Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Spindle of Desperation

Sadly, I think it's pretty clear that I'm not spindle-adept. And why should I be? I have a huge stash of yarn I'll never get to, I'm apparently unable to stop my yarn purchasing, and I really don't need more yarn. So why am I drawn to the whole spinning thing?

First, I have to admit that I'm not always a quick learner. I'm one of those people who have to understand a process before I can attempt it--it's not enough just to sit down and watch someone with a new process. I have to absorb it, own it, feel it, before I can do it. (And I'm the first to admit that I understand a lot of things that I don't or can't necessarily do--for instance, I have a million diet books, have read them, absorbed them, and am still gaining--not losing--weight. Ditto for books on how to get out of debt, get rich, build wealth, etc. Understand it, don't live it. Oh, well. Sometimes it's not enough to own the process.)

Second, I'm one of those people with no visible physical skills. I can't dance, can't snap my fingers, can't walk upstairs and chew gum at the same time. In the 80's when everyone else was doing step aerobics--remember those days? ... well, I was the person who was always out of step with everyone else, tripping over the step.

So, when someone hands me a drop spindle (thank you, Debra!) and shows me how to do it ("So, see how easy it is? You just hold this, wind this around your wrist, then pinch this, then simultaneously twirl the spindle and twist the yarn? No, not counterclockwise! My god, you idjit, that would make a Zee twist, not an Ess twist! This way! See how easy that was? Bam, bam, shazaaam?"), I start to feel sick to my stomach.

Finally, I hate to be embarrassed. I hate to have someone watch me (repeatedly) drop the spindle, lose the yarn, etc. So I manfully took the spindle and the kind gift of roving--two colors yet--home and attempted. And attempted. And attempted.

Then I bought a book--no, buy two. That will make it work! Nope. Nothing.

By now, since I can't do it, I desperately want to do it. Prior to going to the sheep and wool show, it never occurred to me that I might want to spin. Now, knowing that I can't, I must. Now the obsessive part of my personality takes over.

Twist, pinch, drop. Repeat, as necessary. No yarn.

Okay, yesterday I went to the meeting of the Peachtree Handspinners Guild. There sat Shelley--spinning like a madwoman with her drop spindle. Piece of cake. She started pulling spindles out of her apparently bottomless bag. "Here, look at this one, it's 2 ounces, but here, check this one out, it's only 1.5 ounces. See, see, see?"

Slunk back to Debra. Watched all these competent spinners with their wheels and thought, well, maybe I'm a wheel person, not a spindle person. But that's a huge investment for something that I don't know if I'd be any better than I am at the drop spindle. Maybe I'm just so uncoordinated that I can't do any of it!

Claudia brought me some reading material, a compilation from Spin-Off magazine of drop spindle articles. So I came home, read the whole thing, and tried again. Still, no cigar! I'm going to continue trying this until I figure it out, but it sure is frustrating.

(Did I mention that I bought 4 ounces of roving to play with?)