By the time I was 8, I was anxious to spin. I wanted to spin the Mohair fleece from the goats in the yard and use it to make the yarn to knit something. The fascination and passion for ‘from raw to wear’ was born.
I had sat at the wheel many times, no fleece, just trying to get the rhythm of the treadle and keep that wheel going round at an even speed. Not too slow or the wheel goes backwards and your in an awful tangle…not too fast or you suck the handful of unspun yarn into the bobbin. The tension has to be just right not too tight or it pulls the yarn in unspun….not too slow or it over spins the yarn.
So the day came….I once again pulled the wheel out, sat on the stool with an old towel across my lap to catch the dirt and grass seeds. A basket of freshly carded rolags beside me, I start treadling slowly, a couple of roll backs by the wheel, I correct it to go clockwise….row…row…row your boat …I start drawing and feeding the fleece from the rolag and suddenly I realize….IM SPINNING…..look nan I’m doing it, I’m spinning!
At the same age, most kids are going through that very same sense of excitement when they are learning to ride a bike that moment they realize they are riding without their training wheels. I never owned or learnt how to ride a bike…..but I could SPIN…I was the luckiest girl in the world!