Friday, April 20, 2012

by touch

I spent the morning last week at the wool shop again.
It's a little bit of an addiction.

While I was there- for a spinning lesson- I spent most of my time walking around following the shop owner (we'll call her "Tiny") around, just learning about fibers and the process.

It was a "feel good" boost sort of morning. I brought in my latest skein of wool and Tiny was quite happy with my work. I sat down and started on my next when a woman was led in by her daughter...

She's 87, a master spinner, runs her own guild, has taught a huge number of people to spin... and she's blind. She hasn't always been blind, but she's been carrying on by touch. I learned so so much from her while she wandered around the shop- touching different fleeces and mixed rovings! She'd touch some, and know what type of sheep it was from! Then she'd talk about the differences in how it spun. Really cool.

Tiny handed her my last skein and said "guess how long this one has been spinning". Her daughter looked at it and commented about how she was excited for when her own skeins would start to look and feel like [mine]. The older woman took it in her hands, played with it a bit and said "this is coming along nicely, you've been spinning for quite a few months now haven't you? Nearly a year?" Tiny starts to cackle "Two WEEKS! It's her 4th skein!" The woman's mouth drops open and she starts playing with it again... "that changes everything... this is fantastic, you have to keep spinning!"
Pretty much my head wouldn't even fit out the door after that conversation.

I really want to try out some different wheels. This one is nice, but I'm getting frustrated with some parts of it. Maybe it's specific to this wheel? Or my technique? It gets stuck at the top and bottom of a rotation if I'm going slow... and I'm trying to go really slow right now to break my tendency of pumping my feet like a mad man.

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