Don’t let the lack of tools inhibit you from creating. It doesn’t take a spindle or a spinning wheel to make yarn, but the knowledge of handspinning will certainly help. If your fingers know how to twist and the prepared fiber is at hand, a length of yarn can be truly hand spun.
Recently I sold my two Ashford Country Spinners for plane tickets from Budapest to Paris. What was once a luxury (for Hungarian Racka yarn production and teaching volunteers how to spin) became a block in the road. Too heavy to carry across the miles for a backpack-only move to the windy Scottish Borders from the parched plains of southeastern Hungary. Those functional objects that once spun yarn inside our cob walls were destined to become objects of use for someone else.
As it is with the way we migrate as humans, so do our tools move about. The ones that are of quality stay in use, the others are tossed into attics and closets, hidden in dark basements, out of sight with perhaps a scent of sheep lingering in the air.
And when a fleece enthusiast smells the raw fleece once again, the fingers itch to twist and turn the filaments into a strand of something – anything.
At the St. Abbs Wool Festival I found some fiber I couldn’t live without. What could I do? I haven’t had the chance to spin for almost 4 months!
Spinning without a wheel or a spindle is stepping a bit back in time, but under the given circumstances a strong determination and a knitting needle will have to do.
Start twisting the undyed BFL fibers with versatile fingertips, pinching, holding and winding as you go, much in the same way you would spin a flax candle wick.
It is soft, sleek and primitive all in one. With some moments of spinning here and there between life and work, in a week or so it will be my winter scarf.
A lot of work you say? Well, a handcrafted compostable wardrobe takes time and every fiber deserves attention. Spin for the joy of feeling natural fiber run smoothly through your fingertips, spin for the sake of remembering our past, spin for inner peace, spin to clothe yourself and your loved ones, spin by hand because that is how quality yarns are made.
What projects are keeping your fingers busy this weekend?