My Spinning Wheel & My Life Thread

to-everything-there-is-a-season1

I’m fascinated by parallels (and differences) across cultures & religions.  In my late teens and early twenties, I learned Spanish, Portuguese, studied Persian, and dabbled lightly in French.  I lived in Brazil, dreamed of traveling to Africa to help World Vision, and of traveling to Scandinavia because I believed, rightly or wrongly, that Scandinavia was the center of knitting.  I thought the Scandinavian ladies could teach me all of the magical stitches and tricks that comprise knitting.  …This was before YouTube.

I was raised Catholic, but also studied Buddhism (for one quarter) in college, and had some very overwhelming conversations with a long-haired devout nomadic Christian.

I would like to examine, here, a parallel idea across three different religions; the idea that everything happens in its time.

A Buddhist proverb says “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

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The Christian proverb says “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: …A time to rend, and a time to sew; …He hath made every thing beautiful in his time…” (Ecclesiastes 3, King James Version (KJV))

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Moirai
The Three Fates: by David Spear

And then, in Greek mythology, there’s one of my favorite concepts: The Moirai (the Three Fates);

“Clotho spun the thread of life from her distaff onto her spindle.

Lachesis measured the thread of life allotted to each person with her measuring rod.

Atropos chose the manner of each person’s death; and when their time was come, she cut their life-thread.”

.(~Wikipedia)

These three goddesses decided a person’s fate.  What better way than to spin a life-thread, determine its length, & cut it to end it?  Perhaps they may even have been creative, and added in some alpaca for the softer, gentler souls, or some sequins and beads for the more flamboyant souls?  I suppose we’ll never know.  But it’s a fun thing to consider.

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Now.  How does any of this relate to me and Nareya Yarn Mosaics?

Many months ago, I thought of a completely obvious way to manufacture quality Nareya Yarn; a way that would not require me to toil for a decade to make each skein.  It was so obvious that I couldn’t comprehend why I hadn’t thought of it before.  Have you ever felt like you were in a long stupor of foggy indecision (for a long, long time) when suddenly, in a not-really-brilliant moment, “Aha!” the clouds cleared and you found the absolutely completely obvious solution waiting at your feet on a (now) sunny day?  [Yes, I just used “obvious” three (now four) times in a paragraph… That’s just how obvious the idea was.  It needed triple emphasis.]

Allow me to elaborate.

I have tried to manufacture my invention using glue;

Glue
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Glue Knit
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…and by dyeing and cutting fabric;

Dye uncut
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…and by dyeing yarn;

Dye
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Dye Knit
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…and by knitting I-cords;

Knit
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Knit knit
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…and by sewing;

Sew
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Sew Knit
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sew knit back
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In the end, I have concluded that all of these methods *except glue* can, in some form or other, produce a yarn which is presentable enough to sell.  The problem, which is a very big problem, is that each one of these methods takes me about three months to create a skein.  That means that I would only make ONE sale every three months.  That’s no way to run a business.

I nevertheless continued in my slow struggle towards creating the next great skein.  This skein could have a few uses;

1) It could be featured in a magazine article in some wonderful knitting magazine, introducing this type of yarn to the world.   Then, after the magazine has used it for pictures, I would then…

2) Send it as a prototype to my favorite yarn manufacturers.  After they had seen the yarn and returned it, I would decide if I wanted to…

3) Keep it, or sell it.

And thus I continued in my slow, slow, progress towards finishing this… one… skein.

Then one beautiful day, the skies cleared, I looked at my feet (using the previous analogy), and [taadaaaa!!] I bent down and picked up the gift of “Duh!” from the land of YouTube.

I do adore YouTube…  I especially love watching Etsy Handmade Portraits, GardenGirltv, Namaste Farms (with Natalie Redding), and Neauveau Fiber Arts (with Ashley Martineau).   The last two (Natalie Redding & Ashley Martineau) are ladies who spin art yarns beautifully, and have a ton of how-to videos.   I began watching spinning videos thanks to Natalie Redding, a few years ago.  I was, at the time, learning how to dye yarn.  I entered “dye yarn” into the search cue of YouTube, and came upon Natalie’s video on dyeing mohair, and “one thing led to another,” and suddenly I was watching all of her spinning videos.

When I came upon a video by Beth of Blue Mountain Hand Crafts showing how to change colors quickly when spinning, and another video by Wool Wench showing how to corespin Cloud Coils, I knew I had to get a wheel!  I knew how to make my yarn, beautifully and (comparably) quickly!

In my haste, I purchased an old, beautiful spinning wheel without knowing the first thing about spinning.  Unfortunately, it was broken in at least three ways, & would have taken a lot of time and money to make operable.  It’s still pretty, though.

Then, I did a lot of research (which included watching Neauveau Fiber Arts’ video “What Spinning Wheel Should I Buy?” multiple times, as well as many other YouTube videos describing the pros and cons of different wheels.

Ashford Country Spinner
Ashford Country Spinner

One day at work, during my lunch hour, I saw a craigslist add for an Ashford Country Spinner (yay!).  I asked my (wonderful awesome) hubbie if I could take a large chunk out of our savings.  He said “Of course, baby” (am I lucky or what?), so off I drove directly after work, to a lovely farm which is home to Elizabeth’s Fiber and Yarn, and bought my brand new, beautiful, functional, Ashford Country Spinner!

I then proceeded to order and receive Jacey Boggs’ wonderful book and DVD, Spin Art, and take a spinning class with Sarah Anderson, at Weaving Works in Seattle.  Sarah was so patient with me (a brand new spinner).  She said that she was impressed with my spinning, and that my hands were made to spin.  That praise sparkled happy feelings throughout days for weeks.

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Here are my first four skeins, shown chronologically:

My First (Ever) Skein. This was made BEFORE Sarah Anderson's class.
My First (Ever) Skein.
This was made BEFORE Sarah Anderson’s class.
Second Skein of Yarn. This was made directly AFTER Sarah Anderson's class.
Second Skein of Yarn. This was made directly AFTER Sarah Anderson’s class.
Third Skein
Third Skein
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Fourth Skein
Fourth Skein
“Double Pom-Pom” Nareya Mosaic Yarn

The fourth skein (the Double Pom-Pom Yarn) is a type of Nareya Yarn Mosaic, but its dimensions are not conducive to knitting, so I’m going to re-purpose it.  My next skein will be the first ever spun, knit-able, Nareya Yarn Mosaic– Yeehaw!!

For a while I knocked my head on a wall, trying to figure out why I had never thought of spinning before.  How do you make yarn?  Do you use glue?  Do you sew yarn?  Do you buy yarn to knit it into yarn?  No dear… you spin yarn.  Wool comes off the “baa-baa,” then you spin it.

Finally, gracefully forgiving myself for this astounding oversight, I resigned myself to the recognition that I am not always in control of my path.

huge.28.142459There is a time to rend, and a time to sew.

Last year, my daughter and I moved out of a sad situation.  We moved into a happy place, I met my amazing husband, all three of us enjoyed a wonderful wedding which led into a beautiful marriage, and only then did I realize how to create my yarn.

tree jewelryThere is a reason that this clarity has come to me now, and I believe that reason is that I am in the right place in my life (happy, and with my new family) for my business to flourish.  It was not meant to flourish when we were in a darker place.  It was not its time.


So if the question is: “Why didn’t you think of this before?” then the answer is simple; “To everything there is a season… He hath made every thing beautiful in his time…”  The answer is, it was not its time.  And now it is.

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