29 March 2010

Fiber, fiber everywhere... and no time left to spin.

These are the eggs I have for breakfast.
The names of the hens that laid them are written in pencil.
I know EXACTLY where my food comes from.

I miss spinning. I miss the rhooooom-whirrrrrr-whirrrrr of my wheel. I miss the hypnotic treadling and the clack-clack of the footman-treadle join.... which, come to think of it, might be something that needs fixing.

My poor wheel -- my beautiful, shiny wheel -- has been sitting under a striped sheet for a long time. No one has recently wiped it down with oil after a long spinning session. No one has checked to see that it hasn't been suddenly attacked by termites. I am guilty of spinning wheel neglect -- the only saving graces are that (1) I cared for it very well before it went into the corner with a sheet and (2) it has been kept out of the sun and inside a climate-controlled house, where the temperature and humidity never vary significantly, thanks to the ridiculously complicated HVAC systems.

I know it hasn't suffered physical harm, but I still feel like I've fallen down on some sacred duty... It's times like these that I'm pretty sure I don't deserve a wheel as gorgeous and well-made as mine. My wheel was lovingly made by hand, and now it sits in a corner, unnoticed. One would think that I'd at least have the decency to drape it in a hand-loomed shroud, not a cheap twin-XL sheet leftover from the two years of undergrad that I lived on campus.

I have gigantic plastic storage bins full of fiber -- hand-dyed silk hankies, mounds of fluffy buffalo down, piles of silky angora, three whole alpaca fleeces, goat and sheep fleeces in various states of nature, prime first-clip mohair, and seemingly endless balls of dyed top in various blends of merino/silk -- in an endless holding pattern.

I am not a skilled spinner. I am proficient, but I have not practiced enough to be truly skilled.

With Spring in the air and a definite house-moving coming up, I pause to reflect on this.

Do I need to keep my beautiful Reeves wheel? Do I need these pounds and pounds of fiber that may never become yarn?

Is it something I can let go? Perhaps it was important in the past but I no longer feel the need to cling to it. Maybe it is something unnecessary and weighing me down. Is it something I need to shed? Will I regret the absence of something I barely noticed (except with vague feelings of guilt)?

I am thankful to have owned and had the pleasure of working on such a marvelous, luxurious wheel. It's sorta like having had an exotic sports car in your garage, that you drove once for five miles, detailed and fussed over, and then put on those special curved tired blocks and under a cover, and haven't jingled the keys since. I know how nice it is to spin on a Reeves wheel.

But if I don't spin regularly, why do I have one? I'd get much more use and enjoyment out of an etching press. And I know there are spinners out there who drool over, covet, and would cherish having this wheel.

I'm not going to make a hasty decision on this, but right now I'm leaning toward selling my wheel and getting rid of my fiber stash. I don't think it's necessary at this point in my life.

1 comment:

vanessa said...

i would drool, love and cherish your wheel, if you decide to sell it :-)
please keep me in mind!