Balanced Spinning, Balanced Life

My life has been all out of balance the last six months and my body rebelled in late July.   I won’t bore you with tiresome details other than to say our bodies are not designed to knit for hours and hours day in and day out.  I’m back in physical therapy again twice a week along with therapeutic massage once a week.  It appears that overuse of one muscle group without working its opposing muscle can cause serious problems.  I think I’ve learned this time that I really need moderation in my life.  Instead of being an obsessive knitter falling down the bottomless pit of never ending projects I will attempt to knit a few nice things every year and spend no more than an hour a day knitting.  I will read a little bit every day.  I will spin yarn a little bit every day.  I will sew or quilt a little bit every day.  I will go for long walks and spend time stretching and doing yoga.  I will take time to balance my meals, blog a little and play with my camera.  Okay, that’s enough balance and you are probably looking back at the date on this blog post to see if it is 1 January.

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A year ago I went to the Taos Wool Festival and took a spindling class.  I have enjoyed playing with my spindle this year but have not produced a full bobbin in a whole year.  Although I like the portability of a spindle I found myself being drawn to spinning with a wheel.  A couple years ago I saw several of my blogging friends (PatsKnitting, Kathy in Iowa, PAKnitWit) one by one purchasing wheels and I reasoned that I would not follow in their footsteps because there were too many wonderful things to knit and I had no interest in spinning yarn for those things.  But as I watched the hands of spinners in action at the Taos Festival I was mesmerized and when I saw how quickly they turned out yarn my interest began to spark.

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Last month I went to the Colorado Salida Wool festival with some friends.  I told myself I would just check out the spinning wheels while I was there and had no intention of buying one, yet.  I sat down to give the Schacht Ladybug a try.  My feet were totally confused and for some reason my left foot would not work right.  My hands understood what to do because of my spindling experience.  I liked the fact that Schacht spinning wheels were made in Colorado and if there ever was an issue I could take it up to Boulder to be fixed because who wants to ship a spinning wheel?  While the shop owner was giving me a quick spinning lesson a lady walked by and handed her a business card.  She looked at the lady, looked back at me and said, “I want to introduce you to one of the Ladybug design engineers.”  I stood up and handed the wheel over to her and she showed me all the great design features of the Ladybug.  I was smitten.  I bought it and she flipped it over and signed the bottom!

A ladybug is hidden on every Ladybug spinning wheel and here is my little bug girl resting near the wheel.

Lady Bug

So like thousands of fiber enthusiasts before me I have taken my love of all things wooly one step further.  My feet have become coordinated and know how to start, stop, slow down, speed up and reverse the wheel.  My hands have magically figured out what to do although I’m certain the year of spindling helped.   The drafting rhythm mesmerizes me and I find the whole process relaxing.  I have not had time to take a class and what I know is from watching YouTube videos and reading books on spinning.  The ladies on the Schacht Ravelry board have helped a lot, too.

Nests of Fiber

Nests of Fiber all Ready to go!

Ply Party

I think I’m ready for my ‘first’ project so here goes!  I bought some hand painted top from FatCatKnits and will spin two single bobbins and then ply them together.  This project will be on my largest whorl.  The solid Dry Russet is 2 oz. of Falkland.  The lovely Falling Leaves is 2 oz. of 50% Merino/50%Tencel combed top.  I bought them together as a ‘Ply-Party’ not really having the confidence right now to put two colors together.  I think they will look nice together and will be my Autumn spinning adventure.

Wish me luck!  I am off and spinning , with MODERATION, of course!

Dry RussetBy the way, what is the BEST book you read this year?  I need book suggestions.