I didn’t always spin. And, to be honest, I haven’t spun for ages – my spinning wheel sits next to my podcasting couch, and she looks a little lonely.

I used to think spinning looked wildly complicated. My efforts at coordinating my feet and hands sitting at demo spinning wheels at yarn festivals were hilarious. Thankfully, they weren’t enough to put me off entirely, but it did mean my spinning journey began with a tiny spindle rather than a big wheel.

I’ve been reflecting on a few things.

Firstly, how often the first step is the hardest. But, making that first step as simple as possible is a great way to get going. So when it comes to spinning – I was daunted by a big fast wheel but found a small spindle that worked a treat to get me started and gain new skills.

Secondly, I’ve been thinking about how rubbish it feels to be a beginner again, but also how exhilarating it can be.

Cutting ourselves some slack and not getting hung up on mistakes and down-right ugly creations can be one of the kindest things we can do for ourselves. My early spinning is a testament to this; it’s thick and thin and all over the shop. But I did use even my first spinning attempts for small projects.

Something that made me happy was knitting my early “creative” handspun yarn into a small pouch that I then felted. It still hangs on my wheel and holds little tools.

Lastly, though I can’t seem to find even five minutes to spin, the very thought of spinning fills me with relaxing vibes. I discovered to my delight, that spinning was the most zen of all the crafts I’ve tried so far.

It caught me by surprise, and my memory of that calming feeling is strong. So, even when I can’t spin, I can plan to spin and think about spinning – and that is something.

So, rather than this message being about spinning and not finding time to spin – perhaps it’s about some of those glorious life lessons that fibre crafts give to us:

  1. Don’t overcomplicate things. Take the easy road if it’s the one that gets you started;
  2. The joy of making can far outweigh perfection – if we let it;
  3. There’s no single way to feel relaxed. Find the way that works for you right now. Even if no one else gets it ;)

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