The first few times I spun with Arabella and the spinning class for 2-3 hours at a time, I was so utterly exhausted that I had to lie down when I got home. Spinning is a very sedentary activity, so how could I be this tired? It was my brain! My brain was exhausted!
Probably because while spinning, the brain is working at several different tasks at once, and you have your fingers, hands, feet, and eyes active in the
process. Your brain is processing, your eyes are carefully watching the fiber, your foot is treadling not too fast and not too slow, and you are drawing the fiber out between your hands and allowing or not allowing twist with your top hand, and then stopping the twist so you can feed the yarn onto the spool…..whew! It takes a while just to get the coordination down! But like riding a bike, spinning seems to be movement that our bodies intuitively know how to master.
So now, after a dozen or so collective hours of spinning, I am beginning to “get it.” Instead of just a jumble of actions and slippery wool moving or not moving through my fingers, my brain has started to isolate and understand each of the various tasks. I think this process is what will improve my spinning going forward. Isolating, and then focusing, on the different actions will produce different results in the yarn.
Here are some of the beginning actions to isolate:
- speed of treadling
- amount of twist allowed in the yarn
- drafting the wool
I’m going over to Arabella’s to practice on her Louet spinning wheel. She says what I need now is “time at the wheel.”