Roving Reporter: Charkha Spinning, Mindfulness, and the Perfect Spindle

Charkha spinning has become my favorite act of mindfulness. I shared a bit about my newfound charkha obsession and how it got me spinning outdoors more often. Spinning at the wheel has always been invigorating, freeing my creativity and bringing some of my best ideas to the surface. Charkha spinning is like a deep breath, making me more aware of the space I inhabit.

charkha spinning

Spinning at Yellowstone National Park and Tahoe National Forest.

After the encouragement of many friends on social media, I now have a fun challenge to see how many National Parks and Forests I can visit with my charkha—such fun! I find inspiration everywhere, from airport windows to old brick buildings, but natural inspiration abounds.

charkha spinning

Tahoe National Forest textures.

Did you see my New Mexico textures for a fiber journal?

While most book or briefcase charkhas contain all the tools you need to spin, I’ve added a new treasure to my charkha travel kit. Prepared cotton is much easier to spin if it has not been compressed. This is a hard lesson for this wool-centric spinner. After a beautiful bag of cotton sliver has been jammed in the bottom of a spinning bag, it needs some gentle fluffing and TLC to get it back into shape for charkha spinning. So a dear friend made me a box out of a plastic milk jug. It’s just the right size, lightweight, and rigid. With a handwoven band around the box, I’m ready to hit the trail.

charkha spinning

Cotton sliver is safely stowed in a box.

I’m headed to Rocky Mountain National Park in a few weeks while teaching spinning workshops at Shuttles, Spindles, and Skeins in Boulder, Colorado. Adventures await!

—Kate Larson

If your adventures in National Parks get a little chilly, check out 5 Lacy Shawls to Wear While Exploring National Parks.

Featured Image: A portable charkha spinning wheel. Photos by Kate Larson


Take cotton and charkha spinning on your summer travels!

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