This weekend, I did something I dreamed about when I first gave birth to my daughter nine years ago.
I taught my daughter to spin wool, and it made me feel like a good mom.
My mom didn’t teach me how to sew until I was visiting home from college, and I asked her to help me make a dress. From there, my love of fiber arts grew to learning how to spin wool, weave, felt, and knit. I had to take college courses and read books to learn these techniques. I would have learned them all as a five-year-old from my mother and grandmothers if I was born during a different generation or a different culture.
My spinning wheel has long been a toy in our household. The kids love to spin it round and round, but it has been many years since it has actually seen use. My daughter asked me if I would teach her how to use it. First, she must learn how to spin using a drop spindle.
My drop spindle was unfortunately gnawed on by a puppy long ago. It is still functional, but the wool can easily get snagged. We purchased a Learn to Spin Drop Spindle Kit at a local yarn store. Unfortunately, I taught her how to use it backwards, as it is a Top Whirl Drop Spindle, which I have never used before so we just use it in reverse.
If you don’t already know how to use a drop spindle, it is a fun activity for you to learn alongside your children. There are wonderful instructions and videos, but handspinning.com warns:
WARNING!!! Spinning reduces stress and promotes well being. It can also be habit forming and lead to obsessive behaviors such as, but not restricted to: caressing and hoarding all fibers; dying them with food colors and things from your garden or whatever you have laying about; spinning the fluffy bits of the weeds in your fields, the cotton wad in your vitamin bottles and even the lint from your dryer! Proceed with extreme caution!
Our wool spinning lessons have coincided with our nighttime reading of Laura Ingalls Wilder. I don’t know if Little House has provided inspiration, or perhaps this is the origin of my own simple life aspirations (minus Ma’s fear of Indians).
No matter the inspiration, I am pleased my daughter has taken to spinning. First thing she did after getting ready for school this morning was spin more wool. Our daughters (and sons) deserve the lessons that have skipped so many generations.