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Revisiting a Fibre or Technique, Defining Moment #8

In my silk workshops I often meet spinners who have tried spinning silk at some point along the way but, after struggling with the fibre, they have written it off as being just too difficult. I did the same with cotton a few decades ago. In fact I was so frustrated with it, I pooled my cotton together with my good friend, Lynda who was at the time equally frustrated, and we sold it all off. Years later, I met Heidi at Vegan Yarns and I kick myself to this day for having parted with all that cotton. All it took was a few pointers from Heidi and I was off to the races. Eri silk was another fibre I struggled with. It took three re-visits before I felt I had truly mastered the spinning of this incredible fibre using my wheel. So naturally, it is time to push it just that little bit further; to see how I manage using my suspended spindle. Sometimes our skillset just isn’t ready for the fibre or technique we would like to work with and other times all it takes is a little guidance.

What I learned was:

  • We need to be kinder and more patient with ourselves.
  • We should not hesitate to revisit a fibre or technique until we “get” it….because when you go back to it, you will bring to it a skillset that is better than when you tried it last.
  • Play. That’s right, approach the fibre or technique with that same sense of wonder and play you had as a child. What you are working with doesn’t always have to “become” something. It can be simply enjoyed for the sake of play. Nothing more and nothing less.
Playing with white eri silk on a suspended Bosworth skinny midi spindle.

4 thoughts on “Revisiting a Fibre or Technique, Defining Moment #8”

  1. This is so true Kim. My cotton spinning has been put on the back burner for sometime now. Time to go back and ‘revisit’ Thanks for the nudge!!

  2. I love your idea of play when it comes to techniques. I do the same thing…I find the experience just as rewarding as the skein of yarn. When I don’t put stress on myself to be perfect…that is when the magic happens.
    I just signed up for you silk spinning class at my guild and look forward to playing with you. I have loads of wild silk in my stash and can’t wait to learn how to spin them.

    1. Hello Rosemary. Great to hear from you. I too am looking forward to the silk spinning class at your guild. You are welcome to bring along some of the non-mulberry (wild) silk fibres from your stash for us to look at if there is time near the end of the class. All the best!

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