Big shoes to fill


Amy behind the scenes at the video shoot.

Maggie Casey on the set spinning effortlessly.

Liz sitting in to test out the framing of the shot.

Is Maggie Casey the Wind Beneath Your Wings? 

My brother, in addition to his day job (well, night job) of delivering milk and being an artist, has also been working for a number of years on a film career. He's been taking lots of classes at the Colorado Film School and worked on innumerable local projects, toward his dream of being a film producer. My house, linens, furniture, children, and even I myself have made cameo and starring appearances in a number of his projects. I've read over many scripts, baked cookies, sewn costumes, made spread sheets, helped with fundraising-campaigns, cleaned up fake blood from my walls and floors, and (with trepidation) loaned out my grandmother's china for his projects.

This is all to say that I knew a bit about what goes into producing films (at least from the sidelines) when I learned that Liz Good and I would be producing the next spinning video coming out of the Spin-Off office. Before now, all of our spinning videos have been produced by Linda Ligon (whose creativity and genius far outstrips anyone else I know). Do I need to say it? I was a wee bit nervous. Big shoes to fill.

Dipping our toes into the unknown waters of video making, we asked Maggie Casey if she'd be willing to shoot a couple of videos—the first focused on getting started on a drop spindle, geared at absolute beginning spinners, and the other about making big and lofty yarns (due out in September), geared toward the beginning to intermediate spinner looking to branch out in their skills.

Liz and I've known Maggie for years. She's taught at Spin-Off Autumn Retreat and is a co-owner of Shuttle, Spindles, and Skeins in nearby Boulder, Colorado—one of the best spinning supply shops in the country—not to mention the countless articles she's written for Spin-Off. Liz has even taken classes from Maggie. We know that Maggie has a wonderful, calm approach to teaching and that she's been the wind under the wings of many a great spinner.

So, in mid-June we arranged the set in the Interweave video studio, went over the outline with Maggie one more time, and in two days, shot the two videos. Maggie, of course, did a great job. She does not like being in front of the camera. Modest and self-deprecating, Maggie was most comfortable when she was spinning and doing what she does best—explaining how to spin in easy-to-understand terms. If you know someone who has been itching to start spinning (or are itchy yourself), this video is for them (and you!). Only an hour long, it covers the tools (a fairly heavy drop spindle) and the fiber (a medium to coarse wool roving), and uses the park-and-draft method to get anyone started spinning. Maggie also covers taking the yarn off the spindle for plying and finishing and throws in a little of spinning history—it is a great introduction to spinning, providing just the right amount of information.

From the producing point of view, Maggie made our jobs easy, just like she does spinning. And there was no fake blood to clean up afterward.

Happy spinning,

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