Magic in a Drop of Sun

Today, as part of my sabbath rest, I stood in a sunbeam doing sorcery.

Sunbeams are in short supply around here. November has kicked October out with a series of intensely overcast days, sometimes so dark that our alley streetlight is on at noon. The sort of days when when I go outside, knowing that soaking up even the tiny bit of available vitamin D will feel better than moping inside the house, and I come back feeling worse. So when, as today, the sun warms a patch of hardwood floor and a rhombus on the wall, the wise woman gleans what she can.

Not unlike this attempt to capture the last little snapdragon that made a sudden appearance at the edge of our winterized yard. I don’t have the heart to cut it and bring it inside (I don’t even know if you do that with snapdragons) so I catch it in pixels instead.

My magic? Turning fluff into string, of course. Watching black merino, pink cashmere, silver silk, and sparkling strands of Angelina, as they pass through my fingers to form one strong, fine thread.

I call it sorcery because, unlike wizardry learned from books, my spinning all comes from intuition and instinct. I try reading books and magazines on spinning, listening to others talk about sampling and twist-per-inch and ratios and things, and I think how useful all that stuff must be. I can sort of imagine myself stopping to measure twist angle against a card every fifteen minutes. Then I chuck it all and just start spinning, with a vague idea of what I want my yarn to be like, find out what the yarn is willing to be, and come out with something pretty nice. That’s just what it’s always been like for me. In DnD terms, that makes me a spinning sorceress.

I got these punis just because, well, I’d never spun punis before. Punis are basically tightly-rolled, skinny little rolags, made of fine fiber on fine-toothed combs. (I got these from Gourmet Stash at the Homespun Yarn Party back in March, colorway “If Jem Were a Misfit.”) Turns out, spinning punis boils down to the same thing as spinning pretty much anything else: attenuate, draft, spin, ply.

That’s the perfect example of how spinning is the perfect bait-and-switch for my attention-deficit soul. I am lured in by the promise of a novel experience, then after about fifteen minutes of getting used to a new variation, I’m pretty much doing the same exact repetitive motion for hours and hours and hours. Tricked by beauty into meditation. Sounds like about how it should work.

Eight punis left in this bundle, probably about two hours on the drop spindle. Then I’ll do a 2-ply. I expect a couple hundred yards of lace. Hopefully you’ll find out within a week if I was right.

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