As you sow, so shall you reap

Judith MacKenzie explains how making yarns to fit the project is the basis of the spinner's toolbox.

Worsted plying.

Woolen plying.

Judith demonstrates washing wool locks to preserve the lock structure for worsted spinning.

 Being Grateful

When I sat down to work today, at the top of my to-do list was "Watch Judith MacKenzie's new DVD—The Spinner's Toolbox." I popped it into my computer, and as the gentle instrumental music started and Judith's kind face appeared on screen, I felt overcome with gratitude. Well, first of all for my job. Goodness, aren't I about the luckiest spinner in the world?

And then for Judith—her mesmerizing voice that spins tales of soft yarns interlaced with history and culture. I had forgotten that the DVD wasn't about the tools we normally think about when we hear "spinner's toolbox," but rather about the tools we have as spinners—the ability to create the perfect yarn for the project we're working on—strong worsted yarns for weaving or hard-wearing garments, soft woolen yarns for warmth and comfort, and the gamut in between the two.

Judith also mused while she was spinning that the novelty yarns that are so popular right now are the gift of our generation of spinners to the spinning world. And I found myself being grateful again.

I was thinking about generations of spinners—bridging cultural divides and what we each bring and offer to the craft—our offerings of skill, knowledge, experience, and ideas. Many spinners have just returned from Peru where they were fortunate enough to experience Tinkuy firsthand—Judith and also Linda Ligon among them. I know we'll hear more about the amazing cultural exchanges that happened that week in the months to come. Looking at the photos that have appeared on the Internet as the event was happening, I'm overcome with the power of the connections and gratitude for the sharing that took place.

As I'm preparing for my favorite holiday of the year, Thanksgiving, and ruminating on the essence of the holiday: sharing our bounty with friends as well as strangers—all of these thoughts are coming together to create a warm glow and a sense of connection as well as a feeling of responsibility to do what I can to make sure that we continue to share this with the world. We have so much to learn from each other.

Just as Judith points out in her DVD, the yarn that we spin determines the nature of the cloth, so does the fabric of the world depend on these basic elements. We as spinners understand—the beginning ingredients of yarn (or food or world peace) are essential to the functionality (or health) of the cloth.

I take to heart the saying "as you sow, so shall you reap," and make it my own, "as I sow, so shall I reap." I'm thankful for all of you out there doing your part to make the world a better place, one thread at a time.

Happy spinning,

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