She knits! She spins! (Or, in the words of the Harlot: "You made string!")
Two days ago, I was not a spinner. Or not so much that I would cop to it in a conference full of fibernatics. Sure, Teyani got me going on a Turkish drop spindle, and I've logged a few comfortable hours on our bar stools, spinning by hand over cocktails (very good for the tension, I find.).
But Maisie the wheel hasn't had any action since she came over from Amsterdam. She's sat obediently in the corner, biding her time and enjoying her cleaning and oiling … but it's been a lonely half a year, with only Louise the Dummy to talk to.
"Does this sweater make my hips look too fat?"
"Oh, grow a head."
Clearly, something had to be done.
So I signed up for a spinning class at Madrona this year, thinking that would provide me with the deadline I needed to get my butt in gear and learn how. Yet, life being what it is, I didn't get a lesson on the wheel until 30 hours before class. And since the Universe is a kind and gentle place, I got the kindest, gentlest introduction I could imagine, in the form of a mini-lesson from Emily of Denise needles. We should all be so lucky to have such a positive spirit to launch us in every new venture. I'd shriek "Mommmmmeeeee!" when the wheel got away from me, or when my fiber broke on the bobbin, and she'd calmly send me on my way again. Thanks, sweetie. [Just you wait: I'm making you proud!]
Then came Thursday, Day 1 of Madrona, and the incomparable Janel Laidman with her handpainted Blue Faced Leicester roving – and I tell you what, the gal's made a spinner outta me.
[She, and the fabulous folks to my right and left and across the way in class, who were gracious enough to provide encouragement and soothing noises, and tips just when I needed them! Thanks Naomi, and Caryn, and Katie, and all the kind spirits who put up with a total newbie in class.]
We took space-dyed rovings and learned how splitting them (or not) and changing the direction of colors can help us control the striping sequence of the yarn we're creating.
So we spun singles with different amounts of color:
and then we plied:
(While I'm thinking: "Plying? How the *&@%? do you ply?" Seriously- this is like walking off the street into a dance class and after 15 minutes of easy walzing, Arthur Murray busts out the rhumba records. "I'm dancing as fast as I can!")
So I learned to ply, and – surprise! – I LOVE it!
This is one of my favorite things happening in yarn, when 2 plies change color independently - and now I can create it myself!
Dudes, I feel like after a life of take-out and restaurant cooking, someone's just unlocked the door to the kitchen.
So Maisie? It's you and me, babe.
"You spin me right round, baby, right round - like a record, baby, right round round round."