One of my favorite hobbies is making my own yarn. I first learned how to spin yarn on spindles, and once I learned that you could collect many spindles because they come in as many varieties of shapes, sizes, weights, and materials as there are stars in the sky, things got wildly out of hand. Or in hand. Heh, I crack myself up.
However, as these things tend to go, along with the spindles I began to …collect… fiber to be spun. Alpaca. Silk. Various sheep breeds. Angora. CASHMERE. Did you know that cashmere comes from the most adorable goats? Goats that I could potentially fit in my backyard but both my partner and the city are killjoys and say it’s not reasonable??
I didn’t just purchase fiber; I was gifted it. I was bequeathed it. I would happen upon a poor, innocent, orphaned fleece, and what was I to do but bring it with me? Exactly. No one would be so cruel as to leave it there all alone. Soon, the fiber collection outpaced my ability to spin it. What was I going to do?? Stop getting fiber? HA! I just needed to up my spinning game to be able to process it all, of course. Efficiency, my friend, efficiency.
Enter Eleanor! Named after my favorite historical queen, Eleanor is my spinning wheel. I have had her for ten years now, a gracious gift from my late grandmother. Eleanor is technically a travel spinning wheel, with her own bag and everything, so she fancy.
She’s been an awesome spinning companion the entire time I’ve had her. Well, the entire time I’ve been able to actually spin yarn with her, since small children tend to put a damper on using fast, whirring, spinning things with so many spaces to stick and potentially damage small fingers. And this brings us to present day.
With the most recent shelter in place orders and the fact that my 18 month old son is capable of understanding directives even though he chooses not to obey them, I brought Eleanor out of mothballs (aka the attic) to the living room. This was brave on my part for many reasons, as I not only have a toddler laying siege to my yarn efforts, but also two almost-adult cats that insist on acting like kittens even though they weigh over 12 pounds each. Oh, and also a spazzy dog, a cranky-but-codependent old cat, and a four year old who makes flailing an Olympic sport. It’s a veritable mine-field of distractions and disruptions.
But still, I manage to get that microdose of creative energy at my spinning wheel many evenings.
You know why? Because I need it, that’s why. I’m worth it. And I also know how spin yarn with a cat on my lap while using one foot to fend off a toddler while treadling with the other *wink*