As many of you know, I live locally to the SweetGeorgia studio and teach there a couple of times per year. I am excited to be returning again in September to begin another round of Beginning Spinning classes. In an effort to offer a full-range course that is much like a continuing education class, the nights are packed with learning, conversation and, yup you guessed it, homework. One of the things that came up in the last course I taught was the idea of ‘beginner’ yarns – you remember those from when you were learning, don’t you? Those thick, often bulky weight yarns that we all spun when we were first learning that we were actually disappointed in because they weren’t the gossamer fine yarns that an experienced spinner can spin in the dark, not looking or while chatting with a friend. Basically, they spin them effortlessly and as a beginner, we look at their hand and feet movements and think, “But that doesn’t look that hard … why can’t I do that first shot?”
In one of our lessons one night, someone was lamenting this above thought process of a beginning spinner and I encouraged her to think about it slightly differently. My own teacher had encouraged me to think differently as well and I think of that evening every time I have this conversation: Those beginning yarns will eventually be the exact yarns we aspire to spin as we become more experienced. In my opinion, the truly experienced and masterful spinner is the one who can spin the yarn he or she desires for a given project – not always the gossamer fine yarns. It takes as much (or maybe more) practice to spin the thicker, bulky yarns that we scoffed at when we were learning!As my spinning practice has expanded, I have found that spinning an even thick yarn has been both rewarding and meditative. The yarn is created quickly – this month’s club fibre was spun and plied in under 2 hours – and is immensely rewarding. The colours sparkle next to each other since they aren’t muddied in any way due to the thickness of the yarn. The eye doesn’t mix the colours together as it does when the plies are thinner (this is called optical mixing) since it is more difficult to differentiate the colours in the strands. Due to the thickness of the plies, the complement colours accentuate each other and create a brilliance that is wonderful in thicker yarns. All of this yarn was spun while we were away on our family camping trip. We were travelling to Jasper, AB, Canada, and I thought I wouldn’t be able to spin this month’s club as I wasn’t planning on bringing a spinning wheel or spindle (gasp!). I was feeling the need for a ‘spinning break’ and wanted to focus on some unfinished knitting that has been languishing in lieu of spinning projects. I always choose to spin over knitting if I have a choice, particularly if I can spend some time on my wheels. In the end, I decided to bring my little Pollywog that I just recently received. I was glad to spin for a couple of hours and felt the rest, restoration and meditation that I had been missing in recent weeks leading up to our trip. There’s nothing like spinning in the wilderness, watching Elk wander by – yup, you read that right. They were a fair distance away and we have travelled to the National Parks many times over the years but the novelty of wildlife several hundred feet away never ceases. Although I can do without the bears and Bull Elk – I’m happiest if they are far away! All in all, listening to the Rio2016 Olympics on CBC Radio Edmonton, spinning on these colours inspired by South America, a quick-results yarn and camping was heavenly. What more could I ask for?
Have you delved into August’s club yet? How are you spinning it? Please share over on the Ravelry group or Instagram, and tag your projects with #sgyclub and #sweetgeorgiayarns.
Until next month – Happy spinning!