Friday, May 28, 2010


Why do I make yarn by hand?

Because when you think about it, it's kind of ridiculous. It's yarn. That's just one bump up from string. You can buy yarn for el cheapo cheapcheap at your nearest big box and whip up an entire afghan for $15, if you set your mind to it. Or you can just forgo the "making" part altogether and buy a blanket pretty much anywhere. Who needs hoity handspun when you can just buy the finished product?

But see...that's exactly the point. The magic comes in the making...the creating of something out of not very much. I spin because I have to. I'm completely serious. Spinning is addictive magic. There is something about treadling to make the wheel spin while simultaneously watching and feeling the fibers twist together.

Spinning has woken my sense of touch, and there's really no going back. Why settle for four senses when you can have five? At this point, I can plunge my hands into a raw fleece glistening with lanolin and tell you what breed of sheep it came from. I can rub your coat a little and let you know if it was made with wool or alpaca or cotton or something manmade. It's all just a little amazing. I'm in love with my new-found sense of touch!

On top of all of that, spinning is a great calmer. My stress level goes way, way down when I am in the midst of freaking out about something and have a sit-down at my wheel. It is a slow, patient process, which lends itself wonderfully to pulling you back...slowly, methodically, gently...from the Cliffs of Insanity. The touch of the fiber is soothing, and the rhythm of the wheel whirls troubles away.

So you see, I must create yarn. I must decorate with yarn. I must pepper the knitters in my circle of friends and family with yarn. And I must sell yarn, because I love to spin so much more than I love to knit or weave, and if I didn't get it out of my apartment somehow, they'd find me one day buried under mounds of wool and llama and flax and sparkle and whathaveyou.

Which is actually starting to sound appealing...

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