Tap into the world-wide spinning community

Kate Larson keeps an ever-growing flock of Border Leicester sheep and teaches handspinning and knitting regularly in central Indiana and around the country. She manages the Spinner's Connection Blog here at spinningdaily.com and keeps a blog of her own at katelarsontextiles.com. We've invited her to share a little bit about our Spinner's Connection blog and how you and your guild can take part.

Tap into the world-wide spinning community

Last fall, a group of Scottish spinners organized an amazing inter-continental spin-in via Skype, which included some knitters from the British Antarctic Survey. Photo courtesy of Rachel Raynor.

Kate: The act of creating textiles from raw materials and the intoxicating search to better understand the inner workings of cloth has been increasingly aided by computer technology and the internet (an ironic twist, since so many innovations historically have threatened the craft of handspinning). Social media platforms provide ways not only to connect with spinners in other parts of the world, but also with fiber friends in your own local community. We can search for guilds and groups with the help of online directories and fiber-focused social media sites like Ravelry. 

Spinner's Connection, which was moved from the pages of Spin-Off Magazine to spinningdaily.com in 2007, has a long history of sharing news and events from as many different textile communities as possible. Some of my favorite Spinner's Connection stories are about events that bring far-flung spinning groups together. World Wide Spin in Public Day, which is held in September each year, seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. Spinning groups around the world celebrated WWSIPD, and Spinner's Connection covered stories from Wales, Sweden, Poland, Hungary, Germany, Canada, and the United States! The new fiber friends I make though Spinner's Connection continue to broaden my understanding of the role handspinning plays in the modern world—I hope it does the same for all of you. 

Christiane White, owner of Threeravens Fiber Studio in Baltimore, Maryland, gathered her spinning fellows for WWSIPD. Photo: Rob L.

We have endless amounts of information at our fingertips through burgeoning spinning forums, videos, and online textile resources. Spinner's Connection continues to be a place to remember old friends (such as Betty Flannigan), find new friends who happen to make beautiful spindles (such as Ian Tait), and share good news throughout our fiber community (such as the Shetland Guild's new book). Thank you to everyone who has generously shared images and stories for Spinner's Connection over the years and to the guild newsletter editors who continue to keep me in the loop. 

If you have a story to share on Spinner's Connection, contact me (Kate) at katelarsontextiles@gmail.com.

—Kate Larson

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