I said that I would marry,
And she would be my bride,
And alone we should not tarry,
And twenty things beside;
"I'll plough and sow and reap and mow
And you shall sit and spin,
Singing, 'How d'you do, and how d'you do,
And how d'you do' again."
Our annual Oysterfest went off brilliantly last night (pictures later). Our last guests have just departed, leaving behind a spinning wheel they are selling on behalf of a friend, which I intend to buy. I got some quick lessons before they left. No one element of the process of spinning a mass of wool into nice, even yarn is very difficult, but it will take some time learning to do them all at once. If I concentrate on the treadle, I can time the downstroke to coincide with the wheel's just turning over the top, so that it doesn't turn in reverse -- but then I've taken my attention off of the job of "drafting" (pulling) the end of the wool ball out into the very thin wisp that takes the spin. If I concentrate on drafting, I lose track of the treadle, or forget to pinch onto the wool at the right spot, or forget to let the wheel pull the spun portion onto the bobbin, or the completed yarn slips off the bobbin altogether and snarls. Each of these tasks must become more automatic before they can be aggregated smoothly.
I'm already eyeing my longer-haired dog as a potential source of wool. The shorter-haired dog, as you can see above, is eyeing the device with some suspicion.
We don't mow, as a rule, since we have nothing to say to lawns. I wonder, though, if I can persuade my husband to do all of the plowing, sowing, and reaping if I promise to do all the spinning? It seems like a good deal from my end.
But before I get to swallowed up in this new craft, I must finish Lars's book, which I am particularly enjoying. I'm about 2/3 of the way through, a feat I accomplished only by stealing moments from our hectic week preparing for Oysterfest.