The last week somehow slipped through my fingers like nothing. First my son had the ear infection, I went to a meeting of kindergarten mothers, my son was well enough to go to kindergarten again, I went to a spinner’s meeting, turned my head, my son woke me up in the night wailing, “Mama, I have to puuke!”, and then was now.
The good news: my son obviously got sick only because he ate way too much yesterday. They had their Easter party in kindergarten. Of course. Right in the middle of Lent. (You can’t see me so you have to imagine me shaking my head.)
Anyway, the meeting. I had been a bit discontent with my spinning. I thought I was doing something wrong, the yarn doesn’t turn out as I want it, my wheel is making noises, I wasn’t getting anywhere, still trying to fill the same bobbin as in August, and so on. So when I heard that there would be a spinning wheel workshop at the first German raveler meeting in September, of course, my first thought was, “That’s great! I’ll take my spinning wheel.” Grand idea. My second thought, of course, was, “Are you crazy? Do you really want to schlep your wheel with you, on a four hour train journey to a meeting where you’ll teach two knitting workshops?” Um, no?
But meeting other spinners, preferably more experienced ones seemed like a good idea. Since I’m living near M.u.n.i.c.h I can find pretty any kind of group or meeting within a reasonable distance. So I turned to the internet which told me that there are two options nearby, one group is meeting regularly and is hard to reach, and one is meeting roughly every six weeks or so in Tutzing. And they had a meeting last Sunday. So I talked the whole thing through with my husband (“Do you really have to dash off all the time like a madwoman? Well, if you really must but I still want to be able to work on my music that day.”), then with my mother-in-law (“Could you please care for my son that Sunday because I’m going to a spinner’s meeting and my husband wants to work on his music?”), and everything went well and I decided to go.
Next came my usual bout of worrying and planning and writing lists: where’s the meeting, how do I get there, do I take the train or the car, when I take the train do I take my spinning wheel or only the spindles, what to take, what to wear, where to go, what to pack. In the end, unsurprisingly, I took the train because I’d rather spend 45 minutes knitting and listening to podcasts on a train than 40 minutes listening to the stupid radio while driving and getting angry about all the other stupid drivers out there.
Of course it was raining. And though my spinning wheel is quite small it is way too big for any of my bags or backpacks. I contemplated making a spinning wheel bag but thought that five days full of work with a sick child at home might mean that maybe the bag would not have been ready on time.
I spent the whole morning packing, putting fiber, and more fiber and all my spindles, and my three spinning books, and the last two issues of spin-off magazine, and cookies, and tea, and my ipod, and my “take with me”-knitting, and a screwdriver, and an allen wrench, and spinning wheel oil, and two different whorls and drive bands, and everything but the kitchen sink into a backpack, got totally confused because it was the first day of daylight savings time, and went off.
Everything went surprisingly well, the wheel is light and small and easy to carry (though I’d still like to have a bag for it). At the station I was met by two other spinners, and one of them even knew the way.
At first I felt a bit weird because I didn’t know anybody, and everybody else was excited to meet each other again but that’s always the same when you’re the new one in an established group. There were about eight people, most brought their spinning wheels, one even brought a drum carder. I got to see some wheels in person that I had only seen in pictures before, like the Tom Triskel, a Lendrum, and an Ashford Joy. I totally fell in love with the joy, it’s a folding wheel, it’s very cute, and it uses the same bobbins like my wheel. I’d love to have a travel wheel. And, of course, I totally need one, I already left the house with my wheel once. But then I’m forever judging spinning wheels by their appearance which is why I feel an urgent need to own a Schacht Ladybug.
The reason why I’m thinking about other spinning wheels is that I was discontent with my nice Kiwi. It seemed hard to treadle, I felt like it was yanking the yarn out of my hands, and – most important – it makes noises. Creaking noises. Wooden noises. A regular rhythmic “nyagh, nyagh, nyagh”-noise. I tend to be quite sensitive to noise. I can’t enjoy spinning when my wheel is loud like that.
That was one reason I went to the meeting. I hoped that somebody could help me with that. And one nice fellow spinner really tried, she even put something on my wheel, only it didn’t help. The interesting thing was, though, that after spinning for two hours or so the creaking stopped. All of a sudden my wheel was silent. Relief! Especially since my wheel was the only one making noises in the whole round of spinners there. Of course it didn’t last, an hour later it started again but at least I know that it doesn’t go on like this forever.
The best part about the meeting for me where the times when we all sat there in a circle, spinning in silence. And I loved the way my bobbin was filling up. At home I never spin for more than twenty minutes at a time. I found that about four hours of concentrated spinning gave me a bobbin almost full. This isn’t only because I’m new to spinning and a bit slow, it’s mostly because I’m spinning quite a fine yarn. I want to do a three-ply for a sweater.
I left a bit early to catch my train back, and managed to be back home in time for dinner. A very pleasant afternoon, more pleasant in retrospect than I realized while I was there. And it’s really nice to meet other spinners, to know that I’m not the only one.
I don’t know when I will go to another meeting, it certainly depends on the date, and on the rest of my life, but it’s good to know that there is such a place to go to.
I found that I’m not very eager to learn something new in spinning right now, or to try other wheels or carding, or techniques. I’m content sitting there and spinning the next 400 grams of merino for my sweater project:
And the next 250 of Wensleydale for a lace stole (on my spindle, I know it’s insane):
The only thing I’d like would be some hand-dyed merino/silk-blend but I’ll wait a bit for that, I don’t want to feel buried under fiber.
So, tomorrow I will be go to a meeting of a different kind, it’s time for mindfulness day again. And then there will be Easter break. With a bit more blogging, I hope.