Spindle Harmonics

One evening a while back, my husband was running with some companions around Lady Bird Lake. They were all running along at the same pace, and Mark could hear nothing but their footsteps along the path. Then one of his pals, turned to him and said, “Mark, quick feet, quiet feet.” He was a bit surprised, but he picked up his pace a bit, and the noisy footfalls disappeared. He had reached some magic, quiet, fast place.

I was reminded of this story recently when I made a spinning discovery. I was working on some lovely, fine silk and merino roving with my favorite spindle. I started the spindle spinning with a pretty quick thigh roll, and when it dropped it was spinning so true and so fast that it made a soft “thwang” sound. The twist traveled up the fiber so evenly, that I could draft with hardly any effort. And it kept spinning until it touched the floor. If I could have climbed a step ladder while it was spinning, it probably would have spun true until I reached the top.  I had reached that magic, fast place.

In general, I’m not very dexterous. I’m a klutz. I’m a lousy typist, going back almost as much as forward. Packaging flummoxes me regularly. I trip over things and stub my toes a lot. We have a nightlight in the bathroom so I can find the toilet in the dark without tripping over a cat.

But when I’m knitting or spinning, I feel almost graceful. At the spinning wheel, my hands and feet work in harmony to make yarn. When knitting, I can make smooth fabric with two wooden sticks. After days of stumbling around my life, it’s a pleasure to do something with ease.



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