Thank you, Gina

Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful Cormo Ewe named Gina.  She gave me her fleece a couple of Springs ago, and I've never been the same since.

Yesterday I finished spinning all my Gina's fleece.  It feels like at the finish of a really good book.  I knew it would be over soon, but I still wasn't really ready.  Now I'm not quite sure what to do with myself.  Not that I have any shortage of projects, you understand; it's quite the opposite.  I'm just a little melancholy that this one is finished.


Of course, it's not as if I don't still have the yarn, though.  There are 2,774 yards of it here.  And naturally, I'm thinking about what I'll knit from it.  But I will miss the spinning.

Good thing I have plans to learn more about Aran knitting...

I can't believe it's mine (all mine!).  How many blissful hours I've spent with it already.  How often I've petted it and squished it and imagined what it might become.  It really is true that spinners who knit get to play with their wool twice. 

Of all God's creatures who give us their best, there must be a very special place in heaven for the sheep.  Gina, especially.


Yesterday, Campbell and I rode our bikes together.  We had so much fun that we didn't figure out until after getting home that we had ridden over six miles.  That's a really big deal for me, not having been farther than a few blocks from home before now.

Later in the day, I challenged him to add up all the yardage on my Cormo spinning project:  1,706 yards, so far.  Then I asked him to look up how many yards are in a mile (bonus points if you already know it's 1,760).  

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Which means that I'm exactly 54 yards away from having spun a MILE of Cormo yarn.  We're not going to talk about how much fleece there still is left to spin, but it's looking like Cam and I could have matching sweaters.

Spinning, Out of Control

One drawback of having written two books in one year is that I put myself on a Spinning Diet.

Spinning, for me, is the place where no rules apply.  It's the opposite of knitting:  There are no deadlines, EVER, no writing down or trying to reproduce anything, no undoing of mistakes is allowed, and no time limits are imposed.  I embrace my mediocrity and "long-term beginner" status completely.  The yarn the wheel (or spindle) gives me is the yarn I love, and that's all there is to it.  I'm the Unintentional Spinner.  So I decided that as long as I was on a knitting deadline, there was not going to be any time for spinning in the way I like to do it:  Down the rabbit hole for hours and days; spin, ply, skein, wash, dry, pet, pet, pet.  Takes a lot of time.  And before I knew it, more than a year went by without my touching the wheel.

Which simply will not do.  What a colossal wrong to have done myself! Spinning Diet, indeed.  Spinning feeds knitting, which everybody knows.  Communing with fleece as it becomes yarn is spiritual knitting nourishment at its finest.  I have starved my inner spinner nearly to death with some ill-conceived notion of time management.

This weekend, I binged.  I made 643 yards if 3-ply Cormo yarn.  And by "weekend" I mean a good part of Saturday, lots of Sunday, most of Monday and all of Tuesday.  Spinning Out of Control.  I have no memory of eating or sleeping or cooking or doing laundry for four days.  I can tell those things have been happening, because nobody else around here has noticed a failure to function in me.  But 643 yards of 3-ply Cormo do not result from some passing whim to spin for a bit.  They come from hardcore obsessive megafocus on spinning.

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I don't know whether to be proud of myself for making so much dreamy string, or ashamed for being so self-indulgent.

Either way, it's time to get back on track, because I have to start a new book.

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And the 3 of these bags of beautiful gorgeous pin-drafted fiber that I still have to spin are pretty much torturing me.  They call to me from the corner by the wheel with the voices of Sirens.  No matter where I go in the house, I can hear the song: 

"Spin more, spin more spin more, it is not day! 
It is the Nightingale and not the Lark;
Whose song beguiles you Leave the Wheel and work.
The laundry and the dishes don't love you;
As we do, who are made of fluffy wool!"

Every binge must reach its inevitable end.  The only question is what sort of end will it be?  A purposeful, self-controlled roll to a stop, or a squealing, twisted collision with reality?  If I don't stop spinning today, I could find myself in an intervention!  My family could tell me all the ways my compulsion to make string has injured them.  They might say they love me and that's why I have to go to a Special Place of Healing.

Or else they will continue not to notice I'm wearing the same clothes from days ago, and there is fiber sticking out of my hair.  As long as they get picked up from practice and the groceries keep hitting their plates, at least. 

As ever, it's gonna be up to me to decide to control myself.  Or not.