Some Spinners Just Want to Have Fun

Photo of 3 skeins of yarn and their starting fibers, handspun by Joanne Littler, Pine Ledge Fiber Studio, Fairfax, VT

Spun for Fun
3-ply wool yarns handspun by Joanne Littler

When you sit down at your wheel to spin –
You don’t have to know what you’re going to do with your yarn.
You don’t have to have a project in mind.

You don’t have to understand the meaning of twist and grist.
You don’t need to know your flyer to wheel ratio.

You don’t need to know what breed or type your wool is.
Or where the cotton came from.

Some spinners do.

Some spinners start out with a need to know all of those things
(and much, much more).
Some spinners develop an interest in the “technical” side of spinning after they’ve been spinning for a while.
Some spinners learn to use particular bits of information to suit their needs.
Some spinners focus their attention one type of fiber and become experts in that area.

And some spinners don’t.

Sometimes spinners just spin for fun.

All the details, facts and figures don’t matter one bit.  And they might never do. Because they don’t have to.

Because spinning – all by itself – for no particular reason – is fun.
Relaxing.  Satisfying.  Pleasurable.  Off in your own world – creative, happy, mind-blowing honest-to-goodness fun.

However you come to it, whatever you do with it, wherever it takes you – whatever it looks like to anyone else – Somehow, some way, at some level –

We’re all doing it because it’s fun.

We don’t have to pay our taxes in yarn.
(FYI the American Revolution wasn’t only about tea).
We don’t have to make yarn to clothe our families and ourselves.

We spin because we enjoy it.
It floats our boat.
Knocks our socks off.
Takes us away.

Maybe not at first.  Those first few minutes (and hours, and days) of struggling to coordinate hands and feet, fingers and fibers – those moments feel frustrating and tense.
So you walk away.
You take a nap.
And you come back and try again.

Your desire to spin — if anyone asks – may be hard to explain.
Because maybe you don’t know what you’re going to do with your yarn.
Maybe you don’t know for sure which part is called the flyer.
And maybe ratio sounds too much like math.
Maybe you don’t know the difference between protein fibers and cellulose.
And maybe (at least for now) you don’t care.
You just want to spin. Just for fun.

If you choose hand spinning as a way to spend your time, you’re choosing an activity that many people think of as old-fashioned, unusual, unnecessary, and  – different. Maybe even weird.  And yet, you’re choosing it anyway.

Maybe you feel that “it” has chosen you.   Drawing you in, opening up a whole new world of “wonderfulness”.

No matter where you are – new to the craft or an old hand at it – sometimes it seems like there’s so much more to learn, so many interesting avenues of discovery, so many talented and creative people offering encouragement and advice – it almost seems like too much.

Maybe it is.  And maybe that’s the good news.
Maybe that’s when you know it’s time to sit down at your wheel.  Pick up whatever fiber is handy and just spin.  See where it takes you.
Relax.  Enjoy.  And have some fun.

I gotta go spin.

Joanne

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