In January 2014 my partner Bill gave me a spinning wheel (we re homed it from our friend Jill) and a raw Shetland fleece from St. Just , Cornwall for my Birthday! At that time I was suffering from an inflamed Achilles tendon and couldn’t treadle on my wheel.
It became a blessing in disguise! A few years ago I had started to learn spinning with a spindle, now it was time to pick it up again.
I bought a beginners spindle, which came with some Shetland fleece, washed and carded. It was love at first sight, and soon from very ‘interesting ‘ meaning lumpy-bumpy yarn, I was spinning a fairly even yarn.
I bought a top whorl spindle a little while later and a few books. The fascination for me lays in the process from something unstructured almost like turning from a lump of clay pots, so is spinning the transformation from fleece to yarn to fabric. In the course of the year I met a retired textile teacher, from whom I aquirred her teaching spindles, carders, a tool for winding skeins (Niddynoddy) and finally joined the Cornwall Group of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers.
I work often and on purpose in public. First of all because I love being between people and also I enjoy the reactions and conversation, which often arise, when I sit and spin or knit or crochet. People often share their memories or connections with me. I am often met with astonishment and question about my background, motivation and intentions. Sometimes it gives me the chance to share my thoughts about the relevance of hand making and the need to raise the awareness about where the material we use come from and why wool and tools made as close to my home is essential to me.