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16 October 2007


Dr. Steph

This will be my 3rd Rhinebeck and I'll get a bit caught up in the spinning fun, but I'm still not a spinner or have much interest. My first Rhinebeck I bought some silk hankies, borrowed a spindle and had some fun, but once I was home and the spell wore off I found spinning up that bit of fibre a chore. The process doesn't do much for me. That being said, I can see the lure of the wheel and how that might change my mind.

THAT being said, I have so little time to knit right now that I don't really want to take up another craft. I know that spinning is something that really takes time and practice to get right and I'm not going to do something I don't have a decent shot of doing well at.

I also don't think one needs to spin to understand yarn. Yarn can be understood by swatching, washing, knitting, unplying, felting, twisting, and fondling it. I don't need to understand welding and bike construction and gearing to ride a bike, why do I need to understand yarn making to knit?

But do show me the yummy stuff you get at Rhinebeck when I run into you okay?

dani, the geek

"go ahead, make your excuses. I dare you."

i don't have enough time to knit and tat and make bobbin lace already... spinning is something i don't need to do. it's a line i can draw in the sand of crafting and say, 'here i need not go.'

how's that for an excuse?

(that and i think it would bore me to tears!)

(of course, i'll have to come back in a month-and-a-half, as our guild is getting a spinning tutorial in Nov, and tell you if it's "impossible to try spinning without getting hooked")



I wanted to do it so badly, I tried it and ... I'm not hooked. I'll keep trying, but if you want an excuse, well, you know what mine is.


I have the spindle, I have the fibers (from my own sheep), I have the time...but I don't spin. It is just so much easier to pick up a ball of yarn from the store (and that is superwash too-LOL)... I WILL try. But not yet.. I might be afraid of being hooked.
Have fun at Rhinebeck!


I think every person on the planet should know a set of rudimentary skills, how to sprout a seed, bake bread, boil an egg, start a fire, tie basic knots, catch a fish, swim, etc., and spinning is definitely on the list. Because I did know these things (thank you Girl Scouts!), I was able to save my life and the lives of people around me many times over the years. In less dire situations, I've simply been happier and more productive due to my skill set.

That said, there are people who were born to spin and others who find no pleasure in it whatsoever. IMO, knowing *how* is essential, but doing it daily? Only for those of us who find joy in the process.

Cindy D

Knitters should be introduced to spinning for informational reasons. Then if they get bit........we know what they are in for :).

How neat that Sigga Sif will be visiting you and traveling to Rhinebeck. I hope to get to meet her!!!The blogosphere is an incredible place for fiber lovers.


I firmly believe my lovely sister is immune. Feel free to give it another try, though. I'll watch.



No, not everyone should spin. It's hard enough finding good tussah as it is, and the wait for a Lendrum would last forever, and Abby's batt club is already full.

(Me? Selfish?)


Nice try there lady! Oh course I'll be at Rhinebeck so you'll have another whack at me (that doesn't mean you can smack me with a niddy noddy though).


I don't know.....which is a very different answer than I'd have given you a year or two ago.

I love wool - in nearly any shape or form - so spinning was the "aha" that is mentioned above, and it has been the best way for me to slow down and "be" again, especially after a crazy day/night/week. I'm not very good at it, which is a wonderful thing because it's not a race or a win/loose situation for me. I daresay I might like not being good at it because it means that each time I sit down at the wheel I have *no idea* what my hands will do and what the bobbin will hold after a few minutes/hours.

Two years ago - or even maybe a year ago - I'd have said yes! everyone should learn how to spin; now I think I'd change that statement to read: anyone and everyone that wants to learn how to spin should have the people, materials and resources around so they can try. I can't imagine spinning in a vaccum (if you will) or reading about (blogs, books, etc) it and not being near a store or group or even a person who can help them. It's a sort of comittment, and one I'm not sure I'd make if I didn't love it.

I think the craziness of work and the competitive nature of most of my coworkers now means that I can see not everyone will want to learn to spin. The ones that ask me how I have the patience to knit a sock aren't the ones I can see sitting through a lesson on how to "feel" the fiber or how to join leaders to new fiber because the yarn has broken again. The people that scoff at knitting with 100% wool aren't the ones that I imagine would appreciate the crimp of a raw fleece or the texture of a perfectly blended batt.

see you this weekend?


OK, for a less-flippant answer... For me, spinning is about relating to the world and to myself--the community, the sheep, the laws of physics, the economy, the challenge of making something strong and beautiful. Running and music both do some of those things for me, and those aren't for everyone. Some people probably believe that everyone should learn to appreciate opera and savor cooking for similar reasons, but those things don't ring my bell the same way.


Two. I think that the exposure makes one a better knitter. I agree with not shackling the reluctant to the spindle or the wheel, but it IS a good tool for understanding and broadening one's knowledge base. The real joy is for the individual to discover. Or not.


