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.