I am dying to spin. Or maybe I should say, I am “dyeing” to spin. Ok, bad joke and play on words, but I love to dye yarn and fabric. I also love to knit, crochet, and touch anything that is created with natural fibers. I love wool, alpaca, bamboo, soy, silk, mohair…and the feel of all of it in my hands. It calms me. It is beautiful and functional. I also love the look and feel of han-spun yarn. There is something so wonderful just knowing that ages and ages ago, this is how people created fabric. There were no machines, no mills, no industry. Just women and men, shearing sheep, carding fiber and creating yarn. And from that yarn came garments that would carry a family through a winter, and would also create garments for summer using materials like cotton and flax.
With each craft I create, but especially with the fiber arts, I long for a truly hand-made product from start to finish. When I first started knitting, I would head to the craft store for mass-produced yarn. Then, at some point, I discovered the LYS (stitch language for “local yarn store”), and a whole new world of luxury fibers and hand-dyed yarns opened up. I became a bit of a “yarn snob”, but do still find value in some of the bigger yarn brands sold in craft stores, and online. After some time, I found a supplier of “naked” yarn – natural fibers bare of any coloring. Oh, the possibilities!! Hand-painting, and kettle dyeing yarn with Kool-Aid – adding yet another element of hand-made to my end-products of scarves, cowls, baby sweaters, hats and other accessories. What fun!
And now? I want to spin. I want to learn that age-old process of taking fiber that has been picked through, washed, and dyed, and create my own yarn that I can then knit or crochet into wonderful things. When I tell people I want to spin, they offer contact information on their gym. No, no, I laugh! I don’t want to sit on a stationary bike and pedal my way to a size 6, I want to SPIN!!! I want to take wool, or flax, and anything else I can meld in, and form it into yarn. (you can add all SORTS of things to your yarn – even shredded money!!!). Because then, and only then, will I be able to claim that my end result is truly and fully hand-made. Only then can I really feel that connection with generations of women (and some men) from my ancestors, and my husband’s ancestors. I can say that I am engaging in an activity that perhaps somewhere, at some time long ago, someone else was engaging in to end their day, or earn their keep, or unwind from stress.
I am on a mission. I will get a wheel. I will get some fiber…and maybe, someday…I will get a sheep:-) But sometime soon, I will INDEED have yarn that I have created with my very own hands. And only then will I be able to give a gift or offer a product that is entirely hand-made with love, by me (and my trusty wheel, of course!)