This year Maryland Sheep and Wool festival celebrates its fiftieth anniversary. This important milestone has me reflecting on how much the festival has impacted me as a spinner (and person) across the years.
When I dig through my stash, I am transported to vacations, friends’ homes, or even life events. I still have some of the (clean) fleece I scored on my honeymoon twenty-five years ago at The Big Sheep Farm and Theme Park in Devon, England. I have Portland yarn from the first rare breed fleece my husband bought me when we were dating. Fibery souvenirs help us relive special times long after the trips are over.
In a things-are-somewhat-back-to-normal-but-not-quite year, 2022 became not just a time to reacquaint myself with society, it also became a year to carve a new identity.
A dream trip to Scotland in 2019 culminated in a visit to the 10th annual Shetland Wool Week. After an eventful 12-hour ferry ride from Aberdeen, we arrived in Lerwick, Shetland at the beginning of our 9-day visit to the lovely Shetland Isles.
In different seasons of our life, we may feel the wheels are just spinning. We can’t get out of the ruts. Same problems at work. Same issues with kids. Same health (mental and physical) struggles. Same relationship issues. Our wheels keep spinning to find a way out.
Handspun yarn has always been a favorite of mine for knitting. It makes fabric with interesting textures and color combinations, and I always feel excited about how the fabric will turn out. These yarns are also wonderful for weaving fabric for the same reasons. Anything made with handspun yarn has a bit of magic in it.
The trip I went on in May with Rowan Tree Travel to southwestern England was so wonderful that I had to go again on a similar trip in northern England at the end of September.
Are you “up to your neck” in a project or in stash? Perhaps you’re concentrating instead, and you’ve hunched up your shoulders practically to your ears. That experienced spinner at the guild meeting, she stands “head and shoulders” above the rest.
We all find comfort in the flow of fibre through our hands and the gentle rhythm of treadling and drafting. And it turns out it’s all because spinning does good things to our brains.