A good friend received a new spinning wheel yesterday and asked me for some advice this morning. I sent her to links of posts I’ve written, other useful articles, and we found an online class that she’ll start with.
Tonight as I took five minutes to spindle and to keep up my
#tuesdaysareforspinning streak, I realized there’s one piece of advice I have that’s more important than any other, and important for adult learners. I didn’t come up with it. A card (a gift from another good friend) hangs on the wall directly above my computer monitors. I have to try hard not to see it.
Create something today even if it sucks.
I know. Ugh. It seems as if I’ve run out of topics, but please hear me out.
I improved as a spinner only once I began to spin every single day.
When I first began I had beginner’s euphoria, and every skein delighted me. But then I realized I wasn’t spinning what I thought of as beautiful yarn even if I was happy with making it. Here’s what hung me up, it wasn’t my idea of perfect. Once I hit that wall, it was really hard to make further improvement. I found it easier to just go knit or crochet because I knew how, and on most days, do them well. My spindles and wheel gathered dust.
I don’t recall the exact trigger for me to spin regularly, but I’m happy I started. And that I didn’t stop. I became a confident spinner. I became able to figure out how to spin yarn I wanted. I spun yarn that I also knit, crochet, and wove into a booth display at the industry trade show. It took a lot of courage to take on that project, and the only way I did was by spinning regularly. Messing up and creating bad yarn as I tried different fibers and techniques.
I’m happy that this year I made a further commitment to at the very least spin once a week on Tuesdays. Five minutes of spinning is five minutes of spinning practice and I’m better for it. Even if I didn’t spin right and I dropped the spindle five times in as many minutes. Or even if I spun a consistent single that chain plied easily. Those five minutes are progress.
The spinning has gone so well, I’m going to start (in July, I’m not punting, I have good reasons for waiting) to make
#Wednesdayisforweaving something I do. I added a Swatch Maker 3-in-1 Weaving Loom to my tools earlier this year and after I warped it and started, I found excuse after excuse to ignore it and my cricket loom. That’s silly. If I can find 5 minutes to spin every Tuesday, I can find 5 minutes to weave.
Want a card of your own? It’s available at society6.