"Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber." Proverbs 31:19 NLT

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Spinning - a Break from Knitting

Well, I'm not really taking a break from knitting. But I'm knitting  mucho Christmas gifts with a lot of repetition. And I've had this braid draped across my spinning wheel, directly across from my easy chair where I typically knit. Isn't it luscious?

I got it from Susan's Fiber Shop a while back (for a review of the shop click here.) And it has been calling my name for some time now. It is called (I believe) Meadow Maggots and is mostly merino with the light colored strand being bamboo. Charming name, huh?

So, while I've been spinning I have been reminiscing about some of my past spinning demonstrations - where I spun memories! (catchy, huh?  :^) I've done many but thought I'd post a bit about a couple of the summer ones from days gone by.  

The very first outdoor demonstration in which I ever participated was during a local festival. I believe it was the the first one of its kind in our town. Portage is the 3rd oldest town in Wisconsin because of the close proximity of the Fox River and the Wisconsin River to one another. The earliest explorers of the region, Marquette and Joliet, went from Green Bay down to Prairie du Chien and "portaged" their canoes at "Portage" from the Fox over to the Wisconsin River. So this festival was called Old French Days. (It is now called Canal Days.) But in the beginning, there was a small reenactment of something - maybe the Black Hawk war, canoe races, tours of Fort Winnebago and the Indian Agency house, various other events and these three ladies demonstrating spinning. 

We had our period clothing on and sat in the lawn of the Fort's grounds spinning. (I am in the bonnet in the middle.) It was breezy and not-to-hot so it was a lovely time. This picture appeared in the local paper but I really don't know when it was. Judging by my lack of girth, I'm guessing about 1983.

The other outdoor spinning I will mention was actually in a metal building at the county fair. It was July, 1988 and our spinning guild had just succeeded in getting the fair board to add several categories for hand spun yarns and hand spun knitted garments. So we decided to have a few spinners there during the fair hours, partly to keep an eye on the hand spun items that come so dear. I was there one evening, just passing through and a newspaper staff person came by and, for some reason, picked me to interview about our group and activities. I didn't even have my wheel there so the one I'm using in the photo was another lady's.

The article included words and sentences I spoke but they were framed in such a way by the writer that it didn't even sound like me. And it made me sound like I was the only original guild member and that I started the group all by my self. Neither was true. I wasn't even living in Portage when the group started. But it was a front page story so was kind of fun anyway. (The next year I entered this sweater and got first prize - I think by sheer volume.)

Well, enough reminiscing for one post. The yarn I spun from "meadow maggots" is shown below, as is part of the process. The fiber seemed to be spinning up thickly so I have chunky yarn. I had hoped to make mittens out of it so I could enjoy looking at all the color combinations but I'm not sure there is enough for two mitts. I found a pattern for chunky yarn mittens and may try it with some fair isle pattern in it to stretch the yarn. Haven't decided yet.
whirring 'round and 'round


The finished product drying over an A/C vent


  1. "lack of girth" ...you are so funny, Linda! Neat post!

    1. I was thinking the same thing, Ames!

  2. Meadow Maggots, eh? REALLY? It's pretty yarn anyway. Can't wait to see what you make. :)

    I just love the old pictures.


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