In December I taught two lovely ladies to spin at Spun Fibre Arts, in Oakville. Watching them learn to spin is always a trip down memory lane, looking at their yarns and remembering how far I have come. Sometimes spinning comes easy to someone and they just get it right away and they take off. Sometimes it takes time and patience to “get it” but it almost (I say almost here because some students give up before that ah ha moment) always comes to them and off they go.
As I watched my two students struggle with twisty yarn that just wouldn’t go onto the bobbin, I kept wondering why this seems to happen to new students. I know it is not the wheel because I could sit and spin on their wheel with ease, so why?? Later in December I had lunch with a friend from my OHS spinning course, Rebecca and I asked why I see this so much with new spinners. Rebecca told me they need to let go! Let go of holding that fibre so tight that it is not getting on to the wheel, your fibre hand should gently hold the yarn (like holding a baby bird), and you let your drafting hand feed the wheel.
This past week I met up with the students for one more session and again watched that twisty yarn appear and suggest that they let go, let that fibre hand just gently hold the fibre and let the drafting hand handle feeding the fibre into the wheel. It was almost an instant change, the twisty yarn disappeared and nicely twisted yarn started happening.
So in spinning, like in many things in life, sometimes we just need to let go!