"Watch this DVD and call me in the morning."

Spinning for joy and peace

Rita Buchanan approaches spinning joyfully and pragmatically.

I was so excited when I learned that Linda Ligon was making plans with Rita Buchanan to film an instructional spinning DVD. My first question was "Can I go with you to Connecticut for the filming, and carry the bags or something?" But it turned out the shoot was scheduled for while I going to be out of town—so I had to wait (and wait and wait) until now (!) to experience the DVD. Boy, but was it worth the wait!

If you've ever had a chance to take a class with Rita, then you already know that she is a phenomenal teacher—perhaps you gleaned that from the articles that she wrote for Spin-Off over the years. I know because she taught me how to be an editor nearly ten years ago (thank you, Rita!).

When Rita's DVD How I Spin arrived, I brewed a fresh cup of tea and popped it into my DVD player, ready to be immersed. I was immediately captivated—the introduction starts with scenes from Rita and Steve Buchanan's rural Connecticut home and their amazing garden. The music is something that you'd hear if you were walking up to their house—as it is actually Steve playing the piano. Interspersed with these scenes are vibrant yet soothing clips of Rita preparing fiber for spinning in her studio—her strong, capable hands deftly working with the wool. You could not sit so close to Rita in real life and see this detail—the only thing missing is being able to reach out and touch the brightly colored puffs of fiber that sit neatly and abundantly on the shelves behind her.

You'd probably also want to feel her handspun, handwoven jacket while you were at it. It is lovely.

And then Rita starts talking about why she started spinning. I won't be surprised if people who hadn't intended on becoming spinners saw this and decided to get some fiber and a wheel, or if doctors started prescribing it as relief for stress, "Watch this DVD and call me in the morning." Seriously. Rita's no—nonsense, pragmatic approach to spinning is so appealing and accessible—it should be used for public service announcements or perhaps during peace talk summits.

For spinners, the DVD offers so much more—because with her contagious joy for the process of spinning, Rita patiently and thoroughly demonstrates how she spins and explains why. This set of two DVDs contains so much spinning content and practical advice for how to make the yarns you want—and you can pause it, rewind it, and watch it over and over again until your heart is, indeed, content.


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