Tuesday is Spinning Group Day. I've been a member of the Haddington Spinners for some years now, ever since I went along to one of their Open Days a few years ago out of curiosity, just to have a wee look. Really, that day was a watershed day in my life. I had never seen a spinning wheel close up, I'd never seen anyone spin, I had no clue at all about how it worked or how yarn was made or fibre types or anything. I went for an hour, just for something to do that would get me out the house and away from the kids on a rainy Saturday. They practically had to sweep me out with the rubbish five hours later. Actually, I've never really left.
That day I bought a spindle, fibre and a book. Two weeks later, after a Google powered crash course in spinning wheels, I bought my first wheel off Ebay, an elderly Louet S10 with dodgy painted artwork and a skeinwinder. Truly the Spinning Gods smiled on me that day because it was a fabulous old wheel, ideal for a beginner and in perfect working order. I told my Hubby that it made sense to buy a second hand wheel as if I didn't take to spinning then I could resell it for not much of a loss. He agreed, but told me much later he'd privately known the wheel would never leave because spinning was so obviously "one of my things". He was right. I've still got the Louet and it's been joined by several other wheels. I think the highest number of wheels I've had in this house at any one time was eleven, but to be fair only seven of them actually belonged to me!
So yes, that Open Day had quite a profound effect on me. If people ask what hobbies I have I don't say "I spin." I say "I am a spinner." I don't just spin, I'm interested in the science both of the wheels and the way spinning works, the history of it all, the fibres, the techniques, the ways you can work with colours when spinning. There is an awful lot more to it that just doing the spinning bit and I'm interested in it all. And the more I learn, the more I realise what a vast topic it really is. I've been doing this for years now and really, I hardly know anything compared to how much more there is out there. And I used to think I was a "not bad" spinner but over the last year or so I've begun to realise I've barely begun. That isn't to say I'm bad, just that there's so much more.
Oh well, it's not like it's something I'll get too old to do, unless my hands cease to function. I just wish I'd started earlier, you know? But...and this is what prompted this blog post....someone asked me today how long I'd been spinning and I had to confess I can't remember now when that Open Day actually was. Six years ago? Seven? Eight? There is nothing else I can match the date up to in my memory. I only know there was a half forgotten and distant time without spinning, then the Open Day and after that I was A Spinner. Just like that.