On Spinning

Spinning Mojo

After a restful night, it’s a good idea to use some time to transition between sleep and wakefulness. Quiet contemplation or meditation is one way to help the brain and body restore its senses, and put some order to the day. I’m really trying to use this time to get back to my spinning wheel and spend fifteen minutes working some wool through my hands, twisting the soft strands into yarn, working with only the soft morning light of dawn. It takes a few minutes for my hands and feet to wake up, but once that happens I can sit peacefully and allow the process of pedaling, drafting, and feeding to turn into a meditative rhythm.

Spinning Mojo

Spinning wool, flax, cotton or silk into yarn is something that humanity has been doing for many thousands of years. And, not until organized groups of workers in the 18th century came up with methods of mass production, families relied on each other to create yarn and string for use in clothing and textiles. I admit, there is no way I would be able to spin enough wool and cotton to be able to clothe even just myself, let alone my family. But, the process continues to instill in me the wonder that comes from taking such a raw material as wool and working it into something that can, in turn, be knit or woven into a garment. So, even though humanity has gained a lot more time to do other more economically fruitful things by not having to spin, we’ve also lost the joy and pride that comes with being able to custom-make garments for ourselves and loved ones.

Spinning Mojo

These days there are so many great places to find wool to spin, it’s a way to connect with wool producers and get that much closer to the source of what goes into making knit garments and goods. Admittedly, these last few years I’ve slowed down on my spinning ritual, and my collection (or stash) is still fairly significant, so I have given myself a year or so to work through the excess before I go out seeking new fiber. This particular batch is some merino (what I call fun fiber) to help me get back into the saddle, and to loosen up the cobwebs in the “drafting” area of my brain. It’s not a perfect skein, but like riding a bike, I’m sure the actions will become a little more fluid like they used to be.

Spinning Mojo

Another Start


Believe it or not, I am going to give this another shot. As busy as things have been, I do sometimes miss stepping back a little, capturing some thoughts, tidbits, and the occasional photo.

Our lives continue to revolve around being makers, and there is an intentional simplicity that is behind a lot of our decisions (not to mention that we just like the process of creating and filling our home with the things that we make). Increasingly, though, I am confronted with the fact that we are becoming more and more disconnected from the sources of our own well being—our food, our clothing, our shelter. Convenience plays a big part in the reason why this is happening. And, I am the first to admit that I appreciate the convenience that comes from living in a society built on mass-production.

However, it is hard to ignore, nor do I want to, the inequalities that exist in a post-industrial society, or the waste that is generated by living in a culture of disposability. These things exist and are a drain on resources and on our environment. Part of my hope with rekindling this blog is to nurture appreciation for the things that we do own, or plan on consuming in the days to come. Through the act of making, I would like to encourage us to take the time to consider the basic needs of our lives, and weigh the true costs of the stuff that we accumulate and use while going about our days.

Through sharing projects and inspiration, perhaps we can gain a little more understanding about the process and origins of the things we use. And, maybe, be OK with a little inconvenience in exchange for unique, handmade (by scratch!) goods and experiences to fill our lives.