Today, The Husband and I went to a neighbouring village which was celebrating a Salt Festival. The place where we live now used to be on the main salt smuggling road from France, and the memory of these times is kept alive by a festival every year. There are a lot of craftspeople exposing and selling their work, most of them dressed in mediaeval attire. This is where I met Marilynn.
So, of course, I went to speak to her.
Marilynn was demonstrating spinning as it was done in the Middle Ages. Here she is spinning from a Shetland fleece — a very thin, very even single ply which looked as if it could have been used for lace. She had brought various kinds of fleeces : the white one on the left from local Swiss sheep (she didn’t seem to be very impressed with them), the two next piles of fleece rolls were Shetland, as well as the carded locks on the right. In-between were carded rolls of some British sheep (she had forgotten which), and the uncarded grey locks were Jacob fleece, which she made us pat while explaining the basics of spinning.
The Husband too was fascinated by what she was doing and asked her some questions.
Then she asked me if I’d like to try her spindle.
She showed me how to hold it, how to spin it, how to pull just a bit on the carded wool every few centimetres. And then, I tried. I was clumsy and awkward, far from the perfect precision of Marilynn’s beautiful single ply. I produced something weird and uneven, on some twenty centimetres. Then, Marilynn plied it on itself and gave it to me.
Here it is. It’s nothing much, but it has about 3 centimetres in total which about look like an ordinary 2-ply you could buy in a shop, and I’m ridiculously thrilled with it.
Of course, if I want to spin my own yarn, I should learn more and practice.
But Marilynn has offered to teach me.
I’m thrilled !