an angora bunny/sheep/alpaca farmer and owner of a yarn shop, Fae Ridge Farms, on her farm at the first event of the week. Her engaging presence, her spinning lessons and the fact that everything she had brought to sell was from Peace Fleece endeared her to me right away. The friends with me that night felt the same way, so we car-pooled, kids and all, to her farm/shop an hour away last Saturday morning. We spent the most enchanted day! The children came into the tiny shop with us, but Jeanette encouraged them to go out and meet the animals with a bucket of feed. It was cold, but we rarely saw them the rest of the time we were there. I think they were busy climbing trees, petting bunnies and feeding chickens.

I was inside with friends, old and new, watching everyone spin, and keeping an eye on my little guy, contemplating how much I had loved my first spinning lesson, but hesitant to take up something new. There were beautiful knitting books everywhere, as well as the yarn, roving in all shades of beauty. She had needles from Peace Fleece, fresh farm produce and fresh-that-morning eggs. Puck and I spent a lovely quarter of an hour gazing at the pictures in Fairy Tale Knits when he announced that I should knit him a purple hat. Now, purple and I have been best friends for many years, and though I don't wear it as much, how could I resist knitting my baby the hat he wanted in that particular shade? Add to that the fact that Arthur, five, had decided before we even left that we should return home with a spinning wheel and was really decidedly interested in learning to spin, and so was I, there was only one option. I purchased the only spindle I had ever tried; a Turkish model from Peace Fleece; "A yarn company committed to helping historic enemies cooperate and prosper through trade. " It is also the neatest spindle ever; it has a fantastic spin to it and it comes apart into pieces, so that when you have spun a length of wool, it is a center-pull ball and can ply from both ends. How cool is that? I also got a big bag of purple swirled with green roving for my Puck's hat. And four dozen eggs, of course.


  1. It sure sounds like a wonderful time you had and surrounded by other ladies makes the learning process all that much easier. cheers Marie

  2. Oh, you are so right, Marie, the company means everything! Not much progress in spinning since Saturday, but that's OK, as you say, it is a learning process. I like that term, I am going to keep it in mind.


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