I ‘blame’ Shelia who blogs at Sewchet. Not long ago, we fell into conversation about learning to spin. Since we live in neighbouring counties – we speculated about taking a weekend workshop together somewhere in the middle. However, I knew of an amazingly knowledgeable and talented teacher called Jane Deane, who lives locally to me, so meet in the middle turned into sleep over.
On enquiring, I discovered Jane runs a five week course on a Thursday mornings and would lend me a spinning wheel to practice in between. It was too good an opportunity to say no. Fortunately Shelia forgave me for abandoning our plan and I signed up.
A couple of weeks before the course started Countryfile looked at the Dartmoor Artisan Trail, and included Jane Deane teaching Anita Rani to spin. Anita turned out to be very good and Jane told her she was ‘natural spinner’. The moment I heard those words, I so wanted to be a natural spinner. But with my lack of coordination, I thought it impossible.
Almost as soon as I arrived at the spinning class – well, after the all important tea and cake – another lady brought up the subject of Countryfile, so I had to ask…
‘Was Anita really that good?’
Jane is an incredibly genuine lady, so her answer was, of course, ‘yes’. Jane went on to say that Anita is a dancer and in her experience dancers were good at picking up spinning quickly.
No chance for me – I thought – I can’t even ‘dad dance’ well.
So I started, and it turned out I wasn’t so bad at treadling and coordinating my hands afterall. Could it be that Antia had left a little of her magical spinning ability in the wheel?
I’m not saying it was all plain sailing, and there was gnashing of teeth – and not just around more cake – but Jane did eventually declare that I was in Anita Rani’s class. She also gave me permission to quote her on that.
Of course a couple of hours spinning does not a spinner make…
…but I’m looking forward to my spinning class this week.