I first started thinking about learning to spin years ago.  I thought about it and dismissed it as a dream.  I thought about it and dismissed it as unfeasible and then I forgot about it – well sort of.

I had dreams.  Terrifying visions of spiders spinning silken webs of death… and then I thought – doh!  I gave myself a kick in the pants.  Listen to the whispers of the Universe, stop being so damn stubborn and DO something about it!

It took another 2 years, but I did it and I haven’t looked back since.  Aided by the wealth of experience and valuable knowledge and enthusiasm of my local spinning group, I forged forth with my heart at the helm.

It all starts with a thread...

There are many layers, multitudinous paths and a plethora of avenues that I walked down that were not the best fit for what was in my heart, but I had to walk them, had to have those experiences to get to the place I’m in now.   My calling to spinning is strengthened by need.  Needing to live a life filled with beauty, harmony, balance and and colour.  Add to that a streak of practicality, a touch of intuition, hard fought for self trust, dedication to improving my skills, embodying my spirituality, living with authenticity and following a joyful, dancing path of discovery and potential and you’ve got the beginnings of what Secret Spinner is all about.

There is so much that is beautiful in the world.  So much that is joyful, glorious and awesome.  My heart wants to add to that, to become part of what makes this world, our amazing planet, a stunning place to live.  If I’m going to live a life of creativity and manifestation the things I create have to add to the beauty of our existence, to bring joy and spread that smile right across someone’s face.  I try to make my creations beautiful.

More than that though.  For many years I’ve been involved with the practical side of the arts.  I’ve performed as part of orchestras, bands, choirs, and eek – solos, but I’ve also seen the other side.  I’ve been part of the the stuff that makes it all happen.  I’ve hauled speakers, cables, amps and steel deck.  I’ve checked levels, rigged lamps (stage lights) and grappled with unruly dimmers that change their settings in the middle of performances!  Seeing stage and screen from both of sides of the curtain has instilled in me the importance of practicality.  It has to be creative and beautiful – no question, no argument, but it also has to work.  You can sing the most heart rending and emotional song ever written on a great big stage in front of hundreds of people, but without the skill of the crew no one would see you or hear the magic you’re making.  What has all this got to do with yarn? Well, from my point of view you can make the most spectacular yarn, but if what you produce falls apart when you try to make something with it then it’s not really yarn, it doesn’t work.  Creating practical beauty takes skill and an understanding of the medium you’ve chosen to express yourself with.  I’m still pretty new to the world of spinning but my skill and understanding are growing every day.

Mmmm... squishy :)

I love colour.  You might not realise that when you first see me.  Years of sneaking around on a stage during blackouts have influenced my wardrobe more than I’d like to admit, but I’m getting better at introducing colour into all areas of my life.  I’ve always loved colour and activities both in and outside of my education have allowed me to indulge this passion.  I’m a musician by trade and education and many times during my training I’ve heard folk talk about musical colour.  Darkness, brilliance, depth can all be achieved with orchestration, harmony, tonal colour and performance skills.  I worked in my uni’s theatre.  I helped out everywhere, but I was happiest not behind a mixing desk fixing sound levels but behind a lighting desk.  Using colour, blending light I could create moods, enhance the on-stage action – evoking the forest at dawn, a ship’s deck at sunset, a dramatic fight scene (gotta love the ol’ strobe) or a poignant soliloquy.  I love to paint – watercolours, acrylics, pencils that blend when you add a little water, anything I could get my hands on.  But even with all of these things, there was always something missing, something I struggled to achieve.  I couldn’t touch it, there was no physical texture, no sensual gratification, nothing I could grab on to and squoosh.

 

Yarn gives me so many of the things that I enjoy.  Colour, texture and practicality. The potential that I create for that yarn to go on and become something, anything – a new thing that adds to the joy and richness of life.  Now, here’s where things get a little esoteric but please, stick with me.

Follow the thread - Find your way home

I see my life as a journey.  There are paths I’ve chosen to take, or not and at one time I was very controlling of that journey.  I wouldn’t even step foot on a path that I wasn’t 100% sure I could walk down easily, and I certainly wouldn’t walk where I couldn’t see the end of the road clearly before I took my first step.  I’ve learned a great deal since then, because of that way of living.  I’ve learned that I can’t always control everything.  I’m learning to truly take life as it comes and to trust myself, my intuition and my heart’s voice.  I’m stepping into the mist, following where my heart leads me and I’m really very happy.  Don’t get me wrong, this way of living is not easy for a reforming control freak like me, but my spinning and fibre journey is helping me to  rehabilitate, to start listening to my heart and honouring my divine spark.

When I buy fibre for a project, I choose the ones that speak to me.  I can’t always define why they do at that moment, they just do.  Rarely can I see the finished yarn when I buy fibre, and that has inherently become part of my process.  From beginning to end I have no expectations for what my yarn will be.  I choose the fibre, I spin it the best way I can with as much care and skill that I can and what comes out at the end is a joy and a mystery.  The fibre I have chosen gradually reveals it’s secrets as it is spun and I trust it to be honest and there is beauty in that.  I don’t know what it will look like once it’s knitted either – I can guess, but that is where the journey continues. This method of spinning doesn’t work for everyone, but it is, right now, part of my becoming.

Another big part of the specialness – I know that isn’t a real word, but it’s my blog and I’m keeping it – of my yarn is that it is spun with mindful kindness.  What’s that then I hear you cry – well… When I spin I am managing my mind, my body and my energy.  I am relaxed, my mind is still and I am fully focused on filling the yarn flowing through my fingers with love and kindness.  I’m creating something beautiful, practical and filled with positive energy – how cool is that?!

Mindfulness is something that we can all do.  It’s the process of being fully present and aware of what you are doing while you are doing it.  Being grounded in our bodies as we walk the earth, embodying our actions gives what we are doing another level of meaning, a deeper understanding that every moment is precious and presents an opportunity to create and share compassion and kindness with the universe.  And, by being mindful I am honouring my ability and my heart’s calling.

So, that’s a little bit more about what I am trying to do with Secret Spinner and my yarn journey – Congratulations if you made it this far and thank you for reading.  I hope you’ll continue to follow my adventures as I live a life of compassion and colour.

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