What do you want to see next?


Linda behind the wheel with Alden Amos.

Linda's "Vanna White act" with Cindy Lair.

The entrancing computer-aided cutting machine at Schacht Spindle Company.

Ladybug parts ready for assembly.

Pretending to be a whorl

When I asked Alden Amos and Cindy Lair to star in a two-part video about spinning wheels, part of the deal was that they would not just be thrown in front of a camera like deer in headlights. I would be in there with them, asking dumb questions and sort of nudging things along. I, whose on-screen media experience has consisted largely of 1970s-era 8 mm home movies. What was I thinking?

The bigger question, I guess, is what was I not thinking. I wasn't thinking about things like my own non-existent manicure. I wasn't thinking about the possibility that in the month between doing the two sessions, I would have caught a nasty cold and my hairdo would have expired. I wasn't thinking about what happens when your star talent sort of veers off your outline and heads for a distant horizon. I guess you could say that I have now a much greater appreciation of what we ask our spinning icons to put themselves through when we persuade them to make these instructional DVDs.

Both Alden and Cindy were champs. They know so much, they're so generous in sharing what they know, and so articulate at explaining the mechanical aspects of spinning wheels, that they more than made up for my Vanna White act.

There were bits that didn't make it into the final product, as is often the case. The part, for instance, where Alden persuaded me and Rachel Link, our assistant videographer, to play like we were a whorl and a drive wheel while he wrapped a large rope around us. Point: How you cross the cord on a double-drive wheel matters. I don't think we quite made that point, but at least we didn't fall over in a heap.

Or the part at Schacht Spindle Company where we got so totally entranced by the computer-aided cutting machine that we watched it create a whole Ladybug superstructure out of a slab of wood, with no human intervention. It was enthralling, but not necessary to understanding how to get peak performance from your wheel.

Every one of the spinning workshop DVDs that we've made is a new adventure. Every one leads to ideas about how to make the next one better. For me, part of the job is trying to deliver good instruction, but an equally important part is documenting the spinners among us who are really giants in the craft. I'd love to hear from you—what topics, what teachers you'd most like to see. We can try to make it happen.

LET'S GO ON AN EASTER EGG HUNT!—Something funny happened between the time we filmed Stephenie Gaustad's Spinning Cotton DVD last fall, and the time the finished product went to the replicator. Somebody slipped an Easter Egg into it. It's just a little bit of surprise content meant to make you smile. So happy spring, and good luck finding this little nugget. Better for you than a chocolate bunny.

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