Spinning wheels versus race-car wheels


The view from my wheel.

Spinning at the race track.

My daughter Hannah spinning on a CD spindle.

Making the unseen seen

I think I've mentioned before that my husband, Kelly, drag races on the weekends at our local track in the sportsman category of Supergas (which always makes me giggle in a very junior-high kind of way). I've also talked about how I am able to show my support for his hobby while enjoying mine by spinning at the racetrack. While we've both had to cut back on the amount of time that we indulge in our hobbies since our kids have come along, we still enjoy weekends at the racetrack—he busy with his wheels, me with mine—and the kids enjoy a little bit of both.

A couple weekends ago was a perfect example. It was a beautiful, cool June day—overcast and threatening rain all day (rare for Colorado), but not actually raining. It was the Father's Day race in which Kelly was the crew for his brother Kevin, who was racing that day (they share the race car), and there I was with a pile of indigo-dyed tussah silk to spin for the Printed Silk Cardigan from the Spring 2008 issue of Interweave Knits I've been working on since 2008 (surely, I've mentioned before how long it takes me to actually finish projects).  Sarah was sleeping (ear protection in place) in her pack-n-play in the garage portion of Kelly's family's RV that serves as a temporary home/pit area at the racetrack, and Hannah was gleefully playing with a friend who was spending the day at the race track with us. Kelly, Kevin, and their dad, Sam, were busy going back and forth to the staging lanes and then making runs down the track in 10.5-ish seconds, while I filled a bobbin with a thick low-twist singles for the first sweater that I'm making for myself. I'm pleased, too, because when I first started making this yarn two years ago, I had a really hard time spinning a low-twist thick singles yarn consistently. But in the intervening time, my spinning skills have improved, and I now am able to match the yarn I had spun when I first started the project.

I've been bringing my spinning wheel to the racetrack for nearly ten years—ever since I first met Kelly. I've spun and plied miles of yarns while the cars roar by, while spectators mill around the family's purple Chevy race car commenting on how gorgeous and fast it is. Most of the time people just glance at me—a funny expression goes across their face, and they return to total immersion in the cars, the racers, the noise. This time it was different, and I'm not sure why. Nearly everyone who came into our pit area stopped to watch me spin and commented, "Oh, my goodness—what are you doing? Spinning yarn? Oh, that is SO COOL!" I kicked myself for not bringing a stack of our special issue,Interweave Knit & Spin a magazine for experienced knitters but beginning spinners) or printing out our latest free eBook (Drop Spindle Spinning) to hand out. I did offer to give folks a chance to sit at the wheel and make their own yarn, and one young boy did take me up on the offer and thought it was "pretty neat."

But seriously, for ten years I felt as if I was invisible, and then this weekend the invisibility cloak was lifted and the racers could see me—and I wasn't prepared for it. Next race I will be ready


Moore Noise Racing Team: Sam, Kevin, and Kelly Moore holding the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Division 5 race  Supergas trophy at Bandimere Speedway.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, they won the race. Whoot!

Happy spinning,

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