Standing On the Shoulders of Giants by Judith MacKenzie McCuin

As a spinning teacher I hear many wonderful stories: about children and animals, strangers and friends, travels and homecomings. I love to hear them all. But the stories that are truly dear to my heart tell how people first learned to spin. No matter the circumstances, or how long ago, when spinners tell me about their first teacher, I see their faces change and their eyes fill with fondness.

I remember Ed Franquemont telling me about living in a remote village in Peru. As the only adult in the village who couldn’t spin, he was a great source of amusement for all the children watching him wrestle with the subtle intricacies of the spindle. Ed subsequently taught many of us to use the Peruvian lowwhorl spindle and how to Andean ply, and I remember the warmth and pleasure he took in passing on what he learned from those skillful hands in Peru to our beginner’s hands in America.

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