I know how to spin. I got the toys- the wheel, fiber, etc. And yes, I think everyone should learn to spin. I agree that it's important thing for knitters and other fiber artists to know. It's so repeditive and meditative, what's not to love?

This summer got me off track though. No air conditioning in the house meant spinning in sticky hot rooms. No thanks. I think I've overloaded my schedule recently and I have no time to sit and spin.

Admittedly, I could some further guidance to help me too. I'm still not sure of what the heck I'm doing sometimes. I joined the local spinning group, but they only meet once a month and everyone there seems to just want to take their couple of hours of spinning without kids bothering them as their own time. I can't blame them for that.

Anyways, see you this weekend. I'll try not to studder and drool like last year.


Maybe everyone should "know" about spinning. I sure am happy to spread the word. Laurie is right about the joy involved in the discovery. Joy to all involved.

Deborah C.

Hmm... I thought about this for a day or so. I love to spin, love the fiber slipping through my hands, the yarn I make. My mother, who taught me to knit and loves yarn of all types (except fun fur), tried to spin and said "meh." Maybe it's because she tried on a heavy drop spindle, but she said that since she's past 70 and has so much yarn she will probably not live to knit it all, she doesn't want to add in spinning. Besides, if everyone learned to spin, then I would have to elbow people out of the way of the fiber I want to buy, and it could get ugly! Hee!


Wait... you mean there are knitters out there who DON'T spin? *blink, blink* Really?

But seriously, each to his own. I spin. But it's a part of my nature to take everything down to its lowest common denominator. Others would rather not. It's hard enough to be patient in the learning of knitting. For some, asking them to be yet more patient than that is far too much to ask!


Yes. Dur.


Yes, it would be great if everyone learned to spin. Just think how kindly we all would be if we spent 5 minutes a day with the meditative powers of spinning to start our day. In this high-speed, high-tech world we live in now it's good to slow down yet still experience the feeling of productivity. (I guess for this dream world to work it would have to be spinning for process more than product.)

Am I the only one that does not automatically associate spinning with knitting, or vice versa? I somehow associate spinning and weaving together first. Although, I myself am not a weaver I sure want to be. Maybe it's because that is what I'm surrounded by mostly IRL, spinners/weavers.

Lee Ann

The Spindicate, they are a powerful force.

I mostly blame you, though. ;-)

Actually thought of you and the Aha! moment when I tried to spin with a Golding spindle in VT and it wobbled all over the place, until the very nice lady at Golding showed me the standing-roll-up-the-leg-wicked-fast-and-let-it-drop trick.

The Aha! moment has been renamed the Duh! moment.


I've had two spinning lessons, and loved it enough to buy myself a spindle and a few bags of fiber a couple of Rhinebecks ago. But truth be told, it's not as convenient for me as knitting. I can't take it on the subway, or whip it out at meetings, or dash off a few quick twirls while at the computer. I need to sit down with spinning, and really get the rhythm going. And when that happens it's wonderful, but I still find it more gratifying to finish something to wear than to finish something to knit up into something to wear, you know?

Abby Franquemont

I wanted to reply to you, but instead, I had to go write a frantic yarn manifesto.

My short answer is this paragraph from said manifesto:

My god, yes! And yes, I mean you! And you! And everyone you know or are likely to ever know! Go, now, before it’s too late and the apocalypse comes and all is lost, and SPIN! Don’t take chances with Life As We Know It! You don’t know how? I’ll show you. Yes, now! There’s no time to lose! Don’t you realize the fate of the world depends on this? Bring me more would-be spinners, quick before it’s too late! Don’t make me tell you what has already been lost, you’ll cry! By the way, let’s do this now, I also heard there’s a guy who lives in a desert hidden under the deepest sea, in a world you can only get to through a magic mirror, and he knows a cool spinning trick nobody else does, and we have got to hit the road and go learn that, right now, because the world depends on it! Whaddaya mean, “should everyone spin?” What’s next, “should everybody breathe?”



Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedule for having tea with us! It was great.

Oh, and I vote yes for spinning!

See you up at Rhinebeck.


No, why should everybody spin? Even if you narrow it down to knitters, I still don´t think so.

Why don´t I spin? Why should I?

Same question - Should everybody do Scrapbooking? or Quilting? or any other hobby. No of course not.


As a non-spinner, I can tell you my excuse, I can't figure out how!! I have tried to spin with a drop spindle, but I just can't get the hang of drafting. Maybe if I could get extended free classes, I would start spinning for real.


Yesterday I would have said no. After yesterday afternoon when I was ruthlessly taught to spin...I'll have to reserve judgement. (I kid you not. Dropped by to pick up a new sample to knit and before I knew it I'd been whisked over to a wheel and handed some fiber.)

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