Spinning,  Updates

#Spin15ADay Challenge

Having taken stock of my fiber stash over the holidays, I realized that I needed to start spinning more before I ran out of space for fiber. Or needed to get (even more) creative when it comes to fiber storage. So I decided that my first challenge for the year would be #Spin15ADay – to spin for at least 15 minutes every day during the month of January.

January 1, 2021: A Merino wool/linen blend on one of my Snyder Spindles.

Over the course of the month, my spinning time usually happened in the evenings, but time spent on the task varied. Sometimes I was squeezing in 15 minutes with a drop spindle right before bedtime, and sometimes I was spending the afternoon at one of my spinning wheels. The fiber I spun included things I’ve had in the stash for years as well as things I’d gotten in the mail earlier in the week.

January 31, 2021: A Merino wool/linen blend on one of my Snyder Spindles. I didn’t intentionally start and end with the same project.

I learned a few things over the course of the month, but was also reminded of things that I’d long known about spinning and myself (and my interests and attention span).

Having multiple spindle projects going at the same time kept me from getting bored. Even if the spindles themselves were effectively the same (I had three different Snyder Spindles “Mini Gliders” in use over the course of the month), differences in fiber meant that it wasn’t the same spin every time. I could also tailor my project choice to how I was feeling. If I was tired, it was better to go with something that I didn’t have to think about instead of a technically challenging spin. It also meant that I wasn’t looking at the same color all the time. As someone who spins mostly natural colored fibers, whites and greys can become tedious (and hard to photograph in interesting ways). Especially when it’s mostly shades of white, grey, and brown outside and the days are short.

I found it was much easier to fit my spinning in around the rhythms of my day using a spindle. Getting a wheel set up and finding my spinning rhythm takes more than 15 minutes because I usually have to rearrange things in my room to sit down at a wheel. I’d often sit down (or lean in the kitchen doorway while dinner was cooking), planning to spin for 15 minutes and move on to something else. Sometimes that happened, and sometimes I found that I was happy to keep spinning beyond my minimum spinning time.

Getting into a routine of spinning at some point during my day has provided a way to relax, especially after a busy day at work when “leaving work” usually just means putting my laptop to sleep and turning off my monitor. It’s an active, “productive” form of mindfulness for me. I don’t do well at the “do nothing” kind of relaxing. I was often reminded that it works well to keep my hands busy when I’m watching or listening to something. Since I can’t physically go to events, I’ve been doing a lot of webinars over the course of 2020-2021, and I really don’t need notes on most of the talks I’ve “attended”.

And even though I’ve been spinning for over a decade at this point, my yarn has become more consistent with my daily practice. Most of that spinning has been fairly fine – I need to practice spinning something heavier than I default to. I also need to explore more woolen fiber preparations to expand my skills.

I decided to jump right into my second personal challenge for the year on February 1. I’ll be revisiting #100DaysOfFiberArt from two years ago. In addition to spinning, I’ll also do some knitting, sewing, and embroidery over the course of the next 100 days. I’m looking forward to sharing the results of that challenge over on my Instagram. I’ll do at least one mid-challenge check in here as well.

A person what turns fluff into fiber. Or something.

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