Why spinning and knitting?
In todays day and age the traditional crafts of Spinning and knitting are sadly slowely forgotten about. It is for old ladies, our grandmas did it, it is old fashioned and boring and definitely not trendy.
I get told that you can buy wool or jerseys and socks in a shop.
Why do you want to go through all that trouble to create something you can just buy somewhere???
It puzzles people.
I don't realy know the answer for all of the knitters and spinners out there, but for me personally it is quite a complex one.
I do get enjoyment out of it.
It gives me something to do, I like being busy.
But while spinning I can talk and think too, it doesn't exclude interaction with others.
It is relaxing to sit and spin, like a meditation. In times of stress it calms the nerves and keeps me sane to sit and spin a while.
It is exciting to see an item grow from raw wool into something you can wear or use.
It is challenging my ideas and skills when I think of a pattern I would like to make, adapt or write.
It is surprising what the end product looks like if you haven't got control over the dyes in the pot, the way a wool behaves in a garment or even if the garment you make actually suits your style.
I find it very satisfying to make something from scratch. Wether it be bread, a meal or a garment.
It is amazing to see seeds grow into plants to harvest for your dinner table. Or to see water and flour and some yeast turn to bread to feed your family. It is also very nice to see someone use or wear an item you have made with love and hours spend.
I gives appreciation for the fact that ideas take time to grow and eventuate. That with some effort, you can produce something made by your very hands that is useful, unique and beautiful. The time it takes, the wait, often adds to the enjoyment and appreciation of the product. In a way it is counter acting the throw away, quick fix, instant society we enjoy today.
Spinning is a very very old craft. Many generations before us have used it to clothe their families.
It is mind boggling to think that once any fabric for a garment made; first had to be harvested i.e. of the sheep, washed carded and spun and woven by hand to be then sewn together and decorated by hand. Clothing, linen, washcloth, sails, flags, anything like that was produced by hand from raw materials like wool, cotton and silk.
Spinning started with drop spindles, then spindle wheels driven by hand, then spinning wheels driven by drive belts, ever increasing efficiency and speed of production.
And drivebelts today are found in many mechanical mechanisms like engines and cassette tapes.....
Spinning fibres has played a big part in the history of the development of the modern mechanised world.
Through the craft of spinning I feel connected with what has gone before us. I wish to make sure we won't forget, as some day maby we may have to grab back on old knowledge and handwork out of nessecity.
For my children to know that it is possible to DO IT YOUR SELF is very important to me.
It teaches that it is possible to be independent, that we don't have to buy everything but that we can make our own and be resourceful with what we know and have already. Just because you can buy it in a shop doesn't mean it is impossible to make yourself, but it often gives that impression.
If you grind roasted peanuts in a kitchen blender with some oil and salt you have scrumptious peanut butter, it takes 10 minutes, but who knows or does that these days. It gets bought in a shop for 5 times the actual cost and we don't think about it twice.
It is amazing that today there are many people who don't know that milk comes from a cow, wool grows on a sheep and peas grow in a pod. If all shops would close or run out of stock how are these people going to survive without knowing that a back yard can be turned into a vege plot to feed your family?? Or even that it is possible to cook for your family at all.
Perhaps spinning is holding on to old things. But in me it is a desire to find ballance in life, the fast and the slow paced lanes intertwined.