I’m still spinning every day and I absolutely love it.

Now that I’ve learned to keep twist out of the drafting zone, I am able to devote the majority of my attention to drafting and to fixing problematic singles, rather than worrying about what the spindle is up to. Rather than fret over the spindle, I  pay attention to how it feels when it’s spinning quickly, slowly, and so slow that it’s about to stop. This enables me to adjust my drafting speed to produce singles with a consistent level of twist and also to avoid breaks.

I can’t tell you exactly how I judge the spindle speed or how I know how to adjust accordingly; I just do it. My spinning experience is becoming a holistic, intuitive process in which I’m much more detail-oriented. I pay a great deal of attention to what’s happening and I am constantly making adjustments both to my technique and to the fiber and yarn themselves. I’m not fully aware of what I do, or how and why I do it. I just feels right. I am constantly fiddling with the yarn, adding and subtracting small amounts of twist with my fingers, sometimes drafting thick spots out a bit further. My methods aren’t perfect, but I am sure that as I continue to practice, my spinning will become highly refined. When I first began spinning, I couldn’t imagine that I’d ever be able to exhibit any finesse. Spinning meant wrestling with twist that sought to gobble up my fiber supply. I’m so thankful that I kept at it, because my spinning experience is entirely different now, in such an amazing way.

When I spin, happiness floods my body. I feel so at peace with myself and with the world. This is the same way I feel when I’m outdoors and completely immersed in the experience of nature, which most often occurs when I’m photographing wildlife. I believe that the technical term for what I experience while spinning is flow. It’s incredible. As thankful as I am for how pleasant spinning on my spindle has become, I’m even more grateful that I had to struggle to reach this point. I don’t believe I’d appreciate spinning nearly this much if it had come to me easily.

My very first spinning alongside my current project.
My very first spinning alongside my current project.

There is no set of instructions that could have taught me how to spin the way that I spin now. Some things need to be felt, experienced, in order to be learned. Spinning is a process. I do not spin to churn out yarn. I spin to explore, to experiment, to let my body learn the subtleties that my mind can’t quite grasp. My joy comes from figuring out each detail that will lead me to the yarn I’m envisioning. Every second that I’m spinning, I’m making little decisions, both consciously and subconsciously, that lead to my final product. I love being such an integral part of the process.


3 thoughts on “When I spin, happiness floods my body

  1. Rachel, this is so inspiring! Especially the photo! What I’m doing on the wheel right now for my class looks like your beginning skein….but worse! This shows that it CAN be done and has to be learned, but not overnight. And I so get it about “feeling” the fiber and spinning motion. When I felt, I can feel when I need more soap or water. But I couldn’t really describe it accurately. Thanks so much for sharing your spinning journey!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words Kelly. I really appreciate it! It’s sometimes hard to accept that things are possible-they just take time! I’m excited to see where your wheel takes you as you continue to get to know each other 🙂 I’ve never felted but I’d love to try it.


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