The New Year: Now with More Spinning

Several spinners in the Spin Off Ravelry group have spoken their challenge out loud: They mean to spin every day. (There’s even a hashtag, #spin15aday, which has impressive posts on Instagram.) It will be good for their skills and their spirits. Instead of 10 minutes of daily mindfulness meditation, perhaps I should opt for 15 minutes of mindful spinning.

Every year I vow to spin my fiber stash (or knit or weave my yarn stash). Yet every year ends with more fiber than it began. It’s said that the first step is to admit you have a problem, but an abundance of wonderful fiber—enough to keep my spinning wheel busy for hours a day—isn’t a problem. It’s an embarrassment of riches. So let’s skip ahead to the fourth step: the fearless inventory.

On more than one occasion, Elizabeth Prose (organized spinner and assistant editor of Spin Off) has been able to go home in the evening, locate a particular kind of fiber, and bring it to work the next day. Elizabeth has moved twice in the last 12 months. I, on the other hand, can’t remember what breed is in my stash unless the tag is still in the bag. Of the six balls of white roving, some are Columbia and some are Rambouillet, but which is which?

The roving on the left is Rambouillet. The roving on the right . . . Who knows?

The roving on the left is Rambouillet. The roving on the right . . . Who knows?

There are batts I purchased at a wool festival eight years ago, a precious qiviut blend purchased from Galina Khmeleva to spin a gossamer shawl, and braids and braids of handpainted fiber that have been jostled and compacted (maybe even felted). I feel guilty having bought them and not used them or even taken good care of them.

The ever-wise Jillian Moreno has some words of wisdom in her video Spin Your Stash. The first, she says, is to have no stash shame. Think of it as a collection. Imagine reveling in your stash the way the adventurers embrace the piles of gold hoarded by the dragon in the movies. Get it out, look at it, evaluate it . . . and then spin. Fifteen minutes a day.


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