Last week I elaborated on the memory in the hands and how staying close to the wool with as few and simple tools as possible allows me to understand the wool better. In this post I stay with this topic, albeit in a more poetic style. Later today I will teach suspended spindle spinning two complete beginners. I hope they too will find the poetry in spinning as they learn.
Just released from Icelandic mountains, a lamb is shorn From the tips that grew in the womb to the airy base, filled with nutrients from the summer's pasture Swiftly relieved from its first coating on a crisp autumn day, a singular fleece gently chosen for me.
As it comes to me I find it as it was, still newly shorn, untouched Staples still holding on where once there was a sheep. Side by side the cut ends look back at me, layered, like pages of an open book, unfolded, receptive, inviting me to its stories. In the other end streaming locks, holding on like pony tails skipping home from a day at the beach.
Outercoat long and slender, undercoat billowing, endless Sharp waves and unruly foam of a streaming river Soft ice cream with chocolate ripples Ski tracks atop untouched snow. All over a glistening, vivid layer of lanolin smelling faintly of sheep, lubricating the draft, softening my hands on their journey through the wool.
Let me come close, explore, let me learn and discover the soul of this mass, let me honour the sheep that gave me its treasure. By shortening the lever between hands and wool I stay close To the sheep To the wool To the spinning. The fibers through my hands repeatedly Feeling, meeting the fibers again and for the first time in all the steps from staple to yarn. Every time in a new shape, a new context a new phase.
I tease the fibers apart with my fingers Sideways, strand by strand spreading the once bundled staple into a glistening single layer web my hands astonished, by the wool, in the wool learning through every move. How do they hold on? How do they know when to hold on, slide or let go?
I hold the teased wooliness gently, attentive Adding twist, listening, feeling the draft Just like that, teased raw close. My two hands don't touch, yet the living twist connects them, passes the information back and forth like a tin can phone connecting sound waves in cordial conversation between two friends sharing the same thought.
My heart sings through learning, by leaning in, listening. The wool is my teacher, I treasure her wisdom. I stay close to the wool, feel the connection to the sheep through my hands and what they learn by listening to the wool, and finding its soul.
Here are some other blog posts written in a more poetic style:
You can find me in several social media:
- This blog is my main channel. This is where I write posts about spinning, but also where I explain a bit more about videos I release. Sometimes I make videos that are on the blog only. Subscribe or make an rss feed to be sure not to miss any posts.
- My youtube channel is where I release a lot of my videos. Subscribe to be sure not to miss anything!
- I have a facebook page where I link to all my blog posts, you are welcome to follow me there.
- I run an online spinning school, welcome to join a course! You can also check out my course page for courses in Sweden.
- On Patreon you can get early access to new videos and other Patreon only benefits. The contributions from my patrons is an important way to cover the costs, time and energy I put into the videos and blog posts I create. Shooting and editing a 3 minute video takes about 5 hours. Writing a blog post around 3. You can read more about my Patreon page here.
- You are also welcome to make one-off donations on my Ko-fi page.
- Follow me on Instagram. I announce new blog posts, share images from behind the scenes and post lots of woolliness.
- Read the new book Knit (spin) Sweden! by Sara Wolf. I am a co-author and write in the fleece section about how I spin yarn from Swedish sheep breeds.In all the social media I offer, you are more than welcome to contact me. Interacting with you helps me make better content. My private Facebook page, however, will remain private.
- I support Centro de textiles tradicionales del Cusco, a group of talented textile artists in Cusco, Peru who dedicate their work to the empowerment of weavers through the revitalization and sustainable practice of Peruvian ancestral textiles in the Cusco region. Please consider supporting their work by donating to their causes.