Monday, July 09, 2007

Spinning: Feel the Burn

There was a funny moment during the Weekend Arts Magazine interview when the host, Angela Antle, thought the spinning demonstration listed on the announcement for our BIG JULY 14th CELEBRATION was going to be an exercise demo. Yes, that old Newfoundland tradition of riding stationary bicycles. No, no, I meant spinning wool and I am hoping to draw in (get it??!) a woman I met recently who has an old wheel and still uses it regularly. I think it will be a whole lot more interesting to watch her spin than it will me, but I can't say for sure she will be able to come.

Her name is Ada and is 83 years old. We met not too long ago. I showed her my wheel and she was a bit mystified, never having seen one with double treadles or bobbins--she didn't even dare try it because it looked so different from her wheel. She did card up some of my icelandic fleece. It was fascinating! She is a virtuoso. As usual, after the fact, I thought I should have video taped her hands. It was so beautiful to watch their movements. But we determined that we must get together again very soon. She has promised to teach me thrumming, which is her big thing. Before she left I offered her two skeins of icelandic I had spun up and she was very pleased, which made me very pleased. A woolen bond!

It was during that visit that I learned that women used to wash wool by hanging it in a burlap bag on the clothes line for a couple of weeks. Either that, or by submerging it in a fast running brook. I decided to try out the first technique since I just happened to have (ahem) some fleece around. I put it in cheese cloth and hung it out. It has been two weeks and I would say it is nearly ready. I don't know why this amazes me so much, but it does!

No comments: