Spinning yarn is a meditative craft. I think it’s one of the reasons why I enjoy it.
Some people on the spectrum have difficulties processing movement. I do at times but mine is linked with unexpected movement that is sometimes optical as in seeing people moving around me or through my body when in a moving vehicle. I don’t have a problem with my spinning wheel but I bring it up as some people might.
I can be impulsive and how I acquired my wheel is an illustration of that. I was about 18 and still at school when I was befriended by a young mum. She was a very kind and thoughtful person and she taught me a great deal, although I did not realise it at the time.
One day I went to visit her and found her spinning. I had never seen a wheel in use before and I was mesmerized. Sensing my excitement she gave me an impromptu lesson. I was hooked! I wrote down the name of her wheel, (I had to have one identical), and the following day visited our local yarn shop and ordered one. I must have had savings…how remarkable!
I took my Pipy Wendy home and my dad helped me put it together and taught me how to care for the wood. My wheel is made from New Zealand rimu.
I pretty much taught myself with occasional guidance from others. I didn’t spin constantly, sometimes months and even years between bouts of spinning. I took it up more seriously when my children were adolescents. I was living back in NZ and had joined a local group. It was here that I developed my skills further and started to use my yarn to make garments that were/are worthy of being worn. I was introduced to dyeing, weaving and understanding and handling different fibres. Note: many people on the spectrum cannot abide wearing wool, including me. I find it’s mostly ok if I have a couple of cotton layers underneath so that the wool isn’t actually touching my skin. Not all wool is equal… I prefer a soft fleece with a long staple which is far less likely to shed itchy fibres.
Back in the UK I joined a local guild but I didn’t fit in. Looking back now I think the group was too big for me. That was 20 years ago now.
Although the process of making your own yarn is slow it does make it more affordable. I cannot afford to buy good quality woollen yarn. I’m not saying they charge too much for it; the farmer and the mill need to be paid appropriately. I supplement my yarn by buying acrylic and cotton yarn (mostly from Wool Warehouse Wool Warehouse ) or acquiring scrap yarn from charity/thrift stores. I occasionally get offered bags of yarn too. Great excitement when that happens!
If you fancy having a go I advise you to contact your nearest guild (this link is U.K. based but says its international). If, like me, you find it difficult to join a group or leave the house, you could ask the guild if there is someone who could come and demonstrate in your home or a mutually agreed quiet space/place, (do consider personal security).
I mentioned spinning being a slow process. Slow is good! I’ll keep this for another post.
Bye for now xx