New Tricks

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? This is shaping up to be a year of firsts for me—I started this blog in January, then created a website (well, actually, my friend Lori created it), and last night I took my first spinning class. This may not seem like such a milestone to those of you who caught the spinning bug when you started to knit however long ago, but up until very recently, I had no interest whatsoever in spinning. I enjoy knitting so much that taking time to spin yarn just seemed like a recipe to delay the fun. In fact, I took the same type of personal pride in saying I don’t spin as I took in saying that I don’t crochet or that I only wear handknitted socks. I like to think I’m a purist (some would call me a snob). But, it seems that the same alien ship that abducted me and programmed me to embrace the internet also planted a spinning seed.

So last night I learned about fleece and got instruction on using a drop spindle from Maggie Casey, author of the esteemed introductory spinning book aptly titled Start Spinning (available from my favorite publisher, Interweave Press). And you know what? I liked it! And it didn’t seem to take that long to spin a length of singles (you can see it on the spindle in the photo below). I now understand why all of those people at Interweave brought their drop spindles to company meetings. Might I become one of them? It’s hard to say at this early date but I no longer put it out of the realm of possibilities.

My homework this week is to wash a pile of fleece from Hannah the ewe, card a few rolags, and practice spinning. I’m anxious to get started.

7 thoughts on “New Tricks”

  1. How exciting to have this whole new world opening up to you! Spinning is just as wonderful as knitting, but in a completely different way. I hope you love it!

  2. Congratulations! Now you won’t have to “re-home” the spinning goodies from future swag bags, and just wait until you discover the joys of spindle collecting. The rationalization that works so well for buying sock yarn, “It’s small and not that much money,” works just as brilliantly for spindle shopping.

  3. Congratulations on the new venture. I hope you enjoy spinning as much as I do. And just you wait … knitting with yarn you’ve spun yourself is even more satisfying than knitting with yarn from someone else.

  4. Congratulations on your success. I took a drop spindle spinning class and couldn’t catch on to save my soul. I gave up by the end of the class and gave away my instruction kit. Of course it took three attempts for me to learn to knit so maybe I will try it again some day.

  5. I am dying to learn to spin(like I need another hobby lol). I love seeing the yarns people making on their spindles & wheels. I wish you the best of luck can’t wait to see what you come up with.

  6. I had the opportunity to see spinning in action at the state fair in NY last year. VERY cool, and looked like fun. With a 3-year-old and a part-time job, I barely have time to knit much less spin, but I’d love to try it in the future.

  7. Congrats! How fun to jump into new adventures that spring from other loves. I’m a fairly new knitter (2008) and figure tat someday I’ll get to spin, too. Here are a couple of fun websites that you may enjoy:

    Growing Bolder – spotlights ppl who live life boldly and learn new things. Instead of just growing older, we can grow bolder. (

    And you may already know about Let’s Knit2gether – they post wonderful webisodes twice a minth and have a great archive of videos available. (

    I enjoy reading your blog. Thanks.

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