So if day one was rowdy, day two would have to be described as reverent. The second day was spent spinning with Judith MacKenzie. Now you all know that spinning was the thing I was most concerned about.
Just days before the class was announced, I had declared that I was done with spinning. It’s only due to an entirely uncharacteristic delay in getting rid of stuff that I hadn’t chucked all my spinning fiber the week before the class went public. I had put it all in a pile to go away, but just never got around to finding a new home for it. When we introduced ourselves at the start of the retreat, I explained that I was there in part because I “got distracted while trying to clean out my closet.”
So I registered. And I practiced. Then I bought better spindles. And I practiced. And I bought more fiber. And I practiced. Eventually I was turning out something that was more or less yarn-like. Not good, not skillful, but recognizably yarn-ish in nature. Then I got to class and realized just how bad I still am at this.
Oddly enough, it wasn’t a troubling realization. It was more like ‘wow look how many other ways there are to do this’ than ‘I am a terrible person and should hang my head in shame at having thought I could do it.’ I have a bad habit. If I’m not good at a new task five minutes after starting it, I tend to decide it is a lousy thing to know and loose all interest in it. I don’t feel that way about spinning, at least not after this class, and I credit that to Judith. She is a marvelous instructor and incredibly well versed in her subject. She put everyone at ease. She answered questions from newbies and experienced spinners alike and never once made me feel foolish or out of place. It was phenomenal. Everyone was more or less in awe of her knowledge and skill.
As for the content of the class? Well, we spun. We spun silk by itself in several different preparations, and we spun silk mixed with wool, cashmere, angora, alpaca, and a few things I can’t even remember. Much of it was beyond my current skill level, but it was all great fun. The only downside was that I seem to have decided I need to acquire an electric spinning wheel. This one in particular. Beth was kind enough to loan me one for the class, and now I’m smitten.