My uncle recently asked bemusedly: They still make those? Is that an antique? No sirree: fiber arts aren't some archaic craft of Rumpelstiltskin's era, the fiber community is large and in charge with tons of active spinning/knitting/crocheting/weaving groups and events all over the country, and especially up here in Oregon.
I've already made half a dozen new spinning (and sheep/alpaca/goat keeping) friends who have graciously passed on their advice and some incredibly helpful tips to this newbie spinner. I've been spinning on a drop spindle since before we left Austin.... but wasn't really doing it "right" until i met my new friends and had a few key pieces of advice given to me at the crucial moment. No longer just spinning for no apparent reason, i have 2 balls of 2 ply handspun yarn to my name and i've even crocheted a hat for myself! A really good looking, well fitting hat! I hadn't crocheted anything in years, so i'm just amazed it looks like anything. Photos of the hat coming soon. Thanks to one of my new friends for having me over to her farm to meet her critters and to help me ply my two spindles full of single ply yarn using a GIANT spindle she happened to have. The resultant ball of yarn looks a little freaky, but once i put it to use the colors really go together great.
|My first plied yarns wrapped into skeins, washed, and hung to dry. Nice balance!|
|Voila! Center pulled ball ready to become a hat!|
|These are my spindles: a beautiful and really nicely balanced spindle I bought in Texas, and a basic student Ashford spindle i picked up here in Corvallis.|
I love learning new crafts and hobbies. It is a delight to push oneself out of your comfort zone to try something new, and especially delightful when you begin to become proficient at it! Not only am i enjoying the act of spinning, holding my handspun yarn and creating art and apparel using such a basic and "old-fashioned" skill.... but i'm so loving being so quickly welcomed into my community and making friends with some really wise and fun-loving ladies.
Remember that movie with Wynona Ryder and the ladies who sew quilts? Whether you've seen it or not, the concept is the same: i'm a young woman with a young family starting out in a new state. To be able to spend a few hours every week sitting around and talking about silly to important things with some "older" and wise ladies is priceless. I think it is so important for young people to become connected with older generations, even if its just our parent's age or younger. To learn in part through the experiences of others and to glean the wisdom from others that have already forged a life for themselves is just invaluable, especially when they're into so many of the same things we plan to do. I feel so blessed to have fallen in with my new friends and can't wait to learn even more from them, and to entertain them a bit with my silly and frank personality.