Sunday, 15 June 2008

And then there was spinning

There are things I swear I will never do. Like bungee jumping. Or piercing my nether regions. Or attending a Mariah Carey concert. These are at the extreme end of things and not even a truck load of cash would entice me. OK, maybe a little.

There are things I say I will probably never do. Like enjoy a Tom Cruise film or willingly eat a banana (unless it's heavily disguised in a cake or a smoothie). I may end up doing these things one day but it's unlikely.

Then there's the category of things I have said I'd not do because, well, as nice as they sound, life is too short.

Spinning has always fitted into that category. Why spin when a) there are plenty of people who do it very nicely and who need someone to buy their wares and b) I only have so many hours in a day for knitting, why give them over to a craft I'm only lukewarm about?

I have said this for a long time, happy to admire someone else's work and just not play along except as a consumer.

Then I got that huge bag of fibre. Remember? The one that 'fell off the back of a truck' and landed in the care of my father in law?

Well I had to learn to do something with it! Also, I got a drop spindle as a prize from Queen of the Froggers, not to mention some amazingly beautiful roving all ready to spin up.

So today, I went along to the drop in session at the Canberra Spinners and Weavers. I was reluctant. I'd heard they weren't welcoming but I've got this stuff and I need to work with it, so what choice did I have? I met a friend there and we loitered for a while, marvelling at all the fibre and the wheels and the knowledge gathered in one room.

Long story short, I hooked up with a couple of women who were pointed out to me as the spindle experts and before long, I was drop spindling! Not expertly. Absolutely not brilliantly. But I was doing it and they told me that the fact that the spindle wasn't hitting the ground every five minutes was a good sign.

Wanna see what I made?

It might not look like much. Personally, I think it looks like stretched out cotton wool, not yarn. But I made it and it's something I couldn't do this time yesterday.

And you know what else? The women there were cool, and funny and nice. Those who know I have a dirty mind will be amused to learn it was one of the two grey haired women, not me, who made the rude joke about a big, hard thing sticking out from between my legs as I held the spindle there at one point. So there you go, dirty minded elderly spinners. In Canberra!

My big bag of fibre was much admired. I hauled it along for someone to have a look and tell me if it was any good. Apparently, it's beautiful. It's soft, and not at all greasy, and ready to work with. Don't I feel just a bit lucky?

So spinning is fun, but right now, I'm going to knit. There's time to learn spinning properly. Plenty of time.