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Cancer Free Friday: getting the hang of it

Posted Feb 03 2012 4:57am

(In the spirit of cancer-free Friday I won’t be talking abut my nasty, persistent, annoying, suck-a-whole-week-out-of-your-life virus either.)

Well, I’m still spinning.

I did quite well at not being disheartened when I wasn’t instantly good at it – this is a big step forward for me – and persevered with my tight, overtwisted, cat-sick-on-a-string yarns. Even though they were never going to be any use, I spun them, plied them, washed them, wound them…. because the experience of spinning, the meditative nature of it, meant that the results didn’t matter that much. (I posted about this, and my early progress to knitable stuff,  here. I don’t see my Dad in the hat very often.)

As I’ve got better I’ve realised that spinning is an exact reflection of my state: the tensions in my body, mind and heart come out in what I spin. So if I sit down tense and tired, the fibre will snap, too tight as I try to feed it onto the bobbin. If I’m angry or upset, the fibre flies out of my hands.

But the act of spinning changes the state of my body and mind. The rhythm of my feet and hands calms and cools my breathing. The concentration on what my hands are doing means my mind gets quiet. Seeing a bunch of airy fibre twist itself into a single yarn, however bumpy, gives me the feeling of wonder I get from looking at the stars. My Mum arrived one day as I was spinning and said I looked serene. Which is good, because I feel serene.

So I’ve kept doing it, and slowly, slowly, I’m getting better at it.

I have managed to consistently produce Actual Usable Yarn.

It’s still what you might call ‘characterful’, but it’s OK. The question is…. what do I do with it? Knitters, any thoughts? (It’s all about an aran weight.)

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