What gets caught in my yarn

Spinning with Judith by my side

For the last couple of weeks as I'm winding down for the evening and the kids are in bed, I've been spinning up the lovely handpainted top that I bought at recent festivals while watching Judith MacKenzie's DVDs, Popular Wheel Mechanics and The Gentle Art of Plying. It is like heaven on earth—children slumbering sweetly in their beds, the cool summer breeze lifting the curtains, the whir of my wheel, the colorful fibers passing through my fingers, and Judith's voice captivating my imagination—assuring me that I can make beautiful yarn.

The day's worries and challenges slip away in my yarn, wound onto the bobbin. And I've made several mental notes of things that I want to try—ideas for new projects, yarns I want to attempt, and settings on my wheel that I really haven't explored to their fullest potential . . . yet.

What is it about Judith's teaching that is so compelling? Perhaps you've had a class with her so you know. Is it her ability to tell a story so that you feel like you're discovering the beauty and wonder of the world right along with her? Is it her years' of experience as a production spinner coupled with her travels to the far reaches of the spinning world that allows her to convey the vastness of the ocean in a grain of sand? Is it the miles of yarn that have passed through her fingers, the lanolin from thousands of sheep fleeces that have softened her hands and strengthened her voice? All I know is that with Judith at my side as I spin, I feel connected as though by shimmering silky strands to the generations of spinners who have tried and learned and made yarn from the softest wool to the coarsest plant fibers and everything in between.

—Amy

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