Yarn Learning: Life Lessons Through Spinning

by David Kellin, editor@pantagraph.online

I am a curious guy. As a child I was fascinated with know how things worked. We had no working clocks in the house, as I have torn them apart to figure out how they worked. I have not lost that trait.

I am never sure what will spark that curiosity. It seems to strike regularly, but without warning. The most recent attack on my need to learn came when I talked to a woman spinning yarn at a local heath Festival. Her table boasted spinning for relaxation. Lighting bolt strike to my brain later, and I was curious on how to spin

Spinning yarn is not done much now. It was a staple of life before machine age took over. I think that because I did not understand how the spinning wheel worked, I was hooked to figure it out. I have learned a bit in the months since the learning bug hit.

Sitting on the porch today, I spun some Alpaca roving I had worked up. My carding pads from an Etsy seller came in from Russia this week. Cheaper to buy them there than in the US. Go Figure, Huh.

I spun for about 2 hours and got to a stopping point. Winding the “Yarn” on the Nitty Noddy, I found I had a whole lot less “Yarn” that what I might imagine. But washed it up and hung it weighted to dry.

I got home and retrieved the yarn, and wound it up in a small ball. It is the size of a Danish Wedding Cookie. I got to thinking about what I had learned, so here are my insights as they can be applied to life.

  1. Knowledge is mind opening and vital to growth. Everything I learn, I try to apply it.
  2. Knowledge is the beginning of wisdom and skill. You learn by doing, not reading.
  3. Google and Youtube can help bridge the concepts, but the fiber must pass through your hands to be yarn.
  4. The amount of effort required for everyday things we take for granted is often unconsidered.
  5. Making efforts helps appreciation and respect.
  6. It is going to take forever to make a sweater, but man will I love it and cherish it because I know the effort.

If someone makes you something by hand, understand that it is a gift of time, and perseverance. It is way too easy to go to walmart and swipe the card and get a machine made carbon copy of a sweater.

My peers think I am crazy for taking up these learning projects. I am of the mind to respond back, “Yes, you are correct”. I can say that, because no matter what I say, they will not be in the experience with me. So sitting on the porch drafting out a few fibers at a time, I am relaxing into my comfort zone. Will I spin tomorrow, probably.

Writer Notes: I have used words in this article, you might not be familiar with. No worrys, it is the language of the spinners. Curious about their meaning, drop me a line, or join me and you can drop a spindle with me as I teach you to spin.



